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Carlton chief, sergeant face firearms charges (BATF now persecuting local police)
News-Register (McMinnville, OR) ^ | February 22, 2003 | STARLA POINTER

Posted on 10/19/2003 12:41:47 AM PDT by fire_eye

CARLTON - Federal firearms charges have been brought against Police Chief Lee Whalon and Sgt. Rick Noble, who make up two-thirds of the Carlton Police Department.

They were arraigned Wednesday before a federal magistrate in Medford, then released from custody on their own recognizance pending an April 29 trial. Each pleaded not guilty to all counts of the indictments brought against them, and each remains on the job in Carlton.

Whalon and Noble each stands charged with possession of an unregistered silencer, an unregistered sawed-off shotgun and unregistered semiautomatic rifles classified as machine guns under federal law. Each also was charged with transferring ownership of the rifles without first obtaining authorization through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The criminal indictment was handed up by a federal grand jury Feb. 14, following a three-year investigation. It also charges Noble, the department's second-in-comand, with possession of a sawed-off rifle.

"It's a lot to have over your head," said Whalon, who has been a police officer for 12 years. "When you've gone all your life being the good guy, and all of a sudden you're the suspect, that can be draining,"

The charges are based on activities that took place shortly after the two left the force serving the small Southern Oregon town of Merrill and moved to Carlton.

Another longtime police officer, David Rott of Klamath Falls, was the first to be charged in connection with the case. Rott, who succeeded Whalon as police chief in Merrill, entered a guilty plea last year under terms of an agreement negotiated with federal prosecutors.

Whalon, who has long been aware he was the focus of a federal firearms investigation, said he has no intention of following suit.

"I truly believe, and have from the start, that we really didn't do anything wrong," he said. "I'm not going to back down and say I did."

Whalon is represented by Eugene attorney Richard Fredricks, who was appointed on his behalf by the court.

"I worry about my family," he said. "It's hard on them.

"But I'm not going to throw my career away. I have to do what's right."

Whalon started his law enforcement career as an unpaid reserve in McMinnville. He was serving as chief in Merlin when the Carlton chief job opened up in 1998.

Noble had been working for Whalon in Merrill. He joined Whalon in Carlton the following year.

The investigation began three years ago with a probe into restricted weapons owned by the Merrill Police Department. More than a year ago Whalon and Noble came under investigation individually by agents of the Department of Justice and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Rott pleaded guilty to a single count of official misconduct in January 2002 for his role in the arms transaction. He was sentenced to 20 days in the Klamath County Jail and three years probation.

As part of a negotiated agreement, Rott agreed to give up his police certification. By then, he already had switched to a different line of work.

"I'm sorry Carlton gets a black eye from this just by association," Whalon said. "I think in the end it's gong to work out.

"We have reasonable explanations, and we have a lot of support from the city and the community. We're banking on the truth here."

According to Whalon, buying and trading equipment from one another is common practice among small police departments. Sometimes it's the only way they can get what they need.

He said he and Noble entered into such weapons bartering with Rott in an effort to acquire needed equipment. "It's a public safety courtesy," he said.

He said the federal firearms investigation grew out of political infighting that erupted in Merrill after the mayor and several city councilors were replaced. He said Rott came under criticism from the new city leadership and was eventually fired.

Rott's dismissal came at a time when Whalon was trying to complete a transaction involving seven semiautomatic rifles being used by the Merrill department. A qualified rifle instructor, he said he thought Carlton's three full-time officers and seven reserves could make good use of them.

He said the rifles had been declared surplus by the British military and dumped on the market at bargain-basement prices. He said they were never fitted for fully automatic use, but were built on the same frame as the fully automatic version, so were classified as machine guns under ATF regulations.

Whalon said he did complete the required paperwork, but it wasn't until October 1999, by which time some of the weapons had already been shipped to Carlton. He said that's his only impropriety, as far as he can see.

"I tried to do the best for my police agency that I could," he said. "I wouldn't go back and change what I've done, but I could've done a better job with the paperwork."

Whalon said the silencer and the rest of the guns weren't sent to Carlton until Merrill received notice from the ATF that the trade had been approved under the National Firearms Act.

Not long after that, Whalon said, city officials conducted an inventory and discovered the firearms were gone. Rott, who had been the city's only police employee, was unable to explain the transaction to their satisfaction, triggering an investigation.

When the ATF first contacted him, Whalon said, he gathered up all of the firearms in question and voluntarily turned them over to investigators.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: 2amd; bang; banglist; batf; feddeathsquads; firearms; jackbootedthugs; leo; machineguns; police; rkba
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To: Leisler
Yeah, and I met them all in the Airborne Infantry.

So, in effect, you see no need to restrict anyone from owning anything and furthermore, from probably doing anything.

Are you a Libertarian by chance?

41 posted on 10/19/2003 1:58:15 PM PDT by _Jim
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To: _Jim
"So, in effect, you see no need...(Absolute assumption # 1)...

to restrict anyone(Absolute # 2)...

from owning anything( # 3)...

and furthermore, from probably doing anything( # 4)

Allow six to eight weeks to receive prize. Prizes may not be exactly as shown. Prizes may be exchanged with one of equal or greater value. One prize per contestant.

42 posted on 10/19/2003 2:52:48 PM PDT by Leisler (Molon Labe)
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To: rogator
I stand corrected. Glad to see some LEO's maintaining modesty and decorum.
43 posted on 10/19/2003 2:56:53 PM PDT by Leisler (Molon Labe)
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To: archy
If so, is this payback?

It could be that the cops in question annoyed some fed. A small-town police-chief or sheriff might feel no need to bend his knee to the feds and their "requests". This might be a message to all small town LEO's

44 posted on 10/19/2003 3:09:42 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Java/C++/Unix/Web Developer === (Finally employed again! Whoopie))
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To: Comus
I always wonder how the BATF chooses its targets. Violent gangs with nation-wide theatres of operation get no attention from the baby killers, while rural loners and gun tinkerers are hunted down and killed or sent to prison. It's almost like they want...............

A BATF raid on a Crips HQ in South Central LA would trigger a firefight and start a riot. The probability of any raider getting out alive would be low.

BATF want arrest stats with minimum personal risk

45 posted on 10/19/2003 3:12:31 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Java/C++/Unix/Web Developer === (Finally employed again! Whoopie))
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To: _Jim
"Have you ever, in your life met SOMEONE you thought should not own such weapons either because they were: a) not mature enough. ... b) incapable of handling said weapon ... c) mentally incapacitated beyond the point where they could be trusted to control their 'fire' (... d) deemed to be a risk because of their 'criminal bent'"

Yes, some examples of such creatures do indeed come to mind....



46 posted on 10/19/2003 4:46:57 PM PDT by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: SauronOfMordor
If so, is this payback?

It could be that the cops in question annoyed some fed. A small-town police-chief or sheriff might feel no need to bend his knee to the feds and their "requests". This might be a message to all small town LEO's

Turn about is fair play.

-archy-/-

47 posted on 10/19/2003 4:47:49 PM PDT by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: dwilli
I have owned guns my entire life from 10 years old to the present but there have to be some limits to firepower and accessories citizens can possess.

I'm sure the British authorities around the time of the Revolution felt exactly the same way.

48 posted on 10/19/2003 5:45:07 PM PDT by an amused spectator
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To: an amused spectator
We're about to colonize? Would we have known The British are coming if their muskets were silencer equipped?
49 posted on 10/19/2003 6:05:46 PM PDT by dwilli
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To: misanthrope
Is is easy sounds like they are simi auto's built on machine gun recivers. By BATF standards they are still full auto's. Lets say you take a m16 put ar15 parts in it to make it simi BATF still says it is a full auto. Under their thinking once a machine gun always a machine gun.

Is it right no but no one in congress wants to set them right nor pull any funding when they stomp cats to death and kill people over unpaided tax's.

50 posted on 10/19/2003 7:16:22 PM PDT by riverrunner
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To: dwilli
dwilli said: "Would we have known The British are coming if their muskets were silencer equipped?"

The alarm that went out was "the Regulars are coming". Meaning the regular army. It was the colonists own army which was being used to confiscate civilian arms. Citizens of Boston were forced to disobey the order to turn in their weapons and had to smuggle them out of the occupied city in order to keep them.

It was not the firing of the regular's guns which raised the alarm, but several mounted riders including Paul Revere.

You can bet if our army is ever instructed to confiscate the arms of civilians, the army will have every weapon known to man at their service. You and I may not have silencers, machine guns, helicopters, or anti-tank missiles, but the forces sent to tyrannize us will have all this and much more.

51 posted on 10/19/2003 7:16:38 PM PDT by William Tell
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To: fire_eye
We're banking on the truth here."

This is the BATFE here. They don't have much use for the truth, nor much aquaintence with it either. I'm not sure they'd know what it was if it bit them in the a$$.

52 posted on 10/19/2003 8:57:47 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: dwilli
There is a very good reason silencer possession is a federal crime.

And that would be?

53 posted on 10/19/2003 8:58:49 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: _Jim
not mature enough. IOW, they couldn't be trusted to exercise proper 'fire control.

Like the BATFags at Waco?

incapable of handling said weapon

Like many women police officers?

mentally incapacitated beyond the point where they could be trusted to control their 'fire' (mentally incompetent - can't judge proper from improper use of weaponry that can potentially kill)

See Waco again.

d) deemed to be a risk because of their 'criminal bent'"

Like the SOB who murdered a woman carrying a child in her arms at Ruby Rudge.

Yeah, I guess there are some folks who shouldn't have guns.

54 posted on 10/19/2003 9:02:20 PM PDT by Mulder (Fight the future)
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To: William Tell
You can bet if our army is ever instructed to confiscate the arms of civilians, the army will have every weapon known to man at their service.

Many, if not most, in the American military take their oath to defend the Constitution seriously. I'd also bet that the higher the 'skill' level of the soldier, the more likely they are to support the Constitution and refuse to obey any illegal edicts to violate the Bill of Rights.

You and I may not have silencers, machine guns, helicopters, or anti-tank missiles

Should such an illegal edict come down the pipe, I would guess that a lot of these items would either mysteriously disappear, or suddenly have "reliability" problems.

There are still quite a few Patriots in the American military.

55 posted on 10/19/2003 9:07:29 PM PDT by Mulder (Fight the future)
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To: dwilli
There is a very good reason silencer possession is a federal crime.

No, it's not a federal crime, so long as you have the proper paperwork filled out and you've paid your tax.

The only reason they passed that edict was to raise revenue for the state. It needs to be repealed, as the 2nd amendment doesn't give the government the power to regulate silencers.

56 posted on 10/19/2003 9:10:19 PM PDT by Mulder (Fight the future)
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To: riverrunner
Is it right no but no one in congress wants to set them right nor pull any funding when they stomp cats to death and kill people over unpaided tax's.

There were a lot of Republicans (as well as a few democrats) that talked about pulling their funding in 1994 after they won Congress, but the Bush/Dole wing of the party stopped that.

57 posted on 10/19/2003 9:11:44 PM PDT by Mulder (Fight the future)
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To: William Tell
Which is exactly why the right is "not" to be infringed.
Just like the british would want any adversary disarmed so does any federal gov want any possible future adversary unarmed.
The 2d ammendment keeps this most crucial right and power in the hands of the people off limits to the gov.
If even a small percent of military follows any order to disarm American citizens it would be too late to acquire what we need.
58 posted on 10/19/2003 9:31:27 PM PDT by chuckwalla
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To: chuckwalla
If even a small percent of military follows any order to disarm American citizens it would be too late to acquire what we need.

If that day ever comes, a decent bolt action rifle equipped with a scope is all many Patriots will "need".

59 posted on 10/19/2003 9:36:35 PM PDT by Mulder (Fight the future)
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To: Mulder
You sure about that???????
I prefer a choice.
60 posted on 10/19/2003 9:43:26 PM PDT by chuckwalla
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