Derrick J was denied his right to concealed carry in New Hampshire and this is the first hearing regarding that appeal where judge Burke tries to figure out how to punish “the court” for failing to meet a statutorily proscribed deadline:
As you may recall, Derrick J was recently and arguably illegally denied the so-called “shall issue” concealed carry permit by Keene Police “chief” Ken Meola. Right now Kenny is sitting in Keene district court, presumably waiting to testify as to why Derrick J is too dangerous (or something) to carry a firearm concealed. Derrick J has hired attorney Evan Nappen to handle the case. Full hearing video to come later. For now, here are live tweets from Darryl W. Perry: (more…)
Ministers of three New Hampshire churches have filed tax exemption appeals with the Cheshire and Grafton superior courts. Peaceful Assembly Church, Shire Free Church: Monadnock, and Church of the Sword were each denied tax exemptions for their properties. Peaceful Assembly sought an exemption for their church building, while the other two sought exemptions for parsonages.
Brandon Ross, the attorney for Peaceful Assembly Church, was surprised by the town’s decision to deny exemption for their church building in Grafton, pointing out, “Peaceful Assembly Church has been around for several years. Seems plain as day they’re entitled to the tax exemption.” According to the filing by Ross in Grafton superior court, “the Grafton Selectmen argued that Peaceful Assembly did not ‘do enough’ for the community to earn a tax exemption (perhaps incorrectly believing that [tax exemption is] a quid-pro-quo arrangement).”
The filing adds, “the Town’s tax assessing agent, Avitar, basically recommended that the exemption be denied because they weren’t an IRS recognized church.” Of course, there is no requirement that a church apply for IRS recognition within NH statutes, nor should there be. Churches do not need government approval to exist and to be tax-exempt.
The ministers of the Shire Free Church: Monadnock argue in their appeal filed in Cheshire superior court that Keene tax assessor Mary Ann Robator engaged in viewpoint discrimination when she said, “When you refer to activists, I think that flies in the face of your church status.” (more…)
James “Robin Hood” Cleaveland was in Keene district court today for an arraignment on three class A misdemeanor charges of “Disorderly Conduct”, “Disorderly Conduct”, and “Resisting Arrest”. The charges stem from a bullshit arrest made at the scene of a suicide in Keene a couple of months ago where James was attempting to record video of the situation.
Here’s video from today’s arraignment. The trial is set for 12/30 at 10am in Keene district court.
Back in May, as part of nationwide raids, the DEA raided popular local Main St. smoke shop, Phat Stuff. Liberty activists were on-scene to document and copblock. The dozen-or-so agents loaded up a large U-haul and carted way nearly every smoking device in the store, easily $100,000 in inventory.
The ostensible reason for the raid was a crackdown on synthetic drugs, which the store had not stocked for months. Some observers of the situation believed that the DEA would actually give back the pipes. Those people are obviously new to observing this thuggery. The Keene Sentinel has an update on the case. Guess what? The DEA is seeing “forfeiture” (legal stealing) of all of the seized inventory.
The article reveals that the DEA jacked (in addition to the inventory), $15,000 from Phat Stuff owner Panos Eliopoulos’ bank account, nearly $700 from the store’s cash register, and stole his 2011 Ford F-250. As expected, no charged have been filed against any human beings. Only the inventory appears to be at risk here. Typical DEA robbery – they take your stuff, like a criminal gang, and there’s nearly nothing you can do. Does the owner want to spend $50,000 on attorneys to try to get $100,000 worth of inventory back, with no guarantee of success?
Free State Project participant Andrew Michael Jones of Norfolk, Virginia was arrested in December of 2013 along with others accused of being the operators of the Silk Road underground marketplace. Andrew is alleged to be the longtime site administrator, “Inigo”. Thus far, almost all of the news headlines about the Silk Road arrests have gone to Ross Ulbricht, who is accused of being the infamous site’s creator and head admin, “Dread Pirate Roberts”. Andrew is accused of similar allegations as Ross, “conspiracy to commit money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and hacking” and is facing spending the rest of his life in federal prison.
While Ross Ulbricht was not offered bail, Andrew was able to get out on $1,000,000 bail thanks to his parents, who did not have anything close to that amount of money, so they put up their house and retirement incomes to secure a bond. His bail conditions include 24/7 house arrest at his parents’ house and being strictly forbidden from using any internet capable device. His girlfriend, Birdie, (who is also a Free State Project participant) is the one who reached out to me and she and Andrew’s family have set up a website to accept contributions to his legal fund, as they can use all the help they can get.
Andrew’s mother, Judy Jones, 68, told me this about him, “He’s very bright, kind, generous and has always been an idealist. When he first told me about bitcoins, he helped me envision a world where the central banks are no longer in charge of money. If it were instead a peer-based monetary system, so much good can come from that. I have hope for a better world thanks to his generation (the Millennials).”
Unlike Ross’ case, Andrew does not face the “kingpin” charge. Plus, he has not been libeled with allegations of murder for hire, as Ross has. Hopefully, that will help with this fundraising ability. He has retained the services of attorney Samuel M. Braverman and the bill will likely be very expensive.
As have many activists looking at moving to New Hampshire, Andrew and Birdie made the pilgrimage to Keene in December of 2012 and came to visit Social Sunday. I met both of them there and truly hope he can get through this difficult time with the minimum damage possible. If Andrew did not administer the Silk Road, then he’s a man wrongfully accused, but if he did, he’s a hero. The Silk Road was (and is) the most important development to happen to the black market in our lifetimes. (more…)