Naples gun acquittal shows disturbing trend in federal prosecutions...
Can justice truly prevail if federal prosecutors are free to continually employ tactics of withholding key information from jurors with impunity?
“Not guilty” verdicts reached yesterday in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida trial of two men accused of gun-dealing and conspiracy raise new questions about federal prosecution tactics. Homer Helter and James Kassel “were acquitted of engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license and conspiracy to engage in the business of selling firearms,” NaplesNews.com reported.
Of significance was the government’s key witness, “a twice-convicted felon with a lengthy rap sheet who has earned at least $87,000 from the government over the past few years, including $7,500 for this case,” the report reveals. “Jurors weren’t told the star witness’ convictions involved murder, attempted murder and assault in aid of racketeering.”
That evokes valid comparisons to a similar group of defendants, the Reese family, former gun dealers from Deming, N.M., who were also acquitted, with money laundering charges against them dismissed, and with a new trial ordered for remaining counts when it was found the federal prosecutor withheld information from their jury about a criminal investigation one of their key witnesses was under.
It also evokes a comparison with the case of John Shipley, because like the defendants in the Florida case, he, too, was a collector who believed the sales he conducted were perfectly legal under existing law, which, based on results, is non-specific and arbitrarily applied enough to catch those without criminal intent in its net and destroy the lives of good people.
“The ordeal caused Kassel to no longer trust his own government,” the Naples News report reveals.
That’s a regrettable but understandable and wise conclusion. With the way federal prosecutors in Eric Holder’s Justice Department are allowed to persecute gun owners, and with the underhanded tactics they’ve employed in just the cases recounted here, it might be fair to recall a quote from Ian Fleming’s novel, “Goldfinger,” oddly enough described as a saying from Chicago.
“Once is happenstance,” the character observed. “Twice is coincidence. Three times, it's enemy action.”
Jurors acquit Helter, Kassel on all counts in Naples gun-dealing case Naples Daily News
Black Blade: The Communist Party USA (a.k.a. "Democrats") are opening up many new fronts on the War Against Gun Owners.