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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/11/2001 10:25:24 AM EST
This is an article from 1995, but things like this should not be forgotten. Lamplugh Raid a New Low in BATF Terror Tactics by James L. Pate Staring through steamy windows into the shadowy dusk outside her rural home, Theresa L. Lamplugh felt inexplicably spooked. A petite blonde, Lamplugh thought she saw a man crouched behind some shrubs outside, peering into her hot-tub room. Pulling a towel around her as she sat upright on the edge of the churning whirlpool, she called out nervously to her husband. Harry C. Lamplugh came and looked. Probably just a deer, Harry reassured her. Wild game is plentiful around their north-central Pennsylvania home. As in turned out, though, the Lamplughs were the prey that night. They realized the next morning that a man had been peeping at Terry. That realization came not gradually, like the spring dawn, but with sudden terror of a vicious pit bull snapping its chain in mid-lunge. The Lamplughs remember the moment well, because it was the last time they felt safe in their home. It was 0830, on 25 May 1994. About 15 or 20 "gang-bangers" as Harry calls them, descended on his home with weapons drawn, screaming obscenities and threatening their lives. Seven hours later, their house looked like a gang rumble had indeed gone down. Greasy boxes, half-eaten pizza slices and aluminum soda cans - the intruders stopped for lunch in the middle of their mayhem - were tossed on the floor. Disassembled tampons lay scattered in the bathroom. Terry's lingerie drawers were ransacked and dumped. Antique furniture and valuable statuary were broken. Cigarette butts had been flipped carelessly on the carpet, scorching it. Harry's vials of cancer medication - hundreds of dollars worth - were poured out and crushed underfoot. Two of Terry's beloved cats ate part of the chemical mixture, then died in howling agony. As a final parting gesture, a kitten was stomped to death in the front yard as the Lamplughs watched. What gang of thugs would terrorize a home so? It was those foul-mouthed, trigger-happy storm troopers of the BATF. The Lamplughs, owners of the Borderline Gun Collectors Association, are typical of many legitimate, family-owned businesses in the firearms industry being persecuted by the ATF, while real criminals go unpunished. [b]Mob squad[/b] Six carloads of ATF agents, accompanied by at least two members of the Internal Revenue Service and two troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police, converged suddenly on the Lamplughs residence. The couple's oldest son John, who lives a few miles away, had just finished turkey hunting on his dad's property and was stowing a shotgun in a truck when agents surrounded him, brandishing weapons. Harry Lamplughs said he believes if the agents had arrived a few moments earlier and seen John holding a weapon, they would have shot his son. Harry Lamplugh was in his pajama bottoms, drinking a cup of coffee, and his wife was in the bathroom, when the phalanx of agents entered from the front and rear. All were armed, only two wore clearly marked uniforms. When Lamplugh realized they were law enforcement agents, he asked for a search warrant. [b]"Shut the f*ck up, you motherfucker!"[/b] shouted ATF agent Seiler, [b]"You want more trouble then you've already got?"[/b]
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 10:28:12 AM EST
Meanwhile, over at John Lamplughs, the youngest brother, Bronson, a college student, was just getting up when agents burst in. He was searched at gun point and interrogated as to why he had more than $500 in cash in his possession. The incident so upset him that Bronson took a leave of absence from college and seldom visits home anymore. Back at the parents’ home, the outrages continued. Fearing for their lives, the couple cooperated, voluntarily opening combination safes, lock boxes and gun cabinets. Harry asked repeatedly for a search warrant. Agents said they didn’t have to show him one until they left. He asked if the was under arrest and they said no. Yet the Lamplughs were held all day at gun point in their nightclothes, much of the time at the breakfast table by a nervous young agent with a submachine gun pointed at their heads. They were not allowed to call their attorney or answer the phone, and could only get and use the bathroom with an armed guard. Only at the one point during the day-long ordeal did Harry Lamplugh get any inkling of what the intruders might be looking for, when one agent asked him about the location of an alleged machine-gun. Lamplugh told the agent he’d never owned a full – automatic weapon; that he had once a Vietnam commemorative gold-inlaid semiauto Thompson, but it had been sold. All the while, the agents continued to make what the Lamplughs’ attorney, Robert E. Sanders, characterized in one federal court document as “outrageous and extremely offensive remarks”. At one point, the motion for return of property alleges, ATF special agent Seiler, referring to Lamplugh’s business as a gun show promoter, wisecracked, “We don’t mind you selling guns to niggers because they are only killing each other.” The eldest Lamplugh son, John, was finally told to he was free to go. He asked for the currency - $2,000 – that had been removed from his wallet and vehicle. “You’ll have to f*ckin’ prove it’s your,” IRS agent Bittenbender snapped. John Lamplugh left, poorer but wiser about the caliber of “public servants” his tax dollars employ. Inside an agent removed $30 in cash and a grocery list from Terry Lamplughs coat pocket. She could have the money back, the grinning agent sneered, if she could rattle off the serial numbers for the bills. Finding candy bars on the Lamplughs dresser, agents ate them, tossing the wrappers. Harry had ordered a new truck, which he was scheduled to pick up that morning. The paperwork and $10,000 in cash were in an envelope on the dresser. It was all confiscated. Bittenberger found $1,500 Terry had squirreled away for cosmetic surgery in her pantyhose drawer. When she complained it wasn’t right for them to take the money, the threatened her: “We’ll see how cooperative you are when we throw you in a cell full of lesbians.” When the agents left the Lamplughs clutched each other and stared out the window terrified. AS they watched in horror, Special Agent Donna J. Slusser paused in the yard by a Manx kitten, which bounded playfully at her feet. Slusser looked back at the Lamplughs, then turned and stomped the pet several times kicking it into the nearby shrubbery. The kitten died from ruptured organs, a veterinarian autopsy revealed.
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 10:28:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/11/2001 9:32:42 PM EST by 7_62___for_me]
Inside all sorts of jewelry and some valuable watches were taken, some still new in the box – some of which did not show up on the ATF’s seized property list. Personal mail was opened and taken, along with miscellaneous paperwork, including certificates of authenticity for firearms and other valuable collectibles, pet registrations, vehicle titles, insurance policies, wills, a marriage license, birth and baptismal certificates, adoption papers, Harry’s military service record (he’s a Vietnam vet) and vital medical documents. Also seized were 61 firearms with an appraised value of $15,016, plus more than $20,000 in cash. Agents additionally confiscated records of Borderline Gun Collectors Association, the largest gun show promotion business in the northeastern US. Without this paperwork, it has been extremely difficult for the Lamplughs to pursue their livelihood. Seized business records included names and addresses of about 70,000 past and present members, from all 50 states and several foreign countries, as well as names and addresses of more than 600 advertising contacts and all contracts for future gun shows through 2000. Sanders, a retired head of ATF’s law enforcement operations who now specializes in gun law, thinks the IRS may have been the primary agency pushing the raid, and the ATF helped out because the IRS could not develop probable cause. Sanders feels allegations of an illegal weapon were trumped up as an excuse as probable cause for ATF. The whole raid and seizures amount to “ a fishing expedition,” he said. “The first objective was for all these financial records, so the IRS can attempt to make some kind of a case against Lamplugh,” Sanders told SOF. “The second objective was obviously to seize all the names and addresses of the people who participated in the gun shows, who belong to the association and who attend gun shows. I can’t think of any good purpose for this. All of these people are exercising their constitutional right to assemble, to speak with people who have common interests. I can’t think of any legitimate reason why ATF would want that kind of information. This is the very type of thing that the 1968 Gun Control Act went overboard to prevent. ATF is not supposed to keep records of any firearms transactions.”
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 10:29:25 AM EST
Aside from its vulgar and barbaric aspects, the Lamplughs case is illustrative of an apparent trend in ATF cases in other key respects. First, as in the John Lawmaster case the Lamplugh search warrant affidavit remained sealed 11 months after the raid, ostensibly to protect a confidential source, but more likely to hide the fact that the flimsiest pretexts were used to meet probable cause. In the Lamplugh case, when Sanders filed a motion to unseal the affidavit, his motion was then sealed by the court. “I was never notified by the court that my motion was sealed,” he said. Sealing warrant affidavits is “routinely abused,” Sanders said. “There should be a real need…Generally, prior to the execution of a search warrant, there’s a good purpose, to prevent the destruction of evidence before they get there with a warrant. After the warrant is served, the reason they always give is to protect their source. But that’ no a good reason. That doesn’t override the constitutional guarantee to know your accuser.” Second, as in the Louie Katona case, extensive amounts of property were seized without criminal charges being filed. In the Lamplugh case, much of that property is apparently unrelated to anything in the search warrant. In all such case, if the owner doesn’t have a $2,500 bond to file with the feds to fight the forfeiture, he loses the property, no questions asked. Third, in the case of gun dealers and gun show promoters such as the Lamplugh, the search is a convenient excuse to copy records that the 1968 Gun Control Act clearly states are the property of the owner. It’s all part of an apparently illegal campaign by ATF to compile a computerized database of gun owners, gun buyers and gun dealers in a de facto gun registration effort, al the while conveniently ignoring the fact that criminals almost never buy or sell guns legally. The ATF’s new Firearms Tracing Center in West Virginia is “de facto gun registration,” Sanders said. “No one outside the ATF really knows what they’re doing at that center. The only thing that they can be doing is entering all the information hat is obtained from business records…That is de facto gun registration.”…
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 10:30:04 AM EST
This type of activity, in general, bolsters the long-standing criticism that the ATF has an institutional bias against private gun ownership, to the extent that ATF more often ignores real criminals, to try to turn law-abiding gun owners into criminal statistics. “I think citizens are helpless,” he said, matter of factly. “It’s going to take congressional action. It’s going to take strong oversight and massive changes in ATF management.” Meanwhile, the Lamplughs wage their personal war against injustice by surviving, trying to keep their business going so they can continue to generate the money needed to wage their legal battle. Harry has been twice called to a federal grand jury; Terry once. Both have been forced to submit fingerprints, sit for photographs and submit handwriting samples. AS of this writing in April neither have been charged. As always, ATF investigators continue to play dirty. At least four grand jury witnesses – told statements read to the grand jury were not the same statements they gave ATF agents about the Lamplugh case. One witness who gave permission to use his name, Tommy Griffith, said ATF agents tried to intimidate him prior to his testimony to change his statement, and tried to coach him on what to say. “Mr. Seiler didn’t want to show me his identification card,” Griffith said. “He told me he was the one who stuck a machine gun in Harry’s mouth. Scott Endy served me my subpoena. They told me perjury was a federal offense, that if I stuck with my story that I could go to jail..I wasn’t telling them what they wanted to hear - which was the truth – so they were trying to intimidate me. Endy wanted me and him and the United States attorney to sit down and discuss my testimony before going to the grand jury. I told them the only people I was talking to were the ones on the grand jury.”
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 10:30:51 AM EST
Even if the worst is over – and the Lamplughs aren’t sure that it is – they continue to live in fear of the terror tactics still wielded anonymously against them. They’re no sure who the perpetrators are, but they have a pretty good idea. Much of the harassment has been over the phone. One caller told Terry Lamplugh that she has “really nice pantyhose, but you don’t have any tits.” Right after an appearance on the G. Gordon Liddy show, a 0300 call warned them, “Don’t fuck with the feds. You people have to learn to button your lips or else you’re dead.” The telephone threats are easy to cope with compared to knowing Terry Lamplugh has been stalked and harassed by people she is certain are either federal agents or their informants. She found one man in her yard, rummaging through her sports car. When she faced him with a handgun, he left and she followed. The prowler drove up next to a white Ford Bronco with U.S. government plates, and then the two drove off together. The most terrifying incident, though, happened 11 October 1994, almost five months after the raid. Terry was running errands, and as she returned to her van, she noticed a scruffy-looking man who, she said, appeared to be drunk. She drove on to the drug store and hospital to get cancer medicine for Harry. When she came out, she saw the same seedy man, leaning against a wall smoking a cigarette. When she opened the door and started to get in, the man suddenly appeared at her elbow. “Don’t f*ck with the bureau,” he growled softly in her ear as she whirled around, startled. He spun on his heel, she said, and called over his shoulder as he hurried away, “Check out what’s in your van.” She jumped inside, slammed and locked the door and began to scream and tremble with rage. Then she steeled herself, deciding it was only another case of cheap intimidation. She could take it; she couldn’t wait to get home and tell Harry. She was just about there, bumping up the rutted dirt road when, as she wheeled into the driveway, her grocery bags overturned. Tumbling limply out on to the floor next to her bucket seat was a dead black cat with a broken neck.
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 10:50:41 AM EST
I remember reading the original story in Soldier of Fortune, but I don't remember which issue. Do you remember what issue this article was from?
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 11:13:34 AM EST
Follow G. Gordon Liddy's advice, "Shoot for the crotch." "Come and take it."
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 11:15:55 AM EST
Yup, I copied it right out of the July 95 SOF magazine. I have an extensive collection of SOF.
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 11:17:18 AM EST
I have no doubt that this is 100% accurate. I have no words, but I am sad that no one has done anything about it. This kind of crap happens all the time and no one does anything. Sad.
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 11:18:22 AM EST
Lately I have been grouping them together by subject matter. It's takes quite a while to read every article on a certain subject going back to the early 80's.
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 12:46:24 PM EST
I have a number of old SOF's too. They ran a continuing series of expose's on corruption in the ATF. There was one article about how one ATF agent in the lab that prided himself in knowing how to use oil/grease to cause semi-autos to double and thus aiding in the prosecution of "unregistered machinegun" cases.
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 1:03:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/11/2001 1:00:19 PM EST by Garand_Shooter]
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 4:10:44 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 4:43:52 PM EST
Unfortunately, an agency as powerful as BATF (or any other such agency for that matter) can easily squash citizens like mere insects if they wish. It's very scary to know that anyone, for any reason, can be exposed to such actions without very little legal recourse. How do you fight against such an act...without committing suicide or having your family members hurt/killed?
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 5:00:40 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 5:01:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 5:02:08 PM EST
here is something I never do: writing your congressman?
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 5:03:00 PM EST
rallies? protests?
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 9:07:03 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 9:46:26 PM EST
Check out what these EVIL BATF BASTARDS are doing to my favorite gun dealer ! [url]www.jcarmory.com/alert.html[/url] C'mon guys.. start writing e-mails, calling and faxing ! Greg is one of the "Good Guys" out there. Did you know that since 1992 when Klinton took office, over 3/4 of the FFL's that existed --> NO LONGER EXIST! What kind of future will we have if we let this happen?
Link Posted: 8/11/2001 9:59:44 PM EST
Except for Rush, and a few others, the Media is against 100% againts us. "those death merchants got what they deserved" Why do you think SOF is the only one who published the story? You saw the job the Media did on the Davidians. All those citizens killed, and VERY little outrage. We are up against a huge propaganda machine, the likes of which the world has never known. Hitler, and Stalin would be proud and envious. I vote for writing letters, but also protests. This is the modern Civil Rights movement. We need to educate the public. We need to make a little noise. "We shall over-come"
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