Behind the Gibson Guitar raid, cont’d

by Walter Olson on June 2, 2014

They wouldn’t show him the warrant because it was sealed [Bill Frezza, Forbes]:

While 30 men in SWAT attire dispatched from Homeland Security and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cart away about half a million dollars of wood and guitars, seven armed agents interrogate an employee without benefit of a lawyer. The next day [Gibson Guitar CEO Henry] Juszkiewicz receives a letter warning that he cannot touch any guitar left in the plant, under threat of being charged with a separate federal offense for each “violation,” punishable by a jail term.

Up until that point Gibson had not received so much as a postcard telling the company it might be doing something wrong….

Juszkiewicz alleges [federal prosecutors] were operating at the behest of lumber unions and environmental pressure groups seeking to kill the market for lumber imports. “This case was not about conservation,” he says. “It was basically protectionism.”

Earlier on the extraordinary Gibson case here.

{ 3 comments }

1 Spodula 06.02.14 at 8:36 am

I have to admit, when i was growing up in the UK, we always thought of the US as a place with limited regulation, low taxes and freedom from people arbitrarily breaking down your door, whereas we were stuck with EU regulations on the straightness of bananas and the metric system, high taxes and the local Plod being able to beat the cr*p out of you if you were the wrong colour/ From the North or Ireland/ looked at them funny.

Seems while the UK has rolled back a lot of of that rubbish, the US has gone other other way. Shame.

2 Raymond Reichelt 06.02.14 at 9:44 am

Crony capitalism at its best – use the law to shut down competitors

3 Ben Catoe 06.02.14 at 11:38 pm

Aside from the other 30 problems with how Gibson was treated in this, I think the SWAT style raid is the most troubling. The only reason to do it that way is intimidation. Sealed warrants and endless stalling from the feds so Gibson could not get their day in court are also at the top of the list. How can we get anyone to be held accountable for such things?

I was sorry to see Gibson give up the fight but I certainly understand why they did.

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