Silt woman and right-wing activist questions use of force in FBI raid
A Silt woman whose home was searched as part of an investigation into a possible election security breach released a statement Thursday.
On Tuesday morning, Mesa County investigators, the state attorney’s general office and local authorities joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in executing search warrants at four locations in Garfield and Mesa counties.
This included the homes of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters as well as one of her associates, Silt resident Sherronna Bishop. Bishop served as Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign manager in the 2020 primary election.
Peters has been the subject of an ongoing investigation after voting equipment passwords were posted online by a QAnon conspiracy theorist, according to reporting by the Denver Post.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported the FBI also raided the homes of Mesa County Elections Manager Sandra Brown and Fruita resident Gerald Wood. Wood is accused of making copies of computer hard drives from Peters’ office.
Bishop confirmed Thursday that law enforcement searched her home earlier this week.
“While homeschooling my youngest children, the FBI along with Mesa County Investigator Matthew Struwe decided it was necessary to bust open my front door with a battering ram and put me in handcuffs while they trampled through my home terrifying my family,” she said. “My daughter was pulled around by her hoodie by one of the FBI agents.”
Bishop said she repeatedly asked authorities during this time what prompted the search but received no explanation. She also said her cellphone was immediately confiscated.
“It is still unclear to me why the FBI, (Colorado Secretary of State) Jena Griswold and the Mesa County DA, Dan Rubenstein, believed such brute force was necessary with children in the home and myself being a law-abiding citizen with no criminal activity,” she said. “I have been transparent to any organization that wanted to speak with me, even initiating a briefing in September with Mesa County Officials and the DA’s office to present election information.”
The Glenwood Springs Post Independent requested to view damage done to her residence during the search but received no response.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser released a statement Thursday regarding the treatment of everyone involved in the raids.
“We dispute how some have characterized the law enforcement action carried out earlier this week in Mesa and Garfield Counties,” he said. “This judicially authorized search was executed in a professional and lawful manner.”
Mesa County Public Affairs Manager Stephanie Reecy said Thursday Mesa County has since August been investigating the possible election security breach involving the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
“No arrests were made, and the operations are related to ongoing investigations,” she said in an email. “Per order of a federal court, all documents related to these operations are sealed.”
The DA’s office is committed to completing a thorough and accurate investigation, Reecy added.
“As such, documents will remain sealed until the investigation is complete, and the DA’s office cannot comment further on a pending investigation as it could compromise the investigation’s integrity, lead to inaccurate speculation on what it relates to, or otherwise prejudice any person’s rights to a fair trial should charges be filed,” she stated in the email. “Releasing information prematurely would compromise that.”
On the day the search warrant was executed at her home, the Republican appeared, talking about the raid on MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s podcast.
Bishop, founder of the right-wing website America’s Mom, has appeared regularly at Garfield County Re-2 School Board meetings speaking out against mask mandates and trying to spread false medical information related to COVID-19.
During one board meeting in October, Lindell personally made an impromptu cameo, joining Bishop as she went after the board for implementing a mask mandate throughout all schools and buildings within the district.
The FBI did not respond to the Post Independent on questions regarding Tuesday’s searches.
Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or email@example.com
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