Friday, January 29, 2010

ATF Serial Perjury Follies Once Again: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

New ATF Meritorious Service Medal, approved by the Chief Counsel's Office.

My thanks to CPT R.A. Bear's associate in counterintelligence, CPT Jonathan Tuttle of the Beltway Commandos, for fowarding this story from the NAGR blog. My comments follow the second story.

BATFE agent commits perjury

An agent for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has revealed that agents have committed perjury in order to persecute gun owners.

From the Modesto Bee:

An agent from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is expected to tell the court that investigators lied in order to get permission to put a wiretap on Holloway’s phones. Defense lawyers say the agent’s claims cast doubt on the case against Holloway.

“You don’t usually see this in a case, where you have a government officer himself challenging the conduct leading up to something as important as a wiretap,” said Bill Osterhoudt, one of Holloway’s attorneys. “I think the judge will be interested in hearing it out.”

The agent, 50-year-old Vince Cefalu, said Thursday he couldn’t discuss his testimony. Cefalu said he was the lead investigator on the Road Dog case in 2005 and 2006, before the FBI became involved. He still is employed by ATF, working in the agency’s Dublin office.

Web post talks of ’shortcuts’

In a posting on the whistle- blower Web site CleanUpATF.org, Cefalu said investigators took “illegal shortcuts” to get the Holloway wiretap. “The officers committed perjury in their application affidavit for the tap,” Cefalu wrote in the posting.

When Cefalu spoke up about the “unethical and illegal” actions, he was removed from the case, he wrote in the Internet posting.

Prosecutors say Cefalu is a disgruntled employee with an ax to grind. Cefalu has filed several complaints about misconduct at ATF. He’s asked for federal authorities to investigate his claims.

Defense attorney Carl Faller, who represents Road Dog defendant Steven Johnson, said he expects prosecutors to paint Cefalu as an unreliable source, but he believes Cefalu is credible.

“This isn’t somebody with unknown qualifications who was sitting in their basement wearing an aluminum foil hat waiting for spaceships to land,” Faller said. “This is someone who was then and is currently employed as a federal law enforcement agent.”


It should come as no surprise to gun owners that the BATFE would be caught red handed twisting the law to persecute gun owners. Indeed, the BATFE has a long history of shading the truth and outright perjury in cases against gun owners.

Websites like CleanUpTheATF.org have attempted to documented the abuses and excess of the BATFE, though I believe we are long past “fixing” the BATFE.


Federal Raid on Road Dog Cycles.

Here is the original story from the Modesto Bee:

Friday, Jul. 24, 2009

Defense gets turn in Road Dog case

ATF agent expected to say that investigators got wiretaps illegally

By Leslie Albrecht


The way prosecutors tell it, the story of Robert C. Holloway and Road Dog Cycle reads like a crime movie screenplay: a one-time Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy who built a criminal empire out of his Denair motorcycle shop, maintaining power through fear and violence — and with help from Hells Angels and crooked lawmen.

Holloway, 61, was arrested a year ago along with 11 other men. He's charged with racketeering, running a chop shop, trafficking in stolen motorcycle parts and using violence to collect debts. Three defendants have pleaded guilty. Holloway is in a Fresno halfway house awaiting trial.

Today in a federal courtroom in Fresno, the story is expected to take another dramatic turn — only this time defense attorneys are writing the script.

An agent from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is expected to tell the court that investigators lied in order to get permission to put a wiretap on Holloway's phones. Defense lawyers say the agent's claims cast doubt on the case against Holloway.

"You don't usually see this in a case, where you have a government officer himself challenging the conduct leading up to something as important as a wiretap," said Bill Osterhoudt, one of Holloway's attorneys. "I think the judge will be interested in hearing it out."

The agent, 50-year-old Vince Cefalu, said Thursday he couldn't discuss his testimony. Cefalu said he was the lead investigator on the Road Dog case in 2005 and 2006, before the FBI became involved. He still is employed by ATF, working in the agency's Dublin office.

Web post talks of 'shortcuts'

In a posting on the whistle- blower Web site CleanUpATF.org, Cefalu said investigators took "illegal shortcuts" to get the Holloway wiretap. "The officers committed perjury in their application affidavit for the tap," Cefalu wrote in the posting.

When Cefalu spoke up about the "unethical and illegal" actions, he was removed from the case, he wrote in the Internet posting.

Prosecutors say Cefalu is a disgruntled employee with an ax to grind. Cefalu has filed several complaints about misconduct at ATF. He's asked for federal authorities to investigate his claims.

Defense attorney Carl Faller, who represents Road Dog defendant Steven Johnson, said he expects prosecutors to paint Cefalu as an unreliable source, but he believes Cefalu is credible.

"This isn't somebody with unknown qualifications who was sitting in their basement wearing an aluminum foil hat waiting for spaceships to land," Faller said. "This is someone who was then and is currently employed as a federal law enforcement agent."

Phone calls to be argued

In addition to Cefalu's testimony, U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger will hear arguments on whether to throw out wiretap evidence against Holloway. Defense attorneys have filed a motion to suppress the evidence.

Thousands of taped calls from Holloway's cell, business and home phones make up the heart of the government's case. Tossing out that evidence would "put a tremendous hole in the middle of the prosecution's case," Faller said.

It was Wanger who gave investigators permission to tap Holloway's phones in the fall of 2007. Wiretaps are considered an extraordinary step because they intrude on a citizen's privacy. To use one, investigators must convince a judge that traditional surveillance methods aren't working. They also must show that there's probable cause to believe that the wiretap target has, is or will commit certain crimes.

Defense attorneys say the FBI failed to do both. In court filings, defense lawyers charge that the FBI relied on hearsay and emotionally charged innuendo — not hard facts — to make a case that Holloway was engaged in criminal activities. Prosecutors say agents proved there was "substantial basis" for probable cause.

Motions filed concerning the wiretaps reveal the extent of the government's digging into Holloway — and, more interestingly, what they thought they would uncover.

When the FBI first applied for a wiretap in September 2007, agents told Wanger they expected to catch Holloway involved in money laundering, firearms violations, and manufacturing, importing and selling meth and marijuana. Holloway isn't charged with any of those crimes.

Documents give money clues

Prosecutors have yet to say how vast and profitable Holloway's suspected racketeering operation was. Court documents provide some clues. One search warrant turned up $13,000 in cash, several stolen motorcycle parts, a loaded 9 mm pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun. In a guilty plea, Hells Angel Ray Heffington admitted to trafficking in stolen motorcycle parts worth $10,000 to $30,000. Holloway's estranged son told the court in May that Holloway has money and connections stashed across the globe.

Court filings show that government agents were tracking Holloway as far back as 1999. As the probe grew, it included undercover agents and at least three informants, one of whom worked at Road Dog. Agents followed Holloway to San Diego. They trailed a truck carrying motorcycle parts from Denair to Bakersfield and then to Los Angeles.

Defense attorneys say those surveillance methods worked, but agents intentionally downplayed their success to justify the wiretap application.

Prosecutors say that's not true. They say investigators couldn't use traditional methods because Holloway had too many connections with law enforcement and outlaw biker gangs. Holloway, who was once a sheriff's deputy, would be wise to law enforcement techniques, they say. Using informants and undercover agents was risky, prosecutors say, because Hells Angels have a history of retaliating against people who give information to the government.


MBV: Here's the thing that is going to continue to eat away at the street agents who are tasked with "making the case" by higher ups regardless of the law. If you do what they ask and testify falsely under oath, do you think that THEY will suffer the consequences of the perjury, or will it be the street agents?

Sooner or later, especially in those cases with the fingerprints of the Chief Counsel's Office on them, someone is going to refuse to open themselves up to a stint in federal prison just to forward an agenda under the color of law rather than enforce the law itself.

There is already a long-standing grievance in the minds of the street agents over enforcing "chickenshit" paperwork violations and shaking down law-abiding gun stores like Red's just because the Chief Counsel's Office (who, as we have explained before, actually runs the day-to-day operations of the ATF) is eager to lick the boots of the anti-gun Congressmen and Senators who provide the money for the agency budget and political cover in case of misadventure. The best of the street agents would rather be going after MS-13 and other gangs. (Actually, anti-gang stuff is something the ATF has historically done very well on.)

It is only a matter of time before somebody within the agency decides that it is in his or her enlighted self-interest to bring the whole rotten structure down, tumbling the professional liars of the Chief Counsel's Office into the dirt and shining the antiseptic treatment of sunlight on a bureaucratic bunch of morally diseased scum -- the same kind of scum who put David Olofson in prison for a malfunctioning semi-auto rifle and who attack innocent gun owners, dealers and manufacturers with "economic Wacos" as an example to the rest of us of the dangers of disrespecting and resisting the diktats of the Regime's apparatchiks.

Mike
III

NOTE: Once again, Jody Keeku and Little Jimmy Vann have my thanks for getting me off the sidelines and back into the fight against this monstrous criminal conspiracy against the law, the Constitution and the people of the United States, all in service of a vile agenda that the Founders would spit upon.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

But the BATF work to protect us right... (Great article!)

jon said...

"Actually, anti-gang stuff is something the ATF has historically done very well on."

no kidding. takes one to know one.

these relatively low-level field agents should know by now they're in their own employers' crosshairs; you're either a GS-1 or an overpaid GS-1, and that dollar they pay you in is running out of clout, right-quick. which political connections will you really want to have, once it's gone forever?

you know, the funny thing about it, is that you can't see it coming.

there's a story about a fellow in germany who'd saved some 68,000 marks by the time 1923 rolled around -- a comfortable retirement sum in 1922. as the mass inflation sparked hyperinflation, sadly, the bank had to round his account balance up to 1,000,000 marks by the end of the week. he got a letter notifying him of his new balance. it was sent to him in an envelope with one stamp.

the stamp cost 5,000,000 marks.

and he wasn't best buddies with the resistance, or with the liberators.

Anonymous said...

Your NAGR link is borked.

Taylor H said...

And we tumble down the rabbit hole once again...

But it just does to show there are always a few good men you can count on.

Ok, now for some funny anagrams:

CIA: Covert International Agitators

FBI: Fully Biased Intentions

BATFE: Bull and Total Farse Enterprises

NSA: National Spying Academy

IRS: Internal Racketeering Squad

FDA: Federal Doughnut Abolishers

NORTHCOM: No One Really Thinks They Can Stop Me

I know I missed some, but you get the idea ;)

TJP said...

Boy, what a mess they have on their hands. When I see so much drama surrounding un/reliable characters, I have to wonder what sort of case they're building.

Here's an example (emphasis is mine):

"'This isn't somebody with unknown qualifications who was sitting in their basement wearing an aluminum foil hat waiting for spaceships to land,' Faller said. 'This is someone who was then and is currently employed as a federal law enforcement agent.'"

We need to introduce Faller to Mr. Glory Hole. The argument has the support of nothing, and Faller should be ridiculed. It would be a tremendous advance in civilization if the people were able to understand that government is not a religion, and there is a range of possibility of human behavior between corrupt and divine.

So much for a trial of facts in this case. Looks like the best we're going to get is a soap opera.

Anonymous said...

NORTHCOM = No One Really Thinks He Can Oppose Me.

FBI = Federal Bureau of Instigation,

= Federal Bureau of Incineration.