Acting U.S. Attorney Issues Statement/Warnings in Anticipation of Hammonds Surrender to Prison

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Today, I obtained the following, which was published in the December 9, 2015, Burns Times Herald, in Burns, Oregon. The acting U.S. Attorney has issued a warning to any who may be in town as Steven and Dwight Hammond are carted off to jail, to watch their p’s and q’s  and to not get in the way as ‘justice’ is carried out per the U.S. justice system, which he declares is the finest in the world. And in addition to these statements, he goes into a synopsis of what happened, to the Hammonds, according to court processes.  

6641109_1446589120-1.0852What strikes me as strange is why does the U.S. Attorney feel the need to publish this manifest in the sleepy little Oregon town of Burns. After all, if the Hammonds were convicted by a jury of their peers, and small towns being what they are, why the need to reinforce the history of the trial? Everyone knows what happened, or do they?There is no comment from the Hammonds here, or any spokesperson of the Hammonds. Could it be that there is more to the story? And why would the U.S. Attorney be anticipating any trouble as the Hammonds are sent to jail for a second time? Could it be that since facts of the incidents in question have seen some sunlight, maybe that light revealed other, pertinent facts regarding the situation? Wouldn’t it be prudent to reexamine the issues, rather than send two men to PRISON, for starting controlled, prescribed fires? And why, will someone please tell me WHY, the government went into the situation with the HEAVY HANDED CHARGES of the Anti Terrorism And Death Penalty Act? Could it be they wanted them to NOT have the right of Habeas Corpus? That would certainly do the trick, if so. Remember the Hammond ranch is surrounded on all sides by BLM or government owned land. Hmmm. Folks, there’s a lot more to this story than what is written below in the U.S. Attorney’s statement, and I fear there will be no one to be a voice for the Hammonds in seeking true, American justice.

Acting U.S. Attorney, Billy J. Williams

As the Acting United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, I write to the citizens of Harney County to address ongoing attempts by outside individuals and organizations that are making statements and using social media to express views which are clearly contrary to what occurred publicly in an open courtroom. I understand that there are some individuals and organizations who object to the Hammonds returning to prison to serve the remainder of their sentences mandated by statute. I respect their right to peacefully disagree with the prison terms imposed. However, any criminal behavior contemplated by those who may object to the court’s mandate that harms someone will not be tolerated and will result in serious consequences. The following is a summary of the facts in United States v. Dwight and Steven Hammond, including the actions and positions taken by this of ce throughout the course of the case.

Five years ago, a federal grand jury charged Dwight and Steven Hammond with committing arson on public lands, and endangering re ghters. The charges came after the Hammonds rejected an offer to settle the case by pleading guilty to lesser charges and sentences.

Three years ago, after a two-week trial in Pendleton, Oregon, a jury found 70-year old Dwight and his son, 43-year old Steven Hammond, guilty of committing arson on public lands in 2001. Steven Hammond was also found guilty of committing a second arson in 2006. They were found not guilty of other arson charges, and while the jury was deliberating on the remaining charges, the Hammonds negotiated for the dismissal of those charges and a promise from the U.S. Attorney to recommend the minimum sentence mandated by law. The Hammonds assured the trial judge that they knew the law required they serve no less than ve years in prison. The U.S. Attorney also agreed they should remain free until sentencing.

The Hammonds had long ranched private and public lands in Eastern Oregon. Although they leased public lands for grazing, they were not permitted to burn the lands without prior authorization from the BLM. In 1999, a BLM employee reminded Steven Hammond of this after he started a fire that escaped onto public land.

At trial, jurors heard from a hunting guide, a hunter and the hunter’s father, who saw the Hammonds illegally slaughter a herd of deer on public land. At least seven deer were shot with others limping or running from the scene. Less than two hours later, the hunting guide and the hunter and his father, were forced to abandon their campsite because a fire was burning in the area where the deer had been shot. The hunting guide’s testimony and photographs established fires were burning hours before Steven Hammond called the BLM and said he was going to do a burn of invasive species in the area.

A teenage relative, who was with the Hammonds in 2001 when those fires were set, told the jury that he was handed a box of “Strike Anywhere” matches, and Steven Hammond told him to drop lit matches on the ground so as to “light up the whole country on fire.” He did as instructed, and the resulting eight-to ten-foot flames spread quickly. Fearing for his life, he was forced to take shelter in a creek. The jury heard evidence that once back at the ranch, Dwight and Steven told him to “keep his mouth shut,” and that “nobody needed to know about the fire.” The resulting eight-to ten-foot fames spread quickly. Fearing for his life, he was forced to take shelter in a creek. The jury heard evidence that once back at the ranch, Dwight and Steven told him to “keep his mouth shut,” and that “nobody needed to know about the fire.” The fires destroyed evidence of the deer slaughter and took 139 acres of public land out of public use for two years.

The evidence at trial convinced the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the Hammonds were guilty of the federal crime of arson; that is, maliciously damaging United States property by fire. The jury was neither asked if the Hammonds were terrorists, nor were defendants ever charged with or accused of terrorism. Suggesting otherwise is simply  flat out wrong.

The jury also found Steven Hammond guilty of committing a second arson in 2006.

That summer, BLM fire fighters were battling several significant fires caused by lightning strikes. The Harney County Fire Marshal imposed a burn ban, and a “red flag” warning was in effect. Despite the burn ban, and knowing that fire fighters were in the area, Steven Hammond set fires at night without notifying anyone. He did so to save his winter feed. After seeing the fires, the firefighters moved to a safer location. When confronted by a fire fighter the next day, Steven Hammond admitted setting the fires, and made no apology for doing so.

The crimes that the jury found the Hammonds committed carried five-year congressionally-mandated minimum sentences. In October 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Hogan imposed sentences below what the law required. The U.S. Attorney’s Office appealed the sentences imposed by Judge Hogan because they were not the sentences mandated by Congress for the crimes committed. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, and reversed the Hammonds’ sentences. The cases were sent back to the District Court with the directive that the statute’s mandate be followed. The Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit’s decision, and in October 2015, Chief Judge Ann Aiken imposed the five-year prison terms. The U.S. Attorney agreed to allow the Hammonds to self-surrender after the holidays.

Much has been said and written by persons who were not in the Pendleton courtroom during the trial or in Eugene during the sentencing hearings. Much of it is inaccurate. For example, the federal prosecutor has never called the Hammonds terrorists, an allegation made by some of the Hammonds’ supporters. As Acting U.S. Attorney, I do not consider them to be terrorists. At the sentencing hearings, the federal prosecutor described the Hammonds’ contributions to their community and urged the court not to impose the higher sentences recommended by the U.S. Probation office. The prosecutor also assured the court that the sentences mandated by Congress were neither cruel nor unusual given the seriousness of the crimes and the safety threat posed to the hunters (in 2001) and the fire fighters (in 2006). The Hammonds received a fair trial, they were found guilty in Pendleton, Oregon, by a jury of their peers, and they ultimately received lawful sentences mandated by Congress.

As Americans, we have the privilege of being served by the finest judicial system in the world. Despite suggestions to the contrary, what took place during this case was a process that followed the time-honored fundamental principles of the rule of law— from the investigation, negotiations, a public trial with the presentation of lawfully admitted evidence, the jury’s findings, judicial findings, appellate rulings, to the final imposition of sentence. We stand by the ultimate resolution of this case.

Army veteran and patriot, Ryan Payne, has responded to Mr. Williams statement. It does seem that there are citizens of Harney County who disagree with the treatment of the Hammonds and the courts sentencing.

A sincere thanks to Mr. Williams for his public threat towards Patriots. It is beneficial for The People that they are acutely aware of the oppression which their government is going to expand from the Hammonds to include anyone opposed to the unConstitutional decrees of the tyrannical and activist judiciary. We were aware of your position, but having made it publicly saves us the effort of having to frame it to The People. As I’ve spoken with the citizens of Harney County. I’ve found no one in agreement with the government’s decision and tyrannical overstep. Now the people of Harney County are aware that if they attempt to remedy their situation and form a barrier to prevent the assertion of an illegitimate authority that they will be punished swiftly. We need not attempt to convince them of your intent, for you have not minced words, and they are now aware.

As Patriots around the union become aware of your threats, I am certain they will be received with their intended message. If your goal is to provoke The People to break the chains of oppression, you are succeeding brilliantly.

Ryan Payne

16 thoughts on “Acting U.S. Attorney Issues Statement/Warnings in Anticipation of Hammonds Surrender to Prison

  1. I have seen federal courts first hand. They are kangaroo courts, no different than the Soviet Union’s “show courts”. I remember one where the judge, in the courtroom, instructed the defense attorney that he would not be allowed to introduce any witnesses or evidence to defend his client, and that he would be disbarred if he tried! His every objection was met with orders to “sit down and shut up!”

    1. I’ve had court documents with my forged signature on them used in proceedings against me. There is no recourse. We are all back at the “taxation without representation” stage of the game again. No representation period.

  2. So when are the gov’t SOB’s that were setting fires that burned livestock and peoples homes being “carted” off to jail, hmmm???

  3. Acting U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams states there will be serious consequences for anyone engaging in criminal behavior, when the Hammonds are transported to prison. Mr. Williams is currently in the “drivers seat” and can issue any threat he wants. But, life is full of twists and turns. For instance, what if there were massive civil unrest, or civil war and he woke up to find someone else in the drivers seat? Someone else issuing threats and he was on the receiving end of those threats? The threats were totally unnecessary. The threats were nothing more than public muscle flexing of corrupt, abusive, government power. A decent person would never have acted this way. Scum always reveal themselves.

  4. Just in case no one knew or cared ? The Federal Government ONLY has the right to own land that is necessary for their buildings to sit on !!! They can NOT just own or control land per the Constitution ! And you say they pass a law that gave them permission to ! Well guess what ??? They can’t make any law that goes against the Constitution it is Null and Void it is NOT a law at all !!! NONE of the Laws they have made that goes against the Constitution is law or any Gun control laws are NOT law it is against the Supreme Law of the land to do so ! That makes them Criminals !!! NOT WE THE PEOPLE !!!

    1. @ Dennis Richmond, 100% correct!
      Not only can the federal government not own lands not enumerated in Article IV of the Constitution, the US District courts do not have Constitutional authority to take jurisdiction in a state of the Union. Their jurisdiction is limited to the District of Columbia, the territories and possessions of the United States. The gun control laws are only enforceable in the Statutory UNITED STATES (District of Colombia).

      The Hammonds were convicted by a court lacking the constitutional authority to take jurisdiction in Oregon. These courts have statutory jurisdiction per the federal statutes. However Congress has no authority to extend their jurisdiction beyond what the Constitution allows. The Constitution has restricted them to federal territory per Article IV. These courts are not Article III courts. Article III courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. US District courts are courts of general jurisdiction.

      1. Well said ! It is to bad that those that elected to both Houses aren’t required to know the Constitution to which they swore an oath to up hold and to defend !!! That is a bill I could get behind !

        1. Default Who owns the federal land? The Supreme Court actually addressed this issue …..
          Subject: Q: Who owns the federal land? Pollard’s Lessee V Hagan – 44 US 212 [1845] A: The individual States

          The Supreme Court actually addressed this issue in Pollard’s Lessee v. Hagan, 44 U.S. 212 (1845) when Alabama became a state in 1845. The question presented was concerning a clause where it was stated “that all navigable waters within the said State shall forever remain public highways, free to the citizens of said State, and of the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, or toll therefor imposed by said State.” The Supreme Court held that this clause was constitutional because it “conveys no more power over the navigable waters of Alabama to the Government of the United States than it possesses over the navigable waters of other States under the provisions of the Constitution.”
          The Pollard decision expressed a statement of constitutional law in dictum making it very clear that the Feds have no claim over the lands in Nevada. The Supreme Court states:
          The United States never held any municipal sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of soil in and to the territory of which Alabama, or any of the new States, were formed, except for temporary purposes, and to execute the trusts created by the acts of the Virginia and Georgia legislatures, and the deeds of cession executed by them to the United States, and the trust created by the treaty of the 30th April, 1803, with the French Republic ceding Louisiana.
          So in other words, once a territory becomes a state, the Fed must surrender all claims to the land as if it were still just a possession or territory.
          Pollard’s Lessee v. Hagan – 44 U.S. 212 (1845)

          U.S. Supreme Court

          Pollard’s Lessee v. Hagan, 44 U.S. 3 How. 212 212 (1845)
          Pollard’s Lessee v. Hagan
          44 U.S. (3 How.) 212

          Within the District of Columbia, and the other places purchased and used for the purposes above mentioned, the national and municipal powers of government, of every description, are united in the Government of the Union. And these are the only cases within the United States in which all the powers of government are united in a single government, except in the cases already
          Page 44 U. S. 224
          mentioned of the temporary territorial governments, and there a local government exists. The right of Alabama and every other new State to exercise all the powers of government, which belong to and may be exercised by the original States of the union, must be admitted, and remain unquestioned, except so far as they are, temporarily, deprived of control over the public lands.
          We will now inquire into the nature and extent of the right of the United States to these lands, and whether that right can in any manner affect or control the decision of the case before us. This right originated in voluntary surrenders, made by several of the old States, of their waste and unappropriated lands, to the United States, under a resolution of the old Congress, of the 6th of September, 1780, recommending such surrender and cession, to aid in paying the public debt, incurred by the war of the Revolution. The object of all the parties to these contracts of cession, was to convert the land into money for the payment of the debt, and to erect new States over the territory thus ceded; and as soon as these purposes could be accomplished, the power of the United States over these lands, as property, was to cease.
          Whenever the United States shall have fully executed these trusts, the municipal sovereignty of the new States will be complete, throughout their respective borders, and they, and the original States, will be upon an equal footing, in all respects whatever. We, therefore, think the United States hold the public lands within the new States by force of the deeds of cession, and the statutes connected with them, and not by any municipal sovereignty which it may be supposed they possess, or have reserved by compact with the new States, for that particular purpose. The provision of the Constitution above referred to shows that no such power can be exercised by the United States within a State. Such a power is not only repugnant to the Constitution, but it is inconsistent with the spirit and intention of the deeds of cession.

  5. “… I fear there will be no one to be a voice for the Hammonds in seeking true, American justice.”

    You should be fearing the fact that there is no longer any such thing in this country.

  6. It has come to light that US District courts may not have Constitutional authority to take jurisdiction within the exterior boundaries of any od the 50 union states.

    That also raises the question where in the Constitution does the Bureau of Land Management get its authority to take jurisdiction over lands within any of the 50 states of the union.

    There are hundreds of pages of the court records in these cases made available to the public.

    I have selected these few to show that it does appear the Constitution has not granted the US District courts authority to take jurisdiction in the Hammond case(s).

    That the statutes of Congress may authorize United States Attorneys to bring suit in United States District Court is insufficient, in and of itself, to vest jurisdiction in any such court; to wit:

    “So, we conclude, as we did in the prior case, that, although these suits may sometimes so present questions arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States that the Federal courts will have jurisdiction, yet the mere fact that a suit is an adverse suit authorized by the statutes of Congress is not in and of itself sufficient to vest jurisdiction in the Federal courts.” Shoshone Mining Co. v. Rutter, 177 U.S. 505, 513 (1900).

    It is well settled that before a federal judge can rely on the authority of a statute for jurisdiction to hear and decide a particular cause, said judge must confirm that the Constitution has given him the capacity to take it; to wit:

    “It remains rudimentary law that “[a]s regards all courts of the United States inferior to this tribunal, two things are necessary to create jurisdiction, whether original or appellate. The Constitution must have given to the court the capacity to take it, and an act of Congress must have supplied it. . . . To the extent that such action is not taken, the power lies dormant.” The Mayor v. Cooper, 6 Wall. 247, 252, 18 L.Ed. 851 (1868) (emphasis added); accord, Christianson v. Colt Industries Operating Co., 486 U.S. 800, 818, 108 S.Ct. 2166, 2179, 100 L.Ed.2d 811 (1988); Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. Risjord, 449 U.S. 368, 379-380, 101 S.Ct. 669, 676-677, 66 L.Ed.2d 571 (1981); Kline v. Burke Construction Co., 260 U.S. 226, 233-234, 43 S.Ct. 79, 82-83, 67 L.Ed. 226 (1922); Case of the Sewing Machine Companies, 18 Wall. 553, 577-578, 586-587, 21 L.Ed. 914 (1874); Sheldon v. Sill, 8 How. 441, 449, 12 L.Ed. 1147 (1850); Cary v. Curtis, 3 How. 236, 245, 11 L.Ed. 576 (1845); McIntire v. Wood, 7 Cranch 504, 506, 3 L.Ed. 420 (1813). [Underline emphasis only added.] Finley v. United States, 490 U.S. 545 (1989).

    On September 29, 2015, the Houston Judge made a ruling and entered an Order (Houston Dkt. #83) denying the motion.

    A month later, on October 28, 2015, Petitioner filed in the Houston Division case, Petitioner’s Motion to Vacate the Court’s May 23, 2014, Amended Final Judgment (Dkt. #53) and Order of Sale and Vacature (Dkt. #54) as Void for (a) Lack of Constitutional Authority that gives the Court the Capacity to Take Jurisdiction and Enter Judgments, Orders, and Decrees in Favor of the United States Arising from a Civil or Criminal Proceeding Regarding a Debt, in Harris County, Texas, and (b) Denial of Due Process of Law (the “October 28, 2015, Houston Motion to Vacate”) (hyperlinked below).

    The contents of the October 28, 2015, Houston Motion to Vacate are substantially identical to those of Petitioner’s September 14, 2015, Lufkin Division Objection and Demand—in response to which the Lufkin Judge and plaintiff United States disappeared and declined to participate any further.

    The October 28, 2015, Houston Motion to Vacate was docketed and a hearing set for November 18, 2015 (Houston Dkt. #84).

    November 18, 2015, however, came and went with no word from the Houston Judge.

    The Houston Court (as every other United States District Court in America) is a legislative-branch Article IV territorial court of general jurisdiction with authority only in the District of Columbia (for proof of this fact, see Houston Division Record, Fifth Circuit Record, Supreme Court Record, or Lufkin Division Record), masquerading as a judicial-branch Article III constitutional court of limited jurisdiction (of which, since no later than June 25, 1948, there are no more: see 28 U.S.C. 132 and parenthesized legislative history thereunder).

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