This photo provided by the Hidalgo County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, showing the booking photo of Pascale Ferrier. Ferrier, accused of mailing a package containing ricin to the White House, included a threatening letter in which she told President Donald Trump to “give up and remove your application for this election.” That’s according to court papers filed Sept. 22. Pascale Ferrier was arrested on Sept. 20 at the New York-Canada border (Hidalgo County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, via AP)

U.S. judge orders Canadian woman accused of threatening Trump to remain in custody

Suspect had one semi-automatic handgun and 294 rounds of ammunition

A Quebec woman accused of sending a ricin-laced threat to President Donald Trump was equipped to cause bodily harm when she was arrested, a U.S. judge said Monday as he ordered Pascale Ferrier to remain behind bars.

Ferrier, 53, had at least one semi-automatic handgun and 294 rounds of ammunition with her when she was arrested last weekend while trying to cross the Canada-U. S. border, the court heard.

Timothy Lynch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo, N.Y., described Ferrier as being “loaded for bear” when she was stopped Sept. 20 at the Peace Bridge border crossing.

Lynch noted that in the letter, Ferrier allegedly threatened additional violence to the president if the ricin didn’t work, either through a different poison or in person with a gun “when I’ll be able to come.”

That’s precisely what she was intent on doing when she showed up at the border, Lynch alleged.

“It appears that defendant was following up on her threat to the president, that she would come into the United States with her gun,” he said.

“There’s no reason to believe, judge, that if this defendant is released, she won’t in some way attempt to cause bodily injury or kill the president or other individuals in the United States.”

District Court Judge Kenneth Schroeder Jr. seemed to agree.

The government’s evidence and arguments, he said, “clearly establish this defendant’s capability to commit or to threaten to commit acts of violence, including bringing about the death or homicide of a third party.”

Schroeder Jr. ordered Ferrier, a naturalized Canadian citizen who lives in Montreal, to be transferred to a facility in the Washington area, where a grand jury has already returned an indictment on a charge of threatening the president of the United States.

Lynch did acknowledge that Ferrier identified herself to U.S. border protection officers as the person “wanted by the FBI for the ricin envelope,” a detail that didn’t escape the notice of her lawyer, Fonda Kubiak.

Surely if Ferrier posed a risk of flight, she wouldn’t have presented herself to the authorities in the way she did, Kubiak argued.

“She came to the bridge, and said, ‘I understand from news reports that I’m the person you’re looking for.’ If somebody were going to run or flee, they certainly do not engage in that type of conduct,” said Kubiak, who also entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of her client.

“If she was loaded for bear and she had ill will and intentions, she certainly would not have gone to the border to say, ‘Here I am.’”

Lynch said Ferrier was also in possession of a “spring knife,” a stun gun and a baton when she was arrested, and that lab tests in Canada found traces of ricin in a mortar and pestle recovered from her apartment in Montreal.

Kubiak tried to argue that Ferrier could be released into the custody of family members in Canada or in Texas who are willing to help take care of her while she awaited trial.

Schroeder Jr. cited the unrelated case of Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive currently in custody in Canada while she awaits extradition to the U.S., as an example of why that wouldn’t work.

That case has already taken an inordinate amount of time to be resolved, he said. What’s more, it would be impossible for U.S. probation officials to monitor her conduct, and a U.S. waiver of extradition wouldn’t necessarily carry any legal weight in a Canadian court.

“There is clear and convincing evidence,” he said, “that the defendant does constitute a continuing danger to the president of the United States, as well as … anybody else within the confines of the United States.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2020.

crimeTrump

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

Just Posted

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and Roland Gaviola, Iglesia ni Cristo Church of Christ district minister in the Calgary region, stand in front of the 300-plus boxes of donated food at the Red Deer Food Bank Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Red Deer Food Bank receives big donation from local church

More than 300 boxes of food were donated Saturday

Jason Aquino has been adding to his front lawn Halloween display for the past five years. “I wanted to do it big this year, because even in the pandemic, we can still enjoy Halloween,” says the Red Deer father.
Halloween spookiness rises to new level

Rare astronomical occurrence caps off a strange holiday

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

Advocate file photo
Man awaiting murder trial facing two new trials for breaching release conditions

Quentin Strawberry going to trial in March in connection with 2019 murder

Ecole La Prairie students and teachers dressed up in Halloween costumes and paraded by Barrett Kiwanis Place, while waving at the building’s residents in Red Deer on Friday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Ecole La Prairie students parade in Halloween costumes for Red Deer seniors

Dozens of Red Deer students put on their Halloween costumes to spread… Continue reading

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A costumed trick or treater turns after being given candy during Halloween celebrations in Toronto, on Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Families across the country have assembled their costumes and stockpiled their candy to celebrate a Halloween that is -- hopefully -- unlike any other. Public health restrictions to protect against COVID-19 vary depending on the region, but most officials have given trick-or-treating the go-ahead.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Families prepare for pandemic-era Halloween with public health restrictions in place

TORONTO — Canadians may be putting the final touches on their costumes… Continue reading

Indigenous fishermen adjust lines on their boat in Saulnierville, N.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan
N.S. Mi’kmaq chiefs demand stop of alleged federal plans to seize lobster traps

HALIFAX — The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs is alleging the… Continue reading

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs speaks in Ottawa on Thursday, December 7, 2017. Dumas says he's concerned about the growing number of COVID-19 cases First Nation communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
The family of Allan Landrie, shown in a family handout photo, is disappointed the Saskatchewan Coroners Service isn’t considering an inquest into the 72-year-old's hospital death. Landrie's death in September 2019 was ruled a suicide. More than three days had passed before his body was discovered locked in a hospital bathroom in Saskatoon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
‘He was so sick,’ says daughter of Saskatoon man who committed suicide in hospital

Allan Landrie’s body was discovered three days after his death

Supporters listen as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Obama: Trump failed to take pandemic, presidency seriously

FLINT, Mich. — Calling Joe Biden his “brother,” Barack Obama on Saturday… Continue reading

ll
Imagining the origins of Halloween

Long ago and far away, a small assemblage of English people gathered… Continue reading

Red Deer College president Peter Nunoda. (Photo by contributed)
Peter Nunoda: Winter term will be busier on RDC campus

In my column last month, I shared details about Red Deer College’s… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

Most Read