The RCMP says it’s conducting an operation south of Montreal in connection with an envelope containing the poison ricin that was sent to the White House.

Police said Monday the operation is occurring on Vauquelin Blvd. in St-Hubert, Que., on Montreal’s south shore.

The police operation comes after it was reported that a woman was arrested on suspicion of sending a letter containing a deadly toxin to the White House.

She was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo, N.Y., and was expected to face federal charges in the U.S., the officials said.

Her name has not yet been released, PA Media reported.

The letter, which contained the poison ricin, was intercepted earlier last week before it reached the White House. 

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


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While naturally occurring, the toxin requires a deliberate act to convert it into a biological weapon, with exposure to an amount as small as a pinhead capable of causing death within 36 to 72 hours.

No known antidote exists.

The letter was intercepted at a U.S. government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and U.S. President Donald Trump and a preliminary investigation indicated it tested positive for ricin, according to the officials.

There have been several prior instances in which U.S. officials have been targeted with ricin sent through the mail.

A U.S. Navy veteran was arrested in 2018 and confessed to sending envelopes to President 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 then-president Barack Obama and other officials. 

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With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

CLARIFICATION: In a previous version of this story, it was reported the suspect was a Canadian woman. In fact, U.S. authorities have said the letter had originated in Canada, but it’s not yet clear if the suspect is Canadian.