08/26/04 — Five arrested after FBI standoff at motel

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Five arrested after FBI standoff at motel

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on August 26, 2004 2:03 PM

With guns raised and shields in front of their bodies, federal agents apprehended five people this morning in two rooms at a Goldsboro hotel.

Five people are in custody today after they were called out of two rooms at the Best Western Goldsboro Inn at 801 U.S. 70 E. Bypass, according to Kevin B. Kendrick, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Charlotte Division.

About 30 officers from around the state and region -- DEA; FBI; Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; U.S. Marshals; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Wayne County Sheriff's deputies -- arrived on the scene around 8 this morning, and it took them about an hour and 45 minutes to make the arrests. The hotel was evacuated.

They called the occupants out and took them into custody. No force was used, said Kendrick.

He could not comment on their names or any specifics about why they were arrested, but did say it was a pending investigation regarding immigration matters. The people were on the second floor of the hotel, two in one room and three in another.

An employee at the hotel said they had checked in last night and were under surveillance last night. They had gotten one room and then came back and rented a second room.

Linda Brown, hotel manager, said all five individuals were registered under one male name of Spanish descent. She figures it was his real name because he had a temporary driver's license under that name. She would not reveal the name.

She said the hotel employees have been briefed on how to report suspicious behavior as part of the Eagle Eyes program at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. They noticed the individuals were not staying in their room very much and not using the hotel phones. They were only talking on cell phones and walky talkies, she said.

Base officials did come by the hotel on Tuesday with a picture and asked them to identify if the picture was any of the individuals that were acting suspicious. Employees confirmed that it was, she said.