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Man accused of Obama threat to appear in fed court
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    DENVER — A Colorado man suspected of making racist threats against Barack Obama is scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday on a charge of methamphetamine possession.
    Therin Gartrell, 28, was also scheduled to be charged with state violations Thursday, but that was put on hold without explanation.
    Gartrell was arrested in suburban Aurora last weekend, days before the Democratic national convention. Authorities say they found scoped rifles, a bulletproof vest, wigs and fake IDs in a rented truck he was driving.
    Authorities say Gartrell and two other men talked about killing Obama. The U.S. attorney’s office later said the men were drug users making racists threats, and that they had no firm assassination plot and no ability to carry one out.
    Arapahoe County prosecutors had planned to formally charge Gartrell Thursday with state drug and weapons violations. Prosecutor’s spokeswoman Kathleen Walsh said Gartrell’s case ‘‘is now being filed in federal court.’’ She said the state case has not been dropped but she declined to elaborate.
    The U.S. attorney’s office always intended to prosecute Gartrell on the federal charge, said Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Troy Eid.
    State prosecutors sometimes defer to their federal counterparts if a suspect can get a stiffer sentence in federal court.
    A conviction for methamphetamine possession carries a prison term of up to two years with no time off for good behavior. Penalties under the state charges were not immediately available.
    The two other men arrested in the case are Shawn Adolf and Nathan Johnson. Both face federal firearms and drug charges. Dorschner said neither is expected to appear in court this week.

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