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Plot to Assassinate Obama Unravels in Denver

By Kevin Robinson in News on Aug 26, 2008 3:15AM

2008_8_Tharin_Gartrell.jpgCBS's Denver affiliate is reporting on a plot to assassinate Barack Obama during his acceptance speech later this week in Denver.

KCNC-TV 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, Colo. police arrested 28-year-old Tharin Gartrell [pictured above]. He was driving a rented pickup truck in an erratic manner according to sources.

Sources told KCNC-TV police found two high-powered, scoped rifles in the car along with camouflage clothing, walkie-talkies, a bulletproof vest, a spotting scope, licenses in the names of other people and methamphetamine. One of the rifles is listed as stolen from Kansas.

When authorities when to the Cherry Creek Hotel to investigate one of Gartrell's associates, who was also wanted on multiple warrants, he jumped out of the window of his sixth floor hotel room, breaking an ankle. He was captured by police "moments later." Two others, an unidentified man and woman, are also under arrest.

A source familiar with the case tells Newsweek that Gartrell and another suspect are believed to be white supremacists. Police and federal agents are trying to determine now if they really were in a position to carry out the threats, or were just trying to impress their girlfriends.