Across the United States, county sheriffs are taking stands against unconstitutional invasions by federal agencies. These courageous men are serving as a buffer against the unconstitutional extension of federal power.
This report is from Larry Pratt, the head of Gun Owners of America. I have worked with him for over 40 years. He writes:
I have reported earlier that sheriffs in New Mexico are threatening to arrest federal agents if they attempt to enforce unconstitutional federal acts in contravention of state law.
The even better news is that sheriffs in other states are doing the same. Sheriff Brad Rogers of Elkhart County, Indiana has told Food and Drug Administration agents they will be arrested if they go on Amish farmer David Hochstetler’s land. Having falsely alleged that raw, unpasteurized milk sold by Hochstetler had caused several cases of food poisoning, the FDA filed a complaint in federal court to support their attack on the farmer.
The FDA agents decided that they would back off.
The threat of incarceration led the feds to withdraw their complaint against Hochstetler. This was even after US Department of Justice attorney Ross Goldstein emailed the Sheriff that he would be arrested if he protected Hochstetler. When Sheriff Rogers refused to back down, the FDA cried uncle.
Rogers’s communication to the feds seemed to have been quite convincing: “Any further attempts to inspect this farm without a warrant signed by a local judge, based on probable cause, will result in Federal inspectors’ removal or arrest for trespassing by my officers or I.” The feds have gotten used to acting without due process — in this case, that means not bothering to get a search warrant.
Rogers’ campaign website listed his number one objective as “Upholding the Constitution.” He is also concerned about the heart condition of his inmates and is determined to help “Provide Hope to Change a Heart.” Under that header he says, “The Elkhart County jail has 74 church services a month and allows unprecedented access to ministry volunteers. Not only can we impact inmates for the here and now, but for eternity.”
Sheriff Rogers requires his deputies to take three, two-day classes on the Constitution (at a tuition rate of $125 per person).
There are other sheriffs taking a hard line against invasions of their lawful jurisdictions.
Sheriff Joe Baca in Sierra County, California told his county commission that he will not enforce road closures on Bureau of Land Management and Gila National Forest Lands.
Sheriff Gil Gilbertson of Josephine County, Oregon has told the Forest Service that he will protect those using the forest in his county. He has written a short treatise entitled, “Unraveling Federal Jurisdiction within a State.” It is actually a scholarly piece based on citations from the Constitution, court cases and statutes and concludes that the Forest Service has no authority in any county.
Siskiyou County, California Sheriff Jon Lopey has said: “I have told federal and state officials over and over that, yes, we want to preserve the environment, but you care more about the fish, frogs, trees and birds than you do about the human race. When will you start to balance your decisions to the needs of the people?…We are right now in a fight for our survival.” Lopey spearheaded a coalition of eight sheriffs calling themselves: “Defend Rural America.”
The Ice Man Cometh
In the days after Hurricane Katrina, power was out for days. Food and medicine were about to be lost. So Sheriff Billy McGee of Forrest County, Mississippi — a Democrat — took action when he realized that a federal shipment of six trucks of ice bound for Hattiesburg turned out to be only four. McGee went in search of the other two and found them being guarded by some Army reservists who possessed bureaucratic mindsets.
McGee took steps to secure the ice, but was told he was not authorized to take the vehicles. When a reservist would not get off one of the trucks, McGee had him handcuffed. The ice was delivered where it was needed in Hattiesburg, explaining why McGee is also known as The Ice Man.
Not surprisingly, the feds have brought suit against the Sheriff in federal court. Perhaps McGee will arrest any marshals seeking to interfere with the duties of a peace officer.
I don’t think a jury is likely to convict.
It is encouraging that men of integrity, who understand that the sheriff is the top law enforcement officer in his county, have been elected in counties around the country. We should be looking for more who fit this description.
Please let me know if you are aware of any constitutional sheriffs, and email me their names and stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.