DENVER (LAWFUEL) – Three men from Metro Denver were charged by Criminal Complaint today, two on firearm and drug charges, and the third on drug charges. The charges were announced this afternoon by U.S. Attorney Troy Eid, FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis, ATF Special Agent in Charge Dick Chase, Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Ron Perea, Aurora Chief of Police Dan Oates, and Denver Chief of Police Gerald Whitman. The three defendants are presently in state custody. They will likely appear in federal court in Denver later this week.
According to the affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, this matter started early Sunday morning following a traffic stop by an Aurora Police officer. During that traffic stop, Tharin Robert Gartrell was taken into custody for outstanding warrants. A search of the vehicle following the arrest uncovered a loaded Ruger Model M77 Mark II 22-250 bolt-action rifle with a scope attached and a bi-pod. Also recovered was an unloaded Remington, Model 721 270 bolt-action rifle with an attached hunting scope, two boxes of ammunition, and a bullet proof/ballistic vest, among other things. The investigation later revealed that two other men were also in possession of the firearms.
Federal authorities learned that there were alleged threats to Senator Barack Obama during the course of this investigation.
U.S. Attorney Troy Eid said, “We’ve conducted an intensive investigation, chased down numerous leads, and carefully reviewed the evidence to date. It is a very serious crime to threaten a Presidential candidate. In this case, however, there is insufficient evidence at this time to indicate a true threat, plot or conspiracy against Senator Obama.”
Shawn Robert Adolf, age 33. Adolf is charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, one count of possession of body armor by a violent felon, and one count of possession of Methamphetamine.
Nathan Dwaine Johnson, age 32. Johnson is charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and one count of possession of Methamphetamine.
Tharin Robert Gartrell, age 28. Gartrell is charged with one count of possession of Methamphetamine.
If convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, the defendants face not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine. If convicted of possession of body armor by a violent felon, the defendant will face not more than 3 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine. If convicted of possession of Methamphetamine, the defendants face either 2 years in federal prison, or up to 20 years, depending on the amount of Methamphetamine possessed.
A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document. Defendants accused of committing a federal felony have the right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.
The charges are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Secret Service, the Aurora Police Department, and the Denver Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Brown.