Armed EPA Agents?

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“The North Carolina man visited by armed EPA agents after sending an email to a controversial agency official says he not satisfied with the explanations about what he considers an excessive response and that he wants changes to agency policies and procedures.” Wait. What? What did Larry Keller do, threaten not to recycle? foxnews.com: “The incident unfolded after Keller sent an email April 27 to the EPA to try to reach Al Armendariz — a regional administrator who was under fire for a YouTube video post days earlier in which he said his enforcement strategy was to ‘crucify’ executives from big oil and gas companies [not exactly, video above]. The letter to an EPA external affairs director read “Do you have Mr. Armendariz’s contact information so we can say hello? – Regards- Larry Keller.” And then . . .

The agents visited Keller’s home in Ashville, N.C. on May 2 to ask him about the email, which after some misunderstanding Keller acknowledged sending. He said after a brief, tense discussion about whether the missive might seem suspicious, the agents, who were escorted by the local police, left despite Keller ask them to stay to his wife could witness their visit.

“The charter of the EPA is to protect the environment and public, not to act as a quasi federal police department,” Keller said Saturday.

So, while the EPA agents weren’t carrying guns, they were escorted by gun-toting local cops. Close enough. And for what? If this account is accurate, Keller’s email doesn’t even come close to meeting the criteria for “making a terroristic threat” (a law that ought to be shot).

A regional EPA official told Keller the agency was following up on his email, considering its timing and the number of threats against Armendariz.

Yeah, sure. Following-up. Just a friendly little social call.

As for the initial “misunderstanding” about the email, that’s easy to understand. I wouldn’t put my hands up to emailing anything to anyone in front of law enforcement agents without first talking to my lawyer. EPA or FBI, STFU. [h/t percynjpn]

 

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

20 Responses to Armed EPA Agents?

  1. avatarcaffeinated says:

    How dare he question the tactics employed by the great anointed one? Phase two, intimidation. Character assassination is next.

  2. avatarAharon says:

    from the link:

    “What are the Elements of a “Terrorist Threat?”
    The most commonly used definition of a terrorist or criminal threat has five elements:
    Someone willfully threatens to commit a crime that will result in death or great bodily harm.
    The threat was made with the specific intent that it be taken as a threat.”

    The USG seems to have over-reacted by the law. If the man has a history of violence or making overt threats I think that I could understand a visit.

  3. avatarBLAMMO says:

    The EPA uses draconian regulations to restrain all manner of State, commercial, and individual activities. If you’re afraid of the ATF, you should be terrified of the EPA. By executive order, they can prohibit literally anything based on its environmental impact. What doesn’t have an environmental impact?

    • avatarPatrick Carrube says:

      Perhaps a tad late, but do you care to elaborate on this comment? I’ve just spent the past 2.5 years wrapping up my Master’s Degree in environmental management and am curious as to why you feel this way? Having not only had the academic background, but I also spent the better part of a decade dealing with local regulatory agencies – ALL of which were very helpful and eager to help despite having limited resources and budgets.

  4. avatarAharon says:

    from the link above to the firm defining the definition of a terrorist threat (wiki):

    “In 2004, Dmitry Shubov, the founder and then CEO of LegalMatch, plead guilty to illegally accessing the voicemail system of a competitor, Casepost, and was subsequently fined $5000, sentenced to two years probation and disbarred. LegalMatch and CasePost then settled their fight and issued a joint press release to that effect. As he was indicted, Shubov resigned as CEO in May 2004.”

    Society is awash in a sea of corruption. These days you can’t even trust a Russian-American entrepreneurial lawyer.

  5. avatarJim Scrummy says:

    The EPA use to have investigative agents (who may have been armed, heard rumors, but I never confirmed), based out of their Denver, CO Regional Office. These agents worked closely with the FBI investigating environmental crimes. When I read this originally, it sounded like the regular shmoes from the EPA, not the Denver group.

  6. avatarCurzen says:

    So what? Aren’t you arguing for carry for anyone from former felons to illegal immigrants? Don’t see why carrying firearms should be a big deal for EPA agents then.

    • avatarCharlie says:

      It’s okay to dump toxic waste, aborted fetuses, arsenic, embalming fluid, and PCP into rivers.

      It’s NOT okay to deny cannibal rapists and Mexican cartel death-squads their firearms. You’d be violating every single human right on the UN books by doing that.

      • avatarcaffeinated says:

        Where has anyone suggested we destroy our environment? What is clear is that if you speak out against the anointed one’s political appointees or policies then you will pay for it.

        • avatarCharlie says:

          I suggested polluting the environment beyond recognition. Only when there’s no environment left will we be free of the eco-Gestapo.

  7. avatarvirtualjohn says:

    President Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
    He may have missed the four most terrifying, “FBI. Open the door.”

  8. avatarRalph says:

    Why would Keller even talk to those douchebags?

    Here’s the deal. If the Gestapo shows up at your door without a warrant and you don’t want to talk to them, tell them to shove off (I cleaned that up a bit) and then call your lawyer. Make a big show of it, too, ’cause G-Men don’t like no lawyers. I have a little pocket voice recorder that I might use to capture such a conversation just in case the G doesn’t want to take “no” for an answer.

    If they have a search warrant, then STFU. There’s nothing you can do about it right now, even if the warrant is bogus. Your lawyer will handle it later. If they have an arrest warrant, STFU except to say “I want my lawyer.” These are the only words to come out of your pie hole except “I want my phone call.”

    • avatarmatt says:

      You gota be careful with that recorder, here in IL it is illegal to record audio with out every parties consent, even if its on your property.

      • avatarRalph says:

        Recording private conversations may be unlawful in MA without the consent of all parties. Telephone conversations are considered private. However, generally speaking, public conversations can be recorded with no consent by anyone.

        What makes a face-to-face conversation public and not private? Facts and circumstances will determine the answer. If the conversation is loud enough to be heard from the street, then a strong argument can be made that it’s public.

        It doesn’t matter. If I got a resisting case kicked, the “wiretapping” case would fall too. YMMV.

        Once again, I’m a lawyer, but I’m not your lawyer and this is not to be taken as legal advice.

    • avatarPatrick Carrube says:

      Under EPA regulations, if you have an EPA# (which is required for all permits including NPDES, CWA, Air, RCRA, etc) then you have to provide accomodations for any EPA representative (on an official inspection) within “reasonable time”. Reasonable time usually means 2 hours. Otherwise, the police will be called and they will be brought on site. This is rare but can happen and only happens during a suspected major violation (say, treating large volumes of hazardous waste without a TSD permit) or unreported leak.

  9. avatarStephen says:

    I just watched Ghostbusters last night and the EPA showed up with the NYPD to shut down the ghost trap. Things didn’t work out so well on that.

  10. avatarSanchanim says:

    According to this article they say the EPA agents were armed.
    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/47013

    We also know the EPA is now using military grade drones to watch cattle. Cattle? Really? These aren’t the little DYI drones either, these are the ones you need FFA clearance to use.
    They are truly getting out of hand, and they have little to no restrictions on what they can say and do.

  11. avatargirlswithguns says:

    The FDA conducts armed raids too. I guess raw milk is now a WMD.

  12. avatarGS650G says:

    There was a RFQ put out by the EPA for 12 gauge shotguns, deliverable to an office in DC. Best price on Remington 870 was suggested. When are agencies start arming themselves and creating paramilitary groups within the ranks we are in big trouble.

  13. avatarRight! says:

    Read up on the Spanish “Civil War”, It wasn’t till the Commies got bounced out of office for ruining the economy and engendering mass starvation (like in Mother Russia just a few years earlier) that the gloves came off and mass murder was again in fashion. Want to know why Hitler and Mussolini became so popular? Look at what the Commies were doing to the non-commies and alot of thier own PPL. It was genocide and that tends to push the undecided into the opposing camp.
    That is the road America is being forced on right now.

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