All posts by Radiolegendary

Inmate’s fervent appeal: Defense or Assault?


Home invasion or aggravated assault: Witnesses not called…

Columbus, Colorado County, Texas – Exhibit 4 looks like some kind of snapshot from a demented family album. But it’s bound into a dreaded “red jacket” in the 25th State District Clerk’s Office, as ‘Exhibit 4’ in the official court record of a felony trial that put a man in the pen for an enhanced sentence of 65 years as an habitual offender – the “little bitch.”

One glance tells the story. Someone wanted to hurt Christopher Lujan very badly, so the shooter aimed the black .22 six-shooter at his groin, and as he twisted away from the muzzle, the bullet missed his genitals and pierced his peritoneal cavity.

Add in the fact that it was way past beer-thirty – 3 a.m. on a boozy August night in 2006 in the rural suburb of Eagle Lake – and you begin to get a grip on the background to this fine mess. Amado Hernandez Aguilar had not been free from the penitentiary and parole term he was still serving for burglary of a habitation for the five years required for a felon to legally own a firearm. What’s more, when the officers arrested him later, he was still drunk. They initially charged him with public intoxication. Not good.

The shooting victim – fresh back home from a helicopter ride to a Houston emergency ward – identified Aguilar as his assailant. He gave officers a statement that included details of how he had been at the Aguilar residence earlier in the evening, had words with his alleged assailant, and left. Lujan said Aguilar had pulled the gun and displayed it; he told Lujan he was going to shoot him. Lujan said he told Aguilar that if he was going to shoot him, go ahead, but, Lujan told the cops, Aguilar thrust the gun back into his waist band, said the gun was for “the Casanova brothers.”

When he returned, he wanted to visit David Aguilar, who had already gone inside. As he tried to walk past Aguilar and “some girl called Misty,” he stepped onto the porch to knock on the door. Amado Aguilar asked him, “Are you trying to sneak up on me?” He then pulled the same gun he had earlier displayed as they argued. Aguilar shot him from where he stood in the yard. He crouched over Lujan, according to the victim’s statement, and pointed the gun at his head, asking if he wanted him to shoot him again.

Unable to walk due to the severity of the pain, Lujan crawled away to a spot where he collapsed halfway in the yard and half in the street, where officers snapped his picture when they arrived.

When prosecutors presented the case to a Grand Jury, they asked for and got an indictment for aggravated assault with a firearm, a second degree felony that calls for a minimum term of 25 years in the penitentiary, enhanced by the fact that he was at the time of the alleged offense a convicted felon in illegal possession of the firearm, an aggravated offense that calls for enhancement to 65 years as an habitual offender.

Standing trial is for Amado Aguilar a time of intense activity, punctuated by flurries of filing motions to dismiss his court-appointed counsel, then seeking redress with The State Bar of Texas to discipline his trial lawyers and appellate counsel for various transgressions.

His claims of ineffective counsel and court error have now been rejected by the 14th District Court of Appeals in Houston and the Court of Criminal Appeals at Austin. He is headed for U.S. District Court in Houston, and his complaints have something in common with an increasing chorus heard far and wide in the The Lone Star State. Members of the defense as well as prosecution bars have been clamoring for reform of the procedures used in courts statewide to discover exculpatory evidence that could exonerate accused offenders. In many cases, convicted felons have been released from penitentiary cells after serving many years when crusading lawyers have discovered evidence that exonerated them of their crimes – evidence that was previously undisclosed due to “agreed orders for discovery.”

Aguilar alleges that lawyers who have appeared in his behalf have by omission withheld vital discovery information that could exonerate him by various means, including dragging their feet to argue motions before the Court, stalling in timely filing of applications for appeal or writs, the outright failure to call witnesses or to cross examine prosecution witnesses, and ignoring his demands for action and more action in the investigation of witnesses who, he now claims have “new discovery” that will show a jury he is innocent.

Texas courts have responded by saying that his points on appeal consist of harmless error regarding moot points and dismissed them out of hand, without publishing their holdings.

Incarcerated at the James Allred Unit near Wichita Falls in 2008, he churns out lengthy writs and motions on a daily basis in turgid legalese that is filled with typos, syntactical vagaries, and terribly twisted grammatical usages.

A sample: “The crime scene photographs adduced at trial, while tending to support Wilson’s account of Luhan’s (sic) condition, also depict Luhan laying approximately 10 to 15 feet to the left of where the walkway, leading from the doorstep of the residence Luhan testified that he went to first, intersects with the road, which fully evinces, to be where he was at, when Wilson arrived, Luhan would have been going in the wrong direction to reach his professed destination. See (Exhibit-3). Also compare, Luhan’s testimony. (S.F.Vol.1.pgs. 168-169).”

And so it goes, banker boxes filling with material, two volumes of the red jackets thickening by the days and weeks and months that pass.

Nevertheless, his allegations of his attorneys’ malfeasance are serious. Among them:

  • Counsel refused to investigate a number of witnesses or visit the crime scene;
  • The appeals attorney filed his application 108 days late;
  • Counsel refused to get 9-1-1 tapes and interview the caller;
  • The victim was not shot at the Aguilar residence, but in another location;
  • Counsel refused to obtain copies of witness statements;
  • Counsel intentionally misrepresented (defendant’s) request for continuance;
  • Counsel claimed a critical misrepresentation of when officers found the victim;
  • Counsel was aware of the lack of evidence to prove that;
  • Defendant had only one encounter with the victim – when he told him to leave.

  • .Aguilar

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Greetings from… Margaritaville!

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Reporting by R.S. Gates, Story by The Legendary Jim Parks

It was an adroit move on the part of the McLennan County Commissioners Court, this thing of an historic tax raise to cover increased expenses for the care and feeding of prisoners at the County Jail, courtroom security, and a thousand and one other details.

Something that slipped through without any notice – a part of the ‘fluff’ that Tea Party watchdogs often complain of – was the 19th District Court Reporter’s trip to “Margaritaville.”

No, it’s not down on some funky island in the Caribbean named for an obscure French saint, nor is it on an isolated stretch of coastline in Central America, a volcanic paradise overshadowed by towering mountains, bordered by blinding white sugar sands, and bounded just offshore by a fabulous system of coral reefs. This is definitely not the kind of place on the edge of the jungle where some colorful soldier of fortune has laid a plank across two oil drums and pours out the rum, vodka and whiskey each day come tea time.

This is a planned expanse account destination development in the wilds of the Red River bottoms at Bossier City – Louisiana – the best corporate America has to offer and the outfit has a mojo budget to bribe the Texian legislators to keep on voting against legalized gambling – that is, in the Lone Star state. Yeah, that Margaritaville, where rooms cost $259 dollars a night, a cool $159 more than the c-note the county’s travel policy allows.

It’s a long story, but we will try to sum it up in a few brief paragraphs because, hey, that’s where your money goes, folks, clean as a whistle.

And there’s really nothing new about it.

In fact, the venerable pioneering GOP member of the Texas House of Representatives, M.A. Taylor, once recalled that during his freshman term, he jerked the phone up and called The Honorable Bobby Bullock, then State Comptroller. He asked, “Bullock, which ones of these state department heads rush to spend up all they money they have budgeted, so they can go back to the well for more?”

Bullock laughed the obligatory equine snort, according to Rep. Taylor, and replied, “Well, that question will be real easy to answer, Brother Taylor.” He paused for effect. “They ALL do it!”

And so it came to pass that in addition to the stress of taking down every word that is said in the ultra-busy 19th Criminal District Court, a venue where Judge Ralph T. Strother is often at pains to remind witnesses that they must utter actual words such as “Yes,” and “No,” and not just nod their heads when they give their answers, Court Reporter Michelle Karr was called upon to make a transcript of the capital murder trial of Albert Love, a young man recently convicted of the killing of two dope gang members as they sat in a ghetto parking lot smoking a “black and mild.”

Those who are so convicted get an automatic appeal, and it takes an original and two copies to get the higher court reviews necessary to carry out the sentence, be it death, life with no possibility of parole, or any other permutation available to jurors.

The price: $58,954.50. That’s in addition to her annual salary of $74,035.

To cover the extra cost requires an additional $38,955 from a contingency fund, which the Commissioners Court readily approved.

And then, there’s the need for continuing education in that profession, a requirement that is met at various professional development conferences. This year, the Court Reporters chose to address “Managing the Chaos of Court Reporting.”

This clambake will be held at – you guessed it – Margaritaville! Along the tranquil banks and in the bayous of the Red River at – of all places – Bossier City, Louisiana, where zee slots are, how you call, liberal, and zee dice, they are some kinda hot, hot, ami.

So, where did the money come from?

This is not like a corporate bond fund, you see. You are not locked into spending every dime you raise through taxes. You can let a certain amount accumulate, year to year, but it’s limited to a certain margin, and it doesn’t really matter what the margin is because, guess what, they never reach it. Ever.

Our man on the scene, R.S. Gates, says, “They paid it with their little slush fund. That’s where it came from.” He goes on to explain the politics of tax increases and the avoidance of roll-back voter approval elections in this way.

One restraint on spend happy government officials is the Roll Back. If a taxing entity raises the “TAX RATE” above a specified amount, the voters automatically get to hold an election. They use tax rate as a semantic diversion. It is a slightly different method to arrive at how much they are going to spend. The reason voters get a say so about the tax rate rather than the BUDGET is the framers thought this would be more restrictive on government. The roll back rate for tax purposes is some arbitrary percentage of increase governed by the government code or the charter. If the tax rate is increased more than that amount, say 5%, it goes to a vote. What it all boils down to is HOW MUCH STINKING MONEY THEY HAVE TO SPEND. In the case of McLennan County Commissioners, they voted to take the maximum amount of taxes from taxpayers they were allowed to by law without having their decision subject to voter approval.”

Simple enough. What’s more, it works – every time. Gates ought to know. He is a co-founder of the Waco Tea Party, a man living with the ignominy of having been purged from the ranks of that watchdog group over his outspoken criticism of the ways of officials who are so adept at tax and spend tactics.

He is now an outspoken lone wolf, a tea pot, short and stout, with no base upon which he may rest, a singleton dawg on the prairie, howling at the moon over the things he sees and with which he feels copious disapproval.

There are worse fates.

– The Legendary

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Bundy’s son: Sheriff should disarm Feds

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Ryan Bundy

Cliven Bundy’s son Ryan told newsmen that the Sheriff of Clark County, Nevada, and all county sheriffs in all 50 states, should disarm BLM agents and all the other bureaucrats who command the vast array of alphabet soup that governs so much of what passes for business as usual in America.

As such, this is an historical document, a shot heard round the world in its own rite.

It is a clear iteration of an idea that is gaining currency and momentum throughout the nation, backed by citizen militiamen who insist that a strict construction of the 10th amendment would eliminate huge portions of the federal government that are not only unnecessary, but undesirable. Their holding is that such bureaucracies diminish the freedoms and thereby the quality of life of Americans.

It is Bundy’s opinion that according to the U.S. Constitution, the County Sheriff is the only real law enforcement officer in any of the United States.  He also ventures the opinion that the government is merely regrouping, preparing for a more elaborate raid on his family’s cattle ranch, upon which his father has refused to pay grazing fees since 1996. Federal authorities have no right to collect the estimated $1.1 million in unpaid fees, according to Bundy.

To hear an audio of his remarks, click the player below:

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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” –

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 –

Human Settlements –

Biospheres –

Wildways migration corridors –

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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.


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.


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.

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 3.23.46 PM(Click on image to expand to a full view)

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).

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.

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.

Shelved storm clouds