Suspicious Incident at Muleshoe Store - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

05.09.07

Suspicious Incident at Muleshoe Store

Brian Frieda, Muleshoe Chief of Police Brian Frieda, Muleshoe Chief of Police

Muleshoe police are being flooded with calls about a suspicious incident that took place in town last week. The police chief tells NewsChannel 10 a man reportedly joked about buying cell phones to send to the Middle East to be used as detonators.

On April 30th a man walked into this store and tried to buy several cell phones at once. It is against store policy to sell more than 2 at a time. Store clerks alerted police to the situation when the man insisted on buying more than two.

"We felt obligated to contact state and federal agents that deal with this on a regular basis to guide us to where we need to be. To see if this was suspicious, if they were interested, if this is a need for concern," says Police Chief Brian Frieda.

Frieda says fed official could not link the man to any criminal or terrorist activity and he didn't break any laws while in the store. So after 2 hours of questioning police has to release him.

"We can't sacrifice civil rights on a hunch or suspicion, we need evidence or probable cause, we can't just throw someone in jail because of their middle-eastern descent," says chief Frieda.

10 days later, the Chief says the whole incident is still unsettling.

"It doesn't set easy with me that these phones are being sent overseas without certainty they'll be used for legitimate purposes," says Chief Frieda.

Frieda says his department has received several calls from angry residents who think the man should've been arrested. But Frieda is standing by the law.

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