A suspect has been arrested by the Justice Department in connection with a firebombing of an anti-abortion lobbying office in Wisconsin last year — and he was caught, in part, thanks to a half-eaten burrito.
In a press release, the DOJ said that its agents had arrested a 29-year-old man from Madison, WI after collecting DNA from "leftover food" that the suspect had thrown away — and in a court complaint, officers noted that that food was, in fact, a burrito.
The saga begins last Mother's Day, right around the time someone leaked the Supreme Court draft opinion which would ultimately strike down Roe v. Wade, when a then-unidentified individual threw two Molotov cocktails into the offices of the Wisconsin Family Action organization, which opposes abortion.
Along with throwing the Molotovs into the empty offices in the wee hours of the morning of May 8, the alleged arsonist also defaced its walls, writing slogans such as "if abortions aren't safe then you aren't either" in a distinctive cursive script.
When collecting evidence, law enforcement agents were able to extract some genetic material from the scene and determined that it had come from a man, but it wasn't a match for anyone in any national database.
Fast forward to January of this year, when investigators who were monitoring anti-police brutality protests near Wisconsin's state capitol noticed that one of the demonstrators spray-painted "we will get revenge" in a hand similar to the one from the WFA. They tracked that demonstrator to a white pickup truck and later to an address that ultimately belonged to the suspect arrested by the DOJ.
After apparently monitoring the truck-driving suspect for months, authorities eventually saw him park and throw away a bag of half-eaten fast food. After recovering the bag — which contained the notorious burrito — those authorities were able to establish a DNA match between the owner of the white truck and the alleged WFA arsonist.
The suspect was arrested at Boston-Logan International airport with a one-way ticket to Guatemala City, suggesting that he was attempting to flee the country while the DOJ was on his tail.
This entire story both sounds like something out of Tucker Carlson's nightmare and showcases some pretty ingenious investigative work — and it also demonstrates that regardless of one's stance on abortion rights or the downfall of Roe, taking one's activism to the point of law-breaking is probably not wise, especially if you're spreading DNA around willy nilly.
More on weird DNA collection: Gene Hackers Create Meatball From Resurrected Mammoth Meat