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Author Topic: BurtW arrested (update: charges dropped!)  (Read 74296 times)
Carlton Banks
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August 31, 2015, 03:56:09 PM
 #701


Training? These people have no shame. Presumably those attending the training session have some sort of confidence that they will not be subjected to this sort of official harassment. Disgusting.

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August 31, 2015, 04:11:50 PM
 #702


Training? These people have no shame. Presumably those attending the training session have some sort of confidence that they will not be subjected to this sort of official harassment. Disgusting.

+1.  I mostly want to get on this thread so I can conveniently see updates.

This stuff is amazing and infuriating.  It is also a potential key to political progress because eventually to many people will know someone who has been shafted and the public will take an interest out of self-preservation if nothing else.


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August 31, 2015, 04:24:26 PM
Last edit: August 31, 2015, 05:31:38 PM by BurtW
 #703

If you have the time Washington Post did a great in depth piece on Desert Snow:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/09/07/police-intelligence-targets-cash/

Here is a shorter, more shocking article about them:

http://www.oklahomalegalgroup.com/oklahoma-criminal-defense/highway-interdictions-and-false-forfeiture

Quote
In early July, the program was quickly halted after a Caddo County Special Judge criticized the program. Judge David A. Stephens discovered that Desert Snow’s Joe David, who is not a state-certified law enforcement agent, had himself conducted a traffic stop, pulling over and questioning a pregnant woman. Stephens called the act “shocking,” saying that if David ever pulled someone over again, he “hope[d] to see [him] soon, wearing orange”…which is of course the color worn by Caddo County jail inmates.

In addition to the concerns over unlicensed employees of Desert Snow conducting traffic stops is criticism over funds that are seized without an arrest and missing money from forfeitures. Since the Desert Snow program has been suspended, Caddo County prosecutors have dismissed all criminal cases arising from the stops, and the task force has returned $22,127 seized from I-40 travelers in three cases.

On the positive side it is looking more like Oklahoma may become the second state to pass a bill making these practices illegal (New Mexico was the first).  The home base of Desert Snow is Oklahoma, they have done a lot of damage in Oklahoma, coincidence?

Our family was terrorized by Homeland Security.  Read all about it here:  http://www.jmwagner.com/ and http://www.burtw.com/  Any donations to help us recover from the $300,000 in legal fees and forced donations to the Federal Asset Forfeiture slush fund are greatly appreciated!
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August 31, 2015, 04:30:27 PM
 #704

Another one of my favorite quotes of the day:

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Interstate 40 has been designated a high-impact narcotics area. However, the most coveted patrol area is the westbound lane, because of the assumption that narcotics flow east and cash flows west. Competing law enforcement agencies have literally come to blows over jurisdictional claims on the most profitable sections of I-40.

Source near the end of this article

Our family was terrorized by Homeland Security.  Read all about it here:  http://www.jmwagner.com/ and http://www.burtw.com/  Any donations to help us recover from the $300,000 in legal fees and forced donations to the Federal Asset Forfeiture slush fund are greatly appreciated!
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August 31, 2015, 04:45:40 PM
 #705

If you have the time WSJ did a great in depth piece on Desert Snow:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/09/07/police-intelligence-targets-cash/
Ummm, I think you meant to say The Washington Post, that is at least what you linked to.

The Wall Street Journal has written a number of articles being very critical of Civil Forfeiture, including one about how a Kid's Parents had their house seized after he was caught selling $40 worth of drugs in his parent's home while living at home:

Quote
In May 2014 the Sourovelis's 22-year-old son Yanni was arrested for selling $40 of illegal drugs. He pleaded guilty and was sent to a "diversion" program for first-time offenders, but because he was living at home police seized the house and evicted the family. The Sourovelises have since been allowed to move back in pending the outcome of the forfeiture proceeding, on condition they kick out their son.

(I may have linked this story to you in one of your other threads, I am not sure).

IMO this is an example of the very worse abuse of civil forfeiture because the crime in question was committed by someone other then the people who the government is trying to take the property from

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Carlton Banks
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August 31, 2015, 05:03:54 PM
 #706

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In May 2014 the Sourovelis's 22-year-old son Yanni was arrested for selling $40 of illegal drugs. He pleaded guilty and was sent to a "diversion" program for first-time offenders, but because he was living at home police seized the house and evicted the family. The Sourovelises have since been allowed to move back in pending the outcome of the forfeiture proceeding, on condition they kick out their son.

(I may have linked this story to you in one of your other threads, I am not sure).

IMO this is an example of the very worse abuse of civil forfeiture because the crime in question was committed by someone other then the people who the government is trying to take the property from

Is coercing the parents into evicting their own son is ok under these circumstances?

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August 31, 2015, 05:10:54 PM
 #707

Quote
In May 2014 the Sourovelis's 22-year-old son Yanni was arrested for selling $40 of illegal drugs. He pleaded guilty and was sent to a "diversion" program for first-time offenders, but because he was living at home police seized the house and evicted the family. The Sourovelises have since been allowed to move back in pending the outcome of the forfeiture proceeding, on condition they kick out their son.

(I may have linked this story to you in one of your other threads, I am not sure).

IMO this is an example of the very worse abuse of civil forfeiture because the crime in question was committed by someone other then the people who the government is trying to take the property from

Is coercing the parents into evicting their own son is ok under these circumstances?
Obviously not. The parents in that case had nothing to do with the crime other then the fact that the crime took place on their property without their knowledge or consent, and I assume that the person their son sold the drugs to was on their property without their consent.

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August 31, 2015, 05:14:43 PM
 #708

Is he the guy from FL? Undercover cop trying to buy 25k bitcoins from him at 10% over market price, if I remember correctly.
25,000 bitcoins at 10% over market is a 2500btc profit. He should've seen something is fishy.
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August 31, 2015, 05:27:49 PM
 #709

Quote
In May 2014 the Sourovelis's 22-year-old son Yanni was arrested for selling $40 of illegal drugs. He pleaded guilty and was sent to a "diversion" program for first-time offenders, but because he was living at home police seized the house and evicted the family. The Sourovelises have since been allowed to move back in pending the outcome of the forfeiture proceeding, on condition they kick out their son.

(I may have linked this story to you in one of your other threads, I am not sure).

IMO this is an example of the very worse abuse of civil forfeiture because the crime in question was committed by someone other then the people who the government is trying to take the property from

Is coercing the parents into evicting their own son is ok under these circumstances?
Obviously not. The parents in that case had nothing to do with the crime other then the fact that the crime took place on their property without their knowledge or consent, and I assume that the person their son sold the drugs to was on their property without their consent.

I don't know why you would assume that, parents of children who are themselves involved in illegal drugs have been threatened with a similar course of action: removing the children from the parent's custody. Presumably you wouldn't support that either?

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August 31, 2015, 05:40:48 PM
 #710

Quote
In May 2014 the Sourovelis's 22-year-old son Yanni was arrested for selling $40 of illegal drugs. He pleaded guilty and was sent to a "diversion" program for first-time offenders, but because he was living at home police seized the house and evicted the family. The Sourovelises have since been allowed to move back in pending the outcome of the forfeiture proceeding, on condition they kick out their son.

(I may have linked this story to you in one of your other threads, I am not sure).

IMO this is an example of the very worse abuse of civil forfeiture because the crime in question was committed by someone other then the people who the government is trying to take the property from

Is coercing the parents into evicting their own son is ok under these circumstances?
Obviously not. The parents in that case had nothing to do with the crime other then the fact that the crime took place on their property without their knowledge or consent, and I assume that the person their son sold the drugs to was on their property without their consent.

I don't know why you would assume that, parents of children who are themselves involved in illegal drugs have been threatened with a similar course of action: removing the children from the parent's custody. Presumably you wouldn't support that either?
I think there is a difference between a parent not being a fit caretaker because they are involved in illegal activity and an adult (their grown up child) being involved in a small drug deal. On one hand the parent would be potentially too distracted with an addiction to properly raise a child and on the other hand the person who committed the crime had no claim in the property being taken.  

This is a case where someone was trespassing on the parents property, committed a crime along with someone who lives there and the government wanting to raise additional money for their own budget. I think it should be clear that the crime does not fit the punishment in this case.

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Carlton Banks
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August 31, 2015, 05:45:40 PM
 #711

I think there is a difference between a parent not being a fit caretaker because they are involved in illegal activity and an adult (their grown up child) being involved in a small drug deal. On one hand the parent would be potentially too distracted with an addiction to properly raise a child and on the other hand the person who committed the crime had no claim in the property being taken.  

This is a case where someone was trespassing on the parents property, committed a crime along with someone who lives there and the government wanting to raise additional money for their own budget. I think it should be clear that the crime does not fit the punishment in this case.

All of that is complete projection; you could make the same argument about legal/prescription drugs. I'm not advocating for use of any/all drugs per se, many cause serious social problems. Just like legal/prescription drugs can. 

It is not morally responsible, therefore, to assume that all users of illegal drugs are social nuisances on the basis of illegality. Law != morality, as the topic of this thread amply demonstrates.

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August 31, 2015, 05:58:46 PM
 #712

I think there is a difference between a parent not being a fit caretaker because they are involved in illegal activity and an adult (their grown up child) being involved in a small drug deal. On one hand the parent would be potentially too distracted with an addiction to properly raise a child and on the other hand the person who committed the crime had no claim in the property being taken. 

This is a case where someone was trespassing on the parents property, committed a crime along with someone who lives there and the government wanting to raise additional money for their own budget. I think it should be clear that the crime does not fit the punishment in this case.

All of that is complete projection; you could make the same argument about legal/prescription drugs. I'm not advocating for use of any/all drugs per se, many cause serious social problems. Just like legal/prescription drugs can. 

It is not morally responsible, therefore, to assume that all users of illegal drugs are social nuisances on the basis of illegality. Law != morality, as the topic of this thread amply demonstrates.
In the case of drug addiction, there is the question of is the well being of an underage child at risk. In the PA case there is no such question because the child is actually a 22-year old adult.

I don't think it was the intent of the legislature for property to be seized in cases similar to the PA case. I think the PA case is a clear example of government greed and I would not be surprised if the law is changed as a (potentially indirect) result of this case (either through the courts or through the amending/repealing of the law.

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Carlton Banks
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August 31, 2015, 06:24:55 PM
 #713

I think there is a difference between a parent not being a fit caretaker because they are involved in illegal activity and an adult (their grown up child) being involved in a small drug deal. On one hand the parent would be potentially too distracted with an addiction to properly raise a child and on the other hand the person who committed the crime had no claim in the property being taken.  

This is a case where someone was trespassing on the parents property, committed a crime along with someone who lives there and the government wanting to raise additional money for their own budget. I think it should be clear that the crime does not fit the punishment in this case.

All of that is complete projection; you could make the same argument about legal/prescription drugs. I'm not advocating for use of any/all drugs per se, many cause serious social problems. Just like legal/prescription drugs can.  

It is not morally responsible, therefore, to assume that all users of illegal drugs are social nuisances on the basis of illegality. Law != morality, as the topic of this thread amply demonstrates.
In the case of drug addiction, there is the question of is the well being of an underage child at risk. In the PA case there is no such question because the child is actually a 22-year old adult.

I don't think it was the intent of the legislature for property to be seized in cases similar to the PA case. I think the PA case is a clear example of government greed and I would not be surprised if the law is changed as a (potentially indirect) result of this case (either through the courts or through the amending/repealing of the law.

The only person referring to cases of drug addiction is you, and that bears no relevance to the case in question. Who are you to make such blanket statements about the private lives of others?

It is not morally responsible to assume that all users of illegal drugs are social nuisances on the basis of illegality. Do you understand that sentence?

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September 03, 2015, 02:21:53 AM
Last edit: September 07, 2015, 01:26:00 AM by JeanW
 #714

I am middle aged.  I have worked hard all my life and saved as much as I could for retirement and my daughter's education and well-being.  I taught Sunday school to Kindergarten and 1st graders.  I vote in every election and I pay my taxes.  I have never committed a crime nor did I pose a threat to national security.  My 8 year old daughter was secure in her home with a bright future.  She never committed a crime nor posed a threat to national security.  My middle aged electrical engineer husband never committed a crime nor did he pose a threat to national security.

Special Agent Arran McWhirter and Assistant United States Attorney Michele Korver planned and executed an attack on our family not to fight crime or to prevent a terrorist attack, but out of sheer greed and ambition.  AUSA Korver ignored the FinCEN's ruling that investors are users and don't need business licenses.  She used a statute modified by martial law (Patriot Act) to launch her assaults on the Bitcoin world because of the secrecy it gave her.

Despite the lack of actual evidence, the United States refused to dismiss the spurious charges against my husband unless our family forfeited $80,000 to the Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund.  SA Arran McWhirter and AUSA Michele Korver are the poster children for corrupt government officials.  They overstate their cases and exaggerate evidence to use anti-terrorists laws to steal from law-abiding U.S. citizens.

Civil forfeiture laws have no place in a democratic society.  Civil forfeiture does not deter criminals.  All it does is corrupt law enforcement and the judicial system.

A discussion of when civil forfeiture laws should be used in a drug case involving parents and their adult child in PA misses the point.  Civil forfeiture should never be used.  Civil forfeiture harms parents, husbands, wives, children, businesses and the community in which it is used.

Criminal forfeiture occurs only when a person is convicted of a crime.  Only upon conviction or a guilty plea can the government seize assets that are the result of the underlying crime.  Those assets are supposed to be used for victim reparation.  There is a logical reason for criminal forfeiture.  It returns money to victims.

Civil forfeiture is out and out theft by the government.  The money goes directly to law enforcement and bypasses the constitutional checks and balances of our government and is individual taxation without representation.  

Wild speculation and conjecture have no place in this thread.  

My now 9 year old daughter has been irreparably harmed by the actions of S.A. Arran McWhirter and AUSA Michele Korver.  She had to undergo counseling.  Her doctor has to prescribe sleep aids.  She has lost her education fund.  She is scared of the government and law enforcement.  Her money was taken and her toys broken.  She has lost her sense of security.  She didn't deserve that.

My life savings is gone and my money taken.  I didn't deserve that.

Our friend and two of our relatives had items that were taken from our house which we had to fight get back.

Our thirty year old business was slandered and financially harmed.  Because our business was defamed to our client's customer, our client also lost business and recently closed its doors.  Two companies financially harmed because of the government's greed.

Do not lend credence to the belief that civil forfeiture is ever acceptable.  It is imperative that people everywhere speak out against civil forfeiture in all cases.  It is imperative that everyone understands that people never charged with a crime are always harmed by civil forfeiture.  You cannot execute civil forfeiture without harming persons besides the individual charged.  In fact, civil forfeiture is often executed without charges ever being brought.  We fought the American Revolutionary War over this behavior by the British. It wasn't acceptable then and it is not acceptable now.

Also, because a person is charged with a crime doesn't mean that person is guilty.  No action should be taken against property just on the word of law enforcement.  There should always be due process, notice and a hearing before an impartial judge, BEFORE property is seized.  In this country, our rule of law dictates that punishment should never be cruel or unusual.  What happened to my husband was cruel and unusual punishment; there is no other way to describe three days in solitary confinement over the bogus charge of failure to complete the proper paperwork.  Taking a house over a small drug deal in PA is cruel and unusual punishment.  Having to spend thousands of dollars to get back property which never should have been seized in the first place constitutes an unconstitutional deprivation and taking of property.  I don't care what the 9 Political Puppets wearing black robes in DC say.  Every attorney and every true American knows civil forfeiture is unconstitutional and anti-American at its core.

It's time people stopped adding to the noise.  Discuss how to end civil forfeiture.  Discuss how to stop abuses by law enforcement and federal prosecutors.  But please, in this thread, never discuss that civil forfeiture may be appropriate in certain circumstances.  

My family of three survived and battled an assault by the United States Government.  It cost us our life savings, our belief in our country, our sense of security, but it did not rob us of the American spirit or our belief in the U.S. Constitution.  We now know the true enemy to our civil liberties and our country -- the true enemy lies within and it is people like Michele Korver in the United State Justice Department and agents like Arran McWhirter in the Department of Homeland Security.  

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September 03, 2015, 03:18:33 AM
 #715

I am still fuming that 35 armed agents surrounded my house, touched my underwear, touched my little girl's underwear, searched my little girl's bedroom, and put my nerdy defenseless husband in the Denver County Jail where he could have been killed (by cops or criminals, it's hard to tell the difference these days) and then isolated him in solitary confinement for 3 days so they could seize Bitcoins from my husband and try to break him to be a confidential informant or cooperating witness. 

We did not get all of our property back even though the charges, which never should have been filed anyway, were dropped.

I know the following property is missing:  my brand new Microsoft Office License Key (probably pocketed by an agent) and 186 Bitcoins (yes, Bitcoins are property per the IRS).

The Bitcoins that are missing are being held by Homeland Security at this address:

https://blockchain.info/address/1Eu38i1DkRAPAJhSqbseVroJDpMRfJbAx3

If you receive Bitcoins from this address, please consider donating them back to my daughter's 529 College Savings Account Smiley

I'm actually pretty clueless about the Bitcoin world.  If you see them move, let me know.  I am curious as to what the feds do with these coins.

Thanks,

Jean

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September 03, 2015, 07:52:30 AM
 #716

"The Bitcoins that are missing are being held by Homeland Security at this address:"

That's really, really, messed up. I'm going to set aside all the emotional, financial, and
physical trauma you experienced, just for the moment. The thinking behind bitcoin is
that it is a remedy for all the worst decisions that governments can make. And yet
somehow, the government has acquired your bitcoins, leaving you with nothing except
your family and your trust in the Constitution. We all have a problem, it's just a matter
of time before we recognise it.
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September 03, 2015, 07:55:20 AM
 #717

JeanW, I am so thankful to you - words are stronger than weapons and it is by the words of the people like you, that the tyranny is crushed.

The road is long, quite a number of people are still siding with the government apparatus, believing it is legitimate and by default its actions are correct and justified. In fact, most of the people who should be in prison are not there, and of the prison population, less than half have committed any crime in God's eyes. You are living in a definition of a lawless tyranny, and so am I!

Quote from: Revelation 12
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

I believe this word is now being fulfilled in a greater extent than before, and will be consummated in our lifetime. Never before (since the Flood) has the world been so uniformly controlled by an anti-Christian power. Now the influence and deception of "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan" has indeed reached "the whole world", with the remaining pockets of official resistance being destroyed (Libya) or subdued (Switzerland).

When the situation looks dark, verse 10 gives a surprising word: "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." This means that the salvation, etc. is come now, since it is good that Satan is cast down. Of course it will mean some difficulty to "the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea", and this is because Satan "knoweth that he hath but a short time".

The key to overcoming is not fighting Satan. I also did not demand compensation for the unrightful seize of all my assets in 2008-09, accompanied with the usual grievances (eg. lost or damaged items, loss of opportunity and damaged business). The key is "the word of their testimony" which is the word you are uttering here and now - the word that upholds Jesus and condemns the evil actions of Satan and his apparatus in this world! And of course the precious "blood of the Lamb", the redeeming death of Jesus Christ, the God-Man, which death 'ratified the script' according to which the happenings in the world play out, removing the (albeit distant) possibility of God's promise not being fulfilled, since it is fulfilled already!

Yes for "a short time" still we must suffer the brunt of the wrath of Satan, the loser. I write this not only for your and Burt's encouragement but also to be a solemn word of warning to the agents, judges, etc. who read this. In the day of judgement, each one of you is evaluated separately. The system you put your trust on (such as the U.S. Government) does not exist anymore. You must stand before God all by yourself, and you will be found wanting. You must have the precious blood of Jesus as a cover or else you will perish all eternity. No matter if you are a justice or a general or Jacob Rothschild, without the acceptance of Jesus' blood in your lifetime, you will perish in the lake of fire, prepared for Satan and his angels.

If you are covered by the blood of Jesus, however, your deeds will be evaluated: If you gave water to drink to the saints of God, it counts as good, and if you hunted and destroyed them by killing or prison, this is very bad for you. Search your conscience if it honestly even allows you to have anything to do with the government, your employer! My conscience does not allow me even to vote anymore, or defend myself except with the word of Jesus, when they repeatedly come to harass me. You come to harass me. Without you, Satan would not have hands or feet. Think about it deeply in your conscience, because this is about your eternal destiny. Mine and JeanW's is already determined. No matter what you do, you can only add to our eventual glory by persecuting us now. But much more than receiving this glory, we would rejoice if you also dropped the evil ways of Satan and joined us, and saved yourself!

(Without the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, me and JeanW would be going to the lake of fire prepared for Satan. We were not born any better, we were saved. That is no item of being self-proud. Apostle Paul said that he would choose to perish if he could save even one of you. Today is the opportune time, the day of salvation!)
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September 03, 2015, 04:24:39 PM
 #718

rpietila:  Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement.  We do get down from time to time and that was great.

Our family was terrorized by Homeland Security.  Read all about it here:  http://www.jmwagner.com/ and http://www.burtw.com/  Any donations to help us recover from the $300,000 in legal fees and forced donations to the Federal Asset Forfeiture slush fund are greatly appreciated!
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September 03, 2015, 06:59:42 PM
 #719

words are stronger than weapons and it is by the words of the people like you, that the tyranny is crushed

I truly appreciate your words of encouragement and support.  I appreciate your willingness to share your beliefs and the time it took you to respond to my post.

I do believe the pen is mightier than the sword. 

My hope is that by sharing our story, people will be encouraged to speak out against the injustices they are witnessing in this country.  Free speech is still protected in this country, so you can still speak out against evil.  Evil will prevail if everyday people don't start speaking out. 

A random thought -- the U.S. Justice Dept really has launched an all out attack on the Bitcoin community.  I would think that somewhere out there in Bitcoin Land there is a creative attorney who could come up with a class action suit against the government on behalf of Bitcoin users and investors.  It would seem that having federal prosecutors suborn perjury by U.S Postal Inspectors to enable them to seize Bitcoins under terrorist secrecy laws should lead to a civil claim of some kind.  Not my area of expertise.  Just saying it's time for Bitcoin attorneys to be creative.  AUSAs and Postal Inspectors conspiring to lie to grand juries and judges to steal Bitcoins for the federal government Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund should be actionable.

Thanks.




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September 03, 2015, 09:02:57 PM
 #720

Jean and Burt,

I'm surprised not to see more of an outpouring of support on this thread and didn't plan to spam it with excessive words of appreciation.  Thank you both very much for relating the story (and for fighting the good fight of course.)  You have provided invaluable information which will come in useful for us who are trying to plan for all eventualities.  Best wishes.


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