Operation Something Bruin

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 4 months ago

The Tribune Papers:

By Linda Crisp-In recent news, it has been reported that six U.S. Forest Service (USFS) employees from Western North Carolina were awarded “Law Enforcement and Investigations Awards” by the USFS for their roles in “Operation Something Bruin”, a four-year, multi-agency investigation targeting “bear poachers” in WNC and surrounding states, resulting in arrests in February 2013.

Also, in October, the National Wildlife Federation bestowed “prestigious conservation honors” on Sgt. Chad Arnold, an officer from Charlotte with the Special Investigations Unit of the N.C. Wildlife Commission. Arnold was named “Wildlife Enforcement Officer of the Year”, and the Commission was named the “Natural Resources Agency of the Year”, according to a press release from the N.C. Wildlife Commission.

After state and federal wildlife officials arrested these “so-called” poachers in February, 2013, the state dismissed all charges on some of them in April, 2013. Some hunters were arrested again in June, 2013 by United States Forest Service officials.

The Wildlife Federation, United States Forest Service, state and federal officials have been too hasty in handing out awards and congratulating themselves.

In 2009, Arnold (undercover alias “Chad Ryan”), and Davey Webb (alias Davey Williams), a wildlife agent from Georgia, visited a gun shop in Bryson City, N.C. According to the shop owner, they stated that they wanted to get involved in bear hunting and asked for recommendations of hunting guides in the area. However, according to subsequent reports, they were supposed to be infiltrating “known poaching circles”. The gun shop owner told them about some hunters he knew in Graham County, N.C. These agents hunted with men in Graham, Swain, Jackson, and Haywood from 2009-2012.

In late 2010 through 2011, under time constraints, and possibly due to not finding any illegal activity, Arnold and Webb resorted to various schemes to try to entice the hunters to break laws.

During one hunter’s trial in Haywood County, agents admitted to buying illegal bait for bears in Tennessee, and placing it in a hunter’s yard in Graham County. Hunters witnessed the officers killing at least four of the ten bears that were taken. These agents, against the advice of hunters, removed the bears’ gallbladders and called hunters from surrounding counties to try to get them to participate in the illegal selling of bear parts. The hunters refused to take part in this illegal activity. These are only two of the many tactics used in attempts to entrap hunters of Western North Carolina.

According to one attorney, Arnold admitted in court to violating 39 wildlife laws.

So far what is being discussed is very serious: illegalities, violations of civil rights, waste of taxpayer money, and corruption.  But it gets worse still.

Additionally, state and federal agents employed “Gestapo-like” techniques in search and seizure of so-called “evidence”, including improper service of search-warrants.

Men in bullet-proof vests, with M-16 rifles came into homes where women were alone.

In one house, more than 20 agents with guns drawn, terrorized screaming toddlers and left them unsupervised while the parents were roughed up, searched, handcuffed, and taken outside the home. To this day, these children display post-traumatic stress symptoms.

They left homes in disarray and removed items unrelated to bear hunting: a laptop computer, hunting picture of deceased family member, legally killed mounted deer and boar heads, duck and turkey calls belonging to a four-year-old boy, a boat and boat titles, a front-end loader, personal vehicles, and many other items, which have not been returned.

To date, hunters who have had jury trials have not been convicted. In one case in Graham County, agents could not produce video “evidence”. Enticements were made by prosecutors including an offer to drop some charges if the hunter involved would plead guilty. The hunter refused and requested a jury trial. In this case, all charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Various new releases by state and federal agencies, as well as the media, have already labeled all the hunters as “poachers”; however, most of these men have not had their “day in court”. Whatever happened to due process of law and “innocent until proven guilty”?

To add insult to injury, some hunters who have not been convicted of anything have been assigned federal probation officers who visit monthly.

“Something IS Brewing” in WNC; that “SOMETHING” would be tempers. The hunters involved are tired of being falsely accused, their rights ignored, and their reputations ruined.

The citizens of WNC and Northern Georgia are now organizing to get some answers from these agencies on why their constitutional rights have been ignored and proper due process of law not given.

A public hearing is currently being planned for mid-January 2014. Organizers are asking for Governor Pat McCrory, Congressman Mark Meadows and all elected officials to initiate investigations of all officers and agencies involved in “Operation Something Bruin”. If you have information to share, or would like to participate, please send an e-mail to SomethingBrewing2013@yahoo.com , or letter to P.O. Box 948, Bryson City, N.C., 28713.

The moment they pointed weapons at people it left the category of mere corruption and became dangerous.  The good folk of Western North Carolina don’t have the L.A. Times to which they can turn.  They are doing the best they can do to bring attention to this outrageous abuse of power and authority.

I too call on Governor Pat McCrory to intervene and investigate these abuses and illegalities.  This kind of thing will go on as long as we allow it to.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. On January 21, 2014 at 8:30 am, Richard Medicus said:

    The civil war has been underway for sometime now. We have maintained the high ground, but will soon have to go to ground.

  2. On January 21, 2014 at 8:42 am, Paul B said:

    Federal Agents, Manufacturing evidence, poor procedures. I think federal enforcement of anything needs to be suspended. Disband the ATF, FBI, NSA and IRS. There officers have shown an utter lack of respect for the law.

  3. On January 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm, PJ said:

    So… what’s the problem? These bureaucrats were only justifying their existence. That’s what bureaucrats do. Are we supposed to be surprised when this happens? When people are attacked, and submit, then they shouldn’t be surprised when more attacks follow. It is nature’s way.

    Don’t like it? Then put a stop to it. Stop begging the oppressors to be nicer. It’s not in their interest to do so.

  4. On January 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm, mikrat said:

    The country has gotten the “Government” it Continues to “Vote” for and allows to continue unchallenged.

    Even the Mexican people have finally had enough and are willing to die to change things for better or worse, but at least they are doing something – but not in the ‘Ol USSA.

    We seem to think Waving cute signs at pointless protests will solve our problems, or that the Banker Owned Politicians will actually give a shit about our phone calls & letters.

    But that’s OK – The Stupidbowl is almost here and you can still buy shitty lite beer. And once that is over you can continue to play “Fantasy Sports” for whatever else is on year around.

    Carry On…

  5. On January 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm, FTWPhil said:

    I’m surprised they didn’t shoot any dogs. Otherwise it’s not really surprising. Some feel the end justifies the means.

  6. On January 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm, Mark said:

    The entire operation that this rogue government department engaged in is beyond the pale. IF they cannot coerce, bribe, or otherwise entrap a law abiding citizen they will go the extra yard and fabricate anything they can to accomplish their illegal goal. But this is not the only agency under the federal umbrella that has been accosting innocent law abiding citizens of recent time. The DHS/CBP has also been getting plenty of exercise in usurping our constitutional rights. To date, they have illegally detained and terrorized pilots who have been exercising their legal right to fly from one state to another without a flight plan under visual flight rules. Held at gun point by more than a dozen armed agents in full battle rattle and M4 automatic rifles. And no press has any details on that either.
    All of these injustices that are being visited on law abiding citizens will eventually come to a head and these gestopo shutzstaffel will end up dead! Then and only then will there be any light shown on these illegal acts perpetrated by this rogue regime.

  7. On January 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm, mikrat said:

    @Mark – Maybe its time to Stop being good little Law Abiding Sheep and start biting back.

    Being Polite invites and get you tyranny.

  8. On January 21, 2014 at 7:32 pm, Charlene Hogue said:

    If anyone would like a DVD of the hearing, please send a check for $10 along with your name and address to:
    Freedom and Land Rights Coalition
    PO Box 911
    Bryson City, NC 28713.
    Please contact all state and federal elected officials and ask for a large-scale, independent investigation of all agents and agencies involved. Thank you.

  9. On January 23, 2014 at 9:56 am, Jon Q Public said:

    What gets left out of this absurd article is the fact that the suspect in question has a record of violent acts. To include, while hallucinating on methamphetamine, shooting his rifle at random, calling the police and stating that he shot someone on the roof of his house when in fact there was no one. (I can see why these officers would come into a house with guns drawn when they have this type of information about there suspect. Not to mention all of the felony breaking and entering cases this person is a suspect in.) From my understanding, law enforcement officers are trained to gather information about a suspect before they serve a search warrant on the suspect house. If the officers had information the this suspect was a drug user who had guns in his possession, it seems very easy to justify their actions.

  10. On March 25, 2014 at 7:00 am, ejochs said:

    Yes, let us believe the officers in spite of their lies.

  11. On March 25, 2014 at 7:31 am, ejochs said:

    Why would you raid someone’s home based on a lie? So, he’s a bad guy who did nothing criminal, unlike the fine law enforcement scum. Suspected of being set up by corrupt law enforcement officers? If you are a leo, do you plant drugs on people and call it a good bust?

  12. On March 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm, That_Guy said:

    At what point does the US Forestry service investigate drug use and weapons possession charges?
    Which specific suspect are you referring to?

  13. On January 26, 2014 at 8:35 am, charlene said:

    not sure who he is referring to above, however, all of the suspects were treated this way.

  14. On February 4, 2014 at 10:24 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Jon Q. Public sounds like a LEO. I get many of them, mostly trying to justify any action they want to take by pointing to something completely unrelated or some alleged past history that has nothing to do with the case we’re discussing, or pointing to wanting to “go home safely at the end of their shift,” or whatever. I sometimes delete them, but this one is emblematic of their attitude so I left it up for everyone to see.

  15. On March 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm, gearbox123 said:

    Lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit!!!!

  16. On March 24, 2014 at 10:08 pm, Unsooper said:

    It is time to stop this out of control federal government. Band together. Arm yourselves as strongly as the federal “agents” are. Go to their homes. Arrest them under common law. Jail them in local and State jails. They have never had anyone fight back and it is time they lose their exempt from law status. Remember the 10th amendment.

  17. On March 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm, Evi L. Bloggerlady said:

    This sort of thing should result in prosecutions and jail time, for every government official who participated and condoned it. It is a disgrace.

  18. On March 24, 2014 at 11:48 pm, HopeHeFails said:


  19. On March 25, 2014 at 7:24 am, HansonBro said:

    Find out who conceived this, approved it, planned it and executed it.

    Then sue them in Federal court.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published January 21st, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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