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Manufacturing crime

You just can’t make this stuff up — the absurdities with which our criminal justice system operate.

The story is about an undercover ATF agent (Brancato) trying to arrest a man named Halgat.

Judge Says U.S. Gov. Generated ‘New Crime’ to Arrest Man With No Criminal Record

Brancato repeatedly tried to coerce Halgat into drug dealing and buying illegal guns, which Halgat refused to do.

At one point, Brancato begged Halgat for five weeks to buy cocaine because they were “familia,” but Halgat turned him down numerous times. Halgat once told Brancato, “I can’t f—— help. I can’t help.” […]

Brancato pleaded with Halgat to be his armed security during a drug transaction set up by the U.S. government, which even included using a “drug cartel” plane that was rented by the ATF.

Halgat did protect Brancato, and got paid $1,000 for being his security guard, which finally led to the arrest of Halgat and charges that could mean a 20-year prison sentence.

Judge Ferenbach said this week that the “ATF had investigated Halgat for three years, found no contraband after executing two search warrants and indicted him for a crime designed and initiated by the ATF.”

“The function of law enforcement is the prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals. Manifestly, that function does not include the manufacturing of crime,” Judge Ferenbach said.

Good for the judge.

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29 comments to Manufacturing crime

  • DannZoidal/remembers

    “The alleged drug trafficking was supposedly an attempt to raise funds for his struggling company, which declared bankruptcy that same year. He successfully defended himself against the drug trafficking charges, showing that his alleged involvement was a result of entrapment by federal agents.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_DeLorean

    • allan

      as I was walking down the hallway in the federal courthouse in LA in 1984, shackled at wrist and ankle and headed to Terminal Island FCI, we passed DeLorean in the hallway. Nice suit… and it was the first and only time in my life to ever stand in front of a judge (the legal kind). He was appreciative of my stand and the eloquence of my statements to him but he basically admitted his hands were tied. It was almost like we were a break from his usual day-to-day proceedings. And it was nice of him to actually listen.

      We were the examples Raygun wanted, “damn peacenik hippies anyway, think they can just walk on to my nuclear weapons facilities any time they want….”

  • thelbert

    it makes me happy to know the grubbmint will break the law to enforce the law. just to protect me from all the scary stuff. so what if they cut my food stamps. as long as the police are well fed i’m happy. it’s not like they are wasting time and money and lives.

  • War Vet

    We need to treat that judge to a free date night with their significant other.

  • divadab

    Waco Branch Davidians. Ruby Ridge. Fast and Furious. Now this.

    All BATF projects.

    Wtf is up with the BATF?

  • claygooding

    Prohibition is manufactured crime,,as if it does any good or works,,it only enhances the prohibited activity and tempts people that are hard wired to disobey authority which according to the present science is most of us.

  • Paul McClancy

    Wow, a textbook example of entrapment. What a scumbag.

  • Servetus

    Without entrapment, informants, theft, fraud, perjury, threatened witnesses, Fourth Amendment violations and rigged courtroom procedures, it’s virtually impossible to enforce the drug laws.

    The well-known legal and social problems linked to prohibition were a dire warning not to go there. The government’s refusal to take the hint means it intended to create an oppressive police state, not necessarily to eliminate illicit drug use, something drug war architects must have known was impossible, but as a Trojan horse to penetrate and disable the Constitution’s legal protections. That the government succeeded in time to support a dominating oligarchy and a decaying wall of separation of powers increases the drug laws threat, and produces a greater incentive to reverse the government’s attack on human rights.

    • primus

      Rather than Medical Marijuana being a stalking horse for legalization, Prohibition is the stalking horse for totalitarianism.

    • War Vet

      ‘Trojan Horse’: I’m so going to use that phrase for the drug war and its devistating–wide earth scortched paths of precedents for the deforestation of human rights that only totalitarianism can bring.

  • DdC

    Another Judge trying to act American, then naturally appealed by the Persecution.

    Lucky Break for Missouri Professor Who Made Bad Joke That Led to Arrest for Growing Pot via @riverfronttimes

    Of, by and for the Persecution?

    Pot’s popularity, state law create trying times for U.S. prosecutor

    It would take a magician to keep this drug war going if they told the truth.

    Congress’ Latest Anti-Pot Crusader Misleads On Weed

    With Koch’s $60 billion fortune in private prisons, no wonder the Drug Worriers hate Obama…

    Federal government moves to reduce sentences of 46,000 drug offenders

    Nothing to fear…

    Despite Rhetoric, Obama Administration Pushes To Keep Thousands Of Felons In Jail Under Old Rules via @evanmcsan @buzzfeed

    • Jeff Trigg

      “With Koch’s $60 billion fortune in private prisons”

      A lie. The Koch brothers do not own or have any investments in private prisons, let alone $60 billion in them. David Koch has publicly called for marijuana legalization since before 1980, and Charles Koch has often spoken AGAINST the private prison industry. They also help fund Reason and CATO, which have both vehemently opposed the drug war for decades. Making stuff up, like Kevin Sabet would, to take an uncalled for political shot at the Kochs isn’t helping our cause any.

      You have to play the Kevin Bacon game to find a connection between the Kochs and private prisons, which I see many lefty wingnuts love to do with their conspiracy theories aimed at everyone who doesn’t believe government should be our new all-powerful God.

      • DdC

        type-o kochroach

        With Koch’s $89 billion fortune in private prisons, no wonder the Drug Worriers hate Obama…
        http://mic.com/articles/94268/all-but-three-of-america-s-185-wealthiest-families-have-one-striking-thing-in-common

        Kochroach & Aleech…

        Slave Labor, Prison Privatization, Prison Industry
        ALEC Conservatives push this agenda nationwide!
        Privatize, privatize, privatization of anything owned or controlled by the public or taxpayers is again being applied by Conservatives from coast to coast. Sadly through the manipulations of ALEC and their thousands of legislative and corporate members, this agenda that began way back in the 80’s is once again being used to usurp more public assets. These assets include publicly built prisons, work-release centers, medical care facilities, schools and a myriad assortment of other buildings, programs and initiatives that now exists due to public funding.

        The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?
        Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance.

        Slave Labor Means Big Bucks For U.S. Corporations
        Great numbers of newly freed blacks were quickly ‘convicted’ and forced to work without pay in state prisons. For those unfortunates all that happened was that ownership of slaves transferred from private parties to the state. Today, with the advent of private, profit-making prisons and prison factories slavery still exists and is moving back to the private sector.

        The Koch Bros., ALEC and the Power of the State

        Maybe that’s why the Koch Brothers put so much money into lobbying groups and think tanks like the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Heritage Foundation whose main purpose is to influence government policy.

        While we’re at it, ALEC has actively lobbied for the draconian drug laws and for detention of “illegal aliens” [sic] that are so profitable to its sponsors like CCOA, Wackenhut and other private prison corporations. That doesn’t sound too libertarian, does it?

        The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor
        Years after ALEC’s Truth In Sentencing bills became the law of the land, its Prison Industries Act has quietly expanded prison labor across the country.

        Slave Labor-Gerrymandering, Redistricting, ALEC, Koch Brothers and their Conservative Agenda…

        I recently read an informative article about Arizona’s private prison industry and the impact upon communities by the way the political districts are drawn to allow small rural, communities with predominantly white populations to enjoy financial benefits of having large inmate populations counted in their census. This also allows small communities to appear to have populations that represent African-American and Hispanic ethnicities, where that representation is all behind bars.

        American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and sit across from conservative legislative members in each of the nine (9) “Task Forces” of ALEC. There they jointly determine new laws or amendments to existing laws that benefit corporate interests. One corporation above all others has great influence upon both the agendas of these task forces and the 2,400 state conservative lawmakers involved in the manipulations of law – and that is Koch Industries, represented by their director of public and government affairs, Mike Morgan.

        ALEC, Koch and CCA’s interests, influence and intentions were clearly represented last year in the implementation of SB 1070 there in AZ. We’ve all been made aware of the involvement of all three in the illegal alien and immigration issues in that state by reports by such as NPR, compiled by Laura Sullivan and others, that informed us about the money to be made off of detention of those apprehended by CCA. Today we are once again faced with the involvement of ALEC and the Koch brothers in issues also involving corporate interests in wages and other labor issues all across the U.S.

      • DdC

        Top Ten Koch Facts
        (KochBrothersExposed.com) to illustrate the Kochs’ effort to buy democracy and control public policy from every direction; and CUENTAME (MyCuentame.org), which is at the forefront of investigating corruption at private prisons. He has also produced and distributed short viral videos and campaigns like RETHINK AFHANISTAN (2009,

        Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition
        We’ve reissued Koch Brothers Exposed in an updated version, Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition, to shine a light on them. We’ve delved even deeper into where their money is going, who their money is hurting, and how much they are making during this whole process leading up to the 2014 Elections.

        Private Prison Monopolies
        The documentary “Billion$ for Prisons” reported that the immigration law in Arizona was written word for word by the CCA. This went through ALEC model legislation by GOP and Big Corporations namely the CCA. With the exposure of ALEC and all the corporations dropping out, they are not disbanding they have gone State and local government, such as here in MT. The Montana Policy Institute, now making model legislation for the Tea Party paid for by the Koch Brothers.

        Koch Brothers, ALEC and Their Corporate Allies Plan to Privatize Government

        Koch Brothers Exposed – YouTube

        Charter schools & private prisons: Privatizing America for their majesty, Kings Charles and David Koch
        Schools and prisons are current top priorities for ALEC and the Koch brothers

        The legislators are ALEC members, the twin kings are Charles and David Koch, and the spell was cast on Amelia Island off the coast of Florida, where the kings gave the order to push charter schools, vouchers, the ultimate privatization of schools, prisons, and anything else standing in the way of the almighty Corporation.

        Oh but don’t let reality stand in your way of hero worshiping kochroaches trog.

        • Jeff Trigg

          Exactly. The Kevin Bacon game by lefty wingnuts where not even one of those article links you provided even claims the Kochs own or are invested in private prisons. Nowhere in any of those articles does it say anything about the Kochs owning or investing in private prisons. Where is the world are you getting that fantasy?

          There are plenty of legitimate gripes to have about the Kochs, but the drug war and private prisons are not one of them. And now you claim the Kochs are in for $89 billion in private prisons, with absolutely no evidence but some conspiracy theory notion that the Kochs run everything ALEC does? The Kochs aren’t even worth $89 billion, let alone would they have that much invested in private prisons. Keep it up and you are going to lose all credibility.

        • DdC

          I told you trog, your word is shit, bring refs and stop the gossip lapdogging your rich bitch masters.

        • DdC

          Soggy teabags. Koch’s are not Libertarians or Republickers, they’re Neocons, including many blue dog democrats. Your partisan worship extends the drug war by perpetuating the profits made on the drug war. Your unsubstantiated gossip only maintains corporate profits the same as the drug worriers. Grow up.

          ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection
          http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-koch-connection
          Untold sums of cash poured into ALEC by Charles and David Koch have been an effective investment in advancing their worldview.

          Who funds ALEC?

          ALEC also receives direct grants from corporations, such as $1.4 million from ExxonMobil from 1998-2009. It has also received grants from some of the biggest foundations funded by corporate CEOs in the country, such as: the Koch family Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Koch-managed Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Scaife family Allegheny Foundation, the Coors family Castle Rock Foundation, to name a few. Less than 2% of ALEC’s funding comes from “Membership Dues” of $50 per year paid by state legislators, a steeply discounted price that may run afoul of state gift bans. For more, see CMD’s special report on ALEC funding and spending.

          What goes on behind closed doors?

          The long-term representation of Koch Industries on the governing board means that Koch has had influence over an untold number of ALEC bills. Due to the questionable nature of this partnership with corporations, legislators rarely discuss the origins of the model legislation they bring home. Though thousands of ALEC-approved model bills have been publicly introduced across the country, ALEC’s role facilitating the language in the bills and the corporate vote for them is not well known.

          A CMD Special Report on ALEC’s Funding and Spending
          http://shar.es/NBbBW
          This CMD Special Report cuts through the PR spin and exposes the funding and spending of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Almost 98% of ALEC’s funding comes from corporations like Exxon Mobil, corporate “foundations” like the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, or trade associations like the pharmaceutical industry’s PhRMA and sources other than “legislative dues.”

          Who Pays More than Legislators?

          Everyone else. For example, the foundations controlled by the billionaire Koch brothers gave ALEC over $200,000 in 2009. (The Claude R. Lambe Foundation, which Charles Koch, his wife and kids help run, donated $125,000 to ALEC. His own Charles G. Koch foundation kicked in an additional $75,000.) That $200k is before whatever is the undisclosed amount of membership “dues” paid by Koch Industries, which is run by Charles and David Koch.

          Corporations actually vote with legislators on model bills?
          http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed
          Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called “model bills” reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.

          We suspected it all along, but now we have the goods that prove that Charles Koch was a member of the John Birch Society at the height of their attacks on the civil rights movement and civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King.

          In the early 1960s Charles moved back to Wichita and followed in the footsteps of his dad Fred Koch who helped found the John Birch Society in 1958. We broke the story on DemocracyNow!, provided detailed excerpts of the anti-civil rights agenda, and launched a new wiki resource called Koch Exposed (of course). You can see our full special report in the new “Robber Barons” edition of The Progressive magazine which is hitting the stands this week!

          New Report Exposes ALEC’s Influence in Missouri and Kansas
          http://www.progressmissouri.org/alec-mo-ks
          Progress Missouri, the Center for Media and Democracy, Common Cause, and Missouri Jobs With Justice Voter Action released new research April 29 highlighting the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) ongoing influence in the Kansas and Missouri State Capitols. The report shows that ALEC has lavished hundreds of thousands of dollars on Kansas and Missouri politicians and those trips have resulted in dozens of bills being introduced on behalf of ALEC’s corporate members.

          ALEC’s “Model Bills”
          Guns, Prisons, Crime and Immigration bills here. Analysis here.
          http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Guns,_Prisons,_Crime,_and_Immigration

        • Jeff Trigg

          Ah yes, you lefties have to demonize everyone and everything that doesn’t fit into your small-minded little world. DdC, when is the last time in your life that you admitted you were wrong? I dare you to go to a mirror right now and ask yourself that. My bet is that you can’t even remember the last time you admitted to yourself that you were wrong about something. That is just pathetic that you will lie, name-call, and continue demonizing people while being a little chicken-shit who is afraid to use your real name while you behave exactly like Kevin Sabet and the other propaganda peddlers behind prohibition. You are doing the exact same thing to the Kochs that the prohibitionists have been doing to reformers. Its pathetic.

          Nowhere in any of this propaganda that you are puking everywhere does it even claim that the Kochs are involved in private prisons. Nowhere, yet you keep on lying just like a prohibitionist does about cannabis. One $200,000 donation to ALEC 5 years ago is all you need to start lying about the Kochs and the drug war and private prisons, and calling me names. Of course, the Kochs have donated more than $100 million to organizations that would legalize marijuana and end the drug war, but you have to ignore that fact to fit your false narrative that a $200,000 donation is all it takes to make the Kochs to blame for the drug war. You are actually worse than Kevin Sabet, at least he’s not hiding like a troll while telling lies and demonizing people.

          So we have the Kochs giving more than $100 million to end the drug war versus some $200,000 to ALEC five years ago that for all you know was meant to influence them to start opposing private prisons and the drug war. After proving that the Kochs have nothing to do with private prisons, then you start in with ALEC nonsense. I doubt you even have a clue what ALEC is or does. Its a huge group of local, state, and federal legislators, mostly conservative right-wingers, who share their ideas for legislation. Sure, most if not all of that legislation is probably bad, but that doesn’t mean the Kochs are connected to private prisons or are behind the drug war. Democrats and lefty wingnuts love to demonize people like the Kochs and myself using lies because they refuse to believe the fact that their government loving policies are the real reason we have prohibition backed by a police state. The notion that the Kochs are behind the drug war and involved in private prisons is just all in your gullible, warped head because there is absolutely no proof to back up such idiotic claims.

          Some of the other propaganda you bring up is also just beyond delirious. Father Fred Koch made money from Joseph Stalin in the 1930s and 1940s? Oh no, he was doing exactly what everyone else was doing in the US at that time. If you don’t remember your history, Russia was our ally during WWII fighting against the Nazis. Americans and Russians were fighting side by side against Hitler at the time, under orders from progressive hero FDR. so of course American companies were selling things to Stalin’s Russia at the same time FDR was giving Stalin American made weapons. Maybe that doesn’t excuse father Koch, but in the context of that time it wasn’t a big deal. I’d say FD Roosevelt appointing two members of the Ku Klux Klan to our US Supreme Court during that time is a bigger deal than father Koch making some money off Stalin, if that is even true.

          And little Charles Koch went with his daddy to some racist, Bircher meetings in the 1950s. No reason to doubt he did stupid stuff like that back then, and there’s no good excuse for that. You know who else were racists in the 1950s? The entire Democrat Party. We never hear about that fact from the liberals and progressives these days, as they are too busy demonizing people like the Kochs and myself. Yes, the progressive hero FDR put two members of the Ku Klux Klan on the Supreme Court, but you will never mention that will you? You have to make up enemies like the Kochs so you can ignore the fact that modern day FDR worshippers like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Elizabeth Warren, and Nancy Pelosi are the real corporate apologists who are responsible for the drug war and private prisons. If the Kochs were behind the drug war and private prisons, its Democrats like that they would be buying off to rule the world.

          In reality, outside of your fantasy world, the Kochs are giving huge gobs of cash fighting against control freaks like them in order to end this stupid drug war. Try to demonize the Kochs all you want, and there are legitimate things to attack them on, but when it comes to the drug war and private prisons you are just being a big fat liar attacking our best allies and ignoring the real people behind prohibition.

          If you can’t admit that you are wrong about a connection between the Kochs and private prison and blaming them for the drug war, then you should probably stop being a chicken-shit troll. Post 1,000 links about how evil the Kochs are, but it won’t change the fact that their involvement was been umpteen millions spent trying to end the drug war, not protect it.

          True drug war reformers should be thanking the Kochs and giving them awards for their contributions to ending the drug war, not lying about them, demonizing them, and attacking everyone who would speak the truth about them.

        • Crut

          I told you trog, your word is shit, bring refs and stop the gossip lapdogging your rich bitch masters.

          That is just pathetic that you will lie, name-call, and continue demonizing people while being a little chicken-shit who is afraid to use your real name

          Seriously? What’s with the personal attacks from both of you? Do you really expect the other person to listen to you if all you’re doing is shaming them?

        • Jeff Trigg

          OK fine. I’ll go sit in the corner for punching back, but he’s wearing the dunce cap.

  • CJ

    HAS ANYBODY HERE SEEN ROCKY 5? O.K SO off topic im sorry but i was just thinking about that upcoming debate in Colorado between Judge (i forget his name but I usually do know it off the top of my head, i’ve seen him in documentaries and alot of videos on youtube and I’ve always liked him) and Kevin Sabeet. I understand it is in Colorado and isn’t it at an Academic setting?? Doesnt Pete work in a college out in Colorado? I was thinking of comments made by Kevin in the past and the guy has always come off like… hm… ok, growing up in elementary school in the 90s… and maybe other eras as well, do u all remember the kid who, out of ear shot of teachers and authority tried to act like a big shot but at the first sign of anything they’d loudly declare that if X Y or Z happens they’re going straight to the teacher? Or the kid who would say or do something with a group then the next day u go to school like all is well and lo and behold there’s a mob of authority waiting for you and the group is coralled nearby looking like theyve been castrated…. that is, the group minus the one kid who it turns out showed up to school early and tattled on everybody?? That’s the way I see Kevin Sabeet and based on comments hes made about this web site and Pete in the past he seems honestly just REALLY AFRAID of Pete Guthier. To the point where I am honestly surprised he’d show up in Colorado, I’d NOT be surprised if he has taken out a restraining order against Pete out of his own sick dillusional fears…. or out of more disillusioned psychotic crap if Kevin hired some personal security because I think hes one of those people who have unrealistic ideas of themselves, I think he thinks hes way more important and more popular than he truly is….

    That being said, is Pete anywhere near where this is going down and if so or if not does he have any intention of being there? I am SURE kevin has considered that possibility and I bet you he is afraid of it and has probably been day and night freaking out trying to come up with something wity and sarcastic and “hip” and “cool” to defend himself if he’s embarassed by Pete…. actually I think he’d get dramatic, make threats and just generally freak out if he saw Pete in person.

    Whatsmore, if this about Colorado is right, I think Pete should make an entry talking about being a Colorado-an in the legal marijuana state, a diary-esque piece with the mindset that it would be valuable 100 years from now as a piece of first hand perspective from a person in a marijuana legal state during a global drug prohibition world. that would be a great read.

    the reason I bring up Rocky V is because I totally see Kevin Sabeet acting like that Don King rip off at the end, “touch me and I’ll sue” before getting KTFO by Rocky…l. rocky, … rocky mountains… colorado… oh isnt that something !

    • claygooding

      Pete is in IL and prolly knee deep in either finding a doctor to prescribe his medicine or helping set up the MMJ dispensary in Normal,IL,,isn’t that close to your domicile Pete?

      • Yep, I’m just a couple of miles from a possible medical marijuana growing facility in Normal, Illinois. I hope it happens, because there should be a marijuana growing facilitiy in a town called Normal (years ago, I was faculty advisor for Normal NORML).

        If it happens, I’ll try to see if I can get a tour and report on it.

        Haven’t bothered trying to find a doctor’s prescription in Illinois – the rules here are rather absurdly restrictive, and while I do have the occasional maladies that could easily and safely be positively helped by the use of medical marijuana, Illinois is nowhere close to recognizing that kind of broader acceptable use.

  • I had to share this with you.
    Bill Maher Rails Against Militarized Police Culture
    http://youtu.be/b7JADq4tTsc

  • DdC

    Getting High Would Be Legal If It Weren’t For THIS
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1817