Political Operative McCrae Dowless Was Under Surveillance Before 2018 Election

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2018, file photo, Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., poses for a portrait outside his home in Bladenboro, N.C. State investigators have described Dowless as a “person of interest” in their probe in... FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2018, file photo, Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., poses for a portrait outside his home in Bladenboro, N.C. State investigators have described Dowless as a “person of interest” in their probe into 2018 voting irregularities involving absentee ballots. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, File) MORE LESS
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March 14, 2019 8:40 a.m.

State and federal law enforcement had the now-arrested political operative Leslie McCrae Dowless under surveillance even before the 2018 congressional election that his alleged absentee ballot fraud scheme tainted so irreparably as to force a re-do.

According to the local News & Observer, search warrants reveal that Dowless was being tracked since May 2018 through his phone logs, ATM transactions and bank statements connected to his PAC.

Dowless was arrested late last month on seven counts in connection to the alleged fraud conducted in 2018 and in a 2016 Republican primary. Four of his employees have also been arrested.

The state Board of Elections released an order Wednesday detailing their findings of fact in the Ninth District investigation and described an election “corrupted by fraud.” They also warn that “further action” may be taken against Republican Mark Harris and his lawyers.

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