|FDA/DEA raid at Poisonous Non-Consumables||5||09/22 06:13pm||SneyoS|
|By Roc (Rochester) on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 12:16 am:|
I posted part of this earlier but felt it was wise to share with all...
Dear JLF customers,
Here is a rundown of our recent ordeal, in sequence:
Written early 9-01:
We know that a lot of you have been trying to contact us recently without success. We apologize for our recent inaccessibility and postponement of business activities and we assure you that this recent interruption is only temporary.
We have all endured some shocking developments lately. On Tuesday 9-11-01, our Nation was attacked by cowardly foreign terrorists whose actions struck a blow at the Constitutional freedoms we hold precious as citizens of the United States. We at JLF express all our sympathies to those who sustained large losses, and honor those who have heroically come to their aid. We would have temporarily closed our doors out of a respect for the victims and survivors of the attack on America, even if we had not been attacked ourselves. Although on a much smaller and less violent scale, the previous Friday, JLF suffered a similar attack at the hands of domestic terrorists whose activities, if unchallenged, will just as assuredly diminish and erode our freedoms as any attack by religious zealots. Led by agents from the FDA & DEA, various law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant at JLF Poisonous Non-Consumables and seized virtually all of our business records and a substantial quantity of our inventory. Though we were extremely upset and disrupted by the actions of our own government, we are determined to continue operating the same legal business and supplying the same legal products to our loyal customers that we have supplied for many years. Toward that end, we are up and running again at almost full capacity and should have any remaining operational problems resolved shortly.
We want to emphasize that nobody was arrested and no charges have been filed. Should any charges be filed we will be eager to have our day in court and enjoy the opportunity to establish the legality of our business. In the meantime, we have consulted with an attorney and are considering our legal options. One thing that is not an option is being intimidated by these zealots and backing down from our right to operate a legal business. To our knowledge, the agents found absolutely nothing illegal after searching both the business and residence located at our facility but that did not stop them from seizing all the computers and computer data, all paper records, a vehicle, various items of inventory, postage stamps(?), scales, the business blank checkbooks and so many more items that they cannot all be listed here.
We are now in the process of catching up with all of the operations that fell behind as a result of this attack by our own government. We would like to be able to respond to all of the e-mail messages regarding all the ramifications of this attack, but we simply do not have the time to do that and continue recovering from this attack and operating our legal business. If we were to take the time to answer every e-mail we have been receiving over the last week our business would virtually shut down and that would accomplish what the government apparently wants to see happen. Just like our great Nation is not going to bow to the threats posed by foreign zealots, JLF will not bow to the intimidation tactics of domestic zealots who would prevent us from providing our legal products to our loyal customers. We do appreciate all the support many of you have expressed and thank you for continuing to do business with us at this critical time.
Thank-you for your patience, understanding, and support.
-Mark Niemoeller / JLF Poisonous Non-Consumables
As of 11-14-01:
One week after the raid, our bank accounts were frozen and remain so. We are operating on one shoestring budget and a lot of headaches. Good thing we never operated with high overhead or on credit, or we would have had to shut down and claim bankruptcy immediately. (I imagine virtually 99+% of all other small businesses, having sustained such extreme damages, would have had to immediately closed their doors.) So, the only good news is that we are still in business and we've pretty much got our bills and orders (that piled up because of the raid) caught up. The bad news is many fold: we are still a little handicapped at the moment; a lot of our most popular products are still out of stock (in seizure); virtually all my savings, business capital, and retirement funds, that I have worked very long and hard for 16+ years to acquire, are still in seizure; etc. Total value of seized assets reach right at the one-million-dollar mark. Also, business is down over 90% since the raid. So much for my American Dream.
Regarding said American Dream:
JLF is based at my home and on my family farm which I love and have lived my whole life. I have stayed here and developed this business from absolute scratch, miraculously right where I've lived my whole 45/yrs (only moved once: out of the big old farm-house, and into the smaller house on the other end of the property). As JLF grew, it gradually moved from my house and took over the farmstead and moved into its barns, garages, shops, trailers, etc. It's virtually all I've done for the past two decades. Except for my projects and my business (JLF), I've bore no family of my own. I've worked long and hard innovating and developing JLF, out of dumpster-and-auction-sale-scrounged business and office equipment, and my long-saved moneys (proud to say, I never even got a business loan - never did the credit gig at all!). The time, effort, passion, pride I have invested in JLF is inestimable. I also sacrificed much of any social life in trade for being successfully self-employed in the field of my choice. I was always just a Nature-boy at heart, and finally realized I better figure out a way to make money from my Natural interests and projects because they were taking over my attempts at the family-grain-farming operation. From that, JLF materialized. I quit farming and put an ad in High Times Magazine for Amanita muscaria mushrooms, which I had just harvested in Florida and dried in an old RV. They say a person should first figure out what they enjoy, and THEN figure out a way to make money at it; for me, that's exactly the description of JLF. I especially have to thank my parents, siblings and relatives for putting up with my eccentricities, especially my parents who live just next door. They have given me a rare combination of gifts: love and tolerance. This is especially precious considering their conservative German-Lutheran-Farmer background, which also happens to be the background of all their friends and the area. This was crucial in stimulating the creation of JLF. It was working well and I was a relatively happy person until Sept the 7th. Well, sorry for boring you all with my sob story but this site is my only outreach to the public, and my relating my story seems more relevant now.
There's nothing new to report, in regards to new developments in the case; still no charges filed or assets returned. From my perspective, absolutely nothing is happening; which is bad enough because the cost of the raid and the ensuing damages will certainly far exceed any potential future maximum fines for any possible crimes JLF may have committed by any stretch of the Fed's imagination.
Many thanks to those who have expressed support for us recently. We have been getting a lot of emails from others relaying similar incidents which have happened to them at the hands of these, and other, agencies. Please continue to relay them to us.
Of course, we mainly ask our customers to support us by continuing to do business with us.
As far as what else you can do to help us: call or write your congressman and the media and express your outrage at these unconstitutional tactics. Tell them that seizing assets like this is like being charged, arrested, tried, convicted, and fined without due process. Tell them it's like being instantly judged as guilty until proven innocent. Tell them that not only do these tactics force one to prove his innocence, they also deprive him of his very means (money and evidence) for proving that innocence. Apparently sometime during the Nixon administration, in the name of the War on Drugs, the previously required "burden of proof beyond a resonable doubt" was taken off the shoulders of the State and drastically reduced by the Supreme Court to "probable cause" or "reasonable suspicion"; such vastly lower burdens are now apparently sufficient for the American "Justice" System to lay an instant sentence upon a person, fining him any large amount of his money and/or property (they just TAKE it).
Tell your Congressman that these products are not illegal and therefore should remain available to all adults. Inform them that you are a serious and responsible manufacturer, researcher, worshiper, artist, etc (whichever the case may be), and that you absolutely require these materials for your related activities. If you are a hobbyist, amateur or layperson, stress that you have just as much a right to purchase these legal materials as any professional or academician.
To all attorneys, businesses and institutions with a desire to see JLF and it's style and content to survive: please help! In case you haven't noticed, JLF has innovated a new way of doing business here which has proved very successful and inherently trouble-free for the last 15 years. Please help this unique format to survive. I am a very small man up against many powerful people who appear to be interested in terminating my business. If you have an interest in seeing my business format and/or this trend continue, please send legal backing in any form (I have no defense funds). I have at least been able to retain a lawyer who is gracious enough to look into this for nothing but faith in the future, but we can use all the extra help we can get. I am no attorney, but I would think this case would be a dream for a lawyer who is familiar with JLF and passionate about seeing it survive. We desperately need pro-bono legal help; we've had no offers to date. The name(s) of the one(s) who comes forth and succeeds will be praised far and wide: that's a guarantee.
All my support goes out to the victims of the large-scale terrorist attacks, but forgive me for not being extra patriotic at the moment.
My ancestor, Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984), said during WWII:
"In Germany, they first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me and by that time there was no one left to speak up."
As of 11-21-01:
We are back up and running a fully functional business, although we continue to be out of stock of most of the seized products. We still have had no further contact from the Feds or developments in the case. All we have managed to do is get a copy of the discovery papers. Our legal defense (attempts to retrieve our products and other assets) is still proceeding very slowly.
So, here's how it stands now:
I had my successful home-based business raided on Sept 7th, 01 by the FDA and DEA. They seized around one million dollars worth of assets, including a vehicle, two computers, all electronic and paper data/records, 1/4 million
dollars worth of products, and a week later froze 3/4 million dollars in bank accounts. I have not been charged yet. In fact, nothing much has happened at all since the 15 agents raided my place.
Of course, I have more opinionated comments about all this. I will possibly post them soon. Stay tuned.
|By Lichen (Lichen) on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 12:34 am:|
so sorry, what is JLF?
|By Nan (Nanook) on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 12:46 am:|
If the link does not work you know why... It may still be cached in my browser...
|By Lichen (Lichen) on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 12:52 am:|
ok, I got it now...good site, good choices, good store...bad DEA, bad bad bad
|By Roc (Rochester) on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 03:04 am:|
These folks have been around a long time... now I hesitate to place any orders with them. They have provided some great spores in the past and I am glad to have prints from their Thai and PESA for future use. Thanks Mark for 15 years of service and hang in there!
|By Karna (Karna) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 12:03 am:|
This only strengthens my belief that love of one's country and hatred of one's govt are mutually exclusive emotions.
|By An guy (Boomer) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 12:26 am:|
Did you mean *not* mutually exclusive?
I love this country, but don't particularly care for the government. I freely admit the necessity for one, just not necessarily this one....
|By gnas (Psystep) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 01:21 am:|
That's what Karna meant by saying they are mutually exclusive.