Occupy Denver: Protester says FBI agents visited his home to investigate car bomb rumor

Categories: Occupy Denver

FBI logo.jpg
About a week and a half ago, Occupy Denver protester Tanner Spendley became the main character in a situation that could easily be a bar joke. Three days before the local group occupied the Walmart distribution center in Loveland, Spendley heard a knock on the door of his Denver apartment. When he opened it, he says, two men in trenchcoats introduced themselves as FBI agents.

Although Westword could easily write a post a day detailing rumors regarding Occupy Denver, Spendley's story only started with rumors -- it did not end with them. The two other occupiers inside his house at the time have also confirmed the visit from agents, who began their time with the protesters by questioning them about -- you guessed it -- rumors. This particular batch started on Twitter in preparation for Occupy Denver's plans to shut down the Loveland Walmart.

Occupy loveland.jpg
Courtesy of Kerri Kellerman
Occupy protesters and Loveland police officers at the site of the December 12 protest.
"They said, 'We're with the FBI,' and I said 'I know,'" Spendley says. "They asked how, and I said they looked like FBI agents. Then one of the men proceeded to show me his badge, and it was very surreal."

Although he doesn't have a Twitter account, Spendley's name had come up via conversations on the social media site covering potential strategies for the group's time at Walmart -- particularly regarding which actions are legal and which are not. One Twitter user asked about the possibility of blocking the port with cars (illegal), then abandoning the cars and setting their tires on fire (also illegal) before the thread eventually ended. Neither of these actions were actually taken in Loveland.

But government officials didn't know this yet. "Because my name was mentioned at the beginning of the thread, this person inferred that me and two other people were planning some crazy fucking act," Spendley says. "Someone wrote an e-mail accusing me of violent behavior, and I got five phone calls in ten minutes asking me what the hell was going on. It went from a blockade to car bombs: Obviously, when the FBI hears car bombs, of course they're going to investigate."

Both of the officers Spendley spoke to identified themselves as members of the organization's domestic terrorism unit, he says, and they spent 45 minutes in his home discussing the situation; one officer sat facing him, the other sat next to him, and two other occupiers sat on the couch. Spendley says he denied any plans to commit arson or use car bombs, and instead showed the officers a chain of e-mails involving plans to the contrary.

"I figured the FBI would be involved at some point, but I didn't think it would be this soon -- or because of petty Internet rumors," Spendley says. "As soon as they left, we had this 'what the fuck' moment. Did the FBI really just show up at my house?"

Spendley notes that the officers were civil and respectful and intentionally distanced themselves from the Denver Police Department and its relationship with local protesters. He has not heard from the FBI again on the issue, which quickly dissipated and ended with thirteen protesters charged with minor offenses. (Two protesters remain in the Larimer County Detention Center.) But he's still amazed that the probe started with yet another string of rumors populated by the Internet.

"There were a lot of accusations made against myself, and someone posted something on Twitter, and it was like a real-life game of telephone," Spendley says. "That's the reason for this: People are talking online and spreading rumors rather than meeting people in person and starting relationships to know what someone would and wouldn't do. There's a big difference between being paranoid and being vigilant."

And when the officers finally departed from his place, Spendley says, it was with a warning: "They left with our contacts and said, 'If you guys are aware of any crazy plots going on you think would harm the movement, please give us a call.'"

More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver's latest eviction ends in flames, arrests and Tebowing (photos)."


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9 comments
seanv2026
seanv2026

HA! This was also bullshit! It was made up to give tanner street cred. Tanner was a fucking weak drone who got used on all fronts. He did not know but many did. I remember tanner on October 15th when occupy denver closed down broadway. Tanner kept looking at someone not saying who but kept saying" what do it do?" Should I talk to the police?" Fucking dumb shit drone he also ruined everything Rob anthony all ruined everything because they wanted to create a puppet democrat party that continued to serve the right wing! SOME OF US WANTED TO CHANGE THAT! Yeah the only one who was not involved was Cory Donahue. Tanner is a phony he betrayed many and many do not know. He did nothing was giving credit because he spoke up and listened to who he was suppose to without having his own ideas. 


Al nesby, Tanner spendley, and SOLE continue to fuck over all the leftist, or liberals. They keep with the same weak liberal agenda hug everyone including the right wingers who hate everything. ANON is a fucking Virus good job fuck tards!

geral sosbee
geral sosbee

Focus on the real problem: the fbi/cia cointelpro which in one form or another threatens all peoples: For the layman, 'cointelpro' may be loosely defined as information and technology systematically used by government agents and operatives (particularly fbi/cia) who, while asserting powerful influence over all branches of government at all levels (including the judiciary), engage in torture, imprisonment or murder of an expanding number of Targets. A form of genocide is apparently in the making whereby a massive program (sometimes referred to as 'cointelpro') is now underway to remove/kill/control large numbers of people. Only a few Targets have credibility because an integral part of the deadly operation is to discredit people who try to report the crimes associated with such operations. http://sosbeevfbi.ning.com/for... http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/high... http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/non-...  Prepare to meet the tsunami of assassins sweeping over the USA and the world: http://rudy2.wordpress.com/syn...  http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/stat...

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Amateur hour again! WTF are you doing letting the FBI in your house without a warrant?!?! Don't you know anything about the Constitution or your rights? Letting the FBI into your house without a warrant sets a bad example for everyone.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The whole affair was apparently concocted by volunteer police agents within Occupy, whose chief motivation was an animus against freedom-fighter Corey Donahue.  The FBI agents may have acted professionally, but I would not have invited them in.  The theory that setting cars ablaze at the entrance to the Walmart distribution center should involve Federal law enforcement is daft -- tell them that, and let them investigate the scum who posted the ridiculous story instead.

Boring
Boring

Actually it was Sarah Fong who was using the Occupy Denver Twitter account to spread this stuff. She admitted to it publicly. I don't think she is a police informant, but more the Democrat version of an Anne Coultur, except nobody has heard of her or will ever care who she is. You can go read her blog about it http://www.squarestate.net/dia....

KO
KO

LOL, yes, the whole world revolves around corey donahue and his sidekick robert chase. Dumb and dumber in the making.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

What an utter moron you are!  Sarah Fong starts libelling Corey Donahue in the second sentence of the post linked to below, and she repeats the false accusation about burning cars.  The FBI interviewed Tanner Spendley because of Fong's accusation -- these are facts, not delusions of self-importance.  Idiot!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Every single one of your assertions is false.  What you just wrote demonstrates that you too are a complete moron -- Corey Donahue avers that he did not touch the person with whom he is accused of having had "unlawful sexual contact", and I believe him.  Fong states that there was a plan to burn cars at the Walmart, and I believe that to be a malicious lie.  I am a Coloradan now, and I know more about my adopted state, have been to more of its beautiful places, and am far more deeply involved in trying to change its incompetent government than very many natives.

Jerome
Jerome

Libeling would mean you are making false accusations about someone. Fong is not libeling, she is stating a widely publicized fact - Corey Donahue sexually assaulted someone at the OD site. Corey "Nut job" Donahue admitted this FACT in Westword. He called it "...a nut tap joke gone wrong".

Robert, you moved to Denver, what 4 years ago, have never had a job in Denver, are on of the most ineffective advocates I have ever met, and you routinely, no strike that, you always believe you are right.

Go back to where ever you came from. Leave Colorado - we do not care for outsiders telling us we are idiots, idiot.

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