News Column

Man Indicted for Allegedly Threatening to Shoot Obama

March 12, 2013

Adriana M. Chavez, El Paso Times, Texas

President Obama

A 20-year-old Pennsylvania man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in El Paso of threatening to shoot President Obama on Inauguration Day.

William Mose Tucker is charged with threats against the president for allegedly telling someone on Sept. 1, 2012, that he planned to shoot the president. Tucker was arrested in Lawton, Okla., on Jan. 20, the day before the presidential inauguration.

According to court records, Tucker moved to El Paso in 2011 with his sister and brother-in-law, who was in the Army. Tucker remained in El Paso after his brother-in-law transferred to another post.

During a detention hearing last month, a Secret Service agent testified Tucker told someone he planned to kill the president on Jan. 21. The person to whom Tucker allegedly made the remark reported Tucker to federal agents.

Tucker later denied making the threat or having an intent or plan to kill President Obama, during interviews with federal agents. However, he acknowledged he had attended meetings of a group in El Paso called the "20th Militia," a group consisting of current and ex-military members that has been investigated in the past by the FBI and other federal authorities, court documents state.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Castaneda ordered Tucker detained without bond because he posed a threat to the community, but Tucker's attorneys have filed a request to have Castaneda's decision reviewed by U.S. District Judge Philip Martinez and have Tucker

released on bond, stating he does not own any weapons or ammunition, nor is there any evidence he planned on following through with the alleged threat.

According to documents filed by defense attorney William Maynard, a federal public defender, Tucker had moved out of El Paso and had obtained a job selling magazine subscriptions in Oklahoma at the time of his arrest. Tucker had maintained contact with FBI and Secret Service agents and informed them of his whereabouts.

In the documents, Maynard also described Tucker's affiliation with the militia group as a "brief unspecified association."

However, federal prosecutors contend Secret Service agents had difficulty maintaining constant contact with Tucker, and attempts to locate Tucker in person were unsuccessful.

"In fact, the evidence showed it was only after the agent contacted a third party and used a ruse was (Tucker's) location at a hotel in Lawton, Oklahoma learned," prosecutors stated in their response to Maynard's request.

Prosecutors also allege Tucker received firearms training from the militia group, had access to weapons and provided false information to agents.

Tucker's next court hearing is scheduled for March 28 before Martinez. As of Monday, Martinez had yet to issue a ruling on the defense's request to release Tucker on bond. If convicted of the charge, Tucker faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.



Source: (c)2013 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) Distributed by MCT Information Services