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Archive for Saturday, July 8, 2006

FBI clears Lawrence Police of impersonation allegation

Yellow House Store, owners’ residence served with two more search warrants in ongoing fencing investigation

July 8, 2006

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The FBI says it's cleared Lawrence Police of an allegation that an officer impersonated an FBI agent during the investigation of an alleged fencing operation at the Yellow House used appliance store.

"We looked into the situation and found no evidence to indicate that anyone impersonated an FBI agent," FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza said Friday.

The news came the same day the U.S. Postal Inspector's office, assisted by Lawrence Police and the Internal Revenue Service, served two more search warrants at the store at 1904 Mass., and at the home of owners Guy and Carrie Neighbors in the 1100 block of Andover Street.

Authorities said they were looking for e-mail records, surveillance tapes, receipts, computers, sealed merchandise and sales records from the online auction service eBay.

Guy and Carrie Neighbors say that they don't buy or sell stolen property at the Yellow House Store, 1904 Mass. The U.S. Postal Inspector's office served two search warrants on Friday and searched the Neighbors' home and business in an ongoing fencing investigation.

Guy and Carrie Neighbors say that they don't buy or sell stolen property at the Yellow House Store, 1904 Mass. The U.S. Postal Inspector's office served two search warrants on Friday and searched the Neighbors' home and business in an ongoing fencing investigation.

It's the latest twist in an investigation that's been going on since December, when Lawrence Police said they'd uncovered what they describe as a large-scale, sophisticated fencing operation. So far, there have been at least five search warrants served, but no one has been arrested and no charges have been filed.

"I think this whole thing is around our eBay sales," Guy Neighbors said on Friday as he stood outside his store, which was surrounded by yellow police tape. "It's been, what, eight months now? I don't know. Maybe they have more than I know."

The Neighborses maintain their innocence and have been critical of police at every turn.

A Lawrence Police Officer keeps watch at the rear entrance of Yellow House Store, 1904 Mass., where the U.S. Postal Inspector's office served a search warrant Friday in the ongoing fencing investigation. The used-goods store was open for business again later in the day.

A Lawrence Police Officer keeps watch at the rear entrance of Yellow House Store, 1904 Mass., where the U.S. Postal Inspector's office served a search warrant Friday in the ongoing fencing investigation. The used-goods store was open for business again later in the day.

"I feel like if you don't have anything to hide, you weren't committing any crimes, why would you need to be quiet?" Guy Neighbors said.

They went as far as to produce a sworn affidavit earlier this summer from a woman who said a Lawrence Police officer had impersonated an FBI agent in an effort to get her to take stolen property into the store. That prompted the investigation that Lanza said Friday had ended with no finding of wrongdoing by police.

"We were confident in what their findings would be, but we were willing to let them do their job and find out if we were doing anything wrong or not," said Lawrence Police spokesman Sgt. Dan Ward.

On Friday, the Neighbors' attorney, Sarah Swain, and members of her staff stood in front of the store holding signs that urged passers-by to honk if they supported the store. One sign read "Investigate police corruption."

"I think that this search today was one thing and one thing only, and that was retaliation for going to the FBI to get the FBI to investigate," Swain said.

Swain said that as far as she knew, FBI agents never interviewed the woman who alleged an officer had impersonated an FBI agent. Lanza would not go into detail about what the investigation involved or whom agents had interviewed.

Comments

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

Dude, isn't that your bicycle?!?

As for that "affidavit", I think I may know why it wasn't taken seriously. Most affidavit's end with boiler plate language "Further Affiant Says Not", which is to indicate that what is being sworn is contain solely within the document and nothing more. However, this "affidavit" ends "Affiant Says Not" which clearly states that nothing in the document is being sworn to!

http://media.ljworld.com/pdf/2006/06/yellowhouse2.pdf

Modern practice is eliminate "Further Affiant Says Not" completely as it adds nothing to sense.

http://www.michbar.org/journal/pdf/pdf4article747.pdf

This affidavit is nothing but a cheap trick to give the appearance that something is being sworn to when in fact nothing is being sworn to.

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

Nice stories, both of them. I loved the way the first one ends. "Crime doesn't pay, karma's a female dog, the mob doesn't have health or retirement plans."

I wonder how this will end?

BrianR 8 years, 5 months ago

This is looking more and more like good, old-fashioned harassment by the police. If it takes this long to "build a case" a nice euphemism for police harassment, there probably isn't a case. Either bring charges or STFU.

Sandman 8 years, 5 months ago

Would a citizen's review board have the power to investigate the US Postal Service and the Federal Judiciary?

Can we give it that kind of power?

xenophonschild 8 years, 5 months ago

Gee, the FBI cleared the LPD. Shocking, I tell ya. Who'd a thunk it?

Sandman 8 years, 5 months ago

An affidavit from a convicted felon carries more weight with me too Xeno.

Don't believe the FBI! Don't believe the LPD! We should all believe everything defense attorneys tell us!

bizarre 8 years, 5 months ago

it takes 8 months and 7 search warrants to investigate a small second hand store, but within one week the police are cleared of any corruption! wow that must have been an amazing investigation, it didn't even require any interviews or search warrants!

wouldn't it be nice if everyone had that luxury---just say "I did'nt do it!" and then just consider the case closed!

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

Yes, for gods sake quit doing your jobs. How dare the LP do their jobs, all you people do is bitch that they are at the donut shop and when they actually are trying to work on something you complain too. Can't make you happy. Real life isn't CSI in an hour. Sometimes it takes months to investigate some things. Sounds like this has possibly been going on for years and years and they probably have thousands of papers, etc to go through.

Lets wait and see what happens, I can't believe how people take sides when they do have all the information.

Fatty_McButterpants 8 years, 5 months ago

Hey geniuses - law enforcement agencies don't file charges the moment they uncover any type of evidence. They build a case. They gather all of the evidence that they possibly can and then they file charges. Eight months is not an incredibly long time for the types of crimes that are being investigated. As regina said: "Real life isn't CSI in an hour."

JimmyJoeBob 8 years, 5 months ago

Probably what has happened here is the LPD had a good case going and the Feds wanted to jump in or were invited into the investigation. When the Feds are involved things slow way down especially when it is the IRS. That would scare me alot. They don't even have to be buying and selling stolen property now, they just have to be lying about income. With the FBI clearing the LPD it sounds like all Swain had was one of those big Fourth of July smoke bombs that the Yellow House used to sell at their Fireworks Tent.

leftwingfarmboy 8 years, 5 months ago

I hardly ever post. THIS IS A CLEAR CASE OF HARASSMENT.

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

Yes I am soooooo sure the LPD, IRS and US Postal Service all just decided to harrass the Nieghbors for absolutely no reson whatsoever. Then for good measure the FBI joins in on the Grande Conspiracy. Come on folks, lets all get real. There are no black helicopters here and Carl Rove is not involved,

Maybe we should listen closely to what Guy Nieghbors the target here says, "I don't know. Maybe they have more than I know." May they do Guy, maybe they have more on you than you know.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

well maybe they are fishing maybe not but we never get anything really new in these stories just enough to make everyone talk and speculate. old and boring.

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

so true momma, thats why I say lets wait and see. I don't have an opinion either way yet, cause I don't know all the facts.

Wilbur_Nether 8 years, 5 months ago

Now, hold on. I didn't think it was LPD that filed the charges. Thought that was Cha.s Branson's call. Wow, the things one learns about our legal system on these forums.

hockmano 8 years, 5 months ago

Obviously the LPD have some sort of personal vendetta going on! If this was such a big fencing operation wouldn't someone have been charged by now! You can't find crumbs under the couch if there's no crumbs there! Leave these people alone and let them go on with there business. If I was them I would be re-examining my reasons for living in this lovely town. That's the problem with Lawrence, everyone knows your business! Quit all the gossip and quit harassing these people!

JimmyJoeBob 8 years, 5 months ago

Farm boy state your reasons for why this is a clear case of harassment. If they have executed 7 search warrants there has to be more than one judge that thinks there is probable cause to issue them.

JimmyJoeBob 8 years, 5 months ago

This is obviously just good ole police work. When this goes to trial hope Marion has the guts to admit he is wrong along with all the other left wing yahoos

AmyR 8 years, 5 months ago

I don't think a federal agency would be involved if there was nothing to it. Why would they waste their time to get involved, if it was just some police department trying to Harass someone. I agree with the above post. Usually I don't think seven search warrants would be signed by a judge, unless you argue the judge is wrong. Some of you have an agenda. If nothing comes of it, then complain and throw your negative opinion in or at least supply solid facts, supporting your opinion. I can understand personal friends of Yellow House defending them. Usually we all want to defend friends, until some proof is displayed. I am just as curious as everyone else. I wish more details were posted. I don't know if it is the paper holding information or if there are laws keeping information concealed until charged.

Sandman 8 years, 5 months ago

p>www.kctv5.com shows the police carrying marijuana plants out of the house.

Did the LJW not see that? Or jdid they ust decide to ignore it?

dthroat 8 years, 5 months ago

Sandman - the LJW either chose to ignore it or since their people missed that shot didn't want to credit somebody else.

Several others have made some insightful comments about how long investigations can take especially with federal involvement. And keep in mind a lot of this seems to involve records of transactions. I am no accountant, but do know trying to figure that type of paperwork out can take some time.

But I am very distressed for the past two days on this topic.....NO POEMS?????????

sonicpiranha 8 years, 5 months ago

I saw the following posts on larryville today, kind of makes me wonder about yellow house.

Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:28 am Post subject: STOLEN: Please call if you see the following tools for sale Stolen from me a week ago Tuesday by 3 guys hired by my roofing contractor to tear off my roof in North Lawrence--they have been spotted offering some of these tools for sale around town.

1) FAIP power washer--smaller type unit, with carry handle built into the red plastic body, with black hoses and attachments, and white and black container for holding cleaning solutions. The body of the unit looks sort of like a 2-gallon red gas can like you use to fill mowers.

2) Black and Decker Leaf Hog leaf blower/vacuum--orange and black. It is set up to blow leaves--they left behind the attachments that turn it into a leaf vacuum.

3) Reciprocal saw and case (can't remember the brand, but it's a brand name like Black and Decker or Ryobi--a nice one)

They also took 3 older shovels: one long straight-handled dirt shovel, one short t-handled dirt shovel, and one short t-handled sharpshooter.

They also took an 11 x 14 heavy-duty silver and dark blue tarp. I know the shovels and tarp can't be ID'd but if you see them in combination with any of these other items, perhaps the guys can be caught.

DESCRIPTIONs: All 3 are slender, rough-looking guys that look like they are in their late 20s or early 30s, and have worked for other roofers in the area. They live on S Street in Gaslight Trailer Park on 31st, and were driving an older faded blue sub-compact sedan the day of the theft.

Joe has his arms completely covered with tattoos; Wayne has longer kinky light brown hair and beard, about 5'7 or 5'8", and has a crippled foot, walks with a limp Lee--I can't remember what he looks like. osted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:35 pm Post subject: THANK YOU: whoever PM'd me about saw at Yellow House THANK YOU VERY MUCH to the person who PM'ed me about the DeWalt saw at Yellow House!! Went by there today and located my saw (I realized it was, indeed, a DeWalt after I posted the notice, when I found the extra blades that came with the saw in my toolbox). Found my leaf blower and a hedge trimmer I hadn't even missed yet, too!

Police will get them back to me once they verify the records about who sold them. The description the people at Yellow House gave the police matched the description of one of the guys who had been working at my house. People there were very cooperative, by the way.

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

So why would they buy the items in the first place? Don't people that sell to them have to show photo ID's, receipts of any kind to prove them to be not stolen? I'm thinking they need to get out of this business if they can't find a way to validate the merchandise they buy. Seems to be getting them in deeper.

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

Ok Sandman I just watched that tape from channel 5. Wow, pot plants and "we've done nothing wrong", are you kidding me? Oh and I loved the attorneys view, they ask if they are stolen and get told no. Thats all it takes!?!? Who in their right mind is going to say, "yeah, I stole it". No Way!! If the attorney thinks this is all it takes not to be charged, then wow, I should start looking into breaking the law, apparently, you just deny it and your not guilty.

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

First of all I want to make it clear that I don't have an opinion yet if the Neighbors are guilty or not. I don't have all the facts. But the video does point out that they have lied at least once, so it's kind of making it hard to trust what they say. enforcer, I believe the items are taken in an effort to get them back to their rightful owner which is how it should be. But if the items go unclaimed after a certain amount of time, then yes, to the police auction they go. I know that puts the Neighbors out of the money they spent. Thats why I was saying theres got to be a better way to know what your buying.

I don't know about other people but when I purchase items, I save ALL the receipts, especally high end items that cost alot on money. The cheaper items, ie: clothes, CD's, etc. If I don't want them anymore I would sell them at a garage sale or donate them. I was just asking if there was a better way of buying items without the true knowledge that they aren't stolen.

sonicpiranha 8 years, 5 months ago

I think that the yellow house, given all that they are going through with the LPD, would be a little more cautious in their purchasing policies. If I were to be involved in the same kind of problem yellow house is having with the LPD I would at least try to "tighten things up" in (yellow) house. At least don't purchase anything that may be even close to questionable.

Speaking as a person who has had valuable items stolen from them. I find it slightly annoying that, our home grown grass roots establishment, is profiting from other peoples(obviously lawrence residents) losses. Also according to "enforcer" has been doing it "just fine in this community for a number of years"

I would choose to believe, like many others here, that OUR business owners in OUR fair city, wouldn't dream of making profit from the loss and suffering of their dear neighbors. But then reality sinks in.

Sandman 8 years, 5 months ago

Most telling is Informer's silence on this issue.

She was all over the previous stories. I wonder if Miss Swain suddenly figured out her mouth wrote checks her phat *ss can't cash.

bizarre 8 years, 5 months ago

It is very sad that the Yellow house, the Ebay seller stores, and all the other second hand stores cant get some kind of reports from the police to look for stolen goods with.

It does help though if people who have had their items stolen take the time to alert the business's that deal in the area so they can be on the look out for the items.

I happen to know the Yellow house will take your information and let you know if the item is brought into their store.

Information is Power!

bizarre 8 years, 5 months ago

To the person who posted the info about the stolen car stereo's. You obviously have not sold a car stereo there, because the Yellow House has a strict policy, they will not buy car audio unless it is hooked up in the car for testing. ANYBODY selling car stereos knows this its been the policy for years!!!!

reputations are also ruined by people that lie and spread untrue rummors!

cms 8 years, 5 months ago

I have known Guy and Carrie for many years and stand behind them. They are kind, caring, helpful and honest.

banish 8 years, 5 months ago

We'll reading this page, I find to be a little funny. I was looking over larryville today and a lady found some of her stolen items there just today. (Which were stolen from her just last week). And they don't buy stolen items, ya right...

banish 8 years, 5 months ago

holygrailale:

Keep up with the story, as I stated in my post the stolen items were at the (yellow house) were the police found them yesterday. That were stolen from her last week.

ladderman234 8 years, 5 months ago

Looks like Ms Swain has nothing better to do than publicize her clients' legal problems. I wonder if their "legitimate" business has suffered or improved from all the negative noise she's generated. Are they getting their money's worth from her big mouth, or is she using them to market herself?? Whatever happened to lawyers who kept their clients legal matters quiet, and certainly out of the media? It also seemed kind of funny to see her and "members of her staff" quickly run into the liquor store next door to yellow house after their demonstration. Real professional....

anonimiss 8 years, 5 months ago

http://www.kctv5.com/global/video/popup/pop_player.asp?ClipID1=862668&h1=Federal%20Agents%20Raid%20Lawrence%20Business%3B%20Owners%20Say%20They%27ve%20Done%20Nothing%20Wrong&vt1=v&at1=News&d1=103400&LaunchPageAdTag=Search Results&activePane=info&playerVersion=1&hostPageUrl=http%3A//www.kctv5.com/Global/SearchResults.asp%3Fqu%3Dyellow+house&rnd=58862546

Hilarious! I can see them now..."Hey, man, did you, like, steal this or something, dude?" "No way, man. Can I get another toke?" "I'll give you like 5 bucks for that VCR, man." "Sure, dude. Didn't cost me anything. Thanks for the weed, man."

yellowhouse 7 years, 12 months ago

I wondered who lied to the Journal world about the police being cleared, when according to The journal world reporter That I talked to, when he called the FBI to get the investigation records, which should be a matter of public record now that the investigation is closed, According to the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, he was told there was never any investigation, NADA! The FBI left without investigating the claims!

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