Author Topic: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?  (Read 12264 times)

TMAC

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Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« on: December 05, 2008, 10:57:06 AM »
Anyone hear about this? 


http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/swat-team.htm

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 supicious-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.


Offline Tycoon

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 11:21:08 AM »
I can strongly say that I may not have made it out of my home alive that day....but neither would a couple others.

Caleb

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 11:30:03 AM »
I found this today and I still have a hard time believing it.
Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio


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 supicious-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 it 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 eqiped [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


http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/swat-team.htm

Offline TXChikk

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 11:44:11 AM »
If this nasty event occurred like it is being stated then we are in very bad place. Events like this are what reinforce my fear that whatever we do (planting, storing, self-sufficiency etc.) will not be enough. My tin-foil hat mindedness makes me think all manner of technology exists to thwart us in ways we are not thinking of. More often than not I feel all actions to survive will be in vain. I'm not trying to be so negative it's just a gut feeling I have, that "they" have thought of everything.....(in this particular case confiscating any means of communication for these folks, keeping it out of the media etc. etc.)

......but again, I'm not wired to sit idly by so I am doing what I know intrinsically to do....I would rather die defending what I feel is my right to own even a tin-foil hat than to live under the oppressive thumb of others....

......I REALLY hope I don't have to make that choice someday.....

millerized1

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 11:56:01 AM »
Unintended Consequences.  They'll get theirs.

Offline Tycoon

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2008, 12:10:29 PM »
If this nasty event occurred like it is being stated then we are in very bad place. Events like this are what reinforce my fear that whatever we do (planting, storing, self-sufficiency etc.) will not be enough. My tin-foil hat mindedness makes me think all manner of technology exists to thwart us in ways we are not thinking of. More often than not I feel all actions to survive will be in vain. I'm not trying to be so negative it's just a gut feeling I have, that "they" have thought of everything.....(in this particular case confiscating any means of communication for these folks, keeping it out of the media etc. etc.)

......but again, I'm not wired to sit idly by so I am doing what I know intrinsically to do....I would rather die defending what I feel is my right to own even a tin-foil hat than to live under the oppressive thumb of others....

......I REALLY hope I don't have to make that choice someday.....

I'm right there with you as far as the daily mindset is concerned. It's very difficult the way my brain is wired to see the positive this day in age, although I'm also wired as fighter and survivor and no matter how bad the circumstances become will always remain that way. I have to force myself to "unplug" at least a few times a week just to stay healthy and clear in the brain and most importantly to have healthy relationships with the folks around me. I also could not efficiently run a business with this attitude on autopilot as it would surly affect myself and my employees. Each person must find their own way to unplug and there are many of them out there. Working out at the gym completely changes my demeanor for the rest of the day and almost cleanses my soul....so to speak. Then the cycle returns as I get home and turn on Glen Beck or some other political network show :-\ and the process starts all over again. No complaints though, I have a pretty good life as bad as things are.

Offline swanson

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2008, 12:14:57 PM »
Amish dissidents...how dare they be self-reliant.

What a sad spectacle this country has become...

swanson

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2008, 12:18:10 PM »
Quote
that "they" have thought of everything....

——-
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 05:29:49 PM by firetoad »

Offline phil_in_cs

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Re: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2008, 12:21:21 PM »
I googled up the local newspaper, which has nothing about this. There's a very active message board on the paper's website, too; it also has nothing about this.

Offline TXChikk

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2008, 12:40:49 PM »
phil I too googled this item and turned up nothing but blog comments, I hope this article is in gross error.....

Pokethis

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2008, 02:35:07 PM »
Yeah, all blogs and the Co-ops web site is still up (you could call them?).  Also I registered this thought just now...  they did not have to have their rights read to them because they were not arrested.  But, if true, the warrant is problematic for the cops.

Offline firetoad

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2008, 02:57:33 PM »
Quote
they did not have to have their rights read to them because they were not arrested. 

Even if you are arrested, you do not need to be read the Miranda warning.  The only time a Miranda warning needs to be given is if a person is being asked guilt-seeking questions AND is being detained or in police custody (read - not free to leave).  Notice, I said guilt-seeking questions, pedigree information such as name, address, etc. is not considered a guilt-seeking line of questioning.


Regarding the items not listed on the search warrant, additional items found during the execution of the warrant and outside of the scope of an itemized (not overly common) search warrant (i.e. there is a threat of imminent destruction of evidence) can be seized.  Example, a search warrant specifically calls out Meth (not likely to be that specific) and Marijuana is found, it can be seized if found during the normal course of the search for the Meth.  The Marijuana would not be considered fruit from a poisonous tree and would be admissable.  Now, if a warrant indicates a house and no outbuildings, an outbuilding cannot be searched and anything resulting from a non-exigent search would most likely be considered fruit from the poisonous tree and non-admissable.  There are many other exceptions, details, requirements that go into a search warrant, but this is the jist of it.  (Also, having said all of the above, it might not always be 100% true either!)

Pokethis

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2008, 04:26:58 PM »
I c.  Either way it wasn't necessary to read them their rights.  The post isn't specific about the warrant items.  Thanks for the clarification.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2008, 04:40:30 PM »
Quote
that "they" have thought of everything....

They could never imagine or begin to grasp the amount of resolve, determination and independence a significant portion of the human population possesses.  That makes me sleep soundly at night. 
I wish I had your faith.

Unfortunately, while sitting in my living room watching the debacle that became "Waco", this of course after "Ruby Ridge", I gained a keen understanding of just how far our govt. is willing to go to squash those that wish to travel a different path.  Don't get me wrong, I understand that in both cases there may have been extenuating circumstances, but neither of those incidents required the course of action that was undertaken. 

This incident didn't require an armed quasi-military response either.  A swat team for a freakin' food pantry...I can't scream WTF is this country coming to loud enough.  Where in the hell do the people who make these decisions think they get their authority from?  We not only need to take back control of our govt., we need to seriously curtail the power of the corporations who push laws thru that strip away at every facet of our life.  Shit like this just furthers my resolve to be prepared...



I can strongly say that I may not have made it out of my home alive that day....but neither would a couple others.
 
Quoted for truth & agreed.

GroundPounder

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2008, 07:59:48 PM »
I doubt many of us are running a co-op but this really reminds me the need to keep my preps to myself.  You dont know when anti-hoarding  laws will be enacted. Unfortunately many people view preparing as hoarding.  Some laws are already out there.  Montana laws states "Hoarding prohibited. During a declaration of a state of emergency or a finding of an abnormal market disruption, a person may not engage in hoarding an essential good or service."  So how will they know if you stored your food years in advance or just went out and bought it all?  I dont want to take that chance.  I am keeping my mouth shut.

Here is a very interesting article from 1918.  Any reason it cant happen today as times get worse in this country?

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=940CEEDD1238EE32A25753C3A9639C946996D6CF

Pokethis

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2008, 09:46:05 PM »
The Supreme Court has the case of some guy (sorry can't remember his name!) who has been held as an "enemy combatant" in South Carolina for 5 years.  I believe he was arrested on credit card fraud charges and then Bush, under his new powers he gave himself, deemed him an enemy combatant.  Can the government keep one in prison without charging them forever?  That is the question the Court might decide.  I understand that if the Bush team changes his status then the court won't look at the matter or rule on it.  I hope they have a chance to rule on it.  If so Magna Carta lives!  If not we are no longer a nations of laws but are under the definition of Tyranny!

Offline sludgy_nixer

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2008, 11:42:40 PM »
Unintended Consequences.  They'll get theirs.


when? when will they get theirs? like the litmus tests of ruby ridge, waco, ed and elaine brown, etc. they've used a 5 lb sledge on a thumb tack
and the gaping hole in the sheetrock goes unnoticed and unopposed. the people, if they notice at all, gasp "that's crazy"
and return to channel surfing, clothes shopping, or whatever they do and the whole thing fades to black. because after all,
those people are outside the norm so they probably deserved it anyway right? not my problem.
if it weren't for forums like this, the story would be forgotten before the weekend is over.

it's like the bully on the playground who just keeps pushing and pushing...he will not stop until popped in the nose and told
that's enough, i ain't taking this s*** any more.

i'm trying real hard to believe in that wonderful galactic karma i keep hearing about and that they will get theirs at some point, but it sure seems
to me they make the rules, they brought the cards, they're dealing, and we're real low on chips.


John Q Public

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2008, 06:34:37 AM »
If this is true....

This is the perfect example of why you need to keep QUIET ABOUT YOUR PREPS!

It also gave me an idea.  HOLD ON TO YOUR RECEIPTS --- Keep copies of all of your food purchases with the food itself and keep the originals in a safe. If you are arrested you have proof that you did not hoard the food but purchased it over time before any crises occurred.

And keep legally owned firearms loaded and within reach.  ;D

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2008, 07:46:20 PM »
Seems to be true...

http://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2008/12/03/news/mj309059.txt

It's not getting much coverage around here.  I was about to call shenaningans on this until I found this article.


Offline sludgy_nixer

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2008, 08:44:09 PM »
ahh...i was waiting to see the sanitized version. thanks morning journal.
apparently there was no swat team and the family was not held "hostage" in their
living room for 8 hours. nor was their house turned inside out, just an agent named john
who stopped by and removed a few items. my bad.

"The items were taken to establish the Stowers' ownership in any property, records of hidden wealth or illegal income and anything that would establish illegal activity"
and of course, the obligatory guilt statement...

Offline lonestar

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2008, 05:47:52 PM »
On another forum, don't have link in front of me right now but they have not updated their website because the computers they had were confiscated along with cell phones and other things.  When I can get the site I will post it here for all.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2008, 07:05:12 PM »
I sent them an e-mail early this morning to see if they would tell thier side of the story. And this is what they replied with.




Quote
Yes, I can confirm that we had armed men in our home on December 1, 2008. They
took thousands of dollars worth of beef, lamb, poultry as well as our computers,
cell phones and business records. At this point, we have not talked to the press
except to confirm what I just told you - we have been putting our energies into
restoring our families and our home. Please know that as soon as we have a
statement ready for the press, I will send it to you. 

Thanks again. :)

Katie Stowers

---- willisrt13@aim.com wrote:
> I website I frequent has posted that your farm was involved in a federal raid
recently.
>
>
> ?
>
>
> http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=1395.0
>
>
> ?
>
>
> Is there any truth to this?? And if so, you could tell your side of the story
to us.
>
>
> ?
>
>
> Best wishes to you and yours.
>



God damn this creeps me out.



Pokethis

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2008, 03:17:05 PM »
Wonder why they took what appears to have been meat and not any other food stuffs.

Offline ejsandstrom

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2008, 04:33:55 PM »
The problem is what do/can we do? I am sure that we will hear that they did not have some piece of paperwork on file with the local board of some .gov agency. So if WE (the collective we) protest to loudly, we will be classified as domestic terrorists. The news would paint us in the light of "look at these bad people, the good SWAT team was only doing their job in keep you safe from evil food"

I feel that we have reached the day where the people fear their government, and we are powerless to stop it.

Pokethis

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2008, 04:52:10 PM »
I think once we find out the particulars/reasons for this raid we can support the family.  Of course they feel wronged right now which may in fact be the case, I just don't know. 

Pokethis

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2008, 12:14:13 PM »
Alex Jones, on his Friday show had the lawyer on that will be working for this family.  Very good discussion of the issues at stake here.  Even if you don't listen to Jones normally it is the only show thats talked about it and has someone involved with the family - get the 12-19-08 podcast and it is the last interview in the podcast.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Merged: Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio/Food Raid?
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2008, 02:40:57 AM »


This is another e-mail I got today about the raid and what the family is doing.



Hi everyone. We are happy to announce that you can now follow our case through our attorney's website: www.buckeyeinstitute.org . The press statement can be seen directly at: http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/article/1284

We are unable to personally answer questions about the case or do interviews at this time, so please direct those types of questions to our lawyer, who is doing that for us. His contact information:

Maurice Thompson
(614) 224-4422
mthompson@buckeyeinstitute.org

We would also encourage people to write letters, especially to the Governor of Ohio, the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Lorain County Health Department.

We have had people inquire about making a donation to our legal fund. We would encourage anyone wanting to make a donation for that purpose to make it to the Buckeye Institute. The following is from their website:

"The Buckeye Institute is an independent research and education group. As such, we do not perform contract work or accept government grants. To maintain the highest degree of intellectual integrity, we need the support of the people whose lives we're seeking to improve through sound public policy. We thank you in advance for your support. "

Jackie would also request that anyone who has a similar story to share (government abuse), please mail or email it to us!

Thank you again to everyone for your encouragement and support!

Katie Stowers
(for the rest of the family) :)

Manna Storehouse
43565 State Route 303
LaGrange, OH  44050
(440) 355-5826; (440) 355-5831 fax
www.mannastorehouse.com
mannastorehouse@windstream.net
 

Offline minrlwtr

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SWAT raid on food co-op called 'entrapment'
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2008, 11:39:02 PM »
We had a sheriff's department group of about 11-12, I don't know, 13 men come into our home. It was violent, it was belligerent, they didn't identify themselves," Jacqueline Stowers said.

She and 10 children were forcibly herded into a room and held there for at least six hours, she said.

"In the meantime we had people with guns inside and outside," she said.

Thompson said officers confiscated the family's personal computers, cell phones and food supplies, even though the Manna Storehouse food supplies were in another building.

http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=84594