POLITICS
07/16/2013 03:07 pm ET

Hidden Police Surveillance Led To Arrest Of Javier Sanchez, Michele Bachmann Aide: Report

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's office in Washington, D.C. was under hidden police surveillance ahead of the arrest of one of the Republican's legislative aides, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

On July 11, Javier Sanchez was arrested in connection with thefts at the Rayburn House Office Building. Sanchez, 37, was charged with Theft II.

The Star Tribune reports a covert police camera set up in Bachmann's office over the last three months aided in Sanchez's arrest:

According to a court affidavit, 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.

Sanchez, 37, was arrested on Thursday after a “non-custodial interview” with police where he denied any wrongdoing. His D.C. attorney, David Benowitz, said Tuesday that Sanchez “fully denies the allegations.” He pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Friday, and has been released pending a status hearing next month, according to D.C. Superior Court records.

The police affidavit in the case indicates that Bachmann’s office in the Rayburn House Office Building had experienced two previous theft reports in February and March, before the police set up their cameras.

Bachmann, a former Republican presidential hopeful, announced in May that she would not seek reelection in 2014.

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