Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s office released new details on an incident that led to the arrest of a Canadian woman accused of mailing ricin to the White House and Rio Grande Valley officials.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s office released a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying that the “envelopes” of ricin were mailed to him and three others on Monday.
The envelope was addressed to Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra with a letter and a suspicious white powdery substance. The statement said the letter was sent on Wednesday, Sept 9, postmarked from Canada.
“The letter along with the substance was immediately secured as a standard protocol to avoid any further contact or possible contamination to employees.” reads the statement.
The statement says the author of the letter, identified by officials as 53-year-old Pascale Ferrier, clearly stated a desire to harm Sheriff Guerra and three female detention officers.
The letters were intercepted at the Hidalgo County Detention Center, without incident.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) told the sheriff department they were able to confirm the substance found in all four letters received was ricin, a potentially deadly poison.
They also found the letters contained similar language to the letter sent to the White House and included the same signature block “FREE REBEL SPIRIT”.
Ferrier was previously booked into the Hidalgo County Jail by the Mission Police Department for weapon possession charges and later released on May 18, 2019, to immigration authorities.
Investigators were able to identify Ferrier through details she provided in the letter, which included the letter being sent from Canada. FBI also conducted a forensic examination of the letters which revealed four latent fingers that matched Ferrier.