Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 11/19/2003 10:48:22 AM EDT
www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1025073/posts

Posted on 11/19/2003 1:39 PM CST by TexRef

Three days before Halloween, George Norris, 24407 Pine Canyon Drive, Spring, got a visit from a U.S. agency that proved scarier
than any spook or goblin.

He is still recovering from the encounter.

Norris, 65, and his wife, Kathy, own Spring Orchid Specialties.

"I import orchids from all around the world and have been doing it more than 25 years," he said.

A small greenhouse is located in the back of their home.

The income supplements his Social Security check.

He suffers from diabetes, arthritis and heart problems and is unable to work, he said.

At 10 a.m. Oct. 28, he said, three pick-up trucks pulled into his driveway and six people, five men and one woman, got out.

All of the men were wearing body armor and carrying sidearms.

Four of them came to the front door and two went to the back.

When he answered the front door, one of the men identified himself as a special agent with the United States Fish and Wildlife
Service (FWS), a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

"They serve me with a search warrant, they sit me in a chair in my kitchen, tell me not to move out of the chair. They read me my
Miranda Rights, then tell me I'm not under arrest, but I can't leave that chair," Norris said.

"They wouldn't even permit me to get my glasses to read documents they were showing me. They had to send somebody to get
my glasses for me."

The agents had a search warrant issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy in Houston, empowering them to search for a
certain type of orchid imported from Peru without required United States import permits.

According to FWS, Norris represented the plants as lawfully imported and sold them via electronic mail. The importation and
selling of the orchids is a violation of the Lacey Act and is a felony.

The agents proceeded to rummage the entire house and greenhouse for nearly four hours, he said.

"They went through our dresser drawers, they went through my wife's underwear drawer; they went through my sock drawer;
they went through our closets; they went through all the rooms in the house.

"They tore up everything, particularly my office. They took 20-something boxes of documents; they took my computer; they took
my customer list; they took invoices; they took everything. They even took floppy disks that had fishing pictures on them."

Norris said he tried in vain to explain to the agents he was in compliance with U.S. and international laws allowing the sale of the
type of orchid for which they were searching, phragmipedium, which grows in Peru.

Two types of classifications, Appendix One and Appendix Two, exist for some orchids, Norris said.

Appendix One orchids are endangered and Appendix Two are threatened. Appendix One applies to a limited quantity of plants
considered seriously endangered in the wild.

All the rest of the plants are Appendix Two, which are considered threatened but legal for trade.

"I imported some Appendix One type plants from Peru in August, but they were artificially propagated. Any of the Appendix One
plants that are artificially propagated, they don't come from the wild. They are either grown from seeds or divisions of plants that
have been in greenhouses for a long time or something other than wild collected. They're no longer subject to Appendix One;
they become automatically Appendix Two if the grower can certify that they are artificially propagated," he said.

Though the FSW agents listened, he said, they didn't seem to understand the explanation.

"They don't understand the differences. These are people that mostly make raids on folks with illegal parents, people trading in
rhinoceros horns, tiger products, things of mostly animal nature," he said.

Norris said he believes his troubles may stem from FSW's use of CARNIVORE, a government system that can tap
into computer e-mails.

"They showed me page 3 of a 5-page e-mail from several years ago where I was being offered smuggled plants.
They did not show me pages 4 and 5 which were my answer to this fellow telling him we would not buy any such
plants that were undocumented. This was so old that I don't even remember this e-mail," he said.

"Well, they went down and convinced the judge to give them a search warrant because they had an old copy of my CITES
document from Peru showing these plants on there which they generally regard as Appendix One plants.

"But I imported them on my permits which allow me to import artificially propagated Appendix One plants," he said.

About four years ago, the FWS conducted a similar investigation of his premises and concluded he was in compliance with all laws,
he said. "And this search was done without a search warrant by only asking me to cooperate, which I did."

Terry Thiebeault, the FWS supervisor of the agency's latest search of the Norris premises, declined to comment Monday on the
case.

Norris has not been arrested or charged.

Norris said he will ask Judge Milloy to rescind the search warrant order and to instruct the FSW to return all the material they
confiscated.

"For now, I am out of business and prevented from conducting my business," he said. I am getting checks coming in for payments
of bills, but I do not have any of those records to make the payments to."
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:58:20 AM EDT
the tree of liberty is very fucking thirsty
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:59:10 AM EDT
Yes, we have more freedoms since bush was selected elected king president......
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:00:28 AM EDT
btw, i hate the earth worshipping enviro wackos that make this stuff happen
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:03:58 AM EDT
This is all so sad. How close are all of us to being treated like this by our government? Completely out of control.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:04:54 AM EDT
NOW IT'S THE FUCKING "FLOWER POLICE"????

But the LEO's WILL do the right thing when it matters......right?

FLOWERS?!?!?!?!?!?!

FBI = Federal "Bloom" Investigators?

ATF = Another Terrible Flower?

When the Feds want you......they'll think of something!

Come get some...........
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:08:40 AM EDT
Dang, all this for a plant, oh yah, forgot, marijuana is a plant and people get busted for it all the time. This sucks, you might as well give up with the Orchids and just grow weed. That way if you get busted it's for something that's really illegal. All this crap over an Orchid, man, I still can't believe it.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:12:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thedave1164:
Yes, we have more freedoms since bush was selected elected king president......



OK Dave, tell us all how this is GW's fault?
Those stupid ass import laws have been on the books for a very long time, you see this as an opporunity to bash the President over a this fish & game blunder?

You are a tin foil hat nut for sure, and a few more things I can't say with out violating the COC.
OK no flaming, just post exactly how this is in any way the Presidents fault, OK?
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:14:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 11:16:35 AM EDT by Gloftoe]

Originally Posted By thedave1164:
Yes, we have more freedoms since bush was selected elected king president......



Carnivore was started way back in 1997 (Omnivore), and re-tooled/renamed "Carnivore" in 1999.

Now, who was president then, genius? President Bush had nothing to do with the Omnivore/Carnivore project. Go bash elswhere.

Edit to add: I think it's ridiculous that this elderly gentleman was harrassed, and had his property siezed even though he was in compliance with the import laws referenced in the article. Was it right that it happened? Hell no! Was it President Bush's doing/fault? See previous answer. Sheesh.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:29:58 AM EDT
for you bush apologists:


It is status quo or worse than when klinton was in.

This administration determines how all previous acts/laws/EO's are applied.


so live with it, bush is not good for America.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:32:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
the tree of liberty is very fucking thirsty



Amen Brutha......
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:50:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 11:52:30 AM EDT by jrzy]

Originally Posted By thedave1164:
for you bush apologists:


It is status quo or worse than when klinton was in.

This administration determines how all previous acts/laws/EO's are applied.


so live with it, bush is not good for America.



"bush apologists" ? Don't make fucking laugh, he is the strongest President we have had in a long time.

I'm not going to waste my time arguing with a tin foil hat wacko today, the best is knowing how fucking pissed off you are going to be with 4 more years of President GWB.

Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:52:27 AM EDT
WTF?!?

Words just fail sometimes

This is nothing more than an agency trying to justify it's existance.

Jesus H. Christ! Does EVERY fucking Federal agency now have some sort of paramilitary outfit associated with with it?!?

"Why yes sir, it's imperative that we have body armor and cool weapons to enforce laws about orchids. We never can tell if one of these orchid importers might become violent when confronted with the fact that they commited a felony for importing a fucking flower"



People need to WAKE THE FUCK UP.

We now have armed flower police with Federal powers running around!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I'm going to stop now before I need the paramedics.

Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:52:48 AM EDT
Anytime federal officials have enough time on their hands to enforce some arcane, tree-hugging laws that nobody cares about then we need a serious reduction in their specific budget.

Maybe some more manpower could be placed on border security, education, etc. Who cares what kind of orchids this guy or anyone else imports... If it were radioactive material that was imported then they would tell us (afetr it blew up) that there wasn't enough money in their budget or manpower, but look how they use what they have...
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:54:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jrzy:

Originally Posted By thedave1164:
for you bush apologists:


It is status quo or worse than when klinton was in.

This administration determines how all previous acts/laws/EO's are applied.


so live with it, bush is not good for America.



"bush apologists" ? Don't make fucking laugh, he is the strongest President we have had in a long time.

I'm not going to waste my time arguing with a tin foil hat wacko today, the best is knowing how fucking pissed off you are going to be with 4 more years of President GWB.





I have a feeling you will be p!$$3d before me JJ.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:58:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RustyTX:
Anytime federal officials have enough time on their hands to enforce some arcane, tree-hugging laws that nobody cares about then we need a serious reduction in their specific budget.

Maybe some more manpower could be placed on border security, education, etc. Who cares what kind of orchids this guy or anyone else imports... If it were radioactive material that was imported then they would tell us (afetr it blew up) that there wasn't enough money in their budget or manpower, but look how they use what they have...



Those were probably pre-ban orchids you know.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:59:04 AM EDT
This can't be real? A raid over flowers? Somebody is fuckin' around cause if this is legit we are farther gone than I had ever thought. This Carnivore thing along with the still unacknowledged Project Echelon got to go.

<­BR>

Link Posted: 11/19/2003 12:17:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RustyTX:
Anytime federal officials have enough time on their hands to enforce some arcane, tree-hugging laws that nobody cares about then we need a serious reduction in their specific budget.

Maybe some more manpower could be placed on border security, education, etc. Who cares what kind of orchids this guy or anyone else imports... If it were radioactive material that was imported then they would tell us (afetr it blew up) that there wasn't enough money in their budget or manpower, but look how they use what they have...



I'll drink to that! A terrorist bomb goes off somewhere and they are "underfunded and understaffed" yet somehow, they have enough of OUR tax money to send the flower power stormtroopers to kick down the door of an elderly gardener. Fuckin wonderful.

It's more complicated than blaming it on George Bush, but I don't see any hope for releif from this shit coming from either the DEMS or the REPUBLICANS. Do you??

-Nick Viejo.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:36:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pazzo:

Originally Posted By RustyTX:
Anytime federal officials have enough time on their hands to enforce some arcane, tree-hugging laws that nobody cares about then we need a serious reduction in their specific budget.

Maybe some more manpower could be placed on border security, education, etc. Who cares what kind of orchids this guy or anyone else imports... If it were radioactive material that was imported then they would tell us (afetr it blew up) that there wasn't enough money in their budget or manpower, but look how they use what they have...



Those were probably pre-ban orchids you know.



Pre-ban orchids in post-ban pots. Has he no respect for the law?
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:48:01 PM EDT
I am sure the the President is really worried about some old codger in Texas having a few orchids.............!!
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:48:44 PM EDT
Why the hell would GUNS and BODY ARMOR be necessary for this kind of a raid???

He's a retired, partly disabled flower grower, for crying out loud. Can anyone think of a less harmful or threatening person????



Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:13:25 PM EDT
WoW !! Those "special agents" are true heros !!!
How proud they must be of themselves !!
Imagine how proud their families must be !!
I can just hear little adolf at his school when he invites dad to come for parents day.....adolf, what does your dad do ?? ......HE'S A FLOWER NAZI MA'AM !!!!
They deserve medals.
Yea right.......fucking JBT clowns.
Our tax dollars at work huh.....think of the man JBT hours involved in this flower assault, the resources wasted, the GAZILLION other things they could be doing.
This shit really pisses me off.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:46:17 PM EDT
Mad, quite Mad, Fish and Wildlife Services get to deal with poachers too? So you can undertsnd why they are an armed service, bu still.

That poor man is lucky he didn't stroke out or get shot accidentally while they carried out there search. At least he didnt ge a no knock warrant for his troubles.

Nice to see how the agency rewards the law abiding.

Scary to see just waht sort of shit is pulled off of CARNIVORE. Does this mean that _any_ small federal agency is getting its share of the information culled from the beast?

/PHil
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 3:19:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TUMOR:
NOW IT'S THE FUCKING "FLOWER POLICE"????

But the LEO's WILL do the right thing when it matters......right?

FLOWERS?!?!?!?!?!?!

FBI = Federal "Bloom" Investigators?

ATF = Another Terrible Flower?

When the Feds want you......they'll think of something!

Come get some...........


yes
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 3:20:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedave1164:
Yes, we have more freedoms since bush was selected elected king president......


yes
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 3:21:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
the tree of liberty is very fucking thirsty


yes
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 3:22:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pazzo:
This is all so sad. How close are all of us to being treated like this by our government? Completely out of control.

yes
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 3:27:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jrzy:

Originally Posted By thedave1164:
for you bush apologists:


It is status quo or worse than when klinton was in.

This administration determines how all previous acts/laws/EO's are applied.


so live with it, bush is not good for America.



"bush apologists" ? Don't make fucking laugh, he is the strongest President we have had in a long time.

I'm not going to waste my time arguing with a tin foil hat wacko today, the best is knowing how fucking pissed off you are going to be with 4 more years of President GWB.



I get tired of your hero worship of that numbnuts. Please keep it over at your board.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 7:20:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cyanide:

Originally Posted By jrzy:

Originally Posted By thedave1164:
for you bush apologists:


It is status quo or worse than when klinton was in.

This administration determines how all previous acts/laws/EO's are applied.


so live with it, bush is not good for America.



"bush apologists" ? Don't make fucking laugh, he is the strongest President we have had in a long time.

I'm not going to waste my time arguing with a tin foil hat wacko today, the best is knowing how fucking pissed off you are going to be with 4 more years of President GWB.



I get tired of your hero worship of that numbnuts. Please keep it over at your board.



You're tired of me Speaking up for OUR President?
Too fucking bad , why don't you get use to another 4 years, if not take two tabs of your nic here and enjoy.
By the way you don't think some us get tired of all you GW bashers?
Prove something and we might listen, other wise shut the fuck up!
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 7:59:53 PM EDT
It's pretty stupid to blame Bush for this BS. Those agencies run on their own track. Do you think the low-level guys answer to Bush? Do you think he can fire them? About the best Bush can do is replace the hire ups and set the tone for the agency as a whole. That doesn't mean it's not business as usual at the lower level.

Get a clue you guys and stop blaming Bush.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:08:49 PM EDT
So exactly how many agencies have the power to invite themselves into my house and take my shit? So if i piss a park ranger off should i be in fear that him and his buddys will come do a no knock on my house at 2am looking for illegal chipmunks?
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:43:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 11:46:27 PM EDT by Hessian-1]

Originally Posted By thedave1164:
for you bush apologists:


It is status quo or worse than when klinton was in.

This administration determines how all previous acts/laws/EO's are applied.


so live with it, bush is not good for America.



I'm not discounting this fiasco, but does "Waco" & Janet Reno ring a bell. Klinton "armed" more federal "agents"(Dept of Housing and Urban Development) than any president in recent times. How about the little cuban boy in florida(name escapes me.) With apoliges to all the decent LEO's; Do you think the "thugs" get laid off when the CIC changes? I suppose we would be better off with Gore? I'm not saying President Bush is perfect. I don't agree 100% with everything he does, but he is the best option we have at the time. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, that is why it's America.
I honestly see President Bush not as president of the Republicans, or Moderates, but as president of the United States. He has "compromised" on some things that I don't support, however I must remember that everyone doesn't believe as I do. I think he would be just as pissed about what happened to George Norris as most of us are.
I agree, the government has way too much power over us, but to blame the President for the actions of a few idiots that just happen to "work" for the government is "just not right!" (I am tired and must sleep!)
Hessian-1out!
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 12:47:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2003 12:53:21 AM EDT by Airwolf]

Originally Posted By Agcsy:
So exactly how many agencies have the power to invite themselves into my house and take my shit? So if i piss a park ranger off should i be in fear that him and his buddys will come do a no knock on my house at 2am looking for illegal chipmunks?



www.lp.org/press/archive.php?function=view&record=311

October 2, 1997

60,000 pistol-packing federal bureaucrats show why people fear the government

WASHINGTON, DC -- A new report revealing that almost 60,000 federal employees now carry weapons has prompted the Libertarian Party to come out in favor of gun control -- for the federal government.

According to a study by the General Accounting Office (GAO), an astounding 60,000 government employees in 45 different agencies now carry guns as a routine part of their job.

And it's not just law enforcement agents: Poultry inspectors, park rangers, and disaster aid workers are all allowed to carry weapons -- in addition to special agents from the Small Business Administration, NASA, the Department of Education, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and even the Department of Veterans Affairs, noted Steve Dasbach, national chairman of the Libertarian Party.

"Federal employees have gone nuts -- gun nuts," he said. "It's time to impose a waiting period on the federal government, while the American people conduct a background check on these armed and potentially dangerous bureaucrats."

According to the GAO investigation, the number of federal employees with guns is growing rapidly -- up by 20% in the last 10 years. In fact, 2,436 armed personnel were added to the federal government's payroll last year alone.

Even worse, federal employees are getting more powerful weapons. According to the GAO, the Energy Department now has access to machine guns, and other agencies can summon tanks and military helicopters. In addition, the Western Journalism Center discovered that the National Park Service and the Department of Health & Human Services now have their own SWAT teams. Machines guns? Tanks? SWAT teams? What's going on?

Dasbach said he has a theory: "Congress has passed over 3,000 criminal laws, and federal agencies have churned out hundreds of thousands of regulations that carry criminal penalties. The result is that ordinary Americans run a constant risk of violating laws they've never even heard of as federal agents scramble to enforce those laws at the point of a gun."

And Libertarians aren't the only ones who have noticed this disturbing trend, he said.

For example, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) last month blasted the "massive buildup of a virtual army of armed regulators." Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America, described the 60,000 armed federal employees as "a standing army -- it's outrageous." And Greg Lojein, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the acquisition of "heavy equipment" like tanks and helicopters by federal agencies is "more characteristic of war than law enforcement."

"No wonder Americans don't trust their government; their government doesn't trust them," said Dasbach. "But trust doesn't grow out of the barrel of a gun -- or from the sight of a pistol-packing poultry inspector.

"If we want to live in an America where ordinary citizens don't have to fear their own government -- and where the government doesn't have 60,000 guns pointed at ordinary citizens -- the solution is to demand a government that obeys the Constitution and protects the liberties of its citizens," he said.

"And the first step: Gun control for the federal government. Let's end this federal arms race, and turn the federal bureaucracy into a demilitarized zone."


www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb105-17.html


Recently, in United States v. Lopez, the Supreme Court reminded Congress that the interstate commerce clause is not a grant of general police powers and that "states possess primary authority for defining and enforcing the criminal law.'' Even after the Lopez decision, though, the huge infrastructure of federal criminal law remains in place. Today, there are more than 50 different federal law enforcement agencies, 200 federal agencies with some law enforcement authority, and more than 3,000 federal crimes.


*****************************<­BR>
If you don't think the game plan is to keep writing more laws so that eventually EVERYONE can be suspected of a criminal activity and brought down whenever the Government needs to make an example (or get rid of a problem) you're not paying attention.

This country is WELL down the path to becoming an honest-to-God Police State. All that remains is for someone to be voted into office that will usurp the Constitution and utilize what is available to them. The Hillarybeast is the most obvious example.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 4:23:08 AM EDT
Atleast all the agents went home safely that night.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 4:49:24 AM EDT
What Bureau will the Mattress Tag Police be from?

You know they are coming.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 5:02:02 AM EDT


Elian is the boys name... and if the cuban relatives couldnt obey US law, they should have shipped their Ass's back to cuba too.

That fiasco is one I'm Glad Janet Rino went in on.. problem solved (rolleyes)
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 5:15:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By realist:
Elian is the boys name... and if the cuban relatives couldnt obey US law, they should have shipped their Ass's back to cuba too.

That fiasco is one I'm Glad Janet Rino went in on.. problem solved (rolleyes)


I hope those "rolleyes" indicated sarcasm, my internet friend.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 5:23:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2003 5:24:57 AM EDT by fizassist]

Originally Posted By liberty86:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
the tree of liberty is very fucking thirsty


Amen Brutha......


Tic toc tic toc tic toc....

Every time I read one of these stories, I get this feeling like I got at the end of the Terminator.

Gas station attendent: "He says there's a storm coming."
Sarah Conner: "I know."
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 5:35:23 AM EDT
This is a good example of why one should use encrypted emails! That keeps a middleman (carnivore) from making out your conversation. The govt doesn't like encryption for this very purpose as it makes wiretapes useless!
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 6:01:19 AM EDT
The subject of this thread is so disgusting as to be almost beyond comment.

JBTs indeed.

(shakes head in disgust)
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 7:37:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By N_Viejo:

Originally Posted By RustyTX:
Anytime federal officials have enough time on their hands to enforce some arcane, tree-hugging laws that nobody cares about then we need a serious reduction in their specific budget.

Maybe some more manpower could be placed on border security, education, etc. Who cares what kind of orchids this guy or anyone else imports... If it were radioactive material that was imported then they would tell us (afetr it blew up) that there wasn't enough money in their budget or manpower, but look how they use what they have...



I'll drink to that! A terrorist bomb goes off somewhere and they are "underfunded and understaffed" yet somehow, they have enough of OUR tax money to send the flower power stormtroopers to kick down the door of an elderly gardener. Fuckin wonderful.

It's more complicated than blaming it on George Bush, but I don't see any hope for releif from this shit coming from either the DEMS or the REPUBLICANS. Do you??

-Nick Viejo.



No I don't Nick... I doubt the Bushies are even aware of the priorities of this department and IF it became an issue and policy changes were made it would take years to see the results of the changes.

Inertia is the keyword when thinking about big gov't. Its like a huge beach ball that is half full of water: Until enough people push it, it won't move. Then when it does finally move, it is slow and unpredictable as it rolls along. Its going to take avg. Americans getting involved to change things (reduce the gov't's size and scope). For now we can just bitch about it on the Internet and wait for soemthing else to blow up (with the assurances that the Orchids are being looked after) :')
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 7:38:06 AM EDT
UNBELIEVABLE!

Link Posted: 11/20/2003 9:10:57 AM EDT
I just gotta point out that my dad is a 30 year retired civilian employee of USF&WS.

Yes, we have many fine rifle around. No, he doesn't particular have a 'hankin' for handguns.

So. WTF are F&W guys doin with body armor and guns over a flower???

</rant>
Top Top