A Quebec woman who allegedly sent a letter laced with deadly ricin to U.S. President Donald Trump is too dangerous to be released on bail, according to prosecutors.
U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin argued in a submission filed in court that Pascale Ferrier’s detention was necessary for public safety and to ensure she did not flee before for her trial.
“The nature and seriousness of the danger that she would pose if released cannot be overstated,” according to the memorandum, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
To bolster their case, prosecutors filed photos of their evidence, notably Ferrier’s alleged letter to Trump and the weapons she was carrying when she was arrested at the U.S. border on Sept. 20.
The letter warned Trump to withdraw as a presidential election candidate and said he was receiving a “special gift.” Traces of toxic ricin were found in the letter, which was intercepted at a mail sorting facility.
In what prosecutors described as a revenge campaign, Ferrier also allegedly sent eight ricin-tainted letters to officials in Texas, where she was arrested in 2019 for unlawfully carrying a firearm.
“As a member of tyrants gang, you work for a dictatorship,” read the letter sent to an official at the Texas prison where Ferrier was held. “Then the best way to eliminate tyrants is to kill them.”
“So I made a special gift for you, which is in this letter.”
The letters were sent from Canada and signed “Free Rebel Spirit.” Ferrier’s fingerprints were found on the letters sent to Texas, but there were no usable prints on the letter to Trump.
An FBI forensic handwriting analyst determined Ferrier wrote all the letters. Traces of ricin were found on a mortar and pestle seized by police from her apartment in Quebec.
“The defendant has a deeply concerning history and characteristics that raise grave risk that she would endanger the community if released,” the prosecutors wrote in their submission.
Ferrier is a 53-year-old web developer who immigrated from France and became a Canadian citizen in 2015. While wintering in Texas in her RV, she was arrested in April 2019.
Court records indicate she was charged with using a fake Texas driver’s license. She was held for two months but the charge was dismissed on May 17.
A Sept. 9 post on Ferrier’s Twitter account ended with the hashtag: #killtrump. The letter to Trump arrived at the White House mail sorting facility on Sept. 18, according to prosecutors.
Two days later, Ferrier drove to the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo, N.Y. Confronted by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer, she said she was wanted by the FBI for the ricin letters.
At the time she was carrying false Texas ID, a loaded firearm, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two knives, a stun gun, truncheon and pepper spray, prosecutors alleged.
“The defendant sought vengeance on the government officials who detained her lawfully last year, by sending them threatening letters and poison,” the U.S. prosecutors alleged.