Sunday, December 28, 2008

Food-Raids, SWAT-Style

Submit to the State, you miserable serfs!

A state agent from the Ohio Department of Agriculture pressured a family whose members run a food cooperative for friends and neighbors to "sell" him a dozen eggs, sparking accusations of entrapment from a lawyer defending the family.

The case brought by state and local authorities against a co-op run by John and Jacqueline Stowers in LaGrange, Ohio, came to a head on Dec. 1 when police officers used SWAT-style tactics to burst into the home, hold family members including children at gunpoint and confiscate the family's personal food supply.

See, you need the AR-15's and vests because those friggin' chickens can be really, really, vicious. Especially Food Trafficker chickens.

The confrontation began developing several years ago when local health officials demanded the family hold a retail food license in order to run their co-op. Thompson said the family wrote a letter questioning that requirement and asking for evidence that would suggest they were operating a food store and how their private co-op was similar to a WalMart.

The Stowers family members simply "take orders from (co-op) members … then divide up the food," Thompson explained

Sounds like a conspiracy to me...

Thompson explained the genesis of the raid was a series of visits to the family by an undercover agent for the state agriculture agency.

"He showed up (at the Stowers' residence) unannounced one day," Thompson explained, and "pretended" to be interested in purchasing food.

The family explained the co-op was private and they couldn't provide service to the stranger.
The agent then returned another day, stayed for two hours, and explained how he thought his sick mother would be helped by eggs from range-fed chickens to which the Stowers had access.
The family responded that they didn't sell food and couldn't help. When he refused to leave, the family gave him a dozen eggs to hasten his departure, Thompson explained.

Despite protests from the family, the agent left some money on a counter and departed.
On the basis of that transaction, the Stowers were accused of engaging in the retail sale of food, Thompson said.

It's not the first instance of a State mashing its jackboot onto Food Traffickers, either.

The raid on Manna was not the first such case of authorities invading a home over issues involving the operations of food co-ops and direct producer-to-consumer arrangements. WND reported several months ago when authorities in Pennsylvania demanded $4,000 in fines from a farmer who provided raw milk to friends and neighbors.

That case also was highlighted by a SWAT team-like raid on Mark Nolt's farm, when government agents confiscated tens of thousands of dollars worth of his products as well as pieces of machinery he used for his milk handling and sales.

In that case, of course, it was the Vicious Cows that called for the ARs and vests...


Beer, Bicycles and the VRWC said...

So, are you packed for Re-
Education Camp? We leave January 21.

This is shades of Janet Reno in Waco, among other incidents. Remember, the government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take everything you have.

Anonymous said...

Wait until these thugs (cops) start raiding Amish homes for doing the same thing.

Anonymous said...

This smacks of the Tommy Chong interstate bong case. What a waste of public resources, whether you agree with selling eggs or bongs.