Tharin Gartrell, 28, was arrested early Monday morning after an Aurora, Colo., officer pulled him over for reckless driving. What the officer didn’t know was, by making this routine stop, he may have saved Senator Barack Obama’s life.
Two rifles, a high-powered scope and a score of methamphetamine were all found in Gartrell’s rented car.
The traffic stop ignited a chain of arrests–two more men and one woman — all believed to be planning an attempt on Obama’s life during his acceptance speech this Thursday night. One of the men — not Gartrell — is said to be a white supremacist.
Inside Gartrell’s car, officers, in addition to the weapons, scope and methamphetamine, found a bulletproof vest, camouflage clothing, walkie-talkies and several licenses with different names on each.
The series of arrests took place about 11 miles from the Pepsi Center, the site of the Democratic National Convention.
According to the Denver TV station CBS4, when one of the suspects was asked whether he had come to Denver to assassinate the presidential candidate, “he responded in the affirmative.”
CBS4 also reported that one of the suspects told authorities he planned to, “shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a … rifle sighted at 750 yards.”
Some police sources are saying the case concerns drugs more than a possible plot against Obama’s life, which does contradict what media reports the suspects told authorities. Regardless, the FBI is currently investigating the event.
Colorado U.S. Attorney Troy Eid told media he is “confident” there is no threat to Obama’s safety during the convention.