Friday, October 19, 2012

A Commissarina Rises: Wendy J. Olson's Reign of Terror

The Commissarina and her Cheka: U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson (center) at a May 10 Press Conference.

As the financial manager of the West Coast Auto Company in Boise, Monte Johnson often did business with out-of-state customers. He probably didn’t see anything unusual when he was approached by two potential buyers claiming to be from Miami. 

As someone who had served a short prison stint, Johnson may have discerned that these customers were of dubious character before they identified themselves as drug dealers. It’s a pity that Johnson didn’t suspect that they were actually employed by a far deadlier and more despicable criminal syndicate – the Internal Revenue Service. 

The IRS operatives offered to buy two vehicles, a Jeep Cherokee and a Mercedes, for $55,000 in cash – if Johnson agreed not to use the customers’ “real” names or file the federal paperwork required for cash transactions in excess of $10,000. The same duo returned the following January to make a second purchase on the same terms.

These transactions were known to Kurt Bates, general manager of the used car dealership, and an associate named Michael McCormick. Eventually all three of them would be arrested and accused of participating in a money laundering conspiracy

Under what we’re told to call federal “law,” those transactions are considered illegal. This is not to say, however, that they involved actual crimes. None of the deals inflicted any injury to anybody. The only fraud involved in the affair was that committed by the IRS’s tax-fed provocateurs. To the extent that a criminal conspiracy existed, the Feds were the perpetrators, and those involved in West Coast Auto were the victims.

According to Idaho law the Feds committed an act of “criminal solicitation” for which they should have been prosecuted and punished “in the same manner and to the same extent” prescribed for the offense being solicited. This means that the IRS’s bit players should now be serving prison terms, rather than trolling for fresh victims. 

Johnson was given a three and a half year prison term and a $60,000 fine. Bates was just sentenced to a year in prison and three years of probation. Bates, it should be pointed out, was not actually involved in the transactions with the supposed drug dealers. He was accused of “misprision of felony” – that is, failure to report the illegal transactions to the police. 

What would have happened if Bates had called the police to report the transactions? Would the federal provocateurs have shed their disguises and heartily commended him for his public-spiritedness? Would the Feds have faced criminal charges for their own illegal acts if Bates had reported them? Or is it more likely that they would have contrived some other criminal charge against him in order to extort his cooperation as an informant against other potential victims? 

As Harvey Silverglate has documented, the web of “laws” in which we operate leaves every American constantly vulnerable to criminal prosecution. Any of us could easily be charged with three federal felonies each day. Given this fact, it’s reasonable to surmise that once the Feds had targeted West Coast Auto for a “sting” operation, they weren’t likely to relent until somebody either went to prison, became an informant, or both. 

One measure of the viciousness and cynicism that animated this operation is found in a deal that was offered to Johnson after he was indicted for money laundering. As noted earlier, Johnson served time in prison about a decade ago. In pre-trial negotiations, Wendy J. Olson, the federal prosecutor who afflicts the State of Idaho, offered Johnson a plea bargain in exchange for testifying against Bates. But his value as a witness would have been diminished if his prior criminal convictions had been known to the jury.

In an effort to enhance Johnson’s credibility as a witness, Olson’s office filed a Motion in Limine seeking to prevent disclosure of Johnson’s prior felony convictions. In other words, Olson intended to commit exactly the same act for which Bates would stand trial – that is, refusing to report felonious offenses. The only substantive difference here is that Olson, unlike Bates, actually succeeded in stealing something – in this case, a year of a man’s life.

At about the same time Olson was working out her proposed deal with Monte Johnson, she was trying to imprison Bonners Ferry resident Jeremy Hill for the supposed crime of shooting a grizzly bear that threatened his family. In what she invited the public to perceive as an act of Olympian magnanimity, Olson settled for imposing a $1,000 fine for an act that was ruled legal and justified by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Boundary County Prosecutor Jack Douglas.

“The United States Attorney’s Office well understands Mr. Hill is a concerned husband and father who wants to protect his family,” declared Olson with the practiced condescension of a career commissar as she stole $1,000 from the innocent man. 

Jeremy Hill's family at his arraignment.
Boise resident Kirk Kyle Farrar can testify that Olson’s solicitude toward working families expresses itself in peculiar and threatening ways. 

On May 10, Farrar’s home was invaded at 5:30 a.m. by armed men acting under Olson’s orders. One of them snuck into the bedroom of Farrar’s 12-year-old daughter, defiled her person by dragging her from her bed, and marched her downstairs. She was forced to lie down next to her parents with her hands behind her head. Another invader seized Farrar’s shrieking two-year-old son from his crib and refused to allow his parents to comfort him.

“My son screamed for his mother for what seemed like an eternity,” Farrar later recalled. “I will never forget the hopeless feeling of not being able to comfort my son or daughter.”

The armed marauders who committed that home invasion were part of a multi-agency strike team organized by Olson to carry out “Operation Headshop – Not For Human Consumption,” a simultaneous raid on 13 businesses in Boise, Kuna, and Nampa.

Nothing brings out the raw valor of law enforcement officers like the prospect of dressing up in paramilitary drag and laying siege to helpless, unarmed people in their sleep. Thus it’s not surprising that Olson was able to assemble a large contingent of costumed pseudo-heroes from four police departments, the U.S. Marshals Service, the DEA, the Idaho National Guard -- and, of course, the IRS --  to carry out the pre-dawn raids on the homes and businesses of people who had been selling legal merchandise. 

No, not that "Spice."
The pretext for the crackdown was the claim that some of the headshops were selling “spice,” a recently criminalized variety of incense sometimes used as a substitute for marijuana. (Ironically, or perhaps predictably, marijuana -- which has many documented health benefits -- is much less dangerous than the synthetic substitute). 

Farrar and his wife were owners of a smokeshop called “Piece of Mind.” They were numbered among more than a dozen business owners charged with selling pipes described as “drug paraphernalia.”


Farrar adamantly denies that his shop ever sold spice: “We made a commitment from the start not to carry it because we believe it is dangerous and not being used in a legal fashion.” He points out that his cousin, who had no criminal record, has now been charged with four federal felonies “stemming from selling tobacco products” at his business.

As is always the case in such operations, the methods used were not dictated by a rational assessment of the risks involved, but rather chosen as a means of “sending a message.” 

Speaking at a post-raid press conference with uniformed poseurs providing a backdrop, Commissarina Olson insisted that the assault demonstrated that “federal, state and local law enforcement partners will attack drug trafficking on all fronts.” She also insisted that open sale of any object she considers drug paraphernalia – including glass pipes that have been sold legally in Idaho for years -- “promotes unlawful drug use and helps drug traffickers thrive.”

By Olson’s moral calculations, it is a far graver offense for a businessman to sell a glass pipe than it is for an armed stranger in body armor to invade the bedroom of a sleeping 12-year-old girl and drag her away, in her night clothes, at gunpoint. Olson’s office has announced that it has broken nearly half of the defendants arrested in “Operation Headshop,” all of whom have admitted to selling glass pipes, which had not previously been a prosecutable offense.

Like everybody else in her loathsome profession, Wendy Olson – who, it pains me to the depths of my soul to admit, was born and raised in Idaho -- has never produced a marketable consumer good or provided a legitimate service. After being appointed to her current post by Barack Obama in 2010, Olson wasted no time in building a large network of undercover informants and devising remarkably novel ways to turn innocent people into criminals.

While Olson’s efforts have done nothing to enhance the security of persons or property, they have been immensely lucrative for the coercive class. An October 4 press release from the Commissarina’s office boasted that her staff had collected $84 million in fines, assessments, and forfeiture proceeds over the past year – ten times its operating budget.

Speaking at a recent Idaho Bar Association event, Olson said that her “future job prospects depend on the presidential election.” This is patent nonsense. Whether or not the incumbent emperor secures a second term, the Regime’s Homeland Security Apparatus will surely find a suitable position for a provincial functionary who presided over such an extravagantly profitable racket.

Dum spiro, pugno!


willb said...

"Emperor, we come for you!" -Paul Atreides, Kwisatz Haderach

The truth is stranger than fiction . . .

"And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens
grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of
your fingers." -Jesus of Nazareth, Christ (Luke 11:46)

"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the
kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither
suffer ye them that are entering to go in." -Jesus of Nazareth, Christ (Mat 23:13)

Come soon, Lord Jesus.

MoT said...

So the Idaho National Guard was involved in a domestic "policing" activity, eh? That explains the camoed goon to the right.

liberranter said...

Another invader seized Farrar’s shrieking two-year-old son from his crib and refused to allow his parents to comfort him.

“My son screamed for his mother for what seemed like an eternity,” Farrar later recalled. “I will never forget the hopeless feeling of not being able to comfort my son or daughter.”

All the forces of Earth, Heaven, and Hell would not prevent me from tracking down every last one of the criminal scumbags responsible for such an act and meting out my own brand of justice to them.

Ghost said...

Excellent and troubling read, Mr Grigg. And these d-bags still have the gumption to call themselves "public servants."

Anonymous said...

Are you the same William Grigg that was on Dr Stans Radio Liberty show
you were good

willb said...

One stern warning from the IRS or the DA would have sufficed.
How 'bout we set up a public fund and go around the country entrapping
public officials? Wouldn't it be fun to find an otherwise honest DA
and bring him/her down for say $1 million? $5 million? $10 million? $n million?
It's not about the money, right? It's the principle, at any price, yes?

Luke 4:13
"When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time."

It's a turkey shoot.

voluntaryist said...

No gov't sting is possible or needed. It's not possible because the "lamestream media" would not cooperate. It's not needed because we know they are hypocrites.

The solution is to stop funding the violence with money and respect. The respect is shown as a moral blank check. The public does not judge the gov't workers by the same standards as citizens. It grants them immunity from moral judgements. Whatever they do is automatically assumed to be legal and justified "for the common good", without defining that term. We are the problem. We created the system that concentrates control and moral authority without accountability. As long as we allow it, injustice will reign.

voluntaryist said...

"The fault dear Brutus, lies not in the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."

Do not look to blame the gov't you created and support. Examine the concept of giving an elite a monopoly on force and morality. Do you deserve to be ruled? Does anyone? Are you capable of self-government? Are you sovereign or not? If not, how can you be empowered to choose your rulers (elected officials)?

Do we make ourselves "underlings" by giving away our power of self determination to others? Isn't it time we took back our lives? Our freedom?


Molon Labe! said...


You use the word "you" quite indiscriminately; I withdrew my consent years ago.

However in the interest of being around to raise my children, I continue to pay my protection money--aka "taxes".

I didn't create, nor do I support, this criminal regime.

And--in an example such as this raid--my lack of consent would be quite obvious. Bluntly so.

How have you enforced your sovereignty, voluntaryist?

Rich said...

Wow! This gender confused federal prosecutor is certainly running amok. The "law" has been hijacked by the government. It is now something you obey and they dictate, the government no longer being bound by it. I believe they call these things police states. Anyways, they don't really believe all their nonsense about the dangers of the latest substance to fear, it all comes down to how much loot they can haul in on their latest raiding party.

MoT said...

It hit me once more, not that it should have been any surprise, that it would have been best for Mr. Hill to have simply kept quiet. I'm sure hindsight being 20/20 he's had time to mull that over. His robotic statement read like a "confession" from a Communist show trial after having sent the ursine symbol of the revolution off into the void. No good deed goes unpunished when Janet Reno's successor is on the prowl seeking whom it may devour. I'd keep a wary eye out for that one.

Anonymous said...

I was about to ask where the governor is in all of this but i think i know the answer.

what really gets me is the pervasive belief that the US Code is somehow applicable everywhere...even overseas.


Anonymous said...

I was about to ask where the governor is in all of this but i think i know the answer.

what really gets me is the pervasive belief that the US Code is somehow applicable everywhere...even overseas.


Anonymous said...

Is Wendy Olson a man or a woman? Outside of the name, I'm having a tough time telling from his/her picture.

Is this what "diversity" brings us?

voluntaryist said...

Sapiens: The pronoun "you" refers to all collectivist/statists in the sentence "... the gov't you created and support." That could be inferred from the context. If you thought it incorrectly referred to you, why would you? Are you doing all you can to resist the state? I quit my first job in 1954 at age 12 and started a business to avoid the deductions (theft) taken from my check.

You claim to be paying taxes to stay out of jail so you can raise your children. Only you know if this is the best way for your situation. But from your objection to my use of "you" I sense a guilty conscience.

Ask your children how they view your tax paying. Do they know you pay "under protest"? Do they know you hate the state? Do they know why? This would be important feedback that tells you if you are countering the message of the state.

I was open and vocal about my tax resistance in the seventies. All my friends and associates had no doubt I would go to jail. Most of the other tax protesters I knew did just that. I saw first hand many examples of illegal, unjust prosecutions. I was targeted. I took evasive action and escaped. I learned that direct confrontation is futile and went underground where I have lived as freely as possible, under the shadow of the growing police state. It should be obvious to anyone who is not a state apologist that we who are not part of the ruling elite are all in danger. The law is not for our protection. The law creates the illusion of justice and promotes obedience to the myth that gov't is necessary.

willb said...

Speaking of taxes . . .

The Supreme Court is hearing an income tax protest case:

This is unique (in our time) where in the past such challenges
have been ignored.

The challenge makes perfect sense (as we all know.)
The 16th Amendment allows taxation of all "incomes" from whatever
source derived.
The argument is of course that "wages" is not "income" since it is
an equal exchange of goods and services, i.e., labor for money.

When you make an equal exchange of goods and services it is sum neutral
and no "income" is derived. It is obvious to everyone but the IRS
that wages are not income.

In light of the last Supreme Court ruling regarding Obama Care as a tax,
it will be interesting to see how they torture the constitution to
justify stealing money from our wages.

Working for wages is a bargained for exchange of goods and services
that generates no income whatsoever.

I am very surprised that the Supreme Court has agreed to even hear
this case.

willb said...

Note on taxes:

The only "legal" justification I could imagine for taxing
wages would be an ad valorem tax, but it is not being called
this in the tax code and further, at the rates we are paying,
calling it such would be an absurdity and an obvious fiction.

Again, I am surprised to see the SCOTUS agreeing to hear this case.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the USSR where all they had to do is watch you until some law was broken. Doesn't the report any sales over 10,000$ come out of the RICO act?

voluntaryist said...

Willb: Yes, the SCOTUS does like to dodge their duty. But when they do take a case that might limit gov't they will side with gov't, city, county, state, or federal. Take the New London case. They expanded eminent domain from taking for public use to taking for private use if a higher tax revenue "might be" realized. They equated more revenue for gov't with a "common good". Following this argument to its logical conclusion, if taxation were to reach 100%, the maximum common good could be achieved. Should we all surrender all our wealth "for the common good"? Would we all be better off? The SCOTUS believes so. This is typical of the gov't mindset. It was thought to be an indefensible statement when a king declared: "The state? I am the state!" Now we have the gov't declaring: "The common good? Whatever benefits the gov't is the common good." And so we are all expected to serve the gov't, reversing the principle of gov't as servant of the people as expressed in the D. of I.

willb said...

". . . dodge their duty."

Typically this dodge is accomplished by not hearing a case.
No legitimate argument can be made to equate wages with income,
the two are irreconcilable. Why would they open the debate by
agreeing to hear this case? Why allow argument on an issue that
by default has already been decided? (that wages are income.)

My expectation is yet another sham ruling, but in doing so they
will only further weaken their estate and further erode the
foundation that keeps the fedgov in power. In any event, hearing
this case is a lose-lose proposition for the SCOTUS, unless of
course they intend fidelity to the law, a turn that would
rock the nation.

Voluntaryist 2 said...

To voluntaryist on October 21, 2012 3:11 PM:

Well said!

to Sapiens on October 20, 2012 5:40 PM:

Regardless of your motives for paying income taxes, the fact that you do means you DO endorse the system. It's as simple as that.

I, too, saw the writing on the wall, and took evasive action. I chose to to suffer whatever sacrifice was required of me to not be a hypocrite and endorse a system I could see was evil to its core. Though I have no family to raise, I know several families with children (often a LOT of children) who did the same. You continue to pay because you fear the discomfort and risk of not doing so, but you still pay. Do you think the Beast doesn't know this? That's why man-made governments use force and fraud to bend you to their will. It works. When it stops working it's because enough unneutered males decided that their family would be better off fatherless in a free land than lovingly fathered in chains. It stops when enough females look outside the 4 walls of their homes and come to the same conclusion.

On the same note, it never ceases to amaze me when people who complain of government enslavement still proudly send their boys to war for that very government! What the . . . ?

So, it's okay for fathers to die trying to establish hegemony abroad but not for liberty at home?

Unknown said...

I was the victim of the IRS sting.Not only did I serve a year in prison but even now my name is forever tainted in the car business in Idaho.This is a small town and I am now forced to work at a "pot lot" because no corporate franchise will touch me "even though I did not rat" so to speak.The feds went thru 5 years of car deals and all they had was the sting.And they did not ever tell me why we were a target in the first place,only that they were "testing the system" We sold 100 premium used cars a month,think of all that sales tax the state of Idaho made of our backs not to mention the 30 plus families that made a living from working at West Coast Car co.It still to this day makes no scene.Thank you for reporting the truth,no one believed me. Kurt Bates, former GSM West Coast Car Company.