Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Monday, October 17, 2005

"...Reason to Suspect 'It is Drug Related' "

Are you going to join in the Great Wal*Mart Ammo Day Buy? Well, I said we wanted to see what happened. This might give some of us a clue. (Check the date - 11/5/2002) Reader Carl sent me this news story (link appears to be broken due to age, but the players are real - see below):
Who bought 1,000 rounds of 9 mm ammo?

Mary Jo Denton
Herald-Citizen Staff

November 05, 2002

When someone bought 1,000 rounds of 9 mm ammunition at a Cookeville store recently, clerks became suspicious.

So did police after they received information about the purchase.

The ammo appeared to be headed for use in drug related crimes, according to Capt. Nathan Honeycutt of the Cookeville Police Department.

That was last week, and investigation into the matter continues today, with one man under arrest so far, but not for having the large quantity of powerful bullets.
A thousand 9mm rounds? That's a decent weekend for some of us.
Last Friday, federal, regional, and local officers executed a search warrant and arrested Vernon Thomas Mendoza, 25, of Buffalo Valley Road, Cookeville.

He is facing "a variety of federal charges, including possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and possession of methamphetamine for resale," Capt. Honeycutt said.
Well good on 'em, then. But how did they know about Mr. Mendoza?
Meanwhile, the search for where the ammunition wound up continues, and detectives are hot on the trail, he said.

With the information they first received last week about the ammo purchase, police detectives set up an undercover investigation which included the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agency, working with the 13th District Drug Task Force, and Detective Lt. Doyle McClain and Detective Sgt. Carl Sells.

"We are still trying to find out where this much ammunition was going, and we have some very good leads now," Capt. Honeycutt said today. "In fact, we have a pretty good idea of where it is and more arrests are pending."

He said 9 mm ammunition of the type bought "is the most likely thing that goes into automatic weapons commonly used by criminals."
Wait... I thought automatic weapons were strictly regulated by the 1934 National Firearms Act? And that kept them out of the hands of criminals. But now they're "commonly used by criminals"?

Oh. You mean semi-automatic weapons. Well why didn't you say so?
"And to buy that much at one time is very unusual, so that is why it raised the suspicions of the store and of the police," Honeycutt said.
It might be unusual in Cookeville, but it's pretty damned common most places. When I buy .45ACP it's by the thousand round case. I guess these guys would have had little kittens if they'd found out about my recent purchase of 768 rounds of .30-06, in Garand clips on bandoleers, shipped in evil .50 caliber ammo cans!
While it is not necessarily illegal to possess such ammunition in that quantity, detectives working this case have reason to suspect "it is drug related," he said.
Not necessarily illegal! How nice! I guess my cabinet full of reloaded ammo isn't necessarily illegal either? Or all the loose projectiles, various powders, primers and empty cases?
He said the "behavior" of the buyer, as well as the quantity of the purchase figured into the suspicion raised.
I can imagine what bothered the clerks. The guy comes up and says "I need a thousand rounds of 9mm and six cases of Sudafed. And hurry up, I've got things to do!"
"Our detectives did not wait for somebody to get hurt, but took a proactive stance and moved to track down this ammunition," Honeycutt said.

The arrest of Mendoza was the first result, and more arrests are expected, he said.

When the officers and DTF and ATF agents arrived at Mendoza's residence last Friday about 11 a.m., they found him there with his girlfriend, and he was arrested without incident, Honeycutt said.

But he made no statements, Honeycutt said.

Allegedly, he had a handgun and methamphetamine, and his arrest was based on those items.

But the officers did not find the 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

"So it is still a very, very active investigation," Honeycutt said this morning.

He praised the work of the Cookeville Police detectives and the "excellent cooperation" of the ATF and the Drug Task Force.

Mendoza was taken to Nashville, where he will be arraigned in federal court.

Published November 05, 2002 12:12 PM CST
I didn't find any follow-ups on this story, but in checking, I did find this golden oldie:
Killing of family dog unfolds on videotape

Staff Writer

Review finds officers acted properly in stopping car

Three minutes and seven seconds tells the story of a dog named Patton.

The dog, which was shot at close range Jan. 1 by a Cookeville policeman during a felony traffic stop, belonged to the James Smoak family of Saluda, N.C. At the time, the Tennessee Highway Patrol suspected the Smoaks — James, his wife, Pamela, and his stepson, Brandon Hayden — were involved in a Nashville-area robbery.

Yesterday, the Tennessee Highway Patrol acknowledged there was no robbery, just a calamitous mix-up in communications between dispatchers working for two separate patrol offices. This failure to communicate led to the shooting of the Smoaks' dog, an incident that was preserved on videotape by a dashboard camera in a patrol car.

Even so, the THP officers did not act inappropriately by making the felony stop, according to an internal investigation.

"Our investigation has found that our troopers on the scene that night — Trooper David Bush, Trooper Jerry Phann and Lt. Jerry Andrews — did have probable cause to conduct what in police terms is called a 'felony stop' of a motorist," said Beth Tucker Womack, spokeswoman for the Department of Safety. The THP is part of the Safety Department.

A felony stop is ordered when the occupants of a car are thought to have been involved in a crime.

Likewise, the Cookeville Police Department's internal investigation determined that its officers, who were providing backup for the troopers, "performed their duties according to training and policy," said department spokesman Capt. Nathan Honeycutt.
You can read the rest at the link.

I wonder how many BATF agents are going to be tied up investigating a nearly-simultaneous purchase of tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition of various calibers? Or how long it will take Wal*Mart to shut down ammo sales on Nov. 19?

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