Please take a moment to check this link out here: http://www.makethestand.com/forum-13.html
This is a forum created by a young married couple who were victimized in Walworth for offering a solid piece of silver (a private currency called the Liberty Dollar which is 100% legal to use) at an ICE CREAM stand! I can't even begin to describe it. You will have to read for yourself.
The victims are Shaun and Svetlana Kranish. They write below, beginning with Shaun.
I'm going to start from scratch and tell the entire story -- every little detail.
Sunday, May 6th, 2007.
I live near the city of Rockford, IL, which is about an hour and a half west and a little north of Chicago. My family owns a cottage at Lake Geneva, WI, which happens to be 45 minutes from my home. I have been going up to the lake since before I was born.
On Sunday, May 6th, my girlfriend Svetlana (now my wife) and I were getting ready to leave the cottage and return home. We had just spent the entire day cleaning the cottage and taking care of the boat for my elderly grandparents. My parents stopped up at the cottage for a little bit as well. We were almost done cleaning and ready to go, and my Svetlana, my mom, and I sat down and each had 1 (one) beer. It may have been a Newcastle if memory serves me -- it was something different for sure.
Then my parents left and took the dog with them. Lana (short for Svetlana) and I stayed for about another 30-40 minutes finishing up cleaning and locking the place, etc. We were going to go home, but Lana was very hungry and wanted to stop. I actually tried to talk her out of it, saying "we'll be home in just 40 minutes..." but she really wanted to stop. So we decided to go to the "Dari Drive-In" formerly the "Dari Ripple" in the City of Walworth, WI (County of Walworth as well). I had been going to this place since I was a young boy -- my parents and grandparents would always take me (helped to convince me to leave the cottage).
So we stopped at the Dari Drive-In (outdoor icecream place with order windows). Lana and I decided what we wanted to get, and then Lana went next door to use the restroom. I placed our order, and offered a $20 one-ounce .999 FINE SILVER Liberty Dollar piece as payment. The attendant took it from me and took it the to manager, who then came to the window and said, "this doesn't exist," which is quite a funny statement since the chunk of silver was in her hand at the time. I explained that indeed it was real silver, but didn't go into it any further than that (when you offer Liberty Dollars everywhere, all the time, it gets tiring to go into the whole thing about the federal reserve, etc).
So, she looked at me kinda funny, and then took it and went away. At first I thought "cool, she changed her mind." But then time began slipping away and I still hadn't been given change. So I thought that she would NOT accept it, and that perhaps she was looking it up on the Internet. So I pulled out some Federal Reserve Notes and placed them on the counter. Shortly, I saw a Walworth Police vehicle pull up in the parking lot. The officer (officer Kjendlie) walked up, asked someone behind the counter if I was the guy, and then came over to talk to me. He asked me if I had silver -- to which I replied yes indeed, and showed him some of the Liberty Dollar pieces. I tried to explain that it was not against the law, that I was offering silver for trade, and everything else. He didn't care. He placed me under arrest (first I asked the lady behind the counter for my silver back -- she returned it to me).
So he handcuffs me, and I exclaim "this is America" disappointedly to the onlookers. Kjendlie asked me if I had anything to drink, and I admitted that I had had that ONE UNO SINGULAR beer about an hour earlier. I was in no way drunk, under the influence, or anything else for that matter (takes a heck of a lot more than one beer). I didn't think anything of it at the time, since I knew I wasn't under the influence. When he went to place me in the car, he noticed my EMPTY pistol holster on my side. This is something I had been wearing to remind myself of my disarmed status (I'm really into guns) due to the danger of being armed in Illinois and Wisconsin (it can be life-threatening) and the danger of entanglement with CORPORATE POLICIES masquerading as law.
So he starts questioning me about the holster, and asks me if I have guns (as if the 8 bumper stickers on the back of my van didn't give it away). He asked me where my gun was, and I replied "which one?" He wanted me to admit to having a gun in the car -- which I never did. He then ordered me to surrender my keys so that he could search my vehicle, and I complied under duress. They spent the next 25 minutes searching my minivan for this gun they were sure I had, but couldn't find it. They then threatened to literally "tear your car apart" if I didn't tell them where it was. I should have let them do that -- but it's my only car and gets me everywhere I go, so I told them where it was (unloaded and enclosed in a case).
So they took pictures and kept messing around with my car, even though there was nothing "illegal" or anything. I forgot to mention, that while I was at the window of the dairy place talking to Kjendlie, my now-wife, Lana, returned from the store next door to see the cops there harassing me. She pleaded with them to let me go and tried to explain that we hadn't done anything wrong. At the time, she had been with me over a year and had gone through 2 previous arrests -- so she knew how badly these incidents affect the lives of the victim (the man or woman arrested). She was very scared for me, and was crying and begging them to leave me alone. Kjendlie acted very aggravated and aggressive and told her to back off or he would arrest her too. She was standing a few feet away from him -- she wasn't even in reach. As is all too typical these days, cops are TRAINED to turn nonviolent situations into violent confrontations by provocation through yelling, swearing, making threatening gestures, and many more thing. She didn't make any approach to him, but simply kept pleading with him to leave me alone.
So they arrested her too. Another police vehicle arrived (and SUV) with more officers and they took her. This was when they started searching my car. They took us both (separately) to the city police station. Kjendlie made me get out of the car and submit to a "field sobriety test" in the garage of the police station. He told me that according to Wisconsin law, if I refused the test I would automatically be charged with drunk driving. So at this point, I thought I don't want things any worse, so I agreed under duress. He wanted to go through with the test, even though we had been talking in the car the way there and I knew that he knew I wasn't drunk (although like a broken record he kept saying "I don't know that" -- good gestapo training).
So we begin the test, and he's holding a pen in front of my eyes and going back and forth, up and down, side to side, for about 3-4 minutes. Then he began to describe the "walk the line" test for me. Telling me that I would place one foot in front of the other, etc. So he actually said "put your right foot in front of your left foot" and so I did. He then began yelling (I kid you not -- shouting at me) "I didn't tell you to start yet -- what do you think you're doing" etc. My intellect was kicking back in (it goes away a bit when you're startled/frightened/completely surprised) and I began to ask myself why he wants to do this test when he knows I'm not drunk. I began remembering how the cops or someone else TAMPERED WITH EVIDENCE from arrest #2 and began to not trust this man who, despite the fact that I'm clearly 100% sober, wants to do a sobriety test on me. I also have respect for myself, so I said, "you know what, forget it. I'm not doing your stupid test. This is dehumanizing and you know I'm not drunk anyways, so forget it." He said, "fine, we're charging you with drunk driving."
They took me into an interrogation room, read me my rights, perhaps had me sign papers (under duress), and asked if I wanted to talk to them or if I wanted to exercise my right to remain silent. I said I did not wish to speak with them -- only with my attorney. We didn't have any words after that really.
I sat in the office for an hour or more while they interrogated my wife, to whom I once tried to yell and tell her NOT to say anything to them. She was furious by this time, though, because they were doing all of this to us FOR NO LAWFUL REASON.
They handed me off to another officer and had him transport me to the hospital for a blood test (since I was so sloshed off that one beer). I talked with the officer the whole way there. Although he made himself sound to be a tough guy (talking about how he beats up drunks and stuff when they fight him, etc), he didn't do anything to me. He also talked about how he loved his taser (he had to walk back into the station because he forgot it and he really wanted it with him).
So we talked on the way to the hospital and he SOUNDED like a decent guy. He said he loved guns, owned many, belonged to the NRA, etc. Who knows. Even if you are lucky enough to encounter a decent cop -- they still always follow their orders, no matter how bad, how unlawful they are. You could have 4 good cops in the room with 1 bad cop and they would all go bad. They have in all of my experiences.
So we get into the hospital, and he offers to take my cuffs off finally. I accept the offer and promised him I wouldn't try to do anything. We stopped at the bathroom and then went into a little room with a bed and waited, and waited, and waited for the hospital guys. The cop explained to me that we WOULD be taking a blood test -- with or without my cooperation. He explained that if I fought it at all, he would literally sit back and watch as the "fat, hairy" hospital guys came and sat on me while they took the blood. Remember -- this is all for an alcohol blood test when I'M STONE SOBER. I told the cop that I wouldn't fight the blood test, but that if they tried injecting me with anything I would fight it.
The cop read me a paper that basically said I have the right to refuse this test (no kidding) but then he said how the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that blood can be taken even without consent, and that you automatically consent to the test for the "privilege" of driving on the roads. So even though I refused on the paper (and I have a copy of that), they still took the blood. They took two viles, and I thought they packaged them separately (as if they were sending them different places), but I was told by my attorney that they went to the same place and then were later destroyed (somehow I doubt that). They probably have my DNA sample now -- if they didn't have it already.
So...then he took me to the jail. They booked me, and read off MISDEMEANOR charges of theft by fraud or some other BS. Then there was the one count of "Carrying a concealed weapon" since I had an UNLOADED firearm IN A CASE IN MY CAR as Wisconsin "law" stipulates. So -- 5 misdemeanor charges. I was placed in a cell without a phone call. They actually had phones all over the place at the jail (a phone in each cell even) and none of them worked. There was absolutely no way to talk to someone on the other line. The service would only do collect calls -- which most phone companies block nowadays -- so most numbers you'd call couldn't even hear the phone ring.
If you called a number that didn't block collect calls, you could hear the man or woman on the other end pick up, say "hello," listen to the recording, and even press "3" to accept the charges. Once they would accept the charges, it would just go dead and you couldn't hear them and they couldn't hear you. I think it was actually a scam. I think it's another way they extort money to be honest. My mother actually called the phone number for that service and had to prepay like $40. Even after prepaying, I could not reach her. I was never successfully able to talk to anyone through those phones.
When I demanded a phone call, I was denied one every time. They even said that "it's your problem" that the phones didn't work. So I sat in a cell with a fellow younger than I -- 19. He was arrested because he was drunk and punched a wall in his own house. His girlfriend's mother who was living with them at the time called the cops and the cops came. He wouldn't come out of the house so they shot him with a pepper ball and attempted to taser him through the window -- then rushed in and tackled him and took him to jail. I guess it's "domestic battery" when you beat up your house?
Lana and I were in the jail for nearly 24 hours with nothing to do. They even stuck Lana in solitary confinement. I consider this mild torture myself -- being in a SMALL room with no windows -- just a solid door. You can't turn the lights on or off if you wish. You have nothing to do. You have a phone that doesn't work. She had a 1 foot square window at first, but she was standing up and look out it to keep her mind occupied and not feel so claustrophobic, so one of the guards came and slammed a metal thing shut that covers the window completely.
One funny thing is that the guards kept POINTING to my cell. There would a lot of cells in that place, shaped like a U. There were probably at least 15-16 cells. During shift changes especially just at random times the guards would be talking and pointing to my cell. I don't think they were talking about my cellmate either. I guess I was the terrible guy that went around town offering something of intrinsic value -- something that's been used for many thousands if not tens of thousands of years as money -- for trade for other goods of value. Or maybe it was because I was so young -- 21 -- and owned a pistol? A lot of cops like having a monopoly on firearms ownership and carry.
The next afternoon we "appeared" in court via closed circuit video. I was made to sit down in the chair, and the judge appeared. Instead of reading those 5 misdemeanor charges that they read when they booked me into jail, he read FELONY charges. Counterfeiting, and other things. I don't even remember what they were -- but they were all felonies except for the gun charge. He asked me if I understood the charges -- NO. Then he set bond at $2500 cash bond, $10,000 signature bond. They also made a special NO CONTACT condition on the bond. This meant that I could have no contact with my wife (girlfriend at the time). We could not be physically near each other, talk on the phone, send an email, NOTHING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. We lived together at the time and I gave her rides to work every single day.
They said she was a party to a crime, and we were co-conspirators or whatever, so we could have no contact. I think they were trying to split us up. When we left the jail, we couldn't even see each other. We had to walk out of the jail separately, and get in separate cars. Both of my parents had to come and drive us home.
Oh, by the way, my parents were freaking out because they had no idea what happened to us -- since I wasn't allowed to make a phone call. It wasn't until the middle of the night or the next morning that they allowed Lana to call my parents. My dad drove up there to the jail around 11 or midnight while we were in the slammer and they wouldn't let him talk to me or see me. I'm not even sure that they would confirm if I was there or not. I think over the phone they wouldn't tell him so he drove up there.
I've spoken to many lawyers since this has happened, and they have all said the same thing -- Walworth County, Wisconsin is the most corrupt county in the state. They NAIL people -- especially people from out of town or out of state. It's a huge racket -- just like everywhere else. But in Walworth, they do whatever they want with impunity.
Below came from another post on their forum:
...A lot of these kids grew up with the belief that America was a free country -- a free place in a horrible world of oppression and tyranny. She [my wife ] was one of them. It didn't take long after being here to realize that the grass truly isn't greener on the other side of the fence. She was very heartbroken indeed. She had always dreamt of coming to America.
I was heartbroken too -- as I grew up, in my high school days and such. Everything I had been taught about America being free, standing for liberty, pursuit of happiness, you name it. EVERYTHING WAS UNTRUE. This is not the land of the free, home of the brave, as I was told. Freedom is an idea that we merely pay respect to with empty words, songs, and symbols (like all those stupid yellow ribbons on cars -- no, a ribbon or a flag on your car does NOT make you a patriot you fool).
You are not PATRIOTIC by supporting your "elected" so-called officials. You are patriotic when you question them, hold them accountable for their lies, deception (WMDs anyone?), and corruption. You are patriotic when you challenge the government and keep it in check. Not the other way around.
You are also patriotic when you trade and barter with things of value -- like your TIME, your labor. Using gold and silver instead of worthless debt-based paper scrip could also be considered patriotic. I used to offer it everywhere. Now I've had to sell the liberty dollars I had to pay for the lawyers.
Cash Bond for The Two of Us: $5,200
Lawyers for the Two of Us: $6,000 pre-trial, another $6,000 if trial
We've paid over 11k right now as I type this. $11,000 for what? For offering people something with some value? Silver at least can be used for a lot of things -- electronics, photography, jewelry, all sorts of things. It's pretty, shiny, and doesn't "grown on trees" like this worthless paper does. It costs money to mine it -- it can't be created easily like paper.
I have had ONE business ask me to take back the silver -- Blockbuster Video in my town. I gave them a $5 silver piece, and the next time I went there they asked if I would take it back. I said I was more than happy to take it back, and asked if they had the original. I then waited around for 10 minutes as they opened their safe and I gave them a $5 FRN and they gave me the $5 silver piece back. I'm happy -- they're happy -- no one is unhappy or hurt.
Why couldn't the two stores in Walworth do that? If they still have my silver, I would be more than happy to give them worthless FRNs for it. I would rather have the silver, personally. The only reason I even offer silver is because I actually DO give a shit about other people and would like them to own something of value as well.
$11,000 and counting for offering a $20 one-ounce silver piece at an ice cream parlor?
They extorted money from me by bringing all these false FELONY charges against me to have a high bail. I never received those "charges" on paper. Two weeks later, the charges were all misdemeanors as they were originally. It's a scam -- a con game. WHO ARE THE CRIMINALS?!?!?!
Even if you're RIGHT -- you still lose. Every time. The PUNISHMENT -- THE SENTENCE does not come after the jury says GUILTY. It comes even before the jury does. It comes regardless whether you're acquitted or convicted. It comes the moment they start using your name and start lodging charges against you. It comes when you have to bail yourself out of jail. It comes when you have to hire an attorney and spend many thousands of dollars in hopes of staying out of their prison system.
They punish you not for CRIMES (violating the rights of others -- victimizing others) but for unwanted BEHAVIOR ("offenses") -- which is pretty much anything that could be used as an excuse to extort money from you. Doubly if it has anything to do with exercising your rights and/or challenging the status quo.
Below this is a post made by Shaun's wife, Svetlana.
My husband Shaun Kranish has described the arrest situation in a very detailed way. This nightmare has been in our lives for over 3 months, and it isn't gone yet. Unfortunately, our court system is designed to make you feel miserable and helpless. Even though Shaun and I will eventulally get out of it ( and probably the only way would be to involve publicity and let you guys know what people get charged in Walworth County with for a $20 silver piece, while real criminals rob, stab, murder and rape), we already paid 11,000 dollars for our lawyers and bond. "We have paid our fee. They taught us a lesson."
When I got arrested, I couldn't believe it happened to me for a long time. I kept asking the officer " ARE YOU REALLY ARRESTING ME FOR THIS?". I couldn't believe my ears when they told me "YOU BETCHA, YOU WERE ASKING FOR IT" And all I did was trying to tell them the truth, that there is no LAW saying you cannot trade. It's funny that I wasn't even there at the moment when Shaun pulled the liberty dollar out and offered it to the icecream lady. They grabbed me as an accomplice anyways, just because I was crying and asking them to listen to us first. It was so hard for me to realize why I was in jail. But, hey, it's Walworth County--the most corrupt county in the state of Wisconsin. And I think it is time for this BS corruption to stop.
I am asking for your help!!! If you know anyone that became a victim of unlawful prosecution in Walworth County, please let us know. We have to expose them for what they are doing to people like you and I--people who hurt no one, go by laws and common sense. We could really use your help by spreading the word and even contacting those involved to urge them to stop hurting us. Be polite, and let them know they are making a mistake, that people all over are aware of it, and it won't be tolerated. Let us stop this extortion and injustice.
I was born and raised in Russia, and I always had a dream-to come to America and be free. What I have been dealing with for the last 3 months has totally broken my heart. Now I can't even continue with my immigration process because of these bogus charges I am facing. I have not seen my family for 3 years, and without this being dropped I am stuck here even though I am married to an American.