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Ricin-laced letter mailed to Brooks County Sheriff's Office

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Posted at 4:59 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 17:59:51-04

The Brooks County Sheriff's Office says it was targeted by the same woman accused of sending a ricin-laced letter to President Trump.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office said they received an envelope addressed to Sheriff Urbino "Benny" Martinez on Monday, September 14. The letter contained a powdery substance believed to be ricin. The FBI opened an investigation and is working with Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, Brooks County Sheriff’s Office, The United States Postal Inspector’s Office and the Texas Transnational Intelligence Center.
The Falfurrias Fire Department and the Pharr Fire Department Hazmat team were involved in the initial investigation.

The investigation has led the FBI to Canadian Pascalle Ferrier, 53, as being the suspect who sent the letter. Ferrier is the same suspect arrested and accused of sending threatening letters, also laced with ricin, to President Trump, though those were intercepted at the United States Post Office.

The Brooks County Sheriff's Office says Ferrier has some history with the area. Ferrier was previously booked into the Hidalgo County Jail by Mission Police Department for weapons possession and later released to immigration authorities.

Ferrier was arrested Sunday, September 20 at the US-Canada Border in New York and reportedly told agents she was wanted by the FBI for ricin letters. Authorities also say they confiscated a loaded gun and knife from her waist. Forensic exams of the letters matched her fingerprints to the letter addressed to the White House and four other Texas facilities including Brooks County Sheriff's Office.

Ferrier pleaded not guilty to all charges on Tuesday in a New York courtroom.