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Futile pot raid spurs lawsuit
Kansas City Star ^ | March 30, 2013 | CHRISTINE VENDEL

Posted on 04/03/2013 6:30:02 AM PDT by Altariel

A Leawood couple says heavily armed Johnson County deputies barged into their home last year, turning it upside down and detaining them and their children for more than two hours in a fruitless search for marijuana.

“This is how we were awakened: banging, pounding, screaming,” the mother, Adlynn Harte, said Friday. “My husband opened the door right before the battering ram was set to take it out.”

The father allegedly was forced to lie shirtless on the foyer while a deputy with an assault rifle stood over him. The children, a 7-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy, reportedly came out of their bedrooms terrified, the teenager with his hands in the air.

And all because the couple, Robert and Adlynn Harte, bought indoor gardening equipment to grow a small number of tomato and squash plants in their basement, according to a lawsuit filed this week. The equipment was never used for marijuana, the couple says, and no one in the family has ever used illegal drugs.

Nearly a year after the SWAT-style raid, the Hartes still don’t know what evidence deputies used to persuade a judge to grant a warrant to search their home in the 10300 block of Wenonga Lane on April 20. Their requests for records that could provide such information have been denied by the sheriff’s office.

The lawsuit filed Thursday asks the court to order the release of the records. The information revealed could be used in a federal civil rights lawsuit.

“You can’t send out the SWAT team because people are trying to grow tomatoes in their basement,” Robert Harte told The Star.

(Excerpt) Read more at kansascity.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: cannabis; donutwatch; drugs; drugwar; marijuana; missouri; swat; warondrugs; wod; wodlist; wosd; wronghouse
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1 posted on 04/03/2013 6:30:02 AM PDT by Altariel
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To: Altariel

“Nearly a year after the SWAT-style raid, the Hartes still don’t know what evidence deputies used to persuade a judge to grant a warrant to search their home in the 10300 block of Wenonga Lane on April 20. Their requests for records that could provide such information have been denied by the sheriff’s office.”

“The State doesn’t want you to know why, Peasant. Be thankful we let you live.”

(Do I really need a sarc tag?)


2 posted on 04/03/2013 6:31:50 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

Does anyone make a video cam system that instantly uploads video to online (cloud) storage?

ALL OF US need to get one of those


3 posted on 04/03/2013 6:33:29 AM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: Mr. K

Many security companies do or you can do it simply with an Android smartphone using the spytools app and Google Plus (yea, I know, google..)


4 posted on 04/03/2013 6:40:13 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: Altariel
And they paid with a credit card.

Time to go with cash transactions.

5 posted on 04/03/2013 6:41:15 AM PDT by bgill
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To: Altariel

“And all because the couple, Robert and Adlynn Harte, bought indoor gardening equipment to grow a small number of tomato and squash plants in their basement”

The irony is that marijuana growers know that the Feds monitor those purchases, so they pay cash for them, buy them in another town/county, or from a friendly garden supplier who won’t report them. So, the most likely ones to get caught in a raid like this are people who innocently bought them, not aware that they should cover their tracks.


6 posted on 04/03/2013 6:42:08 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Altariel
You can't send out the SWAT team because people are trying to grow tomatoes in their basement ...
I wouldn't wager a thin dime on that principle. The government is out of control, and as a practical matter, there is no (legal) remedy for it. Sure, some people win lawsuits, but most don't.
7 posted on 04/03/2013 6:45:12 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: Altariel

It’s explained in the article, no? They bought indoor growing equipment. That’s been a red flag for decades. Google “Operation Green Merchant”.


8 posted on 04/03/2013 6:45:20 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Altariel

Just a bit of background on Leawood Kansas. Yesterday I was comparing notes with a friend about where we had sent our daughters for horseback riding lessons back in the 90s. The place where her daughter had gone was in Leawood and it was now a sewage treatment plant. When I asked whether in fact people in Leawood actually produced sewage, she laughed, knowing what I meant. It’s maybe not as fancy as Mission Hills but its where the people who wanted a newly built expensive home moved instead of rehabbing in Mission Hills. Average value of homes in Leawood would be around one mil. So there is a sense there of safety with the most dangerous thing to happen being the neighbors teenagers have a party without full adult supervision.

Also, the sheriff in this county is about to retire. He wants a perfect record. I would love to see him sued. He has totally jammed up the courthouse making it impossible to go in wearing shoes or a belt or any but the tiniest earrings. On the good side of his ledger however, he is on the record 100% pro-2nd amendment, just not in his courthouse of course.


9 posted on 04/03/2013 6:46:00 AM PDT by Mercat (I'm loving this Pope)
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To: Altariel

Who accused them of growing pot?

In other words, whose name is on the warrant? Who gave this compelling testimony under oath or affirmation? Who made such a convincing case for their guilt that a judge was persuaded this family’s house could justifiably be invaded? That’s who needs to be doing some fast talking here.

The police are merely to serve warrants as instructed - searching the places the accuser describes, and seizing the persons or things he swears under oath are there.

So? Who is this mystery person who accused them of growing pot? Where is he? Let him answer for himself and face the consequences of his perjury.

Because this is no “mistake”. The Constitution’s safeguards prevent that sort of mistake. Someone is culpable: the witness who falsely accused them. Let him pay the price.


10 posted on 04/03/2013 6:53:48 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: Altariel

There are several hardware type stores that pop up near their home but Ace is the only national chain and a mile from their house.


11 posted on 04/03/2013 6:53:57 AM PDT by bgill
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To: LearsFool

The judge should be named in this lawsuit.


12 posted on 04/03/2013 7:01:44 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: LearsFool

They wanted to confiscate and sell the house. Maybe the tipster wanted to buy the house at Sheriff’s sale.


13 posted on 04/03/2013 7:02:44 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Are you saying the judge issued the warrant without the sworn testimony of an accuser? If he did that, then yes, he should be prosecuted.


14 posted on 04/03/2013 7:04:02 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: LearsFool

You are right. The police are not the bad guys here. It is either the judge or people who lied to the judge.


15 posted on 04/03/2013 7:06:05 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Altariel

Always use cash when shopping at the local hydroponics store...


16 posted on 04/03/2013 7:09:30 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: Cboldt
The government is out of control

And yet some "conservatives" fear drugs more than they fear a police state.

17 posted on 04/03/2013 7:13:00 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: LearsFool

The judge could simply say who testified. Either the name is given up of the judge should be penalized.


18 posted on 04/03/2013 7:14:20 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: DManA
The police are not the bad guys here.

If not bad, at least incompetent: "Deputies told the Hartes that they had the couple under surveillance for months prior to the raid." And yet they couldn't figure out that no marijuana growing was taking place.

19 posted on 04/03/2013 7:15:17 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Okay, I see what you’re saying now. You’re right, the judge should not be allowed to cover for this perjurer.

Perhaps the accuser told the judge a convincing story, which met the standard of “probable cause”. That lets the judge off the hook, and so the full weight of the law falls on the false witness who lied and said these people were growing pot.


20 posted on 04/03/2013 7:23:26 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: DManA

To an extent, I agree. But I think the police also bear some culpability here. Much as I despise any and all drug use and trade, does growing marijuana in your basement rise to the level of requiring an attack with assault rifles? I think not. The various law enforcement agencies need to face charges for irresponsible behavior and endangering the lives of citizenry as well. I’m having a hard time seeing the justification for a SWAT type raid in any instance without clear evidence of known violent behavior.


21 posted on 04/03/2013 7:27:01 AM PDT by Solidstatechemist (SolidStateChemist)
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To: Altariel
“You can’t send out the SWAT team because people are trying to grow tomatoes in their basement,” Robert Harte told The Star.

Oh, but you can.

22 posted on 04/03/2013 7:32:31 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Alcohol prohibitionists had and have the same attitude and justifications. Many of them owe their livelihood to prohibition.


23 posted on 04/03/2013 7:33:53 AM PDT by Cboldt
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To: Mr. K

There is a free app from the ACLU for downloading to your cell phone called Police Tape. It will record audio and/or video in stealth mode which you can submit to the ACLU for review.

Available here:
http://www.aclu-nj.org/yourrights/the-app-place


24 posted on 04/03/2013 7:43:02 AM PDT by Second Amendment First ("Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..." - Thomas Jefferson.)
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To: Solidstatechemist; JustSayNoToNannies

You’re right.


25 posted on 04/03/2013 7:44:48 AM PDT by DManA
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To: stuartcr

Apparently the cops were watching the store and taking license plate numbers. Paying with cash would have made no difference.


26 posted on 04/03/2013 7:45:13 AM PDT by Second Amendment First ("Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..." - Thomas Jefferson.)
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To: Solidstatechemist

“””does growing marijuana in your basement rise to the level of requiring an attack with assault rifles?””””

Yes. Drug dealers are usually armed. If you bust down a drug dealer’s door, you gonna get shot.
If you were a cop... and your mission was to serve a warrant on a suspected drug dealer’s residence, would you want to go in unarmed? If I were to go raid a drug dealer’s house, you better believe I am going to be protecting myself.


27 posted on 04/03/2013 7:45:35 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong!!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

The right to face your accuser is a foundational civil right.


28 posted on 04/03/2013 7:46:30 AM PDT by DManA
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To: DManA

‘zackly !


29 posted on 04/03/2013 7:48:58 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: Second Amendment First

but what if it is not something the ACLU is interested in? (like constitutional rights) can you still obtain a copy of it?


30 posted on 04/03/2013 7:54:18 AM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
And yet some "conservatives" fear drugs more than they fear a police state.

And the only thing that will wake them up is when the same no-knock paramilitary style tactics are used to come for their 'illegal guns and knives'...

31 posted on 04/03/2013 7:55:27 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: bamahead
And the only thing that will wake them up is when the same no-knock paramilitary style tactics are used to come for their 'illegal guns and knives'...

They'll still tell you the drug war has nothing to do with the 2A, even after the testimony that the DEA was a willing and active participant in Fast and Furious.

32 posted on 04/03/2013 7:58:22 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Civil Right - Endowed by our Creator; Stolen by our governments.


33 posted on 04/03/2013 7:58:40 AM PDT by DManA
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To: envisio

Again, yes, I understand that drug dealers are usually armed - but there are also other signs when someone is dealing drugs. Lots of traffic to/from the residence; people don’t stay long. If the account is accurate, doesn’t sound like that kind of activity was in evidence here. I just think a SWAT type raid on that little evidence is unacceptable.


34 posted on 04/03/2013 7:59:31 AM PDT by Solidstatechemist (SolidStateChemist)
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To: Mr. K

The recording is on your phone. You may send a copy to them for review for free. You may also have your recording reviewed by your own attorney.


35 posted on 04/03/2013 8:00:37 AM PDT by Second Amendment First ("Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..." - Thomas Jefferson.)
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To: bamahead

Couldn’t happen. The police would NEVER barge into innocent people’s homes, terrorize women and children, and/or shoot their dogs for the purpose of seizing their property.

( Do I really need a sarc tag?)


36 posted on 04/03/2013 8:06:30 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

are you flippin kidding me? Most conservatives say if people want to destroy themselves with the depravity of drug abuse, let them


37 posted on 04/03/2013 8:11:00 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: tacticalogic
Drug Warriors have had a sordid history with respect to 2A from the get-go:

U.S. BANS IMPORTS OF ASSAULT RIFLES IN SHIFT BY BUSH

March 15, 1989

The Bush Administration today banned imports of semiautomatic assault rifles indefinitely, pending a review of whether the military-style weapons are being used for sporting purposes.

The step, announced by William J. Bennett, the director of national drug policy, is effective immediately and was taken after officials learned that requests this year from importers to bring in the weapons had already nearly tripled those for all of 1988

-snip-

But White House officials said Mr. Bush, a life member of the National Rifle Association and an opponent of gun control, shifted his position after lobbying by Mr. Bennett, by drug officials and by his wife, Barbara, who had indicated she favored a ban.

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/03/15/us/us-bans-imports-of-assault-rifles-in-shift-by-bush.html

38 posted on 04/03/2013 8:14:09 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: Second Amendment First

just plain bad luck


39 posted on 04/03/2013 8:23:31 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: Solidstatechemist

Probably not in WA and CO


40 posted on 04/03/2013 8:25:25 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: yldstrk
And yet some "conservatives" fear drugs more than they fear a police state.

are you flippin kidding me? Most conservatives say if people want to destroy themselves with the depravity of drug abuse, let them

I hope you're right about that - but there is a vocal contingent, perhaps a minority, on FR that brays support for the War on Drugs (although they're oddly absent from threads like this one).

A few recent examples:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3003133/posts?page=25#25
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3002958/posts?page=53#53
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3003184/posts?page=15#15

41 posted on 04/03/2013 8:26:23 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: stuartcr
Always use cash when shopping at the local hydroponics store...

I always do. it really can be an intersting hobby. you'd be amazed at what can be grown in in this manner. Water gardens that rival the amazon jungle

42 posted on 04/03/2013 8:56:51 AM PDT by vikzilla
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To: DManA

“You are right. The police are not the bad guys here. It is either the judge or people who lied to the judge.”

My guess is that they have a “warrant factory” and that it is the police that filled out the warrant application, based solely on some blanket warrants that gather credit card purchases of “drug paraphenalia.”

If that is the case, then it IS the cops that lied to the judge. In addition, the judge is culpable because he/she is nothing more than a rubber stamp.


43 posted on 04/03/2013 9:49:56 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: envisio

“If I were to go raid a drug dealer’s house,”

How about if you go raid a non-dealer’s house?


44 posted on 04/03/2013 9:56:03 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: CSM

I would be a cop. Not a judge or a court. I would be the cop who is handed the warrant to go in a search and secure a residence that is suspected of drug activity. That would be my job. My job would not be to question the warrant or to gather information that detectives should gather. I am a member of a squad that has a job to carry out warrants.... whatever the warrant says. In this case, it is to secure a residence where suspected drug activities are taking place. I am not going into a suspected drug dealer’s house with a slingshot. I am going in locked, loaded and armoured. Once I have done my job and secured the house and the occupants, I hand it over to detectives and prosecutors. My job is done.

But acccording to the warrant in my hand, it reads: SUSPECTED ILLEGAL DRUG OPERATIONS.


45 posted on 04/03/2013 10:23:48 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong!!)
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To: envisio

“My job would not be to question the warrant or to gather information that detectives should gather.”

That attitude will one day get American conservatives and Christians killed.

Don’t question the warrant. Believe everything you’re told. Don’t verify for yourself.


46 posted on 04/03/2013 10:29:08 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: CSM

Moreover, it is the cops who were attempting to ram down the man’s door.

Not many hardened drug dealers, I expect, would open the door for intruders attempting to barge in.


47 posted on 04/03/2013 10:30:25 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

“””Don’t question the warrant. Believe everything you’re told. Don’t verify for yourself”””

Yes, exactly. From the cop’s point of view. From the task force’s point of view. Yes.
You have to understand, I am talking about the cops that busted down the door. No, they do not question a warrant. They do their job and bust down the door.
Detectives, prosecutors, DAs, ADAs, attorneys, Judges... they question the warrants, as well they should. All warrants should be questioned. I am not disputing that.
The cop that busts down the door follows orders. His superiors tell him to bust down a door and secure a 5403620100house, he does it. He follows orders.

Say I was on a SWAT team and I was their sniper. (let’s just say) And we responded to a crisis downtown. Lets say I am on a rooftop looking through my scope looking for a hooded black male. I spot the alledged perp, confirming twice and a third time that I have IDed the right individual. I relay that I have said perp in sight and standing by. I get confirmation from my superior to take the shot. I shoot.

I did not ask to see the warrant. I did not ask to see the details of the detective’s files. I did not talk to a judge or a DA. I got on the roof and did what I was trained to do.

Now, my superiors all the way up the ladder have the onus to make sure my instructions were justified. But my job is done.


48 posted on 04/03/2013 11:09:51 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong!!)
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To: envisio

You do realize that “I was just doing what I was told to do” is the favorite excuse of foot soldiers of Statist tyranny throughout the millennia.

Men who fear God do not use that excuse, because they know they answer to an even higher authority than The State.


49 posted on 04/03/2013 11:13:33 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: envisio

“I would be the cop who is handed the warrant to go in a search and secure a residence that is suspected of drug activity. That would be my job. My job would not be to question the warrant or to gather information that detectives should gather. I am a member of a squad that has a job to carry out warrants.... whatever the warrant says.”

Sounds familiar.

-snip-

(Newser) – A former Nazi hitman on trial in Germany confessed to killing three Dutch civilians but offered prosecutors a familiar excuse. “As a simple soldier, I learned to carry out orders,” Heinrich Boere told the court. “And I knew that if I didn’t carry out my orders I would be breaking my oath and would be shot myself.”

Boere, a Dutchman who volunteered to join the SS, carried out the killings as part of a death squad and fled to Germany after the war. “At no time in 1944 did I act with the feeling that I was committing a crime,” Boere said. “Today, after 65 years, I naturally see things from a different perspective.” Boere, 88, could face a life sentence if found guilty, the BBC reports.

http://www.newser.com/story/75739/ex-nazi-i-was-just-following-orders.html


50 posted on 04/03/2013 11:14:37 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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