Canadian Security Magazine

News Securing the Nation
RCMP launch operation south of Montreal connected to White House ricin letter

The RCMP's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives team is leading the operation


ST-HUBERT, Que. — The RCMP say they’re conducting an operation south of Montreal in connection with an envelope containing the poison ricin that was sent to the White House.

The police force said Monday on Twitter the operation is occurring on Vauquelin Blvd. in St-Hubert, on Montreal’s south shore.

The RCMP’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives team is leading the operation with support from local police and firefighters.

Police says all necessary measures have been taken to ensure public safety.

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Canadian law enforcement was called in to help the FBI investigate after American authorities found evidence the suspicious letter had originated in Canada.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that three U.S. law enforcement officials said a woman suspected of sending the envelope was arrested at the New York-Canada border.

They said the letter had been intercepted last week before it reached the White House.

The woman was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Fort Erie, Ont., and she is expected to face federal charges. Her name was not immediately released.

RCMP spokesman Dan Brien said Saturday that initial information from the investigation suggests the letter originated in Canada. Brien said an analysis found the letter contained ricin, a toxic substance found naturally in castor beans.

There have been several prior instances in which U.S. officials have been targeted with ricin sent through the mail.

A Navy veteran was arrested in 2018 and confessed to sending envelopes to Trump and members of his administration that contained the substance from which ricin is derived. The letters were intercepted, and no one was hurt.

In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after sending letters dusted with ricin to President Barack Obama and other officials.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2020.

— With files from The Associated Press.