Suspect is taken into custody for ‘sending letter containing the deadly poison RICIN to Donald Trump in a package addressed to the White House’
- An unidentified suspect was arrested over the poison package
- Package was intercepted by screeners this week before it reached White House
- Authorities said earlier they believed it was mailed from Canada
- Ricin is a deadly poison that can kill in the amount of a few grains of salt
A suspect has been taken into custody for allegedly sending a package containing the deadly poison ricin to Donald Trump.
The unidentified individual was arrested trying to enter the US from Canada, a federal law enforcement official told NBC News Sunday.
No further details such as age, name or gender are known about the suspect at this time.
The Secret Service has intercepted a package addressed to Trump containing deadly ricin
The suspicious letter addressed to the president was intercepted by law enforcement earlier this week, the FBI revealed Saturday.
All packages addressed to the White House are sorted and screened at a secure offsite facility prior to delivery.
The envelope to the White House was caught at the final offsite processing facility where mail is screened before being sent to the White House mail room.
Lab tests confirmed the presence of ricin – which is deadly if inhaled – in the letter and an FBI investigation was launched to locate the sender.
‘The F.B.I. and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility,’ the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement to the Times Saturday.
‘At this time, there is no known threat to public safety.’
Law enforcement sources Saturday said they believed it had been sent from Canada.
The suspect also allegedly sent other poison packages to a number of federal prisons, a law enforcement official told NBC News Saturday.
Only one package was said to be aimed at a political figure.
It is not clear when any of the packages were sent, which federal prisons were targeted and who the recipients of those packages were.
All packages addressed to the White House are sorted and screened at a secure offsite facility prior to delivery
Ricin is a highly potent toxin derived from castor beans, and is extremely lethal if inhaled or injected, but less so if ingested. Inhaling a dose the size of a few grains of salt can be lethal to adults.
Deadly ricin has previously been used to target American politicians through the mail.
In 2014, actress Shannon Richardson, who appeared on The Walking Dead, was convicted of sending envelopes containing ricin addressed to then President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
She was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Ricin was also featured in a multi-season plot arc in the television series Breaking Bad, which inspired several real-life criminal schemes involving the poison.
In 2014, Georgetown University student Daniel Milzman pleaded guilty to a federal charge after a bag of ricin was found in his dorm room.
Prosecutors say he had planned to use it on another student he had formerly been in a relationship with. He was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison.