Over the years, the feds, frustrated at being unable to get directly at me with various set-ups and entrapments, have targeted my friends, associates and even casual acquaintances. Most of these stories I have been unable to share you, my readers, because the targeted always would suffer more from the publicity of their plight than if they suffered in their -- and my -- silence. Indeed, that is why they are chosen, it seems. I have been aware of this unpleasant fact for more than a decade now, and it is the measure of the evil in the hearts of these armed bureaucrats that they stoop to such deadly pettiness just to make a point with me by making miserable, or even destroying, the lives of people I know and care about.
This particular Kafkaesque story of such abuse of federal power began, I believe, on 28 October 4 years ago with a praxis post on ALICE packs wherein I made the statement "I dropped into my favorite surplus store, AA Army Surplus in Leeds, Alabama."
Several months later, in 2010, just about the time I posted this, the proprietor of AA Army Surplus and a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, Darryl Baxter, was approached by a local cop serving on federal-state-local "Joint Task Force" to try to set up a person on a STEN gun purchase. He refused. That, plus his acquaintance with me, was enough to stir the wrath of Mordor, and the great eye of Sauron turned its attention to the case of Darryl Baxter.
In doing so the Feds discovered that Darryl had pled guilty to a state misdemeanor years before, and Darryl was given paperwork reflecting that fact. But when the case was entered into the state data-base it was incorrectly entered as a felony. Indeed, the original state paperwork after the archivist got done showed both "misdemeanor" AND "felony." Worse, and you would think that this wouldn't have met the smell test at the US Attorney's office, the state actually never filed information in lieu of a conviction. So, not only was he never convicted of a felony but the information of the misdemeanor was never filed. But, as Darryl relates, "the Feds said that it was up to someone higher to determine that."
Again, let me repeat, Darryl had pled guilty to a misdemeanor not a felony and had paperwork reflecting that fact. But this clerical error was enough to give them the pretext of raiding Darryl's shop, where he had previously sold firearms from his personal collection, as a "prohibited person" doing business in firearms. As it turns out, they raided him no more than five minutes after I left his shop, and, just minutes into the raid, they began asking him questions about me.
They arrested him, of course, and seized the firearms on the premises. Then they went to his home and seized the rest of his collection, including weapons belonging to his wife and son.
Darryl was advised by his attorney that he was sure the mix-up would be corrected and that "the last thing he needed was publicity." So, at Darryl's request, I remained silent. For three years, as the case wended its way through the courts, state and federal, I remained silent though it was against all my instincts. Until now, when Darryl has finally given me his permission to write about the case. Long story short, Darryl's attorney was unable to get the state to correct its mistake before the federal trial, where -- the fake felony still standing as fact -- Darryl was swiftly convicted. He is currently ordered to surrender to federal custody on 2 December.
The latest update comes from Darryl:
"The State prosecutor tried to get the State Appeals Court to dismiss our case with them. The Appeal Courts told them no, and that the lower judge had to have a ruling by Dec 3. So that is a positive sign. The Appeals Court sees merit in my case. So right now, we are trying to get a Federal extension on turning myself in."
We can only hope that the error is finally corrected at the state level and that the surrender date extension is granted. It is a hope, but given the way this Kafkaesque case has proceeded, it is not the way to bet. This is as bitter as a gall and wormwood cocktail to me. The plain fact is that Darryl would not have received the attention that he got without his business association with me -- that merely of seller and customer. That is enough to bring the American Stasi -- the secret political police -- out of their tax-paid evil dens to destroy other people's lives at a whim.
There is one thing y'all can do for Darryl, though. He is having a going out of business sale at AA. You can reach him at (205) 699-4209 or on Facebook. Get in touch with him and see if you can help him liquidate his stock.