P.S. The African satellite fundraiser is still going (through mid-May). Please help us get LRN.FM, which includes Free Talk Live and dozens of other great liberty-oriented shows, back on satellite over Africa!
In a terrible update to an already awful story, the DEA has arrested the owners of Phat Stuff, the popular local head shop on Main Street that was raided in May of 2014. Panos and Katie Eliopoulos were arrested (allegedly in front of their kids) in February and have been charged with one count of “Conspiracy to Offer Drug Paraphernalia for Sale” and one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering”. You can read the short, three page indictment here.
The paraphernalia sales charge carries up to three years in prison and an unspecified fine and the money laundering charge carries up to twenty years in prison, an up to $500,000 fine, and an additional fine relating to the value of the property involved.
Longtime readers of Free Keene may recall that the raid nearly destroyed their business and left them penniless as the federal gangsters cleaned out their bank account and even stole their truck. Oh, and don’t forget the DEA’s theft of an entire box-truckload of store merchandise – probably $100,000 in inventory, which they’ll likely never get back, even if they’re found not guilty. The raid was done with the assistance of Keene police, who were protecting and serving their federal masters, not the people of this community. In an ideal world, the Keene police would have arrested the DEA agents and charged them with armed robbery. You can watch the 17-minute video of the raid, cut down from over four hours of raw footage here.
The indictment was issued on February 11th and the arrests appear to have occurred a week later on February 18th, according to the bail paperwork. Bail conditions for Panos (and presumably Katie, though I haven’t seen her bail paperwork) include him submitting to search anytime police want, submit to urine testing, and give up any weapons, among other conditions.
Trial is currently slated for two weeks in federal court in Concord beginning on April 21st, 2015 at 9:30am. The Eliopouloses are represented by attorney Charles Keefe. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.
When more people who love liberty move to New Hampshire, we solidify the position as the obvious destination for those who want to be more free. Success breeds success. If freedom matters to you, then please join Randy, and as of now more than 16,000 others like you and sign the Free State Project’s Statement of Intent. Then, start planning your move to join the fun. Still not sure? Here are 101 reasons to move to New Hampshire.
UPDATE @ 8:30pm: James has been arrested for Klonopin allegedly found in the truck. According to an officer Lee at the Dinwiddie sheriff’s department, this is a class 1 misdemeanor. James is facing a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail if the state can prove he “knowingly” possessed the drugs. He has a $1,000 bond and will likely be transported to the Meherrin regional jail.
Original post from this afternoon:
Free Keene blogger and owner of 101 Deals Thrift Store, James Cleaveland, is currently stranded in Dinwiddie, VA after armed men calling themselves “sheriffs” stole his yellow box truck. Initially the armed men asked James to search, which he refused. They then informed him they will be getting a warrant to search, because of terrorism, human trafficking, and serial killers. He is currently at the Dinwiddie county sheriff’s office and is currently streaming live video on Bambuser:
James says the Dinwiddie gang brought out a dog which they claim alerted on the vehicle and further claims that the tag is expired, so they towed it to the sheriff’s department. That’s where he is right now, awaiting the search of the truck. He has not been arrested or charged. James has said on his livestream that the “bad cop” Sgt. David Williams prevented him from retrieving his wallet from the cab of the truck. Later however “good cop”, name unknown at this point, did retrieve his wallet for him. Early on in this situation, I called the sheriff’s department to inquire on the whereabouts of the truck. The lady who answered the phone told me that the truck was indeed there and that Williams had been involved in the stealing. I asked to speak to Williams and at that point recorded the call. He acted like he didn’t know what I was talking about: (more…)
Liberty activists are reluctantly backing down from their jury outreach projects outside the Manhattan federal courthouse, but not because an insane robed person threatened the entire courtroom and jury over the activists’ signs and pamphlets yesterday afternoon. As reported here yesterday, the federal gang is pulling out all the stops to prevent jurors from accessing information about jury nullification.
They dismissed jurors who admitted to seeing signs or looking at activists’ fliers. However, that wasn’t enough for the woman in the robe, Katherine Bolan Forrest. Philly liberty superactivist James Babb explains:
Evidently, despite the millions of dollars spent and incalculable power of the state, Judge Katherine Forrest feared that a few folks with pamphlets could upset their steamrolling operation. As predicted, a juror with a conscience and knowledge of their power terrifies these petty tyrants. The billboard campaign and the pamphleting op were referenced on multiple occasions. Selecting an uninformed jury became a top priority for the prosecution and their subservient judge…
Basically, she decreed that if the independent volunteers didn’t stop informing jurors of their right to nullify unjust and misapplied laws, she would “annonymize” the jury, bussing them in from a secret location, blocking their contact from the outside world. Of course, the jurors won’t be told that they are being “protected” from a 100% factual pamphlet about their indisputable rights. Instead, they will thank the judge for protecting them from a dangerous crime boss. Experts have confirmed that this is a credible threat…
After careful consideration, we have decided to postpone the pamphleting operation until the hostage is recovered safely. However, the offending judge will not be forgotten. She will become accustomed to dealing with informed jurors. We will not be intimidated. We will not abandon our mission. Forrest’s grumpiness confirms what we already knew. They are scared of the truth. They fear for their house of cards.
Pamphleting at this court will resume at a later date. The kiosk ad campaign will continue. If you want to help expand it, you can participate here.
Derrick J Freeman and more than a dozen activists, many from NH, were in front of the Manhattan federal district court yesterday. Not only did they make news, they also got to judge to threaten the entire courtroom! More on that in a later post. For now here’s FOX NYC’s report on the Ross Ulbricht / Silk Road trial happening now, which features Free Keene blogger Derrick J!