Why EDC and 8 other CA Sheriffs are At Odds with Federal Agents

by Placerville Newswire / Sep 20, 2016 / comments

By Kevin Oliver -- Sheriffs in several California counties are in a tug of war with the U.S. Forest Service after federal agents overreached their authority.

Transcript:
KEVIN OLIVER HAS MORE ON THIS AUTHORITY. 

>>> PEOPLE GO INTO THE FOR TEST IT ALL. SOME HAVE CLAIMED WHILE THEY WERE IN NATIONAL FORESTS, THEY'VE HAD TASERS AND GUNS PULLED ON THEM BY LAW ENFORCEMENT FOREST OFFICERS. THAT HAS SOME PEOPLE IN SOME COUNTIES SAYING TO THE FOREST SERVICE NOT SO FAST. PANNING FOR GOLD IS RICK EDDY'S HOBPY AND PASSION. HE SPENDS MANY WEEKENDS HERE IN THE STANISLAUS NATIONAL FOREST ON BEAN CREEK. 

>> THE REASON IT'S CALLED BEAN CREEK IS WHEN EARLY MINERS CAME HERE, THEY WERE GETTING NUGGETS AS BIG AS BEANS. AT LEAST THAT'S THE STORY I HEAR. REPORTER: WHILE PANING IN THIS YEAR -- WORKING. REPORTER: EDDY SAYS FOREST SERVICE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS APPROACHED HIS GROUP DEMANDING TO SEE ID'S. 

>> I'VE HAD RUN-INS WITH FOREST SERVICE, FISH AND GAME, YOU KNOW AND PEOPLE LIKE THAT NEVER HAD ANYTHING LIKE THIS. YEARS. REPORTER: AFRAID OF LOSING ANY GOLD THEY FOUND AND KNOWING THEY WERE ON A MINING CLAIM THEY HAD RIGHTS TO, EDDY HESITATED. 

>> I ASKED HIM, WHY DO YOU NEED TO SEE MY IDENTIFICATION? AND HE -- THAT'S WHEN HE SAID, FOREST. WE WANTED TO CHECK TO SEE IF THERE WAS ANY OUTSTANDING WARRANTS AND CHECK TO SEE IF YOU'RE CLAIM JUMPING. REPORTER: EDDY QUESTIONED WHAT TYPE OF AUTHORITY THEY HAD TO DEMAND ID'S OUT IN THE FOREST. THAT'S WHEN HE SAYS ANOTHER OFFICER PULLED OUT HER WEAPON AND AIMED IT AT HIM. 

>> THEY HAD A TASER POINTED AT ME. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? GET SHOT? I WAS STANDING IN THE WATER, SO I SAID, OK. REPORTER: THE GROUP DROPPED THEIR PANS AND SLEWS AND WENT TO THEIR TRUCK TO GET THEIR ID'S. THEY LATER REPORTED IT TO THE ASSOCIATION. ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT SHANNAN -- SHANNON POE SAYS HE'S RECEIVED A DOZEN COMPLAINTS ABOUT STOPS AND SEARCHES ABOUT FOREST SERVICE OFFICERS. WHERE DOES THIS COME FROM? WHO TAUGHT THEM THIS STUFF? WHO TAUGHT THEM THEY COULD FOURTH AMENDMENT? IT'S BECOME ONE OF SEVERAL INCIDENTS INVOLVING INNOCENT CITIZENS THAT LED SOME RANK. UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW KNOWN AS SECTION 830.8, FOREST SERVICE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE CALIFORNIA STATUTES WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE SHERIFF. IN MANY OF CALIFORNIA'S COUNTIES THE SHERIFFS HAVE SIGNED OFF YEAR AFTER YEAR BUT KCRA DISCOVERED NINE SHERIFFS ACROSS THE STATE IN THIS PAST YEAR HAVE NOT. SIX OF THE COUNTIES ARE IN THE SIERRA AND FOOTHILLS INCLUDING MARIPOSA COUNTY WHERE THE PANNING INCIDENT OCCURRED AND EL DORADO COUNTY. 

>> THEY DON'T ANSWER TO US. THEY DON'T WORK FOR US, UM, SO THE COMPLAINTS SEEM TO FALL ON DEAF EARS. REPORTER: ELDERADO SHERIFF JOHN D'AGOSTINI STOPPED SIGNING OFF AFTER WORKING FOR A YEAR. HE DESCRIBES SOME SHERIFF'S AS ROGUE. 

>> THEY WOULD LITERALLY SNEAK UP ON THESE FOLKS, JUMP OUT OF THE BRUSH, SCARE THEM TO THEIR WIT'S END WITH GUNS DRAWN, NO ONE MOVES. LET ME SEE YOUR HANDS! WHERE'S YOUR GUNS? WHERE'S YOUR CAMPFIRE PERMIT? THAT WAS THE RESPONSE. REPORTER: THAT REALLY HAPPENED WITH CAMPERS? 

>> THAT REALLY HAPPENED. REPORTER: THE FOREST SERVICE DENIED OUR REQUEST FOR AN INTERVIEW BUT SENT US A STATEMENT SAYING THE INCIDENTS MENTIONED WERE EXAMINED AND BASED THE REVIEW OF THE FACTS, THE APPROPRIATE ACTIONS WERE TAKEN BY THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS INVOLVED. 

>> I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THE RELATIONSHIP I COULD TRUST THEM TO DO THE RIGHT THING ALL THE TIME AND THEY WOULD HAVE THEIR BEEN PULLED. BEST THING. REPORTER: HE DOESN'T FORESEE ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS THE POWER TO ENFORCE CALIFORNIA'S LAWS UNDER HIS WATCH. EVEN THOUGH THE OFFICERS DON'T HAVE THE AUTHORITY IN MANY COUNTIES, THEY'RE STILL PATROLLING CALIFORNIA'S MOUNTAIN ROADS. NOW IN THOSE COUNTIES WHERE THEIR AUTHORITY TO ARREST STATE LAW VIOLATIONS HAVE BEEN PULLED, THE FOREST SERVICE SAYS THOSE...

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Hervé Leconte adds: "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly ..."