Burns Chronicles No 18 – 1984

Burns Chronicles No 18



Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
April 4, 2016

Count 5 of the Superseding Indictment reads:

(Theft of Government Property)

(18 U.S.C. § 641)

On or about January 15, 2016, in the District of Oregon, defendants JON RITZHEIMER and RYAN BUNDY, willfully and knowingly, did steal, purloin, and convert to their use and the use of another cameras and related equipment, the value of which exceeded $1000, which is property of the United States government, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.

The Statute cited is:

18 U.S.C. § 641: Public money, property or records

Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof; or

Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted

It is important to understand what the government has charged Jon Ritzheimer and Ryan Bundy with.  It may be clear from the Statute that the requisite for it to be a crime is “to convert it to his use or gain.”  So, to be sure that we are looking in the right direction, here are a few definitions from Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition:

Steal.  The term is commonly used in indictments for larceny (“take, steal, and carry away”), and denotes the commission of theft, that is, the felonious taking and carrying away of the personal property of another, and without leave or consent of owner, and with the intent to keep or make use wrongfully.

Stolen.  Acquired or possessed, as a result of some wrongful or dishonest act of taking, whereby a person willfully obtains or retains possession of property which belongs to another, without or beyond any permission given, with the intent to deprive the owner of the benefit of ownership (or possession) permanently.

Theft.  A popular name for larceny.  The taking of property without owner’s consent.  The fraudulent taking of personal properly belonging to another, from his possession, for from the possession of some person holding the same for him, without his consent, with intent to deprive the owner of the value of the same, and to appropriate it to the use or benefit of the person talking it.

Larceny.  A rather lengthy description, with the significant element being “felonious intent“.

So the taking of the property must be for keeping, depriving the owner of the benefit of ownership, and must be felonious in intent.

Note that the Indictment, Count 5, says, “convert to their use and the use of another cameras and related equipment.”  However, that Statute simply says, so, was the equipment taken used for “their use, or the use of another“?  Unfortunately for the government, the answers is definitely, and demonstrably, not.

Now, we do have a record of what happened, with regard to the cameras and other equipment.  There are three videos that will answer all of our questions.  The First Video is a 12:20 video, January 15, showing the cameras and other equipment being removed from two locations.  And as you will see, if there is damage (not theft, as claimed), it is to the padlocks and, perhaps, to some wiring harnesses.

The boxes the cameras were housed in say “SCADA Circuit ID”.  SCADA is “Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition”.  Since they don’t appear to say, “Property of the US Government”, they are probably contract equipment, which is included in the Statute, but not in the Indictment.

At 4:45, LaVoy says that he will give the cameras to the FBI, at the gate, meaning the point where you leave Narrows-Princeton Road to drop down to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters.  Later, at 10:05, Jon Ritzheimer shows some of the other “equipment” that was removed, and repeats that they can come and get it, meaning the FBI, as mentioned by Lavoy.

The Second Video (1:22) is a press conference held on January 16.  LaVoy says that some Harney County residents informed them of the surveillance cameras, and that they did not want them there — they wanted them taken down.  He then extends an invitation to the FBI to come to the Monday (January 18) press conference, and that the FBI can pick up the cameras and equipment at that time.

The Third Video (4:30) is a continuation of the press conference of January 16.  At the beginning, LaVoy explains to press that the citizens of Harney County came to them with concerns over surveillance.  They wanted the cameras removed.  At the 2:30 mark, a reporter walks away with a camera.  LaVoy retrieves the camera so that it can be returned to the FBI.

Are these the acts of thieves, or simply the acts of people who are concerned about the government’s very expensive obsession with spying on the people, as George Orwell described in his novel, “1984”?

The cameras were not converted to their use, rather, they went from a public road, where they could have been stolen by others, and stored on what the government claims to be government property.  The offer was publicly extended to the FBI to pick up the cameras.  That is not the act of a thief.

Unlike the government, that has returned some personal property, destroyed hundreds of pounds of food, and still retains much of the private property that was left at the Refuge, and which they are converting to their own use by searching anything with an electronic memory storage for any information (pictures, videos, documents, audios, without warrants) that might be of use to them.

So, once again, We, the People, have to decide what acts are criminal, by either intent or actions, or leave it to the government — whose sole objective is to suppress dissent.



One Comment

  1. Paul Niblock says:

    Indeed, it seems that the government will leave no stone unturned and no potential charge unpressed. The irony of the government being the arbitrator of justice while claiming victimhood hearkens back to a time of vigilantism. They should tread carefully, as there are many who are following closely every action they undertake. Gratuitous abuse of the ‘legal’ system they control will only foment further distrust and anger, rather than any intimidation. I do not hold much hope for any justice to come from them.

Leave a Reply