Sent to us by the author.
In Camp Lone Star – “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” and Camp Lone Star – “a Fundamental Right”, I discussed the motions filed by K. C. Massey’s attorney, Louis Sorola, the former being a motion to suppress evidence and the latter a motion to dismiss the charges. The government, surprisingly, managed to respond to those motions within the statutory time (20 days), when they filed the
That is not an error on my part. The word “Indictment” is spelled, on the title of the document, as “Indictmnt”. Pretty good start for someone who receives over $100,000 per year plus amazing benefits from your hard earned money. You would think that they have spell-check on their computers, and that they would, to avoid error, have someone proofread what they write. But, heck, I guess that any form of diligence, whether as to grammar or truth, is not within their scope of responsibility.
Back on October 20, 2014, agents of the FBI and the BATF went to a home in Quinlan, Texas, to search for weapons (See Camp Lone Star – The Arrest of K. C. Massey). Any authority to search this house would be based upon the assumption that it was where Massey lived — his residence. Based upon the “Conditions of Release” (See Camp Lone Star – Cruel and Unusual Punishments – Before Conviction), they also presumed that Massey lived in the Quinlan house as that is where his “Home Detention” requires him to be. The Response does point out that Massey “left his home and traveled to Cameron County, Texas during the summer of 2014“, confirming that Quinlan was his home, but that he had moved for an extended period of time, over the summer.
Subsequently, they had a search warrant issued to search the premises at the Value Inn motel in Brownsville, and at the time of the search, arrested Massey. So, it appears that they then presumed that he lived at the Value Inn. The question, however, is where did Massey live, during that summer. Well, he lived on the “Rusty” Monsees property, at Camp Lone Star, with the consent of the owner. The purpose was to protect the property and to assist Border Patrol in discouraging entry into the United States, or, if they did enter Monsees’ land, to turn them over to BPS. The room at Value Inn was arranged to provide a place to clean up, due to the limited facilities at Camp Lone Star, and allow others, as well as Massey, to get a good night’s sleep on a soft bed, from time to time. So, his primary residence was actually Camp Lone Star. This can be equated with a businessman who has a home in New Jersey and works in New York. He may have a room in New York that he uses five days a week, and then stays at his home on the weekends. Are they not both his residence? Or, is there a law that prohibits only the wealthy (the Clintons come to mind) to have more than one residence?
Let’s add another factor before we proceed. A Mr. Aguilar, curator of the Sabal Palms wildlife sanctuary, granted permission to include the sanctuary in the area to be protected from illegal entry by illegal immigrants (See Massey’s account of incident). This would put that sanctuary, along with the Monsees property, under Massey’s “control”, at least with regard to deterring entry on the property of trespassers.
Now, you may be wondering why I brought that up. Well, I brought that up because I am wondering why the government, in their Response, chose to bring up a law that was not within their jurisdiction. On pages 4-5 of the Response, they cite Texas Penal Code Sections 46.02 and 46.04. It seems that they want to use Texas law to justify their action under federal law, but Massey is not charged with violating Texas law.
Texas Penal Code Section 46.02 Unlawfully Carrying Weapons
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
(1) On the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control
Texas Penal Code Section 46.04 Unlawful Possession of Firearm
(a) A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if he possess a firearm:
(1) After conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the persons release from confinement following conviction of the felony or the person’s release from supervision under community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, whichever date is later; or
(2) After the period described by Subdivision (1), at any location other than the premises at which the person lives.
The justification is based upon the fact that a Cameron County Sheriff’s Deputy was on the scene shortly after the shooting incident, however, the Sheriff didn’t charge Massey with a violation of Texas law, so that whole subject is moot.
The shooting incident warrants our attention. The only shooting done that day was by BPS officer Gonzales who shot at John Foerster. From the Response, “Senior Border Patrol agent [sic] Danny Cantu was nearby, heard the shots, and secured the scene for investigation“… “Cantu told Massey all members of his group must remain until shooting is investigated” (page 2). So, if you have an armed officer telling you that you “must remain”, the question arises, were you detained? Or, were you free to go?
I asked Massey whether he was free to go and he explained that within the first few minutes of the “investigation”, he asked, since he and the third member of the party, could leave, they were told “no”. He explained that he asked, a number of times, that he asked in one form or another whether they could leave, and were consistently told that they could not leave.
At page 3 of the Response, “It was reasonable for BPA Cantu to disarm Massey and tell him he could not leave the area where the shooting occurred.” Well, this might be “reasonable” if Massey were a witness to the shooting, however, he did nothing more than hear the shots fired. So, he couldn’t be “detained” as a witness, as he witnessed nothing. The only two people that witnessed anything were Foerster and Gonzales. If you heard shots from a bank robbery, two blocks away, would they; could they detain you as a witness or participant?
On page 4 of the Response, “Police are allowed to stop and briefly detain persons for investigative purposes if the police have a reasonable suspicion supported by articulable facts that criminal activity may be afoot” (pages 3-4). Where does the reasonable suspicion come in when Foerster never fired a shot and Massey and the third party did nothing more than hear the gunshots? What “criminal activity [might] be afoot”? Perhaps the BPS officer, Gonzales, fired his gun outside of the BPS policy for use of firearms, but is there any other possible “crime afoot” that would justify such action? So, it would appear that their argument would only apply to Gonzales, not anyone else — Sort of government doublethink or some other screwy effort at justification of something that is unjustifiable.
Also on page 4, we find, “If an officer develops—–and is able to articulate—–reasonable grounds to believe that a suspect is armed and presently dangerous to the officer, third parties, or himself, the officer may take swift measures to discover the true facts and neutralize the threat of harm if it materialized.” So, did Gonzales or Cantu have any reason to make any person other than Gonzales a “suspect”? Was there anything in the cooperation of the three that lead them to believe that any of the three were “presently dangerous to the officer, third parties, or himself”? And, if those conditions were met, to “take swift measures to discover the true facts and neutralize the threat of harm if it materialized”, would be what was required. However, by the times provided, and the absence of any apparent threat, we find that they were detained from 3:45 to 7:00. However, that final item not being, in the least, justified, how can anyone perceive 3 hours and 15 minutes in which you are not allowed to leave, anything other than being detained, without Miranda warning?
We cannot stop here, however. The guns were taken from the Massey side, I suppose as “evidence” of some sort, however, the pistol that did the shooting was not taken, as evidence, nor even inventoried or audited. It seems that five shots were heard but that only four shell casing were found. Hence, theResponse, as previous documents provide, the uncertain “four or five shots”. What kind of incompetence on the part of government is this? They don’t know how many bullets were loaded in the pistol, or they never did any investigation of the shooting weapon. However, they saw fit to seize weapons that were not involved in the incident.
From page 3 of the Response, we find some very cheap rationalization with, “Massy [sic] was not provided Miranda warnings during the investigation“, and “Massey was never handcuffed…” Golly, gee, he was detained, but since he wasn’t handcuffed, he doesn’t qualify for a Miranda warning, only they use what he said, and what he may have possessed, against him. This, because he “cooperated in surrendering his weapons and providing statements.” Darn, isn’t that the whole idea behind the Miranda warning? They didn’t Mariandize him, they didn’t let him leave, they were armed, and they asked him questions and then took the firearms. Actually, the government said, “surrendered”. Surrendering is capitulating — giving into force or threat of force. However, the government argues that the “evidence” that lead to a subsequent Indictment was obtained, was given freely — perhaps Massey wanted to be charged with a crime. We will just discount the facts and draw some conclusions about around that “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”.
Has the federal government run amuck? Do they lie to rationalize achieving their objective — by whatever means necessary? Is their sole objective to prove that the government can do no wrong? I leave the conclusion to the reader.