Out Of Control Prosecutors Lynch The Constitution
The Coastal Post - March, 1999
By Stephen Simac
We are living in a land which has abandoned its
constitution and the fundamental rights of its citizens for the illusion
of more security. The War on (people who do) Drugs and other High Crimes
has slaughtered the Bill of Rights while government prosecutors have led
the bayonet charge. Federal prosecutors have a 90% conviction rate, mostly
in drug cases. It's not because they're such great lawyers. That federal
prosecutors can drag any American down has been made obvious by Ken Starr.
Like junkyard dogs that eat their own master, federal prosecutors are devouring
the constitutional rights of American citizens.
KBG In Mendocino County
The abuses are numerous and horrendous, but in Mendocino
County an almost unbelievable perversion of justice has been going on for
years. The story of local, state and federal law officers' conspiring to
crush an alleged marijuana grower, John Dalton, was written up in the Anderson
Valley Advertiser (AVA) by Mark Heimann, based on sworn affidavits from
According to the AVA series, Dalton had been suspected
of being a big time potgrower since 1987 by Mendocino County's Narcotics
Task Force although they had never obtained any evidence against him. He
had a machine shop, some land, a house and fast cars, but had never been
caught with any drugs.
A former girlfriend of one of the Narcotics Task
Force (NTF) officers, Victoria Horstman, married John Dalton in 1993. Within
months of her marriage, she arranged with the Federal Drug Enforcement
Agency to spy on her husband, including bugging their bedroom. Special
Agent Mark Nelson of the DEA was her control, and he threatened her with
money laundering charges if she didn't cooperate. He set up an elaborate
spy game with Horstman as special agent 0054, clandestine meetings and
drop points, and of course sex with Special Agent Nelson for months. With
her help he also illegally tapped Dalton's phones, and with that information
convinced a local judge to sign a forfeiture seizure warrant.
It seems amazing that a man's wife can be used by
the federal government to destroy her husband, at least while he's still
married to her. The sanctity of marriage and all that, is completely stripped
in today's courts where children and families are encouraged, even compelled
to testify against their own kin. Even more so that a warrant can be used
to take away your home and possessions even if you are not convicted of
Men In Black Home Invasion
The swat team arrival at the Dalton's was typical
of the thousands of such home invasions across the country by our legal
forces, mostly against minorities. Bands of armed men bursting down doors,
people shouting, women and children screaming, scattered belongings and
a miracle if no one gets shot. It's always self defense if they kill someone.
Swat team judge, jury and executioner.
The DEA and NTF agents invaded as Horstman's children
were being readied for school. Along with the adults, they were held at
gunpoint and handcuffed, before they were driven by a sheriff's officer
to school with a cheery sendoff, "Hope you said goodbye to your dad, because
you ain't gonna see him for a long, long time." Not even grammatically
John Dalton was not arrested that day, but his truck
and fast cars were seized under drug forfeiture laws. They even seized
his 56 Chevy while he was driving the kids around, after getting it running
a week later. Agent Nelson knew he'd got it running, because he'd rented
out a nearby house to spy on Dalton. Pizza delivered.
American Family Values-DEA Style
Within weeks, Agent Nelson then helped his adulterous
spy Horstmann move out of Dalton's house with her kids. The DEA agent rented
and helped load her a U HAUL to move to Washington state. She was promised
10% of the proceeds from the forfeiture of Dalton's property when it concluded.
She ended up destitute a year later with no more
money from the DEA. Dalton, still married to her, helped her move to Modesto
and tried to convince her to stay married. Special Agent Nelson drove her
to a divorce lawyer in Santa Rosa to sign the final papers.
Meanwhile the federal government was trying John
Dalton by secret Federal grand jury. This is where the power of federal
prosecutors to gain conviction of any American is made. Once in their system
you are threatened with long years in prison if you don't cooperate and
the promise of leniency or even monetary awards for testifying against
another person. That's a combination that can convince almost anyone to
say what the feds want them to rather than life in prison, no parole.
On the basis of such testimony, Dalton was arrested
and charged with three federal crimes on Sept. 27, 1996. The witnesses
against Dalton, included his brother in law, who'd been charged with operating
a methamphetamine lab. Daniel Bang, who also had an arsenal of illegal
weapons, willingly fingered Dalton for the 2,800 plant pot farm Bang had
been busted for growing in 1987 when he was living on Dalton's land. He
got ten years instead of life in exchange for his testimony.
Another witness, William Miranda, was paid for his
testimony that Dalton was a pot grower and had hired him to kill Agent
Nelson and bribe another officer. He was paid by the government, either
$3,000 as they claim or $30,000 as Horstman complained, who only got $3,000.
Miranda has since disappeared.
Michael Scott, a UPS driver who made deliveries
to Dalton's machine shop, had been approached by a Mendocino police officer
to help set up Dalton. He refused several times, until he was arrested
and charged with ten federal crimes, including perjury. He caved in and
pled guilty to perjury, and testified against Dalton. At this point his
testimony should have been suspect, he was a convicted perjurer.
Judge Kafka's Court
John Dalton, has yet to face his accusers. He has
been denied bail, because Agent Nelson testified that he was a danger to
society. Two years later he remains in Dublin Federal Prison. He is another
object lesson that law enforcement officials are using the declared War
on Drugs to flay the constitution and the Bill of Rights.
He has countersued the various agencies and individuals
who have made war on him and his family for $44 million. His lawyer, Tony
Serra, has also filed to have the government's case thrown out of court
based on the outrageous conduct of the agents involved. The grinding of
federal justice has been slowed to a glacial pace by the number of drug
cases, but the onus is on the victims who must wait years for trial dates.
His case is not unusual, most victims are never heard of, just another
First They Came For The...
Drug or sex offenders, or terrorists, or the next
public scapegoat pointed out by the media are easy for the majority of
the public to accept, even demand that they be denied their rights. Elected
officials and law enforcement agents have responded by taking war powers
and abridging the constitution to defeat the enemy. The courts have tended
to uphold ever more flagrant abuses of constitutional rights in this war.
Because they are certain that they will never need their rights, they are
willing to surrender other's.
There are no containing walls between the loss of
other's rights, and the potential loss of our own. If your skin color is
darker than skin color crayons, you already live in a police state. The
courts are jammed and the prisons are swollen with drug offenders. There's
no shortage of conscripts for the War on Drugs on either side, the money's
Prosecutors and Defenders both profit from the boom.
Wall Street's bullish on the prison industry. The president can get sucked
off, but not inhale. Clinton will never end the War, call it a draw although
he's well aware that the most damaging effects of drugs are caused by their
illegality. The politicians are not going to provide the leadership needed
for a truce, nor will the lawyers and others who profit from its industries.
Only the prisoners and those who love them may be
motivated to end the failed war, because most people on the outside believe
they deserve it or that they will never be a victim of the war. That their
family would never turn on them.