Feds arrest four in sniper threat against Obama

Shooters told of plot to attack from high ground
August 25, 2008 9:18:40 PM PDT
The Secret Service, FBI and the joint terrorism task force coordinating DNC security will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Denver to provide details of a developing plot against Ill. Senator and US presidential candidate Barack Obama.Authorities now say there are four suspects thought to have ties to white power organizations. Among the details that authorities plan to disclose in federal affidavits attached to the charges for court appearances Tuesday is this: one of the men arrested told authorities they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle sighted at 750 yards."

Federal sources in Denver Monday night said they found two high-powered rifles equipped with scopes in the rental pick-up truck being driven by 28-year-old Tharin Gartrell, who has been charged with weapon and drug violations as of 10:30 p.m. Monday. Gartrell was arrested Sunday in a traffic stop, after authorities said he was driving erratically. One of the rifles is listed as stolen from Kansas. Authorities also found bulletproof vests.

According to a federal law enforcement sources, one suspect said they "had come to Denver to kill Obama."

One of those arrested jumped from a hotel window near Denver when authorities arrived to arrest him. Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, was arrested at 5 a.m. Sunday at a Glendale, Colo., hotel. As officers raided his room and tried to take him into custody, he jumped from a sixth-floor window of the hotel and tried to run away, authorities said. He was found a short time later and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment according to police. Adolf had seven outstanding warrants is being held on $1 million bond. Investigators consider him a possible associate of Gartrell's in the suspected plot.

A third suspect is identified as 32-year-old Nathan Johnson. He was arrested at a Denver hotel as well and was being held on drug charges.

Police sources in Denver say a fourth person under arrest is an unidentified woman.

The U.S. Attorney in Denver, Troy Eid, released a statement confirming the arrests had been made but refused to comment on any possible assassination plot.

"We're absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention, or the people of Colorado," Eid said in a prepared statement.

Eid said he will discuss the arrests in a news conference Tuesday afternoon with officials from the FBI, Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Aurora, Colo., police.


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