Suspect detained for allegedly sending ricin-tainted letter to WH

WASHINGTON — A suspect who allegedly sent a letter containing the deadly poison ricin to the White House was detained trying to enter the United States from Canada, a federal law enforcement official said Sunday.

Additional information about the person was not immediately available. The suspect was detained by Customs and Border Protection agents, a federal law enforcement official said.

The FBI said Saturday that it was investigating a suspicious letter addressed to President Donald Trump that had been intercepted.

It wasn’t clear when the letter was sent or where it was intercepted. Law enforcement officials said the poison, which is highly toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting, organ failure and death, was detected at an off-site facility that screens mail addressed to the White House.

The ricin was confirmed in field and laboratory tests.

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President Trump’s indoor campaign rally in Nevada

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HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters try to catch a hat thrown into the crowd as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Some of thousands of people who turned out Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, wait to enter a President Donald Trump campaign re-election rally for at an equipment rental assembly plant in Henderson, Nev. Officials in the city outside Las Vegas warned Xtreme Manufacturing by letter and verbally that the event violated COVID-19 emergency directives by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak prohibiting gatherings to no more than 50 people in a private or public setting. The city said it might fine organizers up to $500 per violation and suspend or revoke its business license. (AP Photo/Ken Ritter)

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters react as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump reacts to the crowd as he speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters wait for President Donald Trump to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters wait for President Donald Trump to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A supporter waits for President Donald Trump to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters wait for President Donald Trump to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters wait for President Donald Trump to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Dana White, head of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, center, accompanied by some Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters, listen as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. Also pictured is Rick Harrison, who appears on the television show Pawn Stars, left. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters of President Donald Trump wait for him to take the stage at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

El presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, llega para hablar en un mitin en Xtreme Manufacturing, el domingo 13 de septiembre de 2020, en Henderson, Nevada. (AP Foto/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters wait for President Donald Trump to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supporters wait for President Donald Trump to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: Kimberly Guilfoyle speaks at a campaign event for U.S. President Donald Trump at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: A supporter holds up a “Peaceful Protester” sign during a campaign event for U.S. President Donald Trump at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters hold up signs during a campaign event for U.S. President Donald Trump at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump claps after speaking at a campaign event at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: Kimberly Guilfoyle waves after speaking at a campaign event for U.S. President Donald Trump at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump gestures after speaking at a campaign event at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up after speaking at a campaign event at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Xtreme Manufacturing on September 13, 2020 in Henderson, Nevada. Trump’s visit comes after Nevada Republicans blamed Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for blocking other events he had planned in the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)




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The suspect allegedly sent other letters to federal prisons that were discovered in different facilities, an official told NBC News Saturday. It wasn’t immediately clear which prisons the letters were sent to or who the recipients were.

The official said only one letter appeared to be addressed to a political figure.

Pete Williams reported from Washington and Tim Stelloh from California.

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