Donald Trump
Donald TrumpReuters

A Canadian woman was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison in Washington on Thursday in the mailing of a threatening letter containing the poison ricin to then-US President Donald Trump at the White House, The Associated Press reported.

Pascale Ferrier, 56, pleaded guilty in January to violating biological weapons prohibitions in letters sent to Trump and to police officials in Texas, where she had been jailed for several weeks in 2019.

Her defense attorney Eugene Ohm said Ferrier has no criminal record prior to that and is an “inordinately intelligent” French immigrant who had earned a master’s degree in engineering and raised two children as a single parent.

In September 2020, prosecutors said Ferrier made the ricin at home in Quebec and mailed the potentially deadly poison derived from processing castor beans to Trump with a letter that referred to him as “The Ugly Tyrant Clown” and read in part: “If it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I’ll be able to come. Enjoy! FREE REBEL SPIRIT.”

The letter from Ferrier, which also told Trump “give up and remove your application for this election,” was intercepted at a mail sorting facility in September 2020, before it could reach the White House.

She was arrested trying to enter a border crossing in Buffalo, New York, carrying a gun, a knife and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, authorities said.

Investigators also found eight similar letters to law enforcement officials in charge of a Texas jail where she was held after she refused to leave a park area as it closed.

US District Judge Dabney Friedrich handed down the 262-month sentence outlined in a plea agreement with prosecutors, which also would expel Ferrier from the country once she is released and require her to be under supervised release for life if she ever returns.