Several Agencies Respond To Plutonium Threat in Fullerton

Ricky Stauffer's Photos Led Us to An Anaheim FD Report

Last Friday, January 4th, during Fullerton’s monthly art walk an operation was dispatched involving multiple law enforcement agencies to the Fullerton Police Department. An informant for DHS placed a tip that he was in possession of plutonium, which turned out to be false.

I was first informed of this by Michelle Kearney and Marlena Carrillo when walking back to my car on Amerige and Malden after attending the art show benefit for Mike Atta. Kearney and Carrillo notified me about a  sharpshooter in fatigues that had staked a position on the roof near Kearney’s apartment.

The shooter borrowed a ladder from Kearney to access the roof. Kearney stated that in the process the officer questioned her on why she had the ladder. Her response was that it's for the "zombie apocalypse". After the shooter got into position on the roof, Marlena Carrillo later convinced Kearney to leave the area until after the commotion had settled. Kearney’s boyfriend, Ricky Stauffer, decided to stay at the apartment however, so that he could take photos and gather more information about what was going on. His photos provided some proof.

My first contact with FPD PIO, Sgt Jeff Stuart, took place on Monday the 7th. Stuart stated that he was not sure about what had happened, because there was no data provided in the watch commander logs, but that he would get back to me. Stuart followed up with me via email the next day:
Hey Jeff, Attached are some photos taken on Friday during the Art Walk. Could you tell me about what was going on in these photos? Why was a hazmat vehicle on site along with ICE? Why did a rifle armed officer borrow a ladder to stake a position on the building's roof neighboring the department?
 
Hi Alex, I can tell you that another agency conducted an operation in Fullerton but I cannot provide any details regarding the operation. Your best bet would be to contact the agencies you mentioned and see if they will provide you with the details. Sorry. – Jeff
 
That's okay, thanks for your time.
 
Wish I could give you more but they tend to keep their operations pretty close to the vest. 
On January 9th, I made a call to the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that went directly to voicemail. Anaheim Fire Department answered immediately and was able to give me a somewhat detailed report provided that I drive to the Fire Department and pay the $.90 associated in print cost. In the report from Anaheim Fire Department (Incident #A1300355), all involved agencies were listed: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Fullerton B-1 (unspecified unit), Fullerton PD, Orange County Health (Hazmat), FBI, Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC), OC Bomb Squad, and the Department of Energy (DOE).
 
It was a call from an officer of the OC Bomb Squad that brought Anaheim FD to the scene. The officer's name had been redacted from the report. Anaheim FD was to “respond to Fullerton PD station to assist with a potential radioactive substance reported as plutonium”. In the report Anaheim FD Captain Brent Faulkner stated that Fullerton Fire and Police had no idea what was going on. Faulkner told dispatch to advise unit Fullerton B-1 and request his response. The following is from Faulkner’s report:
“Upon our arrival at the Fullerton Police Department, a man was found waving us down. He said he was with the Department of Homeland Security and had arranged for an informant to come to the station. The informant told him he had some plutonium. DHS requested that we survey the informant and his car for radiation so they could interrogate him and then we would proceed to the informant’s house where the plutonium would be.
[...]
The informant left his house and the decision was made by DHS to arrest him in the field rather than have him come to the station. Utilizing OC Bomb monitoring devices, no radiation was detected. They described the object the informant claimed was plutonium as a grey to black, oblong, shiny metal object. A photo was sent to the command post which I identified the object as being a ‘zinger’. It is a toy that is a magnet. I asked them to put it against a metal object to see if it was magnetic, which it was. The object was brought back to the command post where a representative from DOE confirmed the object as not radioactive”.

Zinger toy: powerful hematite magnets.

 

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