Rick Wilson (pictured) discovered, in the words of one attorney, that "FBI domestic terrorism investigations… are frequently out of proportion to the danger of the crime involved."
A long article by Brendan Kiley details an undercover law enforcement operation set up to nab Seattle ecoterrorists. Was it legitimate law enforcement, entrapment, or the inability to call off a fruitless investigation?
In the end, nobody really got what they wanted (although they did nab some Honduran coke dealers.)
The following day, June 10, 2009, around noon, Rick is driving through Seattle in a borrowed car, thinking he’s going to protect his best friend. The next thing he knows, he’s swarmed by a SWAT team. They smash out the windows on both sides of the car and drag Rick onto the pavement. Rick has two loaded handguns in his possession, a .38 Special and a .357 revolverboth legal.
He is arrested, held for a while in a detention facility in SeaTac, and brought into an interrogation room to be questioned by detectives and FBI agents. At some point during the conversation, the revelation hits him: His close friend of two years, the friend he was risking his own life to protect, isn’t who he said he is. He isn’t a trust-fund baby. He isn’t an activist.
He’s an undercover SPD detective named Bryan Van Brunt.
Read the article>>
– The Long Con – Anatomy of a Two-Year Undercover Sting and What It Has to Do with Law Enforcement’s Habit of Wasting Large Amounts of Money on Investigating People for Their Social Habits and Political Beliefs, The Stranger>>
– More info at CHS Capital Hill Seattle blog>>
– Rick Wilson photos on Flickr>>