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Anti-ACORN Filmmaker Arrested

by Manu Raju

Federal authorities have arrested four men on felony charges for attempting to infiltrate Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office, including one filmmaker who targeted the community group ACORN last year in undercover videos.

In a Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009 file photo, activist James O'Keefe attends a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. O'Keefe was among four people arrested Monday, Jan. 25, 2010 and accused of trying to interfere with phones at U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File) Among those arrested was 25-year-old James O'Keefe, the conservative filmmaker, along with Joseph Basel, Robert Flanagan and Stan Dai, all 24. They were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses and attempting to gain access to the Democrat's office by posing as telephone repairmen, according to a copy of an FBI affidavit unsealed Tuesday.

The complaint said that Flanagan and Basel each entered the premises, wearing light green fluorescent vests, denim paints and blue work shirts, tool belts and hard-hats. They informed a member of Landrieu's staff that they were telephone repairmen and requested access to the main telephone at the reception desk.

At that point, the two men allegedly attempted to manipulate telephones and accessed the telephone closet, saying they needed to work on the entire system. The men, who said they left their credentials in their vehicles, were arrested by the U.S. Marshal's Service soon afterward.

According to the FBI, the four men could each face up to 10 years and a fine of $250,000 if they are convicted.

O'Keefe made waves last year when he posed as a pimp and taped ACORN employees discussing a prostitution ring, embarrassing the group and forcing many of its supporters to spurn its ties with it.

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