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Plot unfolds to assassinate Obama on national TV, a 4th arrest, more details

August 26, 2008 |  3:09 am

More details emerging from Denver as we write this in the predawn hours on the now-suspected plot to assassinate Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama with a high-powered rifle on national television during his outdoor acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday night.

Authorities have reported a fourth arrest in the unfolding plot that The Ticket first wrote about here a few hours ago at the end of Monday night's Democratic National Convention events at the Pepsi Center.

Tharin Gartrell, a convicted felon, one of four arrested in Denver in a reported plot to assassinate Senator Barack Obama on national TV during his nomination acceptance speech at Invesco Field Thursday night

We knew then that authorities in suburban Aurora had stopped a pickup truck for swerving between lanes early Sunday morning in what they thought was a routine drunk driving incident.

But in the rented vehicle of Tharin Gartrell, a 28-year-old convicted felon (see photo), they found two high-powered scoped rifles, ammunition, sighting scopes, radios, a cellphone, a bulletproof vest, wigs, drugs and fake IDs.

According to Brian Maass of Denver's KCNC Channel 4, under questioning Gartrell implicated two other men -- Nathan Johnson, who is 32, and Shawn Adolph, who is 33 -- and Johnson's girlfriend, Natasha Gromack. Johnson also reportedly confirmed the plot to FBI and Secret Service interrogators. (See video below.)

One of the men, Adolph, reportedly wore a ring with the Nazi swastika. He was injured when he jumped out of a hotel window fleeing Secret Service agents. All are now in custody on drug and weapons charges.

U.S. Atty. Troy Eid declined to elaborate on Monday but said there is no credible threat to the party's convention or to the freshman Illinois senator, who was campaigning in Kansas City on Monday and traveling to Montana today.

But the television station reports that under questioning the men admitted there was indeed a plot to kill Obama during his speech before some 70,000 supporters and a nationwide television audience.

More details are expected to emerge later today when Eid holds a news conference at 4 p.m. Denver time.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Associated Press / Aurora Police Dept.

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