Javier Sanchez, the Michele Bachmann aide arrested last week in connection to a series of thefts at a congressional office building, was identified as the suspect in the theft investigation after the U.S. Capitol Police installed a hidden security camera and placed "bait" money in Bachmann's Rayburn House office.
He's denying the second degree theft charge against him in connection to the thefts. But it looks like the investigation has already cost Sanchez his job: NBC News reports that he was fired after his arrest. Second-degree theft, which means that the stolen goods were worth $1,000 or less, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.
Earlier reports, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune notes, indicated that Sanchez had been arrested in connection to a series of thefts at various offices in Rayburn House, which holds the offices of over 160 members of the House of Representatives. But the affidavit mentions only a series of thefts from the offices of Bachmann herself in February and March of this year. According to their report, here's how investigators zeroed in on Sanchez as the main suspect:
U.S. Capitol Police responding to earlier theft reports installed a hidden camera in Bachmann’s congressional office on April 4. They also left bait money in two envelopes, one containing $80, marked “petty cash,” and another with $120 marked “Birthday Money.” The money was discovered missing on June 25, and a subsequent check of the surveillance footage determined that the cash from at least one of the envelopes was taken two weeks earlier...Footage taken at about 6:30 p.m. on June 14, just after office hours, shows a man opening the desk drawer of Bachmann chief of staff Robert Boland. That’s where the $80 “petty cash” envelope was stashed. According to the affidavit, the suspect “removed the envelope, counted the money, and took both the cash and the envelope.”
Other staffers in Bachmann's offices subsequently identified the man seen in the footage as Sanchez. When questioned by police, Sanchez said that he "may have taken a quarter once and a while, but I would pay it back." Sanchez started working for Bachmann in January. Before that, he worked for Rep. Virginia Foxx.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.