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Lost among other immigration news out of Arizona this week were reports that informants had ratted out ex-Seattle prostitute Shawna Forde to the FBI before

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Shawna Forde Case: FBI Warned About Plot?

sforde.jpg
Lost among other immigration news out of Arizona this week were reports that informants had ratted out ex-Seattle prostitute Shawna Forde to the FBI before she allegedly led a robbery and double murder by her tiny band of Minutemen last year. The question now is why didn't the agency, if told in advance of the slayings, stop them?

Forde and two members of her vigilante border-watch group known as Minutemen American Defense (MAD) are now facing the death penalty for the May 30, 2009 shooting deaths of Raul Flores, 29, and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, of Arivaca, AZ. In newly filed court papers, according to the Arizona Daily Star, the informants, both members of a border-defense group, indicate the killings could have been avoided.

The two men say they and two other men met with Forde at an Aurora, Colo., truck stop in late April 2009, at which time Forde said she wanted them to force their way into an Arivaca house and get control of the occupants. They said she told them a second team would then come in and gather up the drugs, money and weapons, which would be sold to help the Minutemen American Defense, an organization based in the state of Washington.

One of them relayed the information to the FBI a few days later. The other corroborated his account of the meeting. They were told to keep on gathering information. Forde later called one of the men to ask if he could be in Arivaca within 18 hours, but he said he made excuses about why he couldn't. About 10 days later, they learned of the slayings. The men said they immediately suspected Forde.

The FBI told the Star it learned of the shooting plan "after the fact," and refused further comment. But the story is similar to one told to Scott North of the Everett Herald last year. He quoted an unnamed Colorado Minuteman (the same unnamed person now cited in court records?) saying Forde asked him to go in on the Arizona heist.

The man said he didn't turn Forde down, but in April told law enforcement officials about her request. They showed little interest, he said, declining to identify the officials or their agency. The man said he offered to assist in helping an undercover investigator infiltrate Forde's group to make arrests before a crime was committed. The man said his offer was declined.

How this might affect Forde's case is unclear. A web site that supports her usually jumps on such developments, but was silent this week. A note from its editor Laine Lawless says she's busy writing a book, Blonde on the Border and a screenplay about Forde, "and I don't have time to be a political activist. I am currently entertaining offers from major publishers and film producers to tell the complete story of the Arivaca massacre. Some people will be surprised at their portrayals."

 
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