All posts by Radiolegendary

Mack gripes Bundy raid

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Calls Governor’s, Clark County Sheriff’s reactions ‘asinine’

Gilbert, Arizona – The constitutionalist Sheriff who broke the Brady Bill’s requirement to register all handguns at the Supreme Court appeared at the scene of conflict and characterized  the dust-up as ‘asinine.’

He further criticized Nevada Gov. Sandoval and Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s actions as less than adequate, recalling how a fellow Sheriff in Nye County, when threatened with a federal SWAT team, responded by saying, “I’ve got one, too.”

To hear an audio of the interview, follow this link:

To subscribe in a reader, follow this link: http://downdirtyword.blogspot.com/2014/04/sheriff-mack-gripes-about-bundy-ranch.html

GOP candidate favors Vermont’s open carry law

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Cleburne – Dewayne Burns is working hard to win a primary runoff for Texas House District 58, looking to edge his opponent, PhilipEby, and replace veteran solon Rob Orr.

He’s looking to form a coalition with other like-minded conservative Republicans to put six guns back on the hips of Texans as a constitutional right, in a law patterned after that of Vermont’s, which grants the right to carry a handgun openly, simply as a benefit of citizenship and the Second Amendment.

No permit required, no license, no training, no nothing. The only restriction, he says, will be in courthouses and schools – places where guns are a no no, anyway.

Constitutional carry tops his list of must do priorities. It ranks beside illegal immigration, quality of education, right to life,  and a strong law enforcement profile for the Lone Star State. Burns has a solid conservative background, starting with work for Rick Perry as a weights and measures inspector at the Texas Department of Agriculture, then a legislative analyst for Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth. He is a member of a ranching family who serves on the board of the Cleburne Independent School District. Eby is a Clifton resident of Bosque County. District 58 covers most of Johnson and Bosque.

To hear Burns’ thoughts on the issue of open carry, follow the link:

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TN just says ‘no’ to UN

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 12.28.13 PMWorld’s shortest bill – HB2410

Tennessee enacted and signed into law a one-sentence bill prohibiting United Nations observers from monitoring elections unless they have a treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate.

The conflict arose in 2012 when the state enacted a law requiring photo identification to vote. Two UN observers appeared in the throng of 33 that fanned out across the United States to target similar laws coast to coast. The bill has been passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by the Governor.

To learn more, watch this video presentation:

To subscribe in a reader, follow this link:

http://downdirtyword.blogspot.com

Militia stops cattle raid

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Mesquite, NV – As they say in the high desert, whiskey’s for drinking; water’s for fighting about. The armed dispute between citizen militiamen and federal agents that suddenly abated on Saturday in a cessation of hostilities was no different.

It’s all about the water.

More important, it’s all about the sovereignty of the individual to hold title to personal and real property, and the power of a County Sheriff to claim constitutional authority to intercede in the name of the peace and dignity of the people of an individual state.

In this case, the heated exchange of verbiage and emotions nearly led to a second shot heard round the world in a new American revolution.

Hundreds of militiamen armed with AR-15 style assault rifles spearheaded a successful defense by an estimated 1,000 protesters of Cliven Bundy’s ranch, where federal agents had beseiged the beleaguered family for the past week by seizing 300 of a herd of 1,000 cattle.

Bundy owes an estimated $1.1 million in grazing fees he has refused to pay since 1993, when the Bureau of Land Management limited the family’s grazing permit to 150 head.

The dispute centers around a homestead claimed by the Bundy family in 1870 and a further claim of ownership of grazing rights to more than 100,000 acres. The bureau seeks to protect a species of turtle by charging grazing fees per day of $1.35 per mama cow and calf on the limited number of cattle allowed.

The grazing permits disallow cattle trampling the newly grown succulents in the riparian boundries of stream beds, while at the same time severely limiting the construction of earthen cattle watering tanks designed to catch runoff snow melt.

 Bundy will have none of it. He has grazed his cattle ever since 1993, in defiance of repeated orders to the contrary. He has attempted to pay the grazing fees, but not to the federal government. He has persuaded the State of Nevada to hold earnest payments in escrow of some part of what the government claims he owes until his dispute may be settled.

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 After Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie completed successful negotiations with the federal authorities, bureau officials agreed to let Bundy have his 300 head of cattle back, and presumably to proceed through more civil means to satisfy their claim against the Bundy family business.

Federal agents attacked protesting members of the family; they were thrown to the ground, shot with Taser guns, and threatened with jail.

It is far from the first time that such a dispute has claimed the attention of the people of the American west.

A case in point is that of the young ranching couple of Kit and Sherry Laney of the Diamond Bar Ranch, who built their operation into an award-winning free range ranch, complete with watering tanks, before federal authorities made a similar move in 1996, limiting their permitted herd size to 300 head and 20 horses after initially permitting more than 1,188 when they acquired 100 acres of real property in January, 1986, near Mimbres, New Mexico. It’s roadless property which fronts on a grazing allotment of 144,578 acres, the largest in the state with a history of grazing permits that dates back to 1908. Permitted herd size peaked at 2,300 in 1924.

Since the road ends at their log cabin, the Laneys carried out their operation from horseback, hauling fencing materials and salt in wagons with draft horses, and packing in everything they needed by horse train. Permits allow no use of motorized transport in the grazing area. We’re talking ranching operations in the manner of the Hat Creek Outfit of Lonesome Dove fame.

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In a memorandum of understanding drafted at the time they acquired the property, the government encouraged water source enhancement in the form of earthen tanks – their aim, to reduce the amount of traffic in stream beds. The Laneys did so, and received special recognition for their stewardship in 1993.

Formation of an environmentalist coalition, a committee of two that ran a full-page ad in the Albuquerque daily newspaper, changed all that. According to Susan Christy of “Range” Magazine, “Gila Watch placed a full-page ad in the Albuquerque Journal in April 1995 showing a bone-thin calf on a worn pasture and claiming that, ‘one rancher commands the use of 145,000 acres of the…wilderness through the ownership of only 115 acres of private land…’”

The people in the big city took to it with the furious indignation of a bunch of Sierra Clubbers to a “guarantee of dolphin-free tuna.” The Laneys were misusing their range land. They demanded satisfaction.

It was the beginning of the end for Kit and Sherry Laney. By 1997, when the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld the U.S. Forest Service’s order to get their cows off the place, they pulled up stakes and tried ranching elsewhere.

In 2003, Sherry recalled, they were stymied by dry weather and an inability to meet lease payments. When they looked back at what they had walked away from, all they could see was “a world of grass” at the Diamond Bar. Why not take advantage of it?

They sent the Secretary of Agriculture a letter claiming sovereign ownership by virtue of warranty deeds, moved their cattle back on the range, and, as they say west of Cowtown…The war was on.

Before it was over, Kit Laney wound up in the federal lockup for riding down federal officers who were brandishing assault rifles as they herded his cattle with helicopters and motor vehicles, penning calves away from their mamas, and otherwise making a shambles of his careful stewardship of his herd, a business he and his wife built by hand.

They lost the place. Neither of them are ranchers today.

When former Vietnam war correspondent Anthony Chiaviello penned his critique for “Range” Magazine, he characterized the dispute by writing, “the reality of the environmental conflict surrounding the Diamond Bar was constructed by the rhetoric surrounding it.” Amen.

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 6.42.18 AMThe Diamond Bar Bed and Breakfast

Living in biospheres on the turtle’s back

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Mesquite, NV – Cliven Bundy and his family have ranched on public grazing lands for more than 60 years, a hundred thousand acres the family has owned since 1870. Recently, the Bueau of Land Management has ordered them to pay grazing fees or desist from ranching. The Bundys have refused, and government agents are rounding up their cattle at gunpoint, beseiging the family at their ranch.

A Clark County, Nevada, Commissioner advised those who would come to the aid of the Bundys that they “had better have funeral plans.” He didn’t smile, nor did he stutter, when he said it.

It’s all about an endangered species of turtle, the continued propagation of which might not succeed if cattle are allowed to continue to graze in that area.

Is this a new development?

No way. Ranchers using open range throughout the west have come under increasing pressure over the past forty years, beginning with the passage of certain treaties by the United Nations to protect endangered species.

Activists have found working with the UN a much more tractable and efficient means than trying to deal with the ponderous and laborious congressional processes imposed by the U.S. Constitution.

None of these treaties have been ratified by Congress. They have been put in motion by presidential administrations – very quietly – in conjunction with similar movements in nations throughout the world.

The sign of the turtle, new age symbol for the land mass of North America, is ubiquitous in the international movement to nationalize all lands outside “sustainable” communities and reserve the wilderness as a roadless track meant for animals only.

Here is a succinct statement written by an expert observer:

In most communities, neither the victims, nor the proponents of sustainable development are aware that their plight is a part of a global agenda. Indeed, most would scoff at the idea. Nevertheless, the transformation of America is well underway, without public debate, or Congressional approval. From watershed, to ecosystem, to village, to city, to multi-county regions, to transboundary biospheres – the U.N. agenda is being systematically implemented – with the help of elected officials, paid for with the taxes of American citizens.” – Henry Lamb, “Why the Government is Grabbing Our Land” – http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/june_2003/why.htm

It appears that the enabling legislation most fortunate for this program of population reduction, control, and isolation is the Clean Water Act. Its provisions make it easy for federal bureaucrats to throw the full weight of the U.S. Government behind their policies, policies which will ultimately be enforced by troopers of the United Nations.

A quick approach to getting an understanding of the ideas behind this movement is to seek definition of the operant terms as defined by such agencies as the Environmental Protection Agency, UNESCO, Departments of Energy and Interior.

Sustainable communities –

http://www.epa.gov/livability/pdf/2009_essential_fixes.pdf

Human Settlements –

https://www.un.org/en/development/devagenda/habitat.shtml

Biospheres –

http://www.unesco.org/mabdb/br/brdir/europe-n/USAmap.htm

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/the-un-wildlands-projecttaking-over-america-starting-with-florida

Wildways migration corridors –

http://www.twp.org/wildways

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One riot, one Ranger

Second in a series: How are narcotics warrants obtained?

‘He doesn’t know he’s right’

 The thing about the Ranger is he intimidates you by what he might know, and just doesn’t talk about – that’s his strong suit.  – veteran lawman

 McGregor – When police answered a call at 801 N. 3rd, the bleeding victim they found told them he got shot in the back while trying to “settle some s__t.” 

He said he had a problem with a man who lived at 107 Johnson St., a man he said had been selling dope to his brother.

 An offense report revealed how Jose Valdez went to see Shawn Johnson at his house. In the melee that followed, he alleged, Jason Saldana shot him in the rear shoulder with a .44 magnum.

 Ouch.

Indian attack, plain and simple.

 That’s when retired Texas Ranger Steve Foster, who now serves as Chief of Police in this city, put a seasoned veteran on the case, one of a select group of perhaps a dozen narcotics officers in the state who wrote the book on how to work such a case – for all it’s worth.

Jose L. Coy, a retired Sergeant with the Department of Public Safety’s Narcotics Service, is presently a Special Investigator for the McGregor Police Department. Neither of the veteran lawmen returned a phone call placed to them. 

 In corporate parlance, his status would be that of a consultant. In the dime novels written about the old west, he would have been called a “hired gun.” Judges who read his affidavits of probable cause know better.

 Judges know his probable cause affidavits will stand up to the scrutiny of the defense bar, the appeals courts, and public opinion. They sign the paperwork that certifies there is a reasonable suspicion that evidence may be found on the premises to be searched, or the surrounding property. They furthermore authorize the arrest of the people he says may be found there, doing what he alleges, and that there should be no announcement of a search warrant or a knock at the door.

 There is a lot of sensitivity to the issue because of the debacle created when a rogue freelance cop named Tom Coleman perpetrated a huge fraud on the public at Tulia, Texas. It resulted in the incarceration of dozen of persons who were totally innocent of any violation of the law – all based on false allegations by a peace officer sworn to protect the people, to preserve their peace and dignity.

 That won’t happen with the methods employed by Mr. Coy. 

 When rookie agents take the course on how to develop probable cause for what is known as a “72-hour search and arrest warant,” no knock narcotics raid, they often study his long career spent taking down dope houses where pushers sell everything from grass to crank, crystal, rock cocaine, powder coke, Nazi meth, Oxycodone, Vicodin, heroin – or anything that addicts users and creates violent social problems, or the kind of trifling, insidious, petty crime that makes life miserable for people who hit the ball and pay their dues.

 Mr. Coy has a reputation and a track record for the kind of meticulous documentation it takes to turn an investigation of an incident such as a shooting into a major operation that eventually resulted in the arrests of almost a dozen people at 4 locations – one of whom floated between the dope houses where he stashed his product and purveyed his wares.

 Ask any small town police chief why he and his officers can’t do much about the drug problems that flood the community, and he will recite a litany of well-worn, common sense difficulties that involve everything from a scant budget for man hours to a lack of prosecutorial alacrity for the kind of zealous prosecution of relatively minor serial drug cases it will take to make any kind of lasting impression on the problem. That’s just for starters. Then there is the issue of jail overcrowding – and we’re off to the races.

 Meanwhile, the armed robberies, burglaries, murders, rapes, beatings, home invasions, prostitution and pure dee meanness that accompanies any drug scene persists – day in and day out, month to month and year to year. People begin to accept the chaos as the way it’s always been, something a community just has to get used to – and get over.

 Wrong. It doesn’t have to be that way.

 The case Jose L. Coy developed against the people who lived at 107 Johnson Street, and three other locations scattered all over this railroad town smack dab on the way to everywhere in north, south, east and west Texas, is a classic study of a prairie community circling the wagons, calling for a Ranger who arrives promptly, and in due course shows a beleaguered Sheriff, his deputies, and the local posse how to organize the community to fight back with full effect.

As hackneyed a B-movie plot as it seems to be, it’s how things are still done in the Lone Star State. The point is that it works as well today as it did during storied days of yesteryear, when off the reservation Comanches and Apaches menaced settlers, and cattle rustlers fought fence-cutting drovers in range wars with sodbusters.

 While the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office over a period of years developed no such drug cases, its drug task force disbanded and the officers reassigned to other detective duties, not long ago 30-year veteran narcotics agent Jose L. Coy quietly and effectively put a large number of people out of the drug business using available resources and a highly organized methodology that includes surveillance, the use of confidential informants – even surreptitious trash pickup.

 Start with the basics. There are two kinds of narcotics cases.

 The first is the “hand-to-hand” method, whereby an undercover officer makes a purchase of some controlled substance, and thereby effects an arrest – on the spot.

 “Any rookie narc can make that case,” says a veteran agent.

But the “seventy-two-hour method” of developing probable cause through intelligence gleaned from “credible and reliable” confidential informants busted with contraband they just bought at the dope house thus under surveillance makes for a very sophisticated combined search and arrest warrant. Agents can observe the resulting cash flow, the transportation patterns, the names and faces, discover the manufacturers and smugglers of the drugs – and seize them all once they connect the dots.

 It works a lot better in the kind of small town atmosphere many drug sellers prefer for the very fact that everyone has a lifetime program with the players’ names and numbers, family trees, historic analyses – and everyone knows everyone else’s business.

 In the narcotics business, an illicit racket with very large profit margins, large cash flow, and huge risks, it’s not what you know, but who you know – dialed up.

 Consider the laconic prose of Mr. Coy’s probable cause affidavit in support of a search of 107 Johnson Street, the place where the shooting took place.

“…Based on my prior training and experience, I have observed that narcotics traffickers keep and use cellular telephones and the technology associated with this type of equipment as a primary means of communication in order to conduct their narcotics trafficking business. Additionally, narcotics traffickers commonly maintain telephone numbers and address books or papers which reflect names, addresses and/or telephone numbers for their associates…

 “…Narcotics traffickers maintain books, records, receipts, notes, ledgers, bank records, money orders and other papers relating to the importation, manufacture, transportation, ordering, sale and distribution of illegal controlled substances…

 “…Narcotics traffickers keep and utilize computers and other electronic devices for the purpose of maintaining records, receipts, notes, ledgers, bank records, money orders and other documents or records relating to the importation, manufacture, transportation, ordering, sale and distribution of illegal controlled substances…

 “…Narcotics traffickers routinely conceal large quaitites of currency, financial instruments, precious metals, jewelry and other items of value, typically proceeds of illegal controlled substance transactions…

 “…Narcotics traffickers often take photographs of themselves, their associates, their property and illegal contraband…

 “…Narcotics traffickers maintain documents, letters and records relating to their illegal contraband…

 “…Narcotics traffickers maintain documents, letters and records relating to their illegal activities for long periods of time. This documentary evidence is usually secreted in their place of residence, or residences of family members…

 “…Narcotics traffickers often own, possess and/or use weapons…”

 

Boiler plate of these assertions is inserted in each of the affidavits used to obtain search and arrest warrants that netted seizures and arrests of Shawn Johnson, Oscar Lopez, and Florencio Mondragon at 107 Johnson Street. All this led to other searches and seizures at still other locations.

 Renita Driver and David Alan Rivas were arrested, their drugs and other accoutrements of their trade confiscated at 604 W. 6th St.

 Desiree Garrett and Melissa Nosey were charged for the evidence seized at 805 N. 2nd St.

 Billy Byford, who had previous arrests for carrying a prohibited weapon and engaging in organized criminal activity, answered a no knock warrant at his residence located at 1009 S. Taylor St. The search yielded methamphetamine and packaging materials.

 

In each case, Mr. Coy inserted the admonishment, “Affiant is aware that individuals who are involved in the distribution of controlled substances fear arrest by law enforcement and these individual are likely to destroy evidence that would asist law enforcement in the prosecution of criminal acts by these same individuals. Affiant fears that announcing would be dangerous, futile and would inhibit the effective safety and investigation of the crime involved in the puposes of this sarch if law enforement officers are required to announce themselves before entering the said suspected premises. Considering ______’s past criminal history and past arrest record, Affiant requests that law enforement oficers serving this search warrant be allowed to enter the said suspected premises without knocking and announcing.”

 Relatively small amounts of drugs were seized in each case, but the investigators mined the records and photos, phones and ledgers thus seized as high grade ore.

 In one of his affidavits, Mr. Coy remarked in his typical tongue in cheek tone that one would think a prudent operator would destroy ledgers and journals recording long-ago transactions, deeming them to be of no real worth at the present. Every fact thus gleaned is worthy of scrutiny, it seems.

 

In all cases, the affidavits asserted that officers or a confidential informant had observed people coming and going at short intervals on various errands, and had seen illicit substances inside the residences within the previous 72 hours.

 In the methamphetamine case developed against Billy Byford, an agent took the trash bags placed at the curb to the DPS office and discovered a number of sandwich baggies with the corners cut off – a clear sign to a knowledgeable observer that the people inside were packaging the dope in the bags thus cut down.

 An eighth-ounce package – or “eight ball” – of crank may be considered dynamite in a very small package. Besides, it all pays the same.

 In most cases, checking with the Texas Workforce Commission showed that no employer was paying taxes on the employment of the people targeted in the probable cause affidavit. We’re talking thorough, here.

Visual surveillance of known users of methamphetamine or other drugs yielded an arrest for possession. Two of these persons were “turned” as confidential informants, who were able to assert as “reliable and credible” witnesses that they had observed contraband material inside the residence within the past 72 hours. It’s a common sense rule, according to case law on the subject, that 72 hours is a prudent period in which to pinpoint the presence of dope in a dope house operating as a distribution point for storage and sales of dope.

 Common sense seems to rule in 72-hour search and arrest warrant operations. In fact, there are few rules, only rights and responsibilities.

 No doubt, the floggings will continue until morale improves.

Chemtrailwars101

Fishback Sky

There is a growing body of internet interest – especially videos – that addresses the totally frightening and extremely ugly notion that seeding clouds with metallic salts with an affinity for bonding to water – salts such as barium, copper iodide, silver iodide, aluminum oxide is all part of a sinister and worldwide plot to control population – and in some cases, to punish certain regions for forming policies that are not all that hot for the international corporate conglomerations.

A Scandinavian organization called Weatherwar101 may be found on YouTube making extremely cogent arguments that the cloud seeding – an old technology first used 70 years hence – is practiced in conjunction with power plants which use wet surface air cooler systems that cause high degrees of steam emission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Doppler NEXRAD WSR 88 system to steer the heavily-laden clouds into cyclonic patterns.

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These patterns then allegedly  form killer winter storms, early autumn hurricanes, and torrential spring and summer floods where the population favors policies that are contrary to the petroleum interests such as the cultivation of industrial hemp – Colorado – or the political alignment is decidedly left of center (New York, the mid-Atlantic seaboard).

http://youtu.be/foBqPwmwQqQ

They go so far as to indict the corporations for making war on the planet  herself. Headache! The payoff? Higher insurance premiums, highly lucrative disaster loans, construction contracts,  and war bills for repairs and renovations.

Here’s an interview with a State of Texas official who relates how local groundwater conservation districts receive matching funds from the state to seed clouds and conduct their own chemtrail seeding programs.

http://youtu.be/YQfxqcUgc4o

Like most conspiracy theories, the debate is spirited, vitriolic, and unforgiving. The silver lining is simple enough. According to a large body of literature, there are easily discernible patterns in the art and practice of disinformation.

http://www.whale.to/b/sweeney.html

Shelved storm clouds

Terrible swift sword

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Ft. Hood – An enraged Specialist Ivan Lopez argued with non-commissioned officers of his transportation unit about a request for leave.

Within minutes,” he “brandished” a .45 caliber pistol, then killed one soldier and wounded 10 others.

That “verbal altercation” unleashed an 8-minute rampage that left this self-contained military city of 100,000 in shock on Wednesday, April 2.

According to Chris Grey, the U.S. Army CID investigator heading up the inquiry into what caused the murder of three non-commissioned officers, the wounding of 16 other soldiers, and the subsequent suicide of the shooter, the “verbal altercation” began at the office located on the corner of 72nd Street and Tank Destroyer Boulevard, and involved “at least one” of the wounded.

Though there is no “confirmed” motive at this time, Grey told the world’s media at a Monday afternoon press conference here, Army investigators and FBI agents are still working to sift through interviews and witness statements of 1,100 people, 235 pieces of evidence, and the autopsy results that establish that after he fired 35 rounds, Lopez took his own life after a female military police officer fired at him. Her bullet missed its target.

The murderous path carved out by the shooter followed these lines:

“The subject then exited the administration building through a door on the South side, and got into his privately owned vehicle, that was also parked on the South side of the building.

“The subject then drove his vehicle Westbound and turned North onto 73rd Street. According to witness statements, the subject was traveling very slowly North bound in the South bound lane.

“Along the way – circled here in yellow – the subject fired his weapon from his moving vehicle at two Soldiers who were standing behind a building, wounding one of them.

“He then continued North and turned West onto Motorpool Road, and then turned into Building 40027’s parking area – circled here in green.

“Specialist Lopez then allegedly exited his vehicle and entered the building, which encompasses the unit’s Motorpool office and the vehicle bay area.  This is also where Specialist Lopez was assigned and worked.

“The subject opened fire and shot one Soldier in the motor pool office, who unfortunately died later of his wounds.

“The subject then moved to the motor pool’s vehicle bay area and began shooting, wounding two more Soldiers.

“The subject then returned to his vehicle and began driving East bound on Motorpool Road toward 73rd Street.

“While driving Eastbound – depicted here by the blue box –   the subject allegedly fired into the front windshield of a moving Westbound privately owned vehicle that was occupied by two Soldiers, striking and wounding the passenger.

“The subject then turned North and then East into the parking lot of the Medical Brigade,  Building 33026, – circled here in blue -firing at and wounding a Soldier who was walking outside the building.

“The subject then exited his vehicle and entered the main entrance to the Medical building. 

“Upon entry, the subject allegedly shot and killed a Soldier who was on duty at the main entrance desk and wounded another. 

“At this point, we do not know why he entered that building, and we may never know why.

“The subject then exited the Medical Brigade, re-entered his vehicle and traveled South on 72nd Street and turned East into the front parking lot of Building 39002.

“The subject then exited his vehicle – circled here in purple – and walked Eastbound across the parking lot where he approached  a responding Fort Hood Military Police Officer.

“Subsequently, there was a verbal exchange between the officer and the subject.  The Military Police Officer drew her weapon and fired one round when the subject reportedly brandished his weapon,” Grey said. 

“Autopsy results of the alleged shooter from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner has confirmed that the subject was not struck by the military police officer’s fire,” Grey continued. 

“The subject then allegedly placed his .45 caliber handgun to his head, and took his own life. This entire scenario described lasted approximately eight minutes from when the first 911 calls were received until the shooter allegedly took his life and we received calls that the shooter was down.”

Investigators have not ruled out any terrorist motive, but “We have not uncovered any history of criminal convictions or previous criminal activity by Specialist Lopez,” said Grey.

Col. Paul Reese, III Corps and Fort Hood chief of operations, announced that President Barack Obama will attend a memorial ceremony at Ft. Hood on Sadowski Field at the III Corps Headquarters Building at 2 p.m. April 9 for the Soldiers who died from the April 2 shooting incident here. The ceremony is by invitation only.

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Cops detonate pipe bomb

To the taskClick on photo for an expanded view

Waco – Police and firemen spend a tense Monday afternoon dealing with an unexploded pipe bomb found abandoned in an ice chest in the 2800 block of Columbus Avenue.

An occupant of a duplex apartment behind a residence found the improvised explosive device and notified 9-1-1 at noon as emergency workers scrambled the McLennan Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad, Waco Fire Department and Police officers  to remove the deadly bomb.

“Apparently, the guy that lived there left it,” said Sheriff Parnell McNamara as he assisted officers in keeping order at the scene as bomb disposal technicians carried out the delicate task.  “We’relooking for him now.”

“It’s a bona fide pipe bomb,” Sheriff McNamara said.”It’s almost completely filled with powder and has wires running to it. We x-rayed it.”

The bomb squad placed the device in an open area between buildings, and settled down to wait.

When a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Agent arrived to investigate around 5 p.m., the technicians once again donned their bulky protective gear, fire and rescue workers surrounded the bomb with sand bags, and a few minutes before 7 p.m., the bomb exploded under controlled detonation with a muffled boom.

Authorities released no further details Monday evening.

Mutt and Jeff

Quality of life is an issue

 First in a three-part series about drug enforcement…

Pony8

There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes…” – John Prine, singer-songwriter

Somewhere on the Banks of the Bosque River – Sheriff Parnell McNamara can’t contain his disgust as he explains why his department takes an extremely hard-nosed approach to drug enforcement.

He and some trusted members of his posse are sitting at an aromatic and roaring fire built of oak and mesquite and cedar in a pit lined with blocks of stone beneath a massive antique wrought-iron spit and rotisserie made of oilfield pump-jack “sucker rod” that uses horse shoes welded at various heights to hold a rod long enough to roast a cabrito or a fatted calf, or hang a pot of beans, or bury a dutch oven full of biscuits or chicken and dumplings in the coals.

It’s an item that his family has owned for more than one or two generations after a Rocky Mountain outfitter and hunting guide “gifted” it to his father, the U.S. Marshal. In fact, McNamara’s life is filled with items of great value, venerated family objects of utility that are cherished and used by generation after generation of McNamaras.

“We work these drug cases anywhere,” said Sheriff McNamara. “They don’t have to be out in the county. We work them right in the city – in Waco, McGregor, Robinson. Anywhere. We don’t care.” He gestures expansively.

Clearly, the others, each one with hair as silvered as the Sheriff’s, don’t much care, either. They know drugs are drugs, and their use brings grief into the lives of families everywhere they are found. Used. Bought. Sold. It’s axiomatic in the annals of human suffering, and it’s just down the streets, and around the corners where they were raised – and have raised families of their own.

In this circle, nothing else matters anywhere near as much as results. 

Then he began to talk about a case involving a young woman who lost her life in the bathtub of a sprawling luxury mansion constructed of Austin stone on a fashionable stretch of Rock Creek Road in Bosqueville – very near where his family has lived since McLennan County, Texas, was first organized, when in ante bellum times it was carved out of a much greater area vaguely labeled on Spanish maps as, simply, “Bosque,” or woods. It’s an ancestral home, a redoubt for a tribe of lawmen who have served as Constables, Sheriffs, Deputies, U.S. Marshals – men who rode with the fabled Texas Rangers – and every kind of federal cop you ever heard about – and some of which you will never learn. He and his brother Mike followed in his father’s footsteps, serving the U.S. District Court at Waco for almost four decades, as Deputy U.S. Marshals. They started as guards, helping transport prisoners before they got out of high school. 

“This girl hauled off and died in there in that bath tub, and she’d been in there for four or five hours,” he recalled. The others listened very carefully. He had their full attention. “So he called this other girl and she went in there and came right back out, said, ‘She’s dead in there. You’d better call the cops.'”

That didn’t happen right away. “When we were taking her out of there, we had a lot of trouble bending her arms and legs – she…” He stops himself, shrugs helplessly.

“What did he do? He sat there and played his guitar for quite awhile before he got around to calling it in.” As the hours passed, the drugs disappeared. “We had to wait for Waco Mortuary Service to get there, and he sat there on that couch and pIayed that guitar. I finally grabbed him, told him, ‘Look, man, there you sit playing that guitar and this woman has died…’”

“When they called me, it was in the middle of the night. When I heard the address, I said, ‘Well, that’s right down the road,’ and I got up and got dressed and went down there. We found her there, dead, and there wasn’t much doubt what had happened. She got some kind of old hot shot, but there wasn’t any evidence. Then, we got to looking, and here’s two empty syringes laying there on the bathroom sink.”

The perception of the growing horror began to appear on the mens’ faces. The young woman was no older than some of their grand daughters. She died a thoroughly ignominious death – alone – in a bathtub, naked, after injecting some kind of drug, and no one helped her. No one got her any medical attention while the man of the house, a man not her husband, sat and played his guitar.

These men do not travel that way. They don’t know anyone who does; in fact, you can tell from their affect and their startled expressions that they have never even heard or thought of such a thing.

This story represents as much of a culture shock to them as it would if Officer McGruff of the D.A.R.E Program (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) had paid a call at an elementary school to talk to little kids about any similar problem involving addictive drugs, or what those drugs do to people who use them. They don’t know it in their world. It’s like looking into some thoroughly exotic but decidedly filthy back alley in a land far, far away – in a place where time stands still, and God Almighty seems to have forgotten all about it.

They are nonplussed – spellbound. The Shireve – that ancient and honorable figure of the English common-law method of organizing a county, has their attention. He is instructing the men of his constituency in the lingua franca of that which they must know for themselves in order to make an informed decision. It goes with the territory, the lanes and channels, far-flung fields and dim thickets trod by the Shireve and his men, and it’s a very rough neighborhood, very abusive toward women. They and their children are thereby enslaved, neglected, deprived of nutrition and medical care, education, held accountable for the actions of others by a world unkind, harsh, unforgiving, a world with little time for mistakes, and even less pity for the mistaken. 

Everyone knows this. After all, these are the men who meet the payrolls, pay the taxes, develop the properties. They are not ignorant. It’s just not their job, and this is the only law enforcement official who is truly selected by their preference, the only elected cop in the entire system. What they know about the problem is its cost, and its cost is as abstruse and complicated and incomprehensible by design to them as the problem itself – and the system of police departments and federal grants and court bureaucracies and jails and penitentiaries and legislative committees and commissions and blue ribbon panels. Because that’s the way it is. And it is that way. What this man is saying is simple enough. Utilize. Don’t analyze. Use it. It’s the only way to get results.

He’s very good at this thing of signing them up. This is the moment, the time when there is no turning back. This is the hour when the posse is formed. There are ways of doing things, and this is how this particular thing is done.

Well, he bonded out, so we waited a few days. We got us a warrant and we went back a few days later,” the Sheriff continues. “Got in there, and there it was. Black tar heroin, all kinds of drugs. Just laying out in plain sight. And there were girls there, too. Young girls, underage. – I mean,” and at that, he’s overcome with emotion, I just hate these people!

So, we’re processing the evidence, and there he sits in the living room, playing his guitar. Looked out in the driveway, and here’s a BMW. Asked him whose car is that, and he said it was his, so we said, ‘Thanks for the BMW…Confiscated it. You can do that, you know. Then we had to go back again. His family wanted to evict him, so we called ______ Brothers and boxed all his stuff up and moved it out in the front yard. He said, ‘You can’t do this to me,’ and all along it was his mother who signed the eviction order.”

His listeners cheer up on that note.

Then there is the story of the microwave ovens – big, shiny, stainless steel outfits that look like the most expensive, el rancho deluxe model of Magic Chef in the catalogue.

I looked at the menu for the commissary, oh, it’s way more than a page long, it unfolds; there’s more than a hundred items on there, and here’s chicken cordon bleu, of all things, stuff like Alberto VO – 5.”

The problem was that the individual wings and tanks at the county lockup – an installation with a population the size of some small cities – were frequently without electrical power because the big, shiny microwave ovens would overload the circuit breakers, and corrections officers often had to wait for building maintenance supervisors to come and reset the system and check for any damage or overheating.

And that wasn’t all. They had TUPPERWARE. You could order tupperware, and they were bartering bowls of this and bowls of that, and I don’t know what all.”

It was either get the electrical grid upgraded at great expense, or just take the microwaves out. The McNamara administration decided the jail can get by without microwave ovens and elaborate cordon bleu menus.

His friends start to crack up. It’s a treasured McNamara story, one that won’t be forgotten soon – on either side of the bars.

Other Sheriffs bring prisoners in here from other counties, and those boys tell us, ‘This is just no fun, anymore. This is just no fun.’”

He mugs. His posse laughs even harder. Someone speaks up, says, “Sheriff, you of all people should know it. They are crying big, salty tears about the hard time y’all are giving them out there on the streets – and in the jail, once they’re busted.”

McNamara grins; his eyes twinkle. Then, of a sudden, his affect becomes dead serious.

Good!” He spat forth the word, as if it is an expletive laced with poison.

Later, he leads a beautiful little pony, a noble little mare with pink ribbons woven into her mane and tail, and she’s saddled with a small brown piece of tack specially designed to fit little bitty rumps, and bridled with a hackamore, and given as a gift to his grand daughter Emmy at her birthday party.

You remember that picture of me in the cowboy clothes and with the cap guns and chaps? I have it on my office wall?” He grins. His opponent in the decisive Republican Primary that assured him election to this first term went negative and tried to ridicule him over that picture and his image as a horseman, a mounted lawman. He got clobbered for it.

“That’s the saddle that was on that pony.”

His daughter Amanda, the mother of Emmy, says, “I rode on that saddle, on my pony, too.”

Hearth2

NEXT: How warrants of search and arrest are obtained…