RCMP raid Montreal-area home tied to ricin-laced envelopes sent to White House, Texas

RCMP raid Montreal-area home tied to ricin-laced envelopes sent to White House, Texas

ST-HUBERT, Que. — RCMP raided a residence on Montreal’s south shore Monday in connection with envelopes containing the poison ricin that were sent to the White House and to various locations in Texas.

The home is tied to a woman arrested Sunday night at the New York-Canada border who authorities suspect is involved in the case, Cpl. Charles Poirier told reporters at the scene.

“We don’t know if she lived here but there is a clear link between her and this residence,” Poirier said. The home is located in a multi-unit building on Vauquelin Blvd. in St-Hubert, Que., bordering a forest and not far from an airport.

Some of the units in the building were evacuated after police arrived around 10 a.m. Police were still on site as of 5 p.m. The RCMP’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives team is leading the operation with support from local police and firefighters.

“We don’t know what we’re going to find, that’s why we’ve deployed multiple resources,” Poirier said. “We also have a specialized unit to make sure that if we find something that is highly toxic inside the residence, we are prepared.”

The Associated Press reported Sunday that three U.S. law enforcement officials said a woman suspected of sending a toxic envelope to the White House was arrested at the New York-Canada border. They said the letter had been intercepted last week before it reached the official residence of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Poirier said Monday that envelopes containing ricin — a toxic substance found naturally in castor beans — had also been sent to various locations in Texas.

Contacted by The Canadian Press, the sheriff’s office in Hidalgo County, in southern Texas, referred all questions to the Twitter account of Sheriff Eddie Guerra. He posted late Monday afternoon, “I can confirm that envelopes, containing the deadly toxin ricin, was mailed to me and three of my detention staff.

“At this time due to (an) active federal investigation I cannot make any further comments … No injuries were sustained.”

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

The woman was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Fort Erie, Ont. She is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon in Buffalo, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Her name was not immediately released.

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.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP. (Black Press File Photo)
Calgary man dies in two-vehicle collision near Sylvan Lake

A semi truck collided with a SUV just east of Hwy. 781 on Hwy 11.

FILE - A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Tim Hortons to test deposit program for returnable coffee cups and packaging

Test program to start at select Toronto restaurants

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump, center left, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chat before a round table meeting of NATO leaders in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Evan Vucci
US NATO allies still short on defence spending aims

None of the 30 allies owes NATO or its members money

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

ACC President and CEO Ken Kolby spoke to Ponoka Chamber of Commerce members over Zoom on Oct. 20. (Image: screenshot)
Alberta chambers are ‘411’ to members, government: ACC president

Changes to government supports, second wave and snap election

world affairs
British brinkmanship leaves little hope of a Brexit trade deal

The British pantomime is a traditional Christmas entertainment in which stock characters… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Red Deer city council will hold a public hearing on Oct. 28 about whether to take the future expansion of Molly Banister Drive off the table. (Photo by MAMTA LULLA/Advocate staff).
Opinion: Molly Banister extension isn’t as important as quality of life

Citizen opposition to the Molly Banister Drive extension has grown since the… Continue reading

Email letters to editor@interior-news.com
I ask myself: ‘What the hell’ has happened to Red Deer?

I moved to Red Deer on Nov. 1, 2001, and I fell… Continue reading

Canada goalkeeper Erin McLeod wipes tears from her eyes after losing 2-1 to England during a FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal soccer game in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday June 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canadian ‘keeper Erin McLeod happy in Iceland, looks to help others stay positive

Orlando loaned McLeod to Iceland’s Ungmennafelag Stjarnan in August

Most Read