Gibson Guitar Raided For Possible Lacey Act Violations . . . Again

Gibson Guitars are some of the best known instruments in the business. However, the company could soon make some interesting law as well after it was raided by federal agents investigating possible violations of the Lacey Act, the law barring the illegal trade in wildlife, fish, and plants. The company is being investigated for the allegedly unlawful importation of sawn ebony logs from India. This is the second time in two years that the company has been accused of Lacey Act violations.


In November 2009, federal agents seized guitars and fingerboard blanks that were allegedly made from illegally harvested Madagascan rosewood and ebony. Last week the agents seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. From a Reuters report the latest raid is related to a shipment of sawn ebony logs from India that was imported by Gibson illegally, violating the Lacey Act.

Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz insists that the raid is simply because the wood was finished in the United States and is based on Indian law being enforced in the U.S. The company released a press statement saying “The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India.”

The Lacey Act does enforce the laws of other countries to prevent companies from using the United States for trafficking in illegal goods. Ironically, the Act was originally passed to stop the destructive sale of our own domestic resources (particularly bird feathers) but has become a law protecting the natural areas of other nations from the same threat. The Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. §§ 3371–3378) was the brainchild of Iowa Rep. John F. Lacey, who wanted to block the trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, transported or sold. It was signed into law by President William McKinley on May 25, 1900.

Thus, it is not in anyway odd for the U.S. to enforce the law of another country. Moreover, the affidavit below claims a series of false or misleading statements in the documentation related to this shipment. The agent details what is alleged to be “fraudulently” labeled wood that is an attempt to evade an Indian ban on exports of unfinished wood.

The affidavit below details what is a classic Lacey Act violation with both the content of the shipment and the recipient. Regardless of Juszkiewicz’s politics, this shipment would have been flagged based on these allegations.

It does appear that, if the wood were finished in India, this might not be a violation under Indian law. Moreover, it is the type of violation that can easily occur if you do not use a local attorney to verify such questions. However, it is also true that companies often claim ignorance of local laws will supporting unlawful shipments of wood and other items. The point is that purchasing companies are equally responsible when they import unlawful goods. In my view, the 2009 allegations, detailed in one of the articles below, present a more serious concern in the importation of the wood from Madagascar — an area that has been ravaged by illegal harvesting and corruption.

Conservative bloggers and radio hosts have suggested that this is political retribution for Juszkiewicz’s support of conservative candidates. Gibson appears to be fueling the political allegation with Twitter postings to conservatives.

One report says that either Juszkiewicz or the company is warning that people who now have Gibson Guitars could see their instruments seized by the government. It is a clever tact to work up citizens but it is highly unlikely. It is true that purchase or possession of unlawful material is prohibited under Lacey. The act makes it unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law whether in interstate or foreign commerce. Yet, it is rare to see actions taken against individual owners of prior sold products like a guitar. The focus of enforcement is on those in the stream of commerce, particularly shippers, manufacturers, and retailers.

Juszkiewicz objects that his employees are being treated like “drug dealers” though his own relations with his employees may need from fine tuning. The company has also been named in 2009 as the number one “worst to work for” in a survey by glassdoor.com.

Here is the statement of the Federal Agent: 20110819154237897

For a good discussion of the history of the two cases, click here and here

76 thoughts on “Gibson Guitar Raided For Possible Lacey Act Violations . . . Again

  1. As noted here:

    The statute also makes it unlawful to make or submit any false record or label of any plant.

    If the wood was finished in India, there would have been no fraudulent labeling. As pointed out in a Reuters article:

    The paperwork accompanying the shipment identified it fraudulently as Indian ebony fingerboards for guitars and it did not say it was going to Gibson, the affidavit said.

  2. “The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India.”

    ************

    How can a law be enforced outside of the country that it was not originally intended for….Are they enforcing other treaty’s….or selectively choosing which ones to enforce…Unless specifically asked by the Indian Government why are we doing this again…Oh yeah because we can….

    Lets see the 4th has no applicability outside of the US right…So, if they are doing this then I expect to see the heads of Citibank being tried in the US under RICO…they were one of the main causes of the financial market collapse….they moved billions of assets outside of the US to offshore banks before the domino’s feel…

  3. I thought that Gibson was part of CITES (agreement to not harvest endangered woods). Also be sure to check out your fine furniture and floors for these woods–guitar makers use a small fraction of these sought after woods. You never know when the “jack booted thugs” will be knocking at your…

  4. Since CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments and Gibson is not a government, I’m not sure what it means to say that Gibson is a “part of” CITES.

  5. I don’t know… maybe my priorities are all wrong but, given what is and isn’t getting done… aren’t there bigger fish…???

    Blouise 1, September 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Oh boy, I better check my cello … there’s all kinds of exotic material involved
    :-) (I’d love to hear you play… Something on YT, perhaps? )

    ————————

    (AY, regarding “fugitive woods”… :-) )

    ————————

    “You never know when the “jack booted thugs” will be knocking at your…” -Mark

    Yep. But sometimes, they don’t bother to knock…

  6. There may be a really interesting constitutional challenge here.

    The Supremacy Clause states that;

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

    The Lacey Act is not a treaty. Which leaves us with the question; does Congress have the power to enact into law, the laws of other countries, that are not contained in a treaty? Also, do the courts have the authority to interpret the laws of another nation and apply them upon the citizens of this country?

  7. Somewhere around here I have a half-dozen knife handle blanks in different kinds of exotic woods. I bought them from a cutler supply dealer twenty-five or so years ago and never got around to using them to make knives. Does this mean I have to worry about a SWAT team using a battering ram on my shop door?

  8. In answer to some of the commenters above, and as I recall, Federal wildlife laws are based on either the Property clause, the Interstate Clause, or the Treaty making powers spelled out in our Constitution; therein lies your answer.

    As for Gibson, it appears that they have a big mens rea problem, since they had a prior in 2009; perhaps that’s why their spokesman has turned this into a political campaign in lieu of arguing the legal facts…

    Our Federal wildlife laws are a reflection that our Nation places of the value of “life.” As to those of you who always have to disparage the enforcement of wildlife laws, it always reminds me of an old Coptic saying: “Life is life, and fun is fun, but it’s all so quite when the goldfish dies.” Shame on you.

  9. 1. Regarding busting people with existing instruments, knife handles, etc: it is very, very difficult to non-destructively identify types of wood, so it would be very difficult to “screen” items for potential illicit wood. In the real world, a lot of wood, as logs or rough-sawn, and particularly in smaller quantities, simply gets re-labled. It’s a big problem for people who need particular types of wood, such as high quality teak for boat building, or need to match existing wood in antique furniture repair or building restoration. Unless you’ve got a supplier with a really solid chain of custody from the forest to your jobsite/workshop, it’s a crapshoot what you’re going to get when you try to buy “such-and-such mahogany” or the like.

    Gibson guitars, on the other hand, in order to deter counter-fitting of these multi-hundred, and often multi-thousand, dollar items, have serial numbers and other identifying marks. Theoretically, someone could go through Gibson’s records to identify a series of Les Paul serial numbers that used the “illegal” wood, and say, “from x to y were made with illegal wood, turn ’em in!” From a political and practical sense, though, this seems very unlikely! (at worst, I could see them pulling unsold units from warehouses and unsold stock in stores, with Gibson on the hook for the wholesale cost.)

    2. Gibson is playing with fire if they publicly link themselves to right-wing politics. The value of guitars (and brands) is based in a lot of fuzzy, subjective perceptions and waxes and wanes over time. Gibson is currently riding high in brand perception, but like all things, this too shall pass. There a lots of conservatives who play music (i.e. evangelical church band members or Ted Nugent-types) and lots of middle-aged guys who can afford a $2,400 guitar and don’t care about the company’s politics or working conditions. But there’s also a big slice of the musician market where they risk making themselves very un-cool – either from liking themselves to lame, old, religious, racist, rich dudes (the antithesis of “rock ‘n roll”) or from failing to be at least a little “green.”

  10. anon nurse1, September 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I don’t know… maybe my priorities are all wrong but, given what is and isn’t getting done… aren’t there bigger fish…???
    —————————————–
    I agree…

  11. I guess Obama’s DOJ is making it easier for Gibson to simply move their operations abroad. I hope not.

    HenMan – clever comment, and clever handle.

  12. Thanks for explaining this! I thought it was another DOJ clusterfuck.. but I support this act if it will reduce environmental havoc.

  13. HenMan,

    Maybe you can lend Obama a KaZoo….at least he can try and lead….Not doing to good in my opinion….I am sorely disappointed in his cowing to the Boy of Orange….He got upstaged and his “talk” to congress will be on a Thursday the first day of the new football season….Not on Wednesday the day of the GOP Circus….

  14. anon nurse,

    Don’t do youtube but I bet I could make a sound file and send it to you … I’ll have to ask one of my associates how to do it … I’ll just borrow a Mac

  15. Well, this is interesting. I worked for a small boutique guitar maker for a number of years, and during that time worked with several high-level former Gibson employees.

    As to the meat of the matter – these violations are rampant throughout the industry. Everyone does it, it’s dismissed with a wink and a nod.

    As to “why Gibson?” I suspect the reason Gibson’s getting picked on is because Juszkiewicz is a world class asshole – the first time I met him (summer NAMM 1996) he had two black eyes from getting the shit beaten out of him after he started a fight with a fellow golfer – so I am not at all surprised that somebody, most likely a former employee with details and printouts, emails and names, ratted out the company.

    That he is blaming lower level employees is wholly expected and I’m sure he took care to never get his name on anything that instructed them to make illegal deals – but I know damn well that he knew what was going on.

    Oh well. Poor guy takes a fall for the rich guy. That’s how it always works, right?

  16. Let’s see, I have from Gibson the following models / years:

    L1 / 1901
    L4 / 1945
    L7 / 1947
    L5 / 1954
    Les Paul Goldtop / 1957

    and about thirteen other guitars. Some classical and flamenco guitars I bought in Spain in the mid-seventies, some Taylors purchased in the late-eighties . . .

    Gibson guitars are coveted, in my opinion, due to the neck geometry. With the exception of their flattops, SGs, and maybe a few I never noticed, the bridge/top body/angle to fretboard follows the long standing tradition of fretless instruments such as violins, cellos, upright basses, etc., and this has a distinct impact on tone.

    So should I never travel with my guitars? Should I never perform with them? I do understand the environmental impact of any consumption, but in following some of the articles (and branches of) linked in this thread it would seem that I would have to show providence for a guitar manufactured in 1901 that I bought in the early seventies if I was to reenter the US with it?

    Maybe I should just join the ATF and trade guns for guitars?

  17. Thanks for posting the link to the agents statement – very interesting. As a Gibson guitar owner when I first heard this story I couldn’t believe they were being harassed in such a manner. As someone who has exported items for my employer and know something about the HS codes and paperwork that is required, after reading the statement it seems obvious (if true) they (exporter, importer and Gibson) were trying to circumvent the law. The shame of it is apparently the wood itself was properly obtained at the source, it is just the form it is in (essentially rough boards) that is illegal (because of Indian export laws probably designed to protect local manufacturing). I can’t believe this is the kind of thing the Lacey Act was intended to be used for – surely there are other laws intended to deal with administrative import/export violations? The Lacey Act is a good thing in my opinion, but it clearly needs to be tightened up so that it sticks to it’s original intention of restricting trade in scarce natural resources – not protecting indigenous industries.

  18. Don’t use Gibsons. I use Martins or Taylors. This sounds awfully political to me, and if the rumors that fly about Gibson’s working policies are true, then go to hell Gibson.

  19. gbk,

    “So should I never travel with my guitars? Should I never perform with them?”

    You’re not the first person to come to that same conclusion. I am aware of several anecdotal stories of pre-Lacey guitars being seized from musicians returning to the US after bringing their instruments with them abroad, dispite bringing documentation of authenticity. An agent in the field doesn’t have the education or the equipment needed to identify, date, or souce rare woods.

  20. I see that Republican congresscritter Marsha Blackburn has invited Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz to the Obama speech. Stunning, because the raid on the Gibson factory was the result of laws passed during the Bush administration. Thus, the problems of Gibson are all Obama’s fault. Typical. More here, reported by Laura Clawson:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/08/1014689/-GOP-congresswoman-invites-Gibson-Guitar-CEO-to-Obamas-jobs-speech-after-federal-raid?detail=hide

  21. The feds are enforcing foreign laws on American soil on American people, performing search & seizure without probable cause, then holding property indefinitely without a trial while throwing the most basic principles in the US Constitution out the window? The US constitution states ‘only US Congress can enforce laws on it’s citizens’ also we ‘have the right to confront our accuser in a court of law’. This is ANYTHING BUT AMERICAN AND ALL INVOLVED IN THE OPERATION SHOULD BE JAILED AND CHARGED WITH TREASON!

  22. Clinton, as Dredd pointed out in the thread above, the US Congress passed the law, which makes it the current law in the United States. The Federal and State law enforcement agencies that enforce it are doing the will of Congress, just as they enforce other Federal laws.

    Take it up with Congress.

  23. All who were involved in the raid have taken an oath to uphold the US Constitution which clearly the Lacey Act contradicts. My issue is not with Gibson or the import of woods, it’s with the Lacey Act itself. It’s a violation of each and every US citizens Constitutional rights! So YES, TREASON! If I choose to purchase a pallet of wood from anywhere is the world and burn it in my back yard than I have the right to do so! I’m an American!!! As long as the wood is cleared OK once it leaves it’s place of origin than who cares whether American hands worked or BURNED the wood? The Lacey Act makes me sick to my stomach with the idea that my government can jail me based on foreign law. With that mentality lets lockup every US woman for not covering their bodies, that’s illegal in parts of the world. It’s extreme I know, but I’m making a point. The law give the government the right to search, seize, imprison each and every US Citizen for no reason what so ever and in the Gibson case without probable cause as it states in the 1st few paragraphs of the Affidavit “To determine probable cause”.

  24. All who were involved in the raid have taken an oath to uphold the US Constitution which clearly the Lacey Act contradicts. My issue is not with Gibson or the import of woods, it’s with the Lacey Act itself. It’s a violation of each and every US citizens Constitutional rights! So YES, TREASON! If I choose to purchase a pallet of wood from anywhere is the world and burn it in my back yard than I have the right to do so! I’m an American!!! As long as the wood is cleared OK once it leaves it’s place of origin than who cares whether American hands worked or BURNED the wood? The Lacey Act makes me sick to my stomach with the idea that my government can jail me based on foreign law. With that mentality lets lockup every US woman for not covering their bodies, that’s illegal in parts of the world. It’s extreme I know, but I’m making a point. The law give the government the right to search, seize, imprison each and every US Citizen for no reason what so ever and in the Gibson case without probable cause as it states in the 1st few paragraphs of the Affidavit “To determine probable cause”…

  25. Also, no where is your mind is there a little red flag going up saying “this sounds fishy”? Like someone ordered the raid to suppress Gibson saying something like “Go in there and FIND something no matter how trivial to bring them down”. I find in this case there are many red flags and I’ve learned in life never to ignore the red flags. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck it’s a duck!
    The raid was because American workers were ‘working’ the wood? That’s the feds story! I know where some REAL drug dealers live if the feds need a real crime to solve!

  26. Sorry, Cliinton, the treason argument does not work because arresting someone for violating a law enacted by Congress is not treason. If you have a problem with the law, then it needs to be challenged before a Court of proper jurisdiction or repealed by Act of Congress.

    FYI, this is the definition of treason as defined in the United States Code. Title 18, Part I, Chaper 115:

    § 2381. Treason:

    Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

    Arresting someone for using illegally imported materials and circumventing laws designed primarily to protect endangered species is not treason. Did you know that you may not buy ivory items that have not been carved or decorated by qualified indigenous native crafters? For example, you cannot buy ivory blanks to scrimshaw yourself.

  27. OK so Treason is a bit much but my point is still valid, they had an obligation to uphold the US Constitution and in this case it appears they failed to do that! I have an idea, have the feds go after a gun manufacturer for the very same reason (gun stocks are made from East Indian Rosewood) and watch how fast people rise up and revolt. I’m a professional guitarist so you can see how this bothers me. I live in a state where our slogan is ‘Live Free Or Die’. In NH this statement is serious business!!! Most residents will lay down our lives for freedom which is why NH is the #1 free-est state in the union. Look it up. I doubt this would have happened in NH or the feds would be dealing with the locals as well.
    If you only understand something from 1 perspective you really don’t understands it at all…so with that, I’ll be dancing around my bonfire with a feather strapped to my head while whacking back a bottle of scotch naked singing a rain chant…why you ask??? Because I can! I’m an American bound by the laws set forth the in US Constitution…

  28. Clinton, I am sitting here scratching my head wondering what part of the Constitution they did not uphold when the law was passed. Could you show me the Article and section that was violated?

  29. mendment 4 – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    The 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 describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  30. Amendment 6 – Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

  31. Clinton, they executed a Court issued warrant for search and seizure. All legal under the 4th Amendment and signed by a judge. The authority is the law passed by Congress. The Gibson people have the right to go into court and challenge the warrant, but their chances of prevailing are poor, IMHO.

  32. RE: speedy trial. As far as I know a trial date has not been set, but you can bet the lawyers will NOT miss key dates and will get all their filings in on time. Judges take a dim view of lawyers who miss filing deadlines.

  33. Clinton, it is clear to me that your knowledge of the Constitution is limited to what you read in the popular press. If by chance you are a law student, then all I can say is, you have a long road ahead of you.

  34. No you are incorrect, the warrant was issued to and I quote “determine probable cause”. Violation #1. Right to a speedy trial, almost 2 years and no charges yet? Violation#2. Where is the feds press release??? Why have no charges been filed & how is the feds able to suspend the case indefinably?

  35. I am not a law student but a simple guitar man. I have 1st hand learned that if you place 10 people in a position of power 9 will abuse it in someway or another. This is an abuse of power! The feds should have had probable cause to get the warrant in the 1st place then held an official press conference stating what their exact intention were after the raid. We see this everyday. They have not done ANY of this which is makes them look really suspicious…

  36. Here’s the violation on property. Gibson in NOT getting due process..

    Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. Note History

    1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

  37. Clinton, the law is very complex. I have cases on my desk that have dragged out over several years. One murder case in particular started when the defendant was 16 years old, and he is now in his early 20s. Lawyers ask for continuances constantly and they are granted. There is a reason law school (at least the good ones) are so tough. And why Constitutional law is a specialty area. There is more than two hundred years of case law that spells out the details. It is not just the simple language contained in the Constitution itself, but what the SCOTUS has explained those passages mean. Gibson has lots of money and can hire the best lawyers around. You can bet they are not sitting on their hands, but are working diligently for their client. May I respectfully suggest that until you can command a fee of between three and five hundred dollars an hour for your legal expertise, leave the lawyering to the lawyers.

  38. Clinton,

    The general rule for federal criminal cases is 5 years…

    Specifically:

    The federal statute of limitations is 18 USC 3282, and it provides the following:

    Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense, not capital, unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted within five years next after such offense shall have been committed.

    I have had drug cases that were filed 4 years and 330 days after the crime was allegedly committed….

    The next issue is PC Warrants are generally issued for “heavily regulated” industry’s… If they trading in prohibited woods then, its possible for a PC warrant to be issued…A lot of that will depend in which Federal District Court it is filed…from what I understand…it is a hit and miss in California…it depends on which Judge draws it…Suffice it to say…a Judge probably never saw this…it was more than likely a Magistrate that issued the same….

    Now, if it has been more than 5 years since the original charges were filed…then you might have a serious argument….But, if I were the prosecutor I would say that each and every sales of the commodity containing the prohibited wood is a separate and distinct offense…

    Much akin to busting the original person smuggling cocaine and the government letting just enough in to find out where it goes…and then charging each and everyone in the supply chain with conspiracy to traffic in illegal, controlled or prohibited items…

    Presently pending is a case in I think Missouri…they think a man killed his wife the state can’t prove it….because he sent emails threatening someone across state lines…the Feds have picked up the case to prosecute him….MO probably had something to do with this….

  39. Certainly you have the freedom of speech. It is just a good idea that when you talk about something it would be helpful if you stayed in areas you know something about. For those areas in which you know little, it is better to ask for information or explanations rather than to claim knowledge you do not have. That is the way folks avoid “foot in mouth” disease.

    No one knows everything, but the collection of good people that inhabit this blawg have a vast amount of knowledge on a wide array of topics.

  40. AY, don’t forget the interminable delays sometimes caused by the attorneys for both sides who ask for continuance after continuance.

    I once asked a defendant why he was sent for a mental exam at the state mental hospital. He looked me straight in they eye and replied, “My lawyer thought if I was sent to the mental hospital it would delay things long enough that some witnesses might disappear or forget what happened.”

    At that time there were very long delays and a backlog of cases so a motion for a mental exam might take a year or more to get a defendant seen.

  41. I do know this, I have a degree in custom cabinet woodworking and worked in that trade for years & have been a professional guitarist for 20 years and studying the instrument for 30 years . There in no way to marry a finger board to a guitars neck without ‘working’ the wood. It cannot be done PERIOD. EVERY guitar manufacturer knows this and even India knows this which is why when the product is exported it is 2/3rds the way done. India has no problem with Gibson. The feds are enforcing something that really has nothing to do with them. I could see if India had a problem with Gibson however they do not!

  42. Clinton, the Lacey Act was first passed in the year 1900 and signed into law by President William McKinley. It has been amended several times, but has been the law for more than a century. As for anything being retroactive, each new violation is treated as a new offense, even if it is a new provision in the law. That is what AY was alluding to in his drug crime example.

  43. I can only guess Clinton that if that were the case then it is possible for a case to be dismissed…but not likely….As OS said you have to have people knowledgeable about the Constitution…

    Imagine this scenario….A Defendant or Witness is on the the Witness Stand/Box….they take the 5th…. The Judge acknowledges that the party has the right take the 5th….So the Judge (a Major Asswipe) states to the Defendant/Witness that their testimony is not to be viewed as credible….This is in front of the Jury..So far he has not been reversed…

  44. Clinton, I am a amateur luthier and make mountain dulcimers as a hobby. I understand what you are talking about. Importing rough finished wood, with final fitting in the factory would be legal, IMHO. It is the importation of rough lumber (think 2X4s) that is illegal.

    To go back to the scrimshaw example. It is illegal to purchase raw ivory, but legal if scrimshawed by a Native American craftsman. Now if you are a jewelry maker, you will have to trim and fit the already decorated ivory pieces to the jewelry findings. That would be legal.

  45. All in all great topic. If nothing else this has given everyone here an additional perspective hence increasing our understanding of this topic. Our judicial system in incredibly convoluted at this point in 2011. Understand, it was created by man and man has many flaws so if it’s flawed by only say 10% (which it’s much more realistically speaking) than hundreds of thousands are convicted of crimes they did not commit. Our judicial system is designed to let 10 guilty men go free before 1 innocent man goes to jail. Because of this convolution this is no longer the case. Another sad note, congress is made up mostly of lawyers, were are all the mathematicians, scientists etc.??? Also the laws of accelerated returns dictate this will only worsen.

  46. OS,

    Tactical delays toll the SOL from my experience….I too have used that for the same reasons….I know this is kind of harsh…But I got screwed on my first court appointed case…I was unaware that I got screwed until I got back to the office….The prosecutor convinced me that the client should take the plea and based upon the narrative of the Incident Report… I agreed…

    Remember I said I was new…..I was kind of proud that I did such a great job for the client…the client was happy as well…Only did it dawn on me….there was no Victim or Witness… I then got pissed…I called the prosecutor and tanked him for such a great deal for my client…I ended to conversation with btw….You screwed me…and I will get even one day…But there was no victim, nor witness and you know the case could not have proceeded but for my ignorance…His response was “well what do you want me to do”….It took five years, and I did get even and it would have cost his office over 10K for forensic. He called he and said you know we are never going to send this to forensics don’t you…I said…well, we will wait for trial unless you want to dismiss the case today…

    On the date set for trial…in my Motion in limine….I asked for a dismissal based upon the failure to comply with the courts order…We became great friends after that….and he went to work in one of the better defense firms….

  47. Another perspective on the convolution of our judicial system may be a more optimistic view. Much like the vacuum tube gave rise to the transistor and the transistor gave rise to the CPU, maybe this convolution will give rise to a better, less convoluted, less corrupt, more accurate system of government. When technologies hit brick walls they give rise to other technologies. Maybe the same can be true for ideals & ideas.

  48. Clinton, I found you on YouTube. Very good. Speaking of Fender guitars, no one could make a Telecaster speak like Roy Buchanan. His album “Loading Zone” was a classic.

  49. OS, thanks very much for the kind words. Be sure to download my critically acclaimed album. 100% Free, don’t even ask for your email. I love brain exercise, next topic “Why we are probably alone in the universe”. Anyone up for this one???

  50. This goes to show you how far out of touch Our government is with the American people. This is one more way the government is trying to shove our jobs overseas.

    Harold

  51. You really make it appear really easy along with your presentation however I to find this topic to be actually something that I believe I might never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very vast for me. I’m having a look forward for your subsequent publish, I’ll try to get the cling of it!

  52. […] Gibson Guitar Raided For Possible Lacey Act Violations . . . Again …Sep 1, 2011 … The affidavit below details what is a classic Lacey Act violation with … identified it fraudulently as Indian ebony fingerboards for guitars and it did … […]

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