April 14, 2010
The Cleveland National Forest in Southern California has been plagued with a tyrannical “law enforcement” apparatus, the United States Forest Service. This organization, whose mission statement was once to protect and preserve our nation’s most precious landscapes, has morphed into something much different than our traditional vision of the friendly forest ranger.
In post-9/11 America, the United States Forest Service is under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security – elevating them from mere Federal Employees to full-blown Federal Officers, some of which now cruise the mountain areas in cars marked “Police” even though the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department maintains jurisdiction over the area.
A USFS outfit that is presently operating in the Cleveland National Forest has on numerous occasions used its elevated authority to harass longtime residents in the area. Worse, officials with the Forestry Service have been caught trespassing, breaking and entering, destroying private property, engaging in theft – the list of abuses is enormous and longstanding.
Now, after three years and sixty-nine court appearances, facing false charges of felony assault – and after numerous refusals of plea deals – Dan Pritchett, a true patriot, End the Fed proponent and ardent Ron Paul supporter, who has called the Cleveland National Forest home for more than two decades, has recently swallowed a cold cup of tyranny in the form of a forced guilty plea to a crime that he did not commit, just to put an end to the expensive, time-consuming madness that was brought upon him by the Forest Service goons.
April 27, 2007: From his home, Mr. Pritchett observed a gathering of USFS personnel at a nearby controlled-burn site just below his property. It is common to conduct these controlled burns to dispose of natural waste – tree branches, brush, etc. – but this time, the items to be burned included a large fiberglass boat, car tires, car batteries and various other hazardous materials. Compounding local residents’ concerns about this fire, the Forest Service planned to start this burn with high, Santa Ana wind advisories in place for the area – making any fire, controlled or not, very dangerous that day.
Dan Pritchett is a HazMat specialist, who over the past twenty years has been invited to observe controlled burns near his home to offer advice or assistance in an effort to make sure his property would not be threatened. After seeing what was about to take place just a few hundred yards below his home, he drove his truck to the burn site, pointed out the hazardous materials and the high wind advisory and then pleaded with the officials to cease their plans for burning that day. However the Site Supervisor said to him, “I don’t need some king of the hill coming down here and telling me how to do my job” and then ordered his subordinates to continue.
This is a good time to note that one of Mr. Pritchett’s neighbors lost a home and his wife in a fire some years ago – oddly enough, a fire that raged out of control when the USFS conducted a “controlled” burn in similarly poor conditions. So concerned for his home and his land, realizing the Site Supervisor had no plans to heed his good advice, Mr. Pritchett decided to take action. With an unmanned fire hose lying close by, he began to spray down the brush, trees and other dry vegetation growing between the raging fire and his property.
A Forest Service official attempted to prevent Mr. Pritchett from doing this, and in the process was tripped up by the hose, allegedly causing him to fall. Another official claims that Mr. Pritchett aimed the hose directly at him and released a full blast of water from this high-powered fire hose – powerful enough to tear flesh from the bone, yet both men, while under oath, admitted that they sustained no injuries from these alleged actions.
Following this, Forest Service officials alleged that Mr. Pritchett attempted to run them over with his truck as he left the scene, claiming that he drove towards them at speeds exceeding 30 mph. Considering the rough, back-woods dirt road on which this so-called vehicular assault took place, it is inconceivable that Mr. Pritchett could have accelerated his vehicle to that speed in such a short distance – another fact that would stand in his favor during the trial.
As further evidence of Mr. Pritchett’s innocence, over the course of 69 court appearances the State offered numerous plea deals – one of which asked him to plead guilty to driving while intoxicated, even though alcohol was never involved or even implicated in this incident. Being a liberty activist and Constitutional advocate, he could not admit to a crime he did not commit and chose instead to fight for his individual rights and would not accept any bargains from the corrupt system that waged these false charges against him. But after a long, expensive battle he was finally forced to accept a deal – pleading guilty to careless and reckless driving.
Dan Pritchett did not roll over when tyranny came marching through. He exhausted a great deal of time and money to maintain his innocence. For three years, Mr. Pritchett fought a pressing, corrupt system that is aimed at shaking down American citizens by bombarding them with legal headaches and obstacles until they have nothing left to fight with… and sadly, they won. Yes, Dan Pritchett was successful in reducing the false charges against him, and thankfully so considering the penalties those crimes would have carried… but in the end, the government still forced him to plea guilty to something that never happened, resulting in excessive fines and penalties nonetheless.
This article was posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 4:10 am