Ricin Intercepted by Law Enforcement, Addressed to President Trump
The FBI, Secret Service, and Postal Inspectors are investigating an envelope of ricin intercepted at an offsite mail inspection facility. It was addressed to President Trump. The off site facility irradiates every piece of mail addressed to the White House according to media. The envelope addressed to the President tested positive for ricin with both the field test and laboratory analysis.
There were also letters with ricin addressed to Federal officials in Texas. The FBI stated that there was no threat to the public at this time.
#FBIStatement: "The FBI and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility. At this time, there is no known threat to public safety." pic.twitter.com/jsBMIsDHbt
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) September 19, 2020
“A second official said the FBI, Secret Service and the Postal Inspection Service are trying to determine where the letter came from. It’s unclear when the letter was intercepted.
Other letters that have also tested positive for ricin were discovered in different facilities, an official said. While it is unclear how many additional poisoned letters were found, most of them seem to be addressed to prisons. Only one was apparently addressed to a political figure, the official said.
The White House and Secret Service did not immediately return a request for comment.
Ricin is highly toxic that could cause nausea, vomiting, and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines. Depending on the severity of the exposure, it can also cause failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys, and death by the collapse of the circulatory system.
One report from the NYT said that officials believed the letters may have been mailed in Canada. The New York Times wrote,
“The envelope to the White House was caught at the final offsite processing facility where mail is screened before being sent to the White House mail room, according to a second law enforcement official. The Postal Service irradiates mail that is addressed to the White House and other federal agencies in the Washington area, and the mail is sorted in a facility that samples the air for suspicious substances.”
It’s happened before. In 2018, William Clyde Allen was arrested for mailing ricin laced letters to the President, Pentagon and director of the FBI.
Featured photo: screenshot of White House via NBC