FBI Agents Testify in Texas Tech University Professor’s Trial

An FBI agent testified last week that he believed that Texas Tech University professor Thomas Butler was lying about stolen plague sample from his laboratory from almost the onset of the bureau’s investigation into the incident, according to Washington Times (see GSN, Oct. 28).

Butler is currently on trial for nearly 70 felony counts, including charges of making misleading statements to FBI agents stemming from a January incident in which Butler reported that 30 vials of plague samples were missing and presumed stolen from his university laboratory. Butler later signed a statement, however, saying that he had actually destroyed the vials and had misled federal agents. If convicted, Butler could be sentenced to almost 470 years in prison.

Last week, government witnesses testified that they suspected from almost the beginning of the investigation that Butler had lied. FBI agent Dale Green testified that several entries in Butler’s laboratory notebook appeared to be contrived, the Times reported.

“He’s trying to convince the reader, rather than convey information,” Green said. “It’s a clear flag of deception to me,” he added.

Green also said that investigators initially relied on Butler for guidance in their search for the missing samples, and that Butler appeared to enjoy the attention.

“He said that this kind of plague could be weaponized into a weapon of mass destruction within a 48-hour period and that it would kill everyone in the area,” Green said (Hugh Aynesworth, Washington Times, Nov. 10).

November 10, 2003
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An FBI agent testified last week that he believed that Texas Tech University professor Thomas Butler was lying about stolen plague sample from his laboratory from almost the onset of the bureau’s investigation into the incident, according to Washington Times (see GSN, Oct. 28).

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