Obama Assassination Threat Plot?
Officials: Man wasn't a 'credible threat' to Obama
By STEVEN K. PAULSON
Associated Press Writer
DENVER (AP) -- Authorities are investigating whether a man arrested with rifles, ammunition and drugs in his truck made statements threatening Barack Obama, but emphasize he never posed a "credible threat" to the candidate or the Democratic National Convention.
Federal and local authorities had scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon, but U.S. Attorney Troy Eid downplayed the case.
"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 statement.
FBI spokeswoman Kathy Wright confirmed the FBI was investigating reports the man had threatened Obama, who will be in Denver this week to accept the Democratic nomination for president. The Joint Information Center - a command set up by city, state and federal authorities to field media inquiries during the Democratic convention - said it had no immediate comment.
The action started around 1:30 a.m. Sunday when police in the eastern suburb of Aurora stopped a truck that was swerving erratically. The driver, 28-year-old Tharin Gartrell, had a suspended driver's license, and the truck was rented in the name of another person, said Aurora police Detective Marcus Dudley.
In the truck, officers found two rifles, including one with a scope; a bulletproof vest; boxes of ammunition; walkie-talkies; and suspected narcotics, Dudley said.
Aurora police, on edge because of heightened security surrounding the Democratic convention in Denver, alerted federal authorities.
Three hours later, at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, federal agents arrested Nathan Johnson, 32, at a hotel in Denver. He was being held on drug charges, Dudley said.
A half-hour after that, 33-year-old Shawn Robert Adolf jumped from a sixth-story window when authorities tried to arrest him at a hotel in suburban Glendale, police said.
Adolf was hospitalized and was being held on $1 million bond for several outstanding warrants involving drug charges.
Dudley didn't say what tied the men together but said more arrests were possible. One of the rifles was stolen, and authorities had traced it to Kansas, Dudley said.
It wasn't known if the three men had attorneys, Dudley said.
Dudley said Gartrell was being investigated for methamphetamine and firearms violations. Gartrell, who has no known address, was being held at the Arapahoe County jail on $50,000 bail on drug and weapons charges. The jail said he was due in court Thursday.
Associated Press writers Eileen Sullivan and P. Solomon Banda contributed to this report.
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