Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio
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  1. #1

    Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio

    I hope this sends a chill down your spine like it did mine. Lord help us.

    Alex Jones' Prison Planet: The truth will set you free!

    Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio

    Crossroad.to
    Saturday December 6, 2008

    Over the past 20 years Congress has encouraged the U.S. military to supply intelligence, equipment, and training to civilian police. That encouragement has spawned a culture of paramilitarism in American law enforcement. The 1980s and 1990s have seen marked changes in the number of state and local paramilitary units, in their mission and deployment, and in their tactical armament.” –Cato Institute (more below)

    “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” –Barack Obama, “Obama’s Civilian National Security Force”

    “At the World Food Programme we have recognized what a valuable tool food aid can be in changing behaviour. In so many poorer countries food is money, food is power…..” –Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of the World Food Program, “The UN Plan for Food and Land”


    On Monday, December 1, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles entered the private home of the Stowers family in LaGrange, Ohio, herded the family onto the couches in the living room, and kept guns trained on parents, children, infants and toddlers, from approximately 11 AM to 8 PM. The team was aggressive and belligerent. The children were quite traumatized. At some point, the “bad cop” SWAT team was relieved by another team, a “good cop” team that tried to befriend the family. The Stowers family has run a very large, well-known food cooperative called Manna Storehouse on the western side of the greater Cleveland area for many years.

    There were agents from the Department of Agriculture present, one of them identified as Bill Lesho. The search warrant is reportedly suspicious-looking. Agents began rifling through all of the family’s possessions, a task that lasted hours and resulted in a complete upheaval of every private area in the home. Many items were taken that were not listed on the search warrant. The family was not permitted a phone call, and they were not told what crime they were being charged with. They were not read their rights. Over ten thousand dollars worth of food was taken, including the family’s personal stock of food for the coming year. All of their computers, and all of their cell phones were taken, as well as phone and contact records. The food cooperative was virtually shut down. There was no rational explanation, nor justification, for this extreme violation of Constitutional rights.

    Presumably Manna Storehouse might eventually be charged with running a retail establishment without a license. Why then the Gestapo-type interrogation for a 3rd degree misdemeanor charge? This incident has raised the ominous specter of a restrictive new era in State regulation and enforcement over the nation’s private food supply.

    This same type of abusive search and seizure was reported by those innocents who fell victim to oppressive federal drug laws passed in the 1990s. The present circumstance raises the obvious question: is there some rabid new interpretation of an existing drug law that considers food a controlled substance worthy of a nasty SWAT operation? Or worse, is there a previously unrecognized provision(s) pertaining to food in the Homeland Security measures? Some have suggested that it was merely an out-of-control, hot-to-trot ODA agent, and, if so, this would be a best-case scenario. Anything else might spell the beginning of the end for the freedom to eat unregulated and unmonitored food.

    One blogger familiar with the Ohio situation has reported that:

    “Interestingly, I believe they [Manna Storehouse] said a month or so ago, an undercover ODA official came to their little store and claimed to have a sick father wanting to join the co-op. Both the owner and her daughter-in-law had a horrible feeling about the man, and decided not to allow him into the co-op and notified him by certified mail. He came back to the co-op demanding to be part of it. They refused and gave him names of other businesses and health food stores closer to his home. Not coincidentally, this man was there yesterday as part of the raid.”

    The same blog also noted that the Ohio Department of Agriculture has been chastised by the courts in several previous instances for its aggression, including trying to entrap an Amish man in a raw milk “sale,” which backfired when it became known that the Amish believe in a literal interpretation of “give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:42)

    The issue appears to be the discovery of a bit of non-institutional beef in an Oberlin College food service freezer a year ago that was tracked down by a county sanitation official to Manna Storehouse. Oberlin College’s student food coop is widely known for its strident ideological stance about eating organic foods. It seems that the Oberlin student food cooperative had joined the Manna Storehouse food cooperative in order to buy organic foods in bulk from the national organic food distributor United, which services buying clubs across the nation. The sanitation official, James Boddy, evidently contacted the Ohio Department of Agriculture. After the first contact by state ODA officials, Manna Storehouse reportedly wrote them a letter requesting assistance and guidelines for complying with the law. This letter was never answered. Rather, the ODA agent tried several times to infiltrate the coop, as described above. When his attempts failed, the SWAT team showed up!

    Food cooperatives and buying clubs have been an active part of the American landscape for over a generation. In the 1970s, with the rise of the organic food industry (a direct outgrowth of the hippie back-to-nature movement) food coops started up all over the country. These were groups of people who freely associated for the purpose of combining their buying power so that they could order organic food items in bulk and case lots. Anyone who was part of these coops in the early era will remember the messy breakdown of 35 pounds of peanut butter and 5 gallon drums of honey!

    These buying clubs have persisted and flourished over the years due to their ability to purchase high quality organic foods at reduced prices in bulk quantities. Most cooperatives have participated greatly in the local agrarian economies, supporting neighborhood organic farmers with purchases of produce, eggs, chickens, etc. The groups also purchase food from a number of different local, regional and national distributors, many of them family-based businesses who truck the food themselves. Some of these food cooperatives have become large enough to set up mini-storefront operations where members can drop in and purchase items leftover from case lot sales. Manna Storehouse had established itself in such a manner, using a small enclosed breezeway attached to their home. It was a folksy place with old wooden floors where coop members stopped by to chat and snack on bags of organic corn chips.

    The state of Ohio boasts the second largest Amish population in the country. Many of the Amish live on acreages where they raise their own food, not unlike Manna Storehouse, and sell off the extras to neighbors and church members. There is a sense of foreboding that this state crackdown on a longstanding, reputable food cooperative operation could adversely impact the peaceful agrarian way of life not only for the Amish, but homeschoolers and those families living off the land on rural acreages. It raises the disturbing possibility that it could become a crime to raise your own food, buy eggs from the farmer down the road, or butcher your own chickens for family and friends – bustling activities that routinely take place in backwater America.

    The freedom to purchase food directly form the source is increasingly under attack. For those who have food allergies and chemical intolerances, or who are on special medical diets, this is becoming a serious health issue. Will Americans retain the right to purchase food that is uncontaminated by pesticides, herbicides, allergens, additives, dyes, preservatives, MSG, GMOs, radiation, etc.? The melamine scare from China underscores the increasingly inferior and suspect quality of modern processed institutional foods. One blog, commenting on the bizarre and troubling Manna Storehouse situation, observed that:

    “No one is saying exactly why. At the same time the FDA says it is safe to eat the 40% of tainted beef found in Costco’s and Sam’s all over the nation. These farm raids are very common now. Every farmer needs to fully equipped [sic] for the possibility of it happening to them. The Farmer To Consumer Legal Defense Fund was created just for this purpose. The USDA just released their plans to put a law into action that will put all small farmers out of business. Animals for the sale of meat or milk will only be allowed in commercial farms, even the organic ones.” December 3, 2008 7:09 PM

    Note: “The police paramilitary units also conduct training exercises with active duty Army Rangers and Navy SEALs. State and local police departments are increasingly accepting the military as a model for their behavior and outlook…. The problem is that the mindset of the soldier is simply not appropriate for the civilian police officer. Police officers confront not an ‘enemy’ but individuals who are protected by the Bill of Rights. Confusing the police function with the military function can lead to dangerous and unintended consequences….” (Diane Cecilia Weber, Cato Institute, “Warrior Cops: The Ominous Growth of Paramilitarism in Police Departments“)
    Last edited by HK4U; 12-06-2008 at 09:39 PM.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

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  3. #2
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    I can understand that a police raid of any kind seems like unnecessarily rough treatment. A personal visit from one or two officers, nicely asking them to update their paperwork would have been more than adequate.

    However, if you're running a large, visible operation of any kind, it's best to have your ducks in a row. Business licenses are pretty cheap. I have a feeling they got, and probably ignored, at least a few letters or phone calls from their local Clerk of Courts asking if they were running a retail establishment. They should have either made sure there was no misunderstanding, or coughed up the change for a pretty piece of paper to hang on the wall.
    Silent Running, by Mike and the Mechanics

  4. #3
    boyzoi Guest
    There is NO excuse for this type of alpha-dog subbmission tactic;NONE!!!
    IF there were a question that needed to be answered and they ignored letters as suggested, then you get an official from the ODA and Sheriffs office and make a visit......

  5. #4
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    Wow those are some dangerous dudes

    What did they expect, someone to pull a fully loaded baked potato? Perhaps a chicken fried stake with...gasp...gravy?

    This should be headline news. We should also contact a few elected officials.

    This ain't over sportsfans!
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    IN OMNIA PARATUS

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by boyzoi View Post
    There is NO excuse for this type of alpha-dog subbmission tactic;NONE!!!
    IF there were a question that needed to be answered and they ignored letters as suggested, then you get an official from the ODA and Sheriffs office and make a visit......
    When I read that article, I imagined 20 officers in full BDUs and body armor carrying AR-15s jumping out of a blue step van, slamming the door in with a battering ram and making everyone lie face down on the floor. That doesn't seem very realistic though, and reading carefully, the article sounds hyped up - although the above scenario is what they are suggesting in people's minds, without having to come out and say it.

    The story as written sounds incredibly one-sided, and makes it seem as if this raid just came out of the blue, with no warning at all. Also, their website is still up and the Order Schedule section has not changed, which would suggest that they're not actually "shut down".

    Alex Jones reminds me of a differently-spun version of a newspaper in Jacksonville called Folio Weekly. FW is far left liberal, and often takes a story with a grain of truth, then blows it all out of proportion to be something that it's not. They'll take a local judge who is strict, and make him out to be some kind of black-hating Nazi, or a conservative Christian who got elected to City Council is written up as a good ol' boy insider who uses his church as his brutal enforcement team. With creative writing and some sad-sack pictures, they bend the truth into a pretzel, bake it up, and tell whichever side of the story is easiest to paint a persecuted victim in.

    Then again, maybe they did kick the door in and invade the house like they were looking for terrorists. I don't know, as I wasn't there - but the article sounds suspicious and I'd question it before believing it.
    Last edited by toreskha; 12-07-2008 at 11:47 AM.
    Silent Running, by Mike and the Mechanics

  7. #6
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    LaGrange, Ohio....Hmmmm. I'm actually originally from that area and have family that still lives in LaGrange. Maybe I can get the real story from them. If it happened like it says I think SWAT is a little over the top for a food retail store operating without a license.
    "When Government fears the people, it's liberty. When people fear the Government, it's tyranny."
    - Benjamin Franklin

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by KimberPB View Post
    LaGrange, Ohio....Hmmmm. I'm actually originally from that area and have family that still lives in LaGrange. Maybe I can get the real story from them. If it happened like it says I think SWAT is a little over the top for a food retail store operating without a license.

    Keep us posted as to what you find out.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimberPB View Post
    LaGrange, Ohio....Hmmmm. I'm actually originally from that area and have family that still lives in LaGrange. Maybe I can get the real story from them. If it happened like it says I think SWAT is a little over the top for a food retail store operating without a license.
    That would be interesting to find out.
    Silent Running, by Mike and the Mechanics

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by toreskha View Post
    I can understand that a police raid of any kind seems like unnecessarily rough treatment. A personal visit from one or two officers, nicely asking them to update their paperwork would have been more than adequate.

    However, if you're running a large, visible operation of any kind, it's best to have your ducks in a row. Business licenses are pretty cheap. I have a feeling they got, and probably ignored, at least a few letters or phone calls from their local Clerk of Courts asking if they were running a retail establishment. They should have either made sure there was no misunderstanding, or coughed up the change for a pretty piece of paper to hang on the wall.
    I don't know all the facts yet, but based on what is written in the article, nothing these people did justified a SWAT team intervention.


    As for the beginning that notes the militarization of law enforcement agencies, I can relate. The SWAT team members in my hometown's police department wear camouflage! What in the world is a police department in an urban area doing dressing up its officers in camouflage?
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Benjamin Franklin

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