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Posted: 1/18/2006 6:28:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 10:34:50 AM EDT by P08]
Three state troopers, local doctor face machine-gun charges.

By JIM SUHR
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published Wednesday, January 18, 2006

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS - Three Illinois State Police troopers have been suspended from their jobs after being accused with a Springfield-area doctor of illegally possessing machine guns, authorities announced Tuesday.

Troopers Greg Mugge, John Yard and James Vest each were charged last week with one count of illegally possessing a machine gun last year, as was Dr. Harold Griffiths, 69, of Spaulding. The U.S. attorney's office here unsealed the charges Tuesday.

Mugge, 51, of Jerseyville, is a senior master trooper with the state police in Litchfield. Vest, 39, of O'Fallon, is a sergeant in Collinsville. Yard, 36, of Collinsville, is a state police special agent in Collinsville who once worked for the FBI's public corruption task force in Fairview Heights, authorities said.

Griffiths, who recently lived in Glen Carbon, now practices medicine in Springfield, prosecutors said.

None of the affidavits accompanying the criminal complaints revealed Griffiths' possible connection to any of the police officers, other than the allegation that he had lent one of the guns to Yard in October. Interim U.S. Attorney Edward McNally refused to discuss details of the cases beyond the criminal complaints.

The troopers have been suspended with pay until formal charges are filed with the state police's merit review board, after which their leave would become unpaid, according to Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent.

The four were arraigned Tuesday in federal court in East St. Louis and released on their own recognizance, McNally said. None of entered a plea, pending preliminary hearings set for Feb. 10 or the presentation of the case to a grand jury, McNally's office said.

Each charge carries a possible 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, prosecutors said.

"While I'm very disappointed and deeply regret the judgment used by three of our officers, they are not above the law," Trent said during a news conference.

Trent said the three troopers could have lawfully possessed the machine guns if they had been assigned to them as part of their work duties but could not have them as private citizens.

John O'Gara, a Belleville attorney for Griffiths, said his client - a Vietnam veteran and former part-time California police officer - "has been an upstanding citizen his entire life and was obviously upstanding throughout this investigation."

"My client is a tremendous man and is at all times a gentleman," O'Gara said, deferring comment about the specific charges.

The troopers could not be reached for comment, and it was not known whether they had hired attorneys yet.


www.sj-r.com/sections/news/stories/76426.asp

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:32:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:32:10 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:34:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.



+ 1 million!

BS, pure and simple.....
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:37:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.



+ 1 million!

BS, pure and simple.....


Exactly. Were any crimes comitted with these "Evil" weapons? If they could, I'm sure the troopers and doctor would have been happy to jump through whatver hoops necessary...
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:41:37 AM EDT
That was dumb. There can't be that many dogs in Illinois.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:45:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:00:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.



A-fricken-MEN!!

I wonder how they got Popped?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:03:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By npd233:

TEST CASE!



Yup! Take her to the Supreme Court and Strike this thing DOWN! Get Al Sharpton and Jessie HighJackson to stand up for these guys!
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:12:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By demigod:

Originally Posted By npd233:

TEST CASE!



Yup! Take her to the Supreme Court and Strike this thing DOWN! Get Al Sharpton and Jessie HighJackson to stand up for these guys!


If those guys aren't black, it'll never happen.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:13:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By npd233:
Dupe

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=428641


That thread's now locked, and this has become the "official" thread.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:13:27 AM EDT
Does anyone know what kind of guns they had? MP-5s maybe?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:14:56 AM EDT
Here are some otherwise (supposedly) law-abiding citizens who could take it to the Supreme Court without the other baggage that would be generally attributed to a criminal case. It's not bank robbers who got busted with FA, it might be better if these two WERE the test case.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:22:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 7:24:18 AM EDT by Orwell84]
Personally, with the exception of the doctor I’m glad that those pigs got busted. I wonder how many people they arrested during their careers for gun violations; heck just being on a police force when that force arrests nonviolent people for stupid crimes proves that they are extremely immoral people. Moral people don’t say “Oh well, I’m just doing my job”, moral people are principled people and people with principle won’t associate themselves with a tyrannical organization and pass the blame on to someone else. If YOU are committing acts of tyranny then don’t blame congress for legitimizing your acts, while congress is guilty, you are far more guilty than congress for carrying out their tyrannical orders.

While these men aren’t guilty in the eyes of freedom for owning machine guns, they are guilty in the eyes of freedom for being tyrants, and thus need to be punished.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:23:26 AM EDT
You mean there are such thing as a Law Breaking LEO?
[/sarcasm off]


Fuck em.

Fry em like CRISPY Bacon (no pun).

If it were one of us (dirt peasant civilians).......we'd be held without bail. Own recognizance? Fuck that. Sounds like they are getting preferential treatment.

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:23:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.



I agree, however I think I'm a bit more upset at another example of certain law enforcement
officials thinking they are above the law.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:24:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By junebug68:
Does anyone know what kind of guns they had? MP-5s maybe?



I'd bet MACs.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:27:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.



I agree, however I think I'm a bit more upset at another example of certain law enforcement
officials thinking they are above the law.



Oh, I just can't wait for the apologists to get here. This should be amusing.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:27:46 AM EDT
Odd, when it's the ISP, everyone is mad as hell. Had it been me and I posted my sob story about being charges with violating an unconstitutional law, I suspect I would have been lynched for being stupid enough to break the law. I think that prior threads on similar subjects bear that out. Are we for the rule of law on this board or not? I cannot tell.

The majority of Arfcom posters appear to be 'the law is the law' sort but on certain issues and when certain results obtain, then 'the law is stupid' (or unconstitutional, etc.) How on earth can us ordinary plebians be expected to respect laws we think are illegal, imprudent, unfair, etc. if those charged with enforcing those laws ignore them when they see fit?

Either the law is the law, or some laws are so unjust and unconscionable as to not be laws at all, but rather tyranny and the 'rule of law' is a sham. I can't see how one can have it both ways. I, for one, do not pity these men for an instant. They knew the score, and better than most at that. I obey the laws regarding machineguns in this state, like them or not. Who are these men to think they are not bound by the same laws that bind me while they undertake to enforce those very same laws?

Shame on the State of Illinois for its tyrannical laws and shame on these troopers for sullying the name of law enfocement everywhere by their belief that they are beyond the reach of the law. I say all of this assuming that the allegations are true. I certainly hope that they are not but I don't feel terribly out of line in making my assumption as it is the Arfcom way to assume the guilt of the accused and make preparations for execution prior to the filing of formal charges.




Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:29:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 7:30:13 AM EDT by legalese77]

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By junebug68:
Does anyone know what kind of guns they had? MP-5s maybe?



I'd bet MACs.



from the other thread:



Mugge and Griffiths both are accused of owning Colt AR-15 SP1 models, with Mugge's able to fire as an automatic weapon when a piece of metal was inserted and Griffiths' illegally converted to fire automatically. Authorities said Vest owned a Colt M4-M16 A2E designed to operate as a machine gun. The gun was purchased in 1998 from a California dealer.

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:31:53 AM EDT
God I hope this goes to the supreme court and something gets shot down. This would be the perfect test case, 3 fine upstanding citizens who broke an unconstitutional law.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:40:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By legalese77:

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By junebug68:
Does anyone know what kind of guns they had? MP-5s maybe?



I'd bet MACs.



from the other thread:



Mugge and Griffiths both are accused of owning Colt AR-15 SP1 models, with Mugge's able to fire as an automatic weapon when a piece of metal was inserted and Griffiths' illegally converted to fire automatically. Authorities said Vest owned a Colt M4-M16 A2E designed to operate as a machine gun. The gun was purchased in 1998 from a California dealer.




Sounds like Griffith has a DIAS or an LL.
The rest M16 conversions?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:42:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:
God I hope this goes to the supreme court and something gets shot down. This would be the perfect test case, 3 fine upstanding citizens who broke an unconstitutional law.



Won't get that far. This case will be raped three ways from Sunday long before that, because the cops were involved. 'They are held to a higher standard. They should know better.'

This will either all play out in a wrist-slapping being handed out, or these guys being made a harsh example of. It's going to play out to one extreme or the other, because they are LEOs.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:43:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:
God I hope this goes to the supreme court and something gets shot down. This would be the perfect test case, 3 fine upstanding citizens who broke an unconstitutional law.




Do you have shoestrings on your shoes?
Yes?
You are in violation of the 86 MG ban.
Most of the people ATF goes after on technical violations ARE upstanding citizens, or at the very least, innocent of the charges.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:44:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Orwell84:
Personally, with the exception of the doctor I’m glad that those pigs got busted.



BRILLIANT ATTITUDE!!

Why not fight this thing and get the 86 bullshit removed?

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:47:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.



Agreed 100%!
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:48:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:50:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By legalese77:
<snip>

Either the law is the law, or some laws are so unjust and unconscionable as to not be laws at all, but rather tyranny and the 'rule of law' is a sham. I can't see how one can have it both ways. I, for one, do not pity these men for an instant. They knew the score, and better than most at that. I obey the laws regarding machineguns in this state, like them or not. Who are these men to think they are not bound by the same laws that bind me while they undertake to enforce those very same laws?

<snip>


If a law is unjust, we owe it to our children to disobey. -- Sudo

One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. -- Martin Luther King



In my wettest dreams, these officers are good men, the good dr is bankrolling, and there are a couple of rich old codgers (who are also 2A/RKBA lawyers) pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:54:40 AM EDT
I realize what you hear on TV generally isn't accurate.

The ST borrowed a machine gun from the old doctor and they got in trouble for that. Another of the ST got in trouble for a mg that he kept at the barracks. The others had the guns for a LONG time.

This whole deal doesn't sound right to me.

Dennis Jenkins


Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:00:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 8:01:21 AM EDT by TheFreepster]

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:

Originally Posted By Orwell84:
Personally, with the exception of the doctor I’m glad that those pigs got busted. I wonder how many people they arrested during their careers for gun violations; heck just being on a police force when that force arrests nonviolent people for stupid crimes proves that they are extremely immoral people. Moral people don’t say “Oh well, I’m just doing my job”, moral people are principled people and people with principle won’t associate themselves with a tyrannical organization and pass the blame on to someone else. If YOU are committing acts of tyranny then don’t blame congress for legitimizing your acts, while congress is guilty, you are far more guilty than congress for carrying out their tyrannical orders.

While these men aren’t guilty in the eyes of freedom for owning machine guns, they are guilty in the eyes of freedom for being tyrants, and thus need to be punished.



IM incoming. Folks, we do not tolerate this kind of generalized bashing. Period.



ok, so no generalized bashing BUT if any one of these 3 state troopers has ever arrested someone for a weapons violation they are hypocrites that deserve whatever the feds can throw at them.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:05:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.



+ a brazillion.

"Let no free man be debarred the use of arms."

So far fro mthe ideal right now it isn't funny any more.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:07:15 AM EDT
just when you think cops are above the law....
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:12:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 8:15:05 AM EDT by Mr45auto]

Originally Posted By quijanos:
You mean there are such thing as a Law Breaking LEO?
[/sarcasm off]


Fuck em.

Fry em like CRISPY Bacon (no pun).

If it were one of us (dirt peasant civilians).......we'd be held without bail. Own recognizance? Fuck that. Sounds like they are getting preferential treatment.




Do you really try that hard to show your ignorance?

If you had no previous criminal record and no other pending charges you'd go through the process too. There are many factors that go into determining if you get recog'd or not. Being a cop isnt one of them. How long you've lived in an area, if you have had a steady job, criminal record, do you own a house, etc. Being a cop in trouble aint on the list.

Held without bail requires something a bunch more serious and needs a few public risk factors.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:17:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mr45auto:

Originally Posted By quijanos:
You mean there are such thing as a Law Breaking LEO?
[/sarcasm off]


Fuck em.

Fry em like CRISPY Bacon (no pun).

If it were one of us (dirt peasant civilians).......we'd be held without bail. Own recognizance? Fuck that. Sounds like they are getting preferential treatment.




Do you really try that hard to show your ignorance?

If you had no previous criminal record and no other pending charges you'd go through the process too. There are many factors that go into determining if you get recog'd or not. Being a cop isnt one of them. How long you've lived in an area, if you have had a steady job, criminal record, do you own a house, etc. Being a cop in trouble aint on the list.

Held without bail requires something a bunch more serious and needs a few public risk factors.



wierd, because this guy is being held on 3 million dollars bond.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:18:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.


No kidding. Owning and being proficient with military-style firearms should be encouraged, not DIScouraged.

Feel bad for the four guys involved.

One at a time, the gunowners go down....
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:21:14 AM EDT
simple possession crimes are bullshit.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:23:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:30:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:

Originally Posted By Mr45auto:

Originally Posted By quijanos:
You mean there are such thing as a Law Breaking LEO?
[/sarcasm off]


Fuck em.

Fry em like CRISPY Bacon (no pun).

If it were one of us (dirt peasant civilians).......we'd be held without bail. Own recognizance? Fuck that. Sounds like they are getting preferential treatment.




Do you really try that hard to show your ignorance?

If you had no previous criminal record and no other pending charges you'd go through the process too. There are many factors that go into determining if you get recog'd or not. Being a cop isnt one of them. How long you've lived in an area, if you have had a steady job, criminal record, do you own a house, etc. Being a cop in trouble aint on the list.

Held without bail requires something a bunch more serious and needs a few public risk factors.



wierd, because this guy is being held on 3 million dollars bond.



Not at all, public risk factor. Do you really think a judge is going to think you're stable and safe if you've got a bunch of homemade claymores in the garage?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:31:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Orwell84:
Personally, with the exception of the doctor I’m glad that those pigs got busted. I wonder how many people they arrested during their careers for gun violations; heck just being on a police force when that force arrests nonviolent people for stupid crimes proves that they are extremely immoral people. Moral people don’t say “Oh well, I’m just doing my job”, moral people are principled people and people with principle won’t associate themselves with a tyrannical organization and pass the blame on to someone else. If YOU are committing acts of tyranny then don’t blame congress for legitimizing your acts, while congress is guilty, you are far more guilty than congress for carrying out their tyrannical orders.


Interesting question. I bet the answer would be fascinating.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:33:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mr45auto:

Originally Posted By TheFreepster:

Originally Posted By Mr45auto:

Originally Posted By quijanos:
You mean there are such thing as a Law Breaking LEO?
[/sarcasm off]


Fuck em.

Fry em like CRISPY Bacon (no pun).

If it were one of us (dirt peasant civilians).......we'd be held without bail. Own recognizance? Fuck that. Sounds like they are getting preferential treatment.




Do you really try that hard to show your ignorance?

If you had no previous criminal record and no other pending charges you'd go through the process too. There are many factors that go into determining if you get recog'd or not. Being a cop isnt one of them. How long you've lived in an area, if you have had a steady job, criminal record, do you own a house, etc. Being a cop in trouble aint on the list.

Held without bail requires something a bunch more serious and needs a few public risk factors.



wierd, because this guy is being held on 3 million dollars bond.



Not at all, public risk factor. Do you really think a judge is going to think you're stable and safe if you've got a bunch of homemade claymores in the garage?



versus some homemade machineguns? how about some reloading supplies and tannerite? please.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:36:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:

Originally Posted By Orwell84:
Personally, with the exception of the doctor I’m glad that those pigs got busted. I wonder how many people they arrested during their careers for gun violations; heck just being on a police force when that force arrests nonviolent people for stupid crimes proves that they are extremely immoral people. Moral people don’t say “Oh well, I’m just doing my job”, moral people are principled people and people with principle won’t associate themselves with a tyrannical organization and pass the blame on to someone else. If YOU are committing acts of tyranny then don’t blame congress for legitimizing your acts, while congress is guilty, you are far more guilty than congress for carrying out their tyrannical orders.

While these men aren’t guilty in the eyes of freedom for owning machine guns, they are guilty in the eyes of freedom for being tyrants, and thus need to be punished.


IM incoming. Folks, we do not tolerate this kind of generalized bashing. Period.


You've GOT to be kidding me. Of course, I am a nobody, so my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it, but I think you are WAY overzealous.

How the pop-fucking-warner can you get your panties all tied up over this guy's opinion?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:46:26 AM EDT
Any lawyers here willing to represent these 3 and escalate this issue?

Maybe they could at LEAST get this tossed out and charges dismissed!
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:50:28 AM EDT
TheFreepster, you can grasp at whatever you want. I laid out a fact, you apparently just want an argument. I personally think we should all be able to have MGs and whatever else we want but the assumptions made here about "special" treatment are just fantasies.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:52:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:58:36 AM EDT
No one accidentally converts a semi-auto to full-auto. I know not to do it, so should they.

Club Fed better be getting two more guests for this!
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:04:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:

Originally Posted By Orwell84:
Personally, with the exception of the doctor I’m glad that those pigs got busted. I wonder how many people they arrested during their careers for gun violations; heck just being on a police force when that force arrests nonviolent people for stupid crimes proves that they are extremely immoral people. Moral people don’t say “Oh well, I’m just doing my job”, moral people are principled people and people with principle won’t associate themselves with a tyrannical organization and pass the blame on to someone else. If YOU are committing acts of tyranny then don’t blame congress for legitimizing your acts, while congress is guilty, you are far more guilty than congress for carrying out their tyrannical orders.

While these men aren’t guilty in the eyes of freedom for owning machine guns, they are guilty in the eyes of freedom for being tyrants, and thus need to be punished.


IM incoming. Folks, we do not tolerate this kind of generalized bashing. Period.


You've GOT to be kidding me. Of course, I am a nobody, so my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it, but I think you are WAY overzealous.

How the pop-fucking-warner can you get your panties all tied up over this guy's opinion?


No, I'm not kidding you--you aren't someone I would choose to kid with. I'd suggest reading the parts I made red--perhaps you will begin to understand the concept of "generalized bashing." Perhaps.


Personally, I'd have just responded with a <rolleyes> () smiley (if at all) since it was simply an incoherent rant (emphasis on incoherent), but then again, I just read and post here. IOW, I'm not tasked with being the official site "Herder of Kittens".
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:04:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
No, I'm not kidding you--you aren't someone I would choose to kid with. I'd suggest reading the parts I made red--perhaps you will begin to understand the concept of "generalized bashing." Perhaps.


You know what he's saying, friend. If you are part of an organization that (insert any number of negative or evil nouns or adjectives here), and you peel potatoes or cook for said "organization," you are just as part of the wrong as the head-bashers are.

As I said earlier, I think his question about how many arrests these men may have made for gun crimes is interesting, as well.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:06:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
No, I'm not kidding you--you aren't someone I would choose to kid with.


And here I was thinking you cared about me.

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:08:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:


It saddens me deeply, and angers me more, to see anyone arrested on life-ruining charges for something that should not be illegal.



atomic +1 !!

10 yrs and $250,000? Who are they kidding?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:09:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:10:15 AM EDT
It's a bummer that such a bullshit law exists in the first place. But, them being cops, they should know that even bullshit laws are enforced.

I truly hope that the cops and Dr. are all great citizens and take up the fight with the courts and can get back some gun rights for the rest of us, but it was an obviously idiotic move on their parts to choose to break a law that they are paid to enforce
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