Add Homer to list of times Alaskans recall federal agents 'going Waco' on them - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, October 18, 2021
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Add Homer to list of times Alaskans recall federal agents ‘going Waco’ on them

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By SUZANNE DOWNING

Alaskans were shocked last week to learn that the FBI and other federal agents busted down the door of a Homer, Alaska couple, looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop computer, which is supposedly missing after the Jan, 6 surge into the U.S. Capitol by protesters and Trump supporters. The agents never found said laptop, but their raid is part of a pattern of federal law enforcement that Alaskans know too well.

Paul and Marilyn Hueper were asleep in their Kachemak Bay-side home when FBI, Capitol Police, and other unknown agents broke their door down, handcuffed them and their houseguests, and interrogated them for hours last week. The agents said they were searching for proof that Marilyn Hueper had entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Marilyn and Paul had indeed gone to the nation’s capital for a Trump rally, but did not go inside the building. Marilyn says it was a case of mistaken identify.

[Read: FBI break down door of Homer home, looking for Nancy Pelosi laptop]

We’re believing the mistaken-identity explanation. But Alaskans could be excused for chalking it up to yet another case over federal law enforcement excess. We are not unfamiliar with federal raids that turned up nothing but injustice.

Some of our memorable heavy-handed federal agent actions in recent Alaska history:

2007: Sen. Ted Stevens’ home in Girdwood was raided by FBI and IRS agents on a hunt for evidence about Stevens’ relationship with businessman Bill Allen, who was under investigation for corruption. Stevens, 84 at the time, was indicted on July 29, 2008 on several counts of failing to properly disclose the remodel costs of his home and alleged gifts from VECO Corporation CEO Bill Allen. Stevens was up for re-election in 2008, thus he requested a speedy trial to resolve the matter. By then, Allen had already pled guilty to bribing Alaskan state legislators and his sentencing was delayed until after he testified in the Stevens’ case. 

Stevens was found guilty on all counts on Oct. 27, 2008. He became the fifth sitting U.S. senator in history to be convicted of a crime and he lost the election a few days later. Until being replaced by Mark Begich in January, 2009, Stevens had been the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history. 

Just three months later, an FBI agent admitted that the FBI had withheld evidence that would have been in Stevens’ favor. The agent’s affidavit also alleged that a female FBI agent had an inappropriate relationship with Bill Allen. Washington D.C. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who presided over the trial, held the prosecution in contempt for failing to turn over documents. Later, the Department of Justice dropped all of the charges.

2007: John Sturgeon was navigating his boat on the Nation River on his way to a legal moose hunt in the Yukon Charley Preserve, when federal agents told him he could not proceed because the river was on federal land. National Park Service Rangers threatened to cite him for violating a National Park Service ban on hovercraft in federal park units.

Sturgeon fought the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled not once but twice in favor of the moose hunter, and agreed that navigable waters in Alaska are under state jurisdiction. Sturgeon fought the feds for 12 years and it took $1.2 million in legal fees to vindicate the rights of Alaskans to use their rivers.

2013: Chicken, Alaska miners at a small placer outpost near the Canadian border were shocked when FBI and ATF agents descended on them for violating the Clean Water Act. The agents wore bulletproof vests and were well-armed in case the raid became hostile.

Gov. Sean Parnell opened an independent investigation, which found that the federal agents would not cooperate with the investigation, and also found there was no need for a criminal assumption against the eight placer mines in the first place.

Federal agents have made blunders elsewhere in the country with sometimes-deadly consequences that we’ve not seen in Alaska, where so many are well armed in their homes, on their hunts, or at their mines.

In a 1993 Waco, Texas raid, ATF agents tried to execute a search warrant on the Branch Davidian compound and its leader David Koresh. In that raid, four ATF agents were killed and 16 were wounded, and five Davidians died.

The 2014 Bundy standoff was an armed confrontation between cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters and federal law enforcement. It occurred after the Bureau of Land Management got a court order for Bundy to pay over $1 million in  grazing fees for Bundy’s use of federally owned land next to his ranch in southeast Nevada. The Bundy family has confronted federal officials for years over grazing rights. Those disputes continue in courtrooms and refuges across the West.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • When it comes to WACO, I doubt they were really there to execute a search warrant, they were just there to execute.

  • It is time for Natural Rights of citizens to be honored. People have rights by nature of free birth, not by largess of the government. Our Bill Of Rights clearly states this and the Constitution is written to define ONLY what the government can do. We, as citizens, must demand that our rights be honored. But alone and isolated we are helpless. We need another leader to bind us together. Another Washington or Jefferson; or dare I say Trump! That’s why he terrifies the powerful elite establishment so much: he unites people to demand their rights be honored. And I was not and am not a Trump supporter.

  • What are the odds that Begich (then Anch mayor) had a hand in getting the raid on Stevens’ Girdwood home just before the election? Also, don’t forget that one of the Fed prosecutors offed himself afterward, no doubt a guilt-effect.
    .
    Don’t forget the elderly fella that was tossed face-down in the mud of the Yukon River bank after refusing fed agents to board his boat mid-river to “see his papers”.
    .
    IIRC, no consequences befell those jackbooted thugs.
    .
    No doubt, there are others.

  • Biden just selected David Chipman (the lead agent who burned down the WACO compound in 1993) to run the ATF…could this be a sign of where the federal gov is headed in the years to come?

  • Marilyn quipped to the feds about the “missing laptop” not being a rumor after all. On reconsideration the whole missing laptop could be fake news fabricated for using as a pretense to searching. Maybe Nance just lost it in a drunken stupor and conveniently said somebody took it.
    Perhaps its time to record audio and video of elected persons every minute, you know like the police have to do, just to make sure no one is pulling any wool over our eyes. For National Security.

  • David Koresh went into to town frequently, they could have arrested him any time and not have taken over the compound and burned people alive, including children.

    They had to take Stevens out otherwise Obamacare would never have been passed. Mission accomplished. At least Begich did only one term!

  • No Suzanne…all charges were not dropped on Ted Stevens…….Murkowski did all she could to keep the US Attorney’s office from publishing the judgment on Ted Stevens’ appeal. He was guilty and lost…. There is no reason that the public should not have seen the judgment and charges, its public docket material and the US Attorney’s office should have published all of it for the public to view.

  • Kenaimike yes all true.

    My friends lived yes, right across the narrow dirt street in Girdwood from Ted’s house.
    They lived on the second floor of there house, over looking Ted’s driveway.
    They saw these thugs, driving up fast toTeds house in black cars, and tried to break into Teds house mid morning time.
    After 15 minutes trying the windows and doors. The magistrate people showed up to let them in.
    There were four people watching this Whole thing, going on. They even asked twice can we help you. They were like go away go inside.
    There’s just a bunch of Bad lost people out there.

  • Waco siege, a 51-day standoff between Branch Davidians and federal agents that ended on April 19, 1993, when the religious group’s compound near Waco, Texas, was destroyed in a fire. Nearly 80 people were killed. Many were women and children, basically a unnecessary massacre. Only a couple of people inside had warrants for their arrests.
    “Ruby ridge” was another low point when a child was shot and then a couple days later his mother.
    Chilling really, this senerio has been played out all around the world. And it always ends in incredible death and persecution. If we fall, it will be a tragedy for us all, and the entire world. We must not just let it go, without doing as much as possible to persevere our Republic. We are one race, the human race! Beautiful people! The United States of America has been a generous nation. We will not be so lucky, if we see our country weakened. The first damage to our nation is from within and all bear responsibility.

  • It is interesting that some comment that Ted had to go because mark Begich, a Democrat, would insure Obamacare. I believe Mark Begich has been vindicated by Lisa Murkowski, since she was the vote that kept this onerous law in place. I would vote mark Begich back in over Lisa in a Kwethluk second.

  • Check out what happened at Ammon Bundy Malheur 2014 protest of the federal government.

    Yesterday – KrisAnne Hall on Quite Frankly Podcast May 6: “The protesters were thrown into jail, held without bond in solitary confinement, chained to a wall naked. They were never found guilty. Their case was throw out, charges dismissed due to prosecutorial misconduct. The whole system with the federal courts is completely nuts, because of a lack of accountability. The last person that was in prison just got out less than a year ago.”

  • At Waco a witness said the federal agents were mooning the mothers and flipping them off, disturbing the infants and kids with ghastly music around the clock to destabilize things. May Vicki Weaver also rest in peace. She was shot in the face and fell while holding her ten-month old infant on her shoulder while on her own property after they killed her 14 year old son. The FBI sniper who shot her in the face at 200 yards, Lon T Hirochi said he thought the baby was a gun. Perhaps he was commanded to say that by his federal superiors. Other sharp shooters said to accomplish that hit he would have had to have seen it was an infant and not a weapon. It wasn’t considered a Constitutional kill. Therefore the US paid the surviving three traumatized daughters one million each. The Idaho federal killings happened when who was the director of the FBI? Perhaps an agency budget should be reduced considerably if people desire it and the people have representatives.

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