Shawano Police along with the Shawano County Sheriff's Department held a press conference Friday, regarding a case of implied threats made against local officials. Police Chief Ed Whealon said there is a person of interest. He said both agencies are working with the F.B.I., and “have taken appropriate action to ensure the safety of people in our community, until this investigation, which is being conducted by the F.B.I., along with the United States Attorney General's office, is concluded.”
Whealon said a press release handed out the streets Friday and claims made by Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology CEO Naomi Isaacson were not credible. “When I first read this document, I thought I was reading a script from the X-Files,” said Whealon. “This is absolutely ludicrous, it is totally false and is baseless.”
Whealon also confirmed the arrest Friday of Isaacson. “Naomi Isaacson was arrested today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” he said. “Agents were here in the municipal courtroom and took Naomi Isaacson into custody on a federal bench warrant. That warren had nothing to do with this case.”
Whealon said that this would be last press conference for local law enforcement unless it is a joint press conference with the FBI.
A hit list uncovered by the F.B.I. has the names of 60 people from the Shawano community. Law enforcement say The Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, or SIST, was being investigated in connection to the list. The group has a compound in the Town of Wescott, and it's members and leader, Rama Behera, have been the focus of controversy over the years.
During a press conference prior to her arrest, Isaacson claimed the hit list was ruse by Shawano area officials, and that S.I.S.T. had been the target of “more than three decades of attempted murders, bombings, death threats, physical beatings, harassment, vandalism, robberies, burglaries, lootings, moonings and business interference.” Whealon, calling those claims “beyond description,” summarized his opinion his press conference: “if I had a puppy at home I'd use it as papers to train the puppy.”
S.I.S.T. has a compound in the Town of Wescott, outside Shawano. Town of Wescott Chairman Mike Schuler, whose name was among those on the list, has changed his schedule. “I don't get to the office early in the morning, I vary my hours at the office, I take different routes back and forth to work, I don't take the same car every day, I don't park in the same place every day,” said Schuler. The list was first disclosed during a meeting held last week by the F.B.I., and the Shawano community has been on edge since then.