A suspect has been arrested following a stunning attempted attack on the White House.
Citing “two federal law enforcement officials,” NBC News reported Sunday that “a woman suspected of sending a letter containing the deadly poison ricin to the White House” had been taken into custody by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents while “trying to enter the United States from Canada.”
The letter, which was reportedly addressed to President Donald Trump himself, was intercepted before it reached the White House at a separate mail screening facility.
But just because the president wasn’t ever in any real danger doesn’t make this crime any less disgusting. A similar crime involving anthrax being sent to members of Congress and the media resulted in the deaths of five Americans in 2001, USA Today noted.
Opening an investigation
The suspect in this latest act of bioterrorism, who has not been identified by name, was reportedly arrested on the Peace Bridge, which links Buffalo, New York, and Erie, Ontario.
According to NBC News, the suspect sent several other letters in addition to the one addressed to Trump. Those were sent to various facilities across the U.S., including prisons, though it remains unclear who those letters were addressed to and if they contained any poisonous material.
The Hill reported Saturday that the FBI and Secret Service had opened an investigation into the incident.
“The FBI 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,” an FBI spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill. “At this time, there is no known threat to public safety.”
Facing federal charges
NBC News reported that multiple tests later confirmed that the substance found in the letter sent to Trump was indeed ricin. According to The Hill, the poison can cause “nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines” if injested.
The Hill further reported: “It can also result in failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys and the fatal collapse of the circulatory system.”
The suspect who sent the poisoned mail is set to appear in court on Tuesday, according to USA Today.
She’ll be facing federal charges.