This is why, even though one is a law-abiding citizen, never talk to police officers and never give them permission to search your vehicle without a warrant describing in detail the area to be searched and the things to be seized. As Haddad found out, assuming that he did give permission to search his vehicle, thinking himself to be innocent of any crimes, now faces up to 35 years in prison, 7 years for each magazine.
In legalese, they will probably give him something like 30 days if he pleads guilty to a felony, after which he will not be able to legally own a weapon, or even have access to a weapon for the rest of his life. This is called manufacturing a felony and the only reason to do so is to disarm as many people as possible by trumping up charges and pumping up sentences to frighten them into pleading to something that should be thrown out of court the minute the charges are brought. In the old days, when disarmament was not the goal, these things were always plead down, not up, for first time offenders.
I had a few minutes to speak with Michael Haddad, Nathan's brother, who has started a legal defense fund. I have promised to contribute as much as I can afford and to encourage others to contribute. Michael, like his brother, is a good person just trying to help out. He stressed, however, to wait until after February 20th before doing anything other than contributing to the legal defense of this disabled veteran. The reason is to see if the legal system will take a no-nonsense approach to this issue. If they do not, we need to be prepared to unleash the hounds. I know that William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection has offered his services to aid Nathan's attorney should the state prefer to go the wrong way in this case. Kudos to Mr. Jacobson.
Nathan, like most of us, just want to get the charges dropped or reduced at this time. But, Upstate New Yorkers need to be taking heed of this case. The object right now is to let the legal system correct itself and do the right thing. There is an "or else" side to it that must be reigned in for the time being.
However, it was interesting that while looking up this case on the Internet I discovered this little article about the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.
While I believe this is a line in the sand that will test the resolve of the patriot/liberty movement in days to come, we need to keep our powder dry and send a few bucks to the legal defense fund set up by Michael Haddad.
There has been a lot discussed on this blog about good cops and bad, Oathkeepers and oathbreakers. Inevitably the issue of who is good and who is bad and how can the good cops help out without sacrificing their pensions and jobs. I am sympathetic to their point of view as I am not willing to throw my life down the drain for some unseen, unheard of sacrifice that inspires no one but the bad cops to get worse.
But here is a classic example. Had the cop not looked in the trunk. Had the cop done his job and written the ticket instead of pushing for more and more access to search the vehicle, this would not be an issue today. If the cop had found the magazines, recognized that they were not loaded and warned Nathan that it was illegal to own them, but that as a good cop, perhaps an Oathkeeper, he would look the other way in the interest of his Constitutional obligation, this would not be an issue and Nathan would not be fighting for his freedom.
Instead, we have a twelve-year decorated war veteran thrust before the legal system of New York, with no money to pay for the type of legal counsel provided to David Gregory, who violated the same law after being informed by the D.A. that it was illegal to have such a magazine in the District of Columbia and that the law was clear. David Gregory got nothing. The D.A. refused to bring charges.
Let's see if Nathan Haddad is afforded the same type of justice that a white, rich, liberal with a television news program can expect. If anything Gregory should have had the book thrown at him because he had inquired of the D.A.'s office and they told him it would be a violation of the law. That, friends is corruption, open and brazen.
I have been asked by Michael Haddad to add this paragraph to the end of this post. But, please do not stop donating as there is still a little way to go to fill up the fund and excess money might be used to help out other vets who run afoul of gun laws.
Thank you every one for your support of my brother. With everything going so wrong in America. You all have restored my faith in her and in the kindness of complete strangers from those who donate to those who shed light on this travesty with their websites to the lawyers who have wished to represent my brother for free. Words cannot tell how I feel. I count you all as friends and brothers and sisters. It's true we live is a great nation.Michael HADDAD