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Assassination Accusation Downgraded to Gun Charge

Assassination Accusation Downgraded to Gun Charge

Three men originally feared to be plotting an assassination attempt on Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Denver will now face only gun charges, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Federal law enforcement officials in Denver said the men never posed a real threat to the senator. Official charges have yet to be filed, according to an officer speaking on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press. Police said it is possible but unlikely that later charges will be filed.

"We're absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention, or the people of Colorado," U.S. attorney Troy Eid said in a statement to the press.

Tharin Gartrell, 28, was arrested Sunday near Denver in possession of two rifles, ammunition, walkie-talkies, and suspected illegal drugs. Two other men and a woman were arrested nearby a few hours later.

According to FBI spokeswoman Kathy Wright, the bureau had been investigating reports that Gartrell had threatened Obama's life. Police pulled Gartrell's truck over Sunday as he was weaving across traffic, according to National Public Radio.

Gartrell then led police to a nearby hotel where federal agents arrested Nathan Johnson, 32, and Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, on drug charges. Federal agents also arrested a woman, described as the girlfriend of one of the men.

When asked if there had been a plot to kill Obama, Johnson replied, "Looking back at it, I don't want to say yes, but I don't want to say no." Johnson added that he was not involved in the plot.

Law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate whether the men were involved in a string of vandalism shootings targeting two federal buildings in Denver over the past two weeks. (The Advocate)

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