Brian Maass, investigative reporter for CBS4, reports:
CBS4 has learned at least four people are under arrest in connection with a possible plot to kill Barack Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech in Denver. All are being held on either drug or weapons charges.
CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass reported one of the suspects told authorities they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle … sighted at 750 yards."
Law enforcement sources tell Maass that one of the suspects "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative."
The story began emerging Sunday morning when Aurora police arrested 28-year-old Tharin Gartrell. He was driving a rented pickup truck in an erratic manner according to sources.
Sources told CBS4 police found two high-powered, scoped rifles in the car along with camouflage clothing, walkie-talkies, wigs, a bulletproof vest, a spotting scope, licenses in the names of other people and 44 grams of methamphetamine. One of the rifles is listed as stolen from Kansas.
Aurora police alerted federal officials because of heightened security surrounding the Democratic convention, Dudley said.
"Clearly we found there are federal implications -- otherwise we would not have notified them," Det. Marcus Dudley with Aurora police said. "The weapons clearly would cause great concern."
Subsequently authorities went to the Cherry Creek Hotel to contact an associate of Gartrell's. But that man, identified as Shawn Robert Adolph, 33, who was wanted on numerous warrants, jumped out of a sixth floor hotel window. Law enforcement sources say Adolph broke an ankle in the fall and was captured moments later. Sources say he had a handcuff ring and was wearing a swastika, and is thought to have ties to white supremacist organizations.
A third man -- an associate of Gartrell and Adolph, Nathan Johnson, 32, was also arrested. He told authorities that the two men "planned to kill Barack Obama at his acceptance speech."
Johnson, along with his girlfriend, Natasha Gromek, are also under arrest on drug charges.
We should all be glad our law enforcement personnel and agencies did their jobs so well and stopped this threat dead in its tracks. Without the Patriot Act and hypervigilence of lawmen across this country, this week might have ended tragically. Barack Obama harbors dangerous and boneheaded ideas for America and the world, but he will be defeated at the ballot box, not at the point of a gun. Violence in US elections should never be tolerated, freedom of expression has its limits.
This was the second plot uncovered in the past few weeks. I'm afraid it won't be the last. There are many crazies of no legitimate political persuasion who wish to do incalculable harm. These people are not Democrats, they are not Republicans, nor are they American Independents. They are crazies who hijack whatever harebrained idea that will make them feel important or part of something important. Or, as we've seen, just to impress a girl.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.