Denver’s 9NEWS reports the FBI asked for more serious charges to be filed against at least one of the suspects arrested last week in a suspected plot to kill Barack Obama during the Democratic National Convention. Federal court documents obtained by reporter Jace Larson describe a plot to assassinate Obama in a suicide mission using a gun hidden inside a camera.
Colorado’s U.S. attorney said last week the three suspects — facing federal drug and weapons charges — didn’t pose a “credible threat” to Obama, calling their plans “more aspirational, perhaps, than operational.” But, according to court documents, FBI Special Agent Robert Sawyer believed there was sufficient evidence to charge the men with a criminal conspiracy to kill Obama.
Tharin Gartrell, 28; Shawn Robert Adolf, 33; and Nathan Johnson, 32, were apprehended the morning of Aug. 24. Gartell, stopped by Aurora police for erratic driving, had sniper rifles, bulletproof vests and disguises in his rented pickup truck. He led authorities to the other suspects, including Adolf, who jumped through the sixth-story window of his Glendale hotel, breaking his ankle, when police came knocking.
The court documents said the underage girlfriend of one of the suspects described the plot as a suicide mission. Another woman told police Adolf was a member of the Sons of Silence, a white nationalist group, and described all three men as racists.
Johnson, Shawn Adolf and Tharin Gartrell all thought that Obama had a suite in the third floor of the Hyatt Hotel, where they were staying. In fact, the senator was staying in another Denver Hotel.
The men were doing meth inside the hotel with two women on Aug. 23 discussing the plot to kill Obama, according to federal records.
Adolf said “it would not matter if he killed Senator Obama because police would simply add a murder charge to his pending charges,” according to the records. There were seven outstanding warrants for Adolf’s arrest.
Adolf, who was wearing a swastika ring when he was arrested, was being held on $1 million bond based on multiple outstanding charges, including drug offenses, burglary, larceny and aggravated motor vehicle theft.
9NEWS notes the plot could have had origins in a popular movie:
The plot is similar to that in the 1992 movie “The Bodyguard” starring actors Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. In the movie, Costner stops an assassination attempt against Houston by spotting a weapon hidden inside a gutted-out TV camera.