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Woman Arrested in Connection With Federal Building Break-In

Aired February 23, 2002 - 16:28   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: We want to interrupt our program ow to take you live to Lakewood, Colorado, where authorities are holding a press conference there, talking about the recent break- in of a Federal Highway Administration building. Let's now listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... summary of what this is about, then I'm going to turn it over to the chief and others here, and then we'll have a Q&A session for you. I do want to stress that this is an ongoing pending investigation, so we may not be able to answer all of your questions at this time.

Yesterday in the afternoon, Director Bob Cantwell (ph) of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation phoned my boss, Special Agent Mark Rushan (ph) of the Denver office of the FBI, and that's how we learned about this incident, burglary, that occurred at a building of the Federal Highway Administration, which is located at 555 Zang Street in Lakewood.

This building apparently was burglarized in the early horning hours of the 22, possibly late on the 21 -- we're not certain at this time. And the initial report indicated that a number of computers, significant amount of technical equipment, hard drives, CPUs, et cetera, also a cell phone, a PalmPilot were missing and presumed stolen. Also missing was an ID badge, security ID badge. And again, this was based on the initial report, an undetermined number of airline tickets.

Now, what became significant here was that, again, based on the initial reporting, the -- we were told that the hard drives might contain sensitive information regarding the Hoover Dam. That certainly caught our attention. And because of the sensitivity of that, we immediately dispatched a team of FBI agents to look into this matter and bring it to a logical conclusion. They also engaged the relevant jurisdictions, which would be the Lakewood police Department and the Golden police department, and began the follow-up investigation last night in earnest.

After an exhaustive investigation, which carried through the night and the morning, this morning, the matter culminated with the arrest of Jennifer Cisney -- c-i-s-n-e-y, date of birth, November 10, 1977. She's a white female. She was arrested by detectives, officers, and FBI agents, again from the Golden and Lakewood police departments, at the intersection of South Golden Road and Johnson Streets in Golden. She was driving a stolen 1998 Dodge Durango, and was in the possession of the loaded .357 Magnum revolver. Recovered at the scene in connection with this arrest were numerous laptops, CPUs and other electronic items.

This case was cracked essentially by the Golden and Lakewood police departments, by the hard work of their detectives and officers, in conjunction with the FBI, but the credit goes to these two jurisdictions. A federal criminal complaint charging Cisney with theft of government property will be filed through the U.S. attorney's office in Denver, on Monday February 25. She is currently being held at the Jefferson County jail under a no-bond recommendation.

Let me say that at this time we believe that she acted alone. We have not determined if someone provided any information to her that would allow her to gain access to this facility. We have also determined that she is not -- does not appear to be connected to any terrorist group or organization.

At this time, I'd like to turn it over to the chief, and we'll have a Q&A afterward. Thank you.

RON BURNS, POLICE CHIEF, LAKEWOOD, COLORADO: I'm Ron Burns, I'm the police chief in Lakewood, and I just -- to outline our role in this incident -- I am glad it has come to an end.

We were called by the federal protective service to assist them in their investigation and to process the scene for evidence. We did so, and we developed a bulletin that went out to local and federal law enforcement agencies of the incident and some of the items that were taken and other investigative information. The -- that information was then picked up by the local media. And information was then relayed to the West Metro Drug Task Force on a potential perpetrator of the incident, and they then picked up the investigation. So with that, Lieutenant Al Wilson.

LT. AL WILSON, WEST METRO DRUG TASK FORCE: Good afternoon. I am Lieutenant Al Wilson, with the West Metro Drug Force. I'm the commander there. I just want to provide a little bit of background about how the investigation began from our perspective.

As Chief Burns indicated, information was aired last night in the media regarding this case. A Golden detective, who was assigned to West Metro Drug Task Force, obtained information after that story was aired about a potential suspect. Several of the detectives at the task force then got together, along with the local FBI office, and they were able to make arrangements to meet the potential suspect, at which time the arrest was made. And that occurred early this morning.

So that is pretty much it in a nutshell. The investigation will continue through the FBI. There are some potential local charges that may be filed, still pending the outcome of the federal investigation. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this point, we will take questions, assuming we can answer them. Yes, sir.

QUESTION: Is it your belief that she was interested in stealing the property, the computer themselves rather than the information contained on the hard drives, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would -- I think that's it, at this point, as far as we know. Certainly as we indicated at the start, the investigation is continuing. But we have no reason to believe that it's anything other than a single individual at this point.

WHITFIELD: You have been watching the press conference at Lakewood, Colorado, where authorities from the federal and local level have been talking about the arrest of 25-year-old woman, Jennifer Cisney. She was arrested for stealing computers, hard drives and other electronic information, as well as tickets, from the Federal Highway Administration building. The break-in taking place late Thursday night or Friday morning. Authorities say they do not believe that she was working with anyone else. They don't associate her with a terrorist group either.

So, one arrest, again, of a 25-year-old woman in connection with the break-in at the Federal Highway Administration building.

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