Archive for September 10th, 2010

Gun Dealer Gets Prison for Selling to Illegal Immigrant Through Legal Middle Man; Middle Man Not Charged

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Our legal system at work again…punish the innocent, release the guilty.

Gun rights advocates are up in arms that a Texas gun dealer was sentenced to six months in prison for selling a firearm to an illegal immigrant, but a “middle-man” who bought the gun for the immigrant — and who was in the U.S. illegally himself, but had a valid driver’s license — was never arrested, charged or deported in the case.

Paul Copeland, 56, a Vietnam veteran, was sentenced to prison time and two years probation in federal court last week for selling a gun to an undocumented alien, Hipolito Aviles, at the Texas Gun Show in Austin in January.

But Aviles wasn’t the man who handed Copeland the money for the gun. That man was Leonel Huerta Sr., who presented as identification the valid Texas driver’s license he had obtained before his visa expired in 2007.

Copeland claimed he was presented with a valid driver’s license and had no way of knowing that the man he was selling the gun to was an illegal immigrant, or that he intended to give the gun to another illegal immigrant.

Huerta, in a phone interview with Copeland’s attorney that was included in court documents, said he showed Copeland his driver’s license in order to purchase the gun, and it wasn’t until he was leaving the building that he handed the gun to Aviles.

But agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified that Copeland should have known that Huerta was buying the gun for Aviles.

“Agents witnessed the Defendant (Copeland) negotiate a price for a handgun with Hipolito Aviles, who then handed cash to a second Hispanic male, who then handed Aviles’ cash and his own identification to the defendant,” the prosecution said in court documents.

“The Defendant in turn sold the firearm and handed it to the ‘straw’ purchaser, who then handed the firearm to Hipolito Aviles. The Defendant then instructed Mr. Aviles to hand the firearm back to the straw purchaser because he had ‘bought’ the firearm. Agents witnessed the straw purchaser hand the firearm back to Hipolito Aviles a short time later.”

Aviles, the undocumented immigrant, was charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, served a little over six months in prison and was deported on July 8, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Daryl Fields said.

But Huerta, the “middle man” who bought the gun for Aviles and also was in the country illegally, suffered no legal consequences in the case. He is believed to still be living in the country illegally.

“Instead of busting the illegal alien for buying, they bust the citizen for selling,” said Paul Velte, founder of Peaceable Texans for Firearms Rights, a gun-owners rights advocacy group from Austin.

Copeland, in an interview with FoxNews.com, said he and several other witnesses, including Aviles and Huerta’s son, who was present during the gun purchase, testified that the men never exchanged money in front of him. He said that throughout the purchase, he either talked with Huerta, who he says “spoke perfect English,” or to the group in general, but never to Aviles directly.

“I never conversed with Hipolito at all,” Copeland said. “The gentleman claims that he doesn’t speak any English.”

But one thing all sides agreed on is that Huerta, using a valid Texas driver’s license, knowingly bought a gun for someone who was ineligible to buy one himself — all the while knowing that he, too, was in the country illegally.

“SA [Special Agent] Jones interviewed Huerta, using an interpreter, and learned that he is also illegally in the United States and he showed SA Jones a work visa that expired in 2007,” ATF wrote in its report of the incident. “SA Jones further interviewed Huerta and learned that he had just met Aviles for the first time at the gun show and he agreed to help Aviles purchase a gun because Aviles did not have proper identification.”

But, unlike Aviles, Huerta was not arrested at the gun show that day. And though the report said he was “to be indicted,” the ATF said he was never charged in the case.

“Apparently, Huerta was not charged because he was a witness,” ATF spokeswoman Franceska Perot told FoxNews.com, adding that the bureau referred the case to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE spokeswoman Gail Montenegro said there was no record of Huerta in ICE’s system, indicating that there is no effort underway to deport him.

Perot said that, to her understanding, Huerta wasn’t arrested at the gun show because agents there felt “he was just a go-between for Aviles.” She said she couldn’t say specifically why the decision was made not to prosecute him later, other than to say that situations like this happen all the time.

“It’s a prosecutorial decision. They decide, are we going to get more time for this guy, for his part, or are we going to use him as a witness for someone else? So I guess that was their decision,” she said.

Velte says that decision should “enrage all Americans.”

“The illegal alien walks free, but the citizen gets convicted,” he said. “The same government charged with controlling immigration is the one using illegal immigrants to attack its own citizens. Does this make any sense?”

When asked about Huerta, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “we do not comment about our prosecutorial decision making process.”

Original Link.

Florida Pastor Says Koran-Burning Will Not Happen

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Well this is good news. Whereas I believe that Islam is a false religion, I do not agree that burning their holy book is the way to show that. I’m glad this pastor has backed off of this event.

A Florida pastor said Friday he will not burn Korans this weekend after appearing to walk back a similar pledge the day before.

In two television interviews, the Rev. Terry Jones said the book-burning “is not going to happen,” but also repeated his claim that an imam told him the controversial Ground Zero mosque would be moved in exchange for his decision.

“Absolutely no doubt about it,” Jones said.

A disagreement between those two religious leaders over the mosque had thrown into doubt Jones’ announcement Thursday that he was calling off the Koran-burning, a protest meant to mark nine years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. After meeting with Imam Muhammad Musri, the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, Jones said he was assured he had a bargain that the mosque planned in lower Manhattan would be moved. The decision was met with relief, as top government officials and international organizations had warned that the burning would pose a security threat, particularly to U.S. troops overseas.

But Musri insisted he never promised to change the location and that Jones “stretched my words.” The imam in charge of the New York Islamic center and mosque project also quickly denied any deal was made. Musri repeated that claim Friday.

Jones, after backpedaling to say the Koran protest was merely suspended, said it was canceled Friday and that he hopes to still hold a meeting with the mosque developers in New York City Saturday.

Jones spoke on ABC and NBC Friday morning.

Despite Jones’ wavering, many in Asia greeted the news not to burn the Koran with relief, though some said the damage already has been done. Muslims consider the book the sacred word of God and insist it be treated with the utmost respect.

Cleric Rusli Hasbi told 1,000 worshippers attending Friday morning prayers in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, that Jones had already “hurt the heart of the Muslim world.”

“If he’d gone through with it, it would have been tantamount to war,” the cleric said in the coastal town of Lhokseumawe. “A war that would have rallied Muslims all over the world.”

Original Link.

Pakistani Minister wants Obama to become World Supreme Muslim Leader

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Interesting…

ISLAMABAD – In a development that could be duly termed as one and only of its kind, an incumbent Government’s Minister has urged US President Barrack Obama to offer Eid prayers at Ground Zero Mosque and become “Ameer-ul-Momineen” of Muslim Ummah.

Minister of State for Industries and former member Pakistan Ideological Council Ayatullah Durrani called TheNation on Wednesday to register his demand made to President Obama.

“The coming Eid would expectedly be observed on 9/11, this a golden opportunity for President Obama to offer Eid prayers at Ground Zero and become Amir-ul-Momineen or Caliph of Muslims. In this way, all the problems of Muslim World would be solved,” he thought.

Durrani argued that Muslim World was in “dire need” of a Caliph and the distinguished slot of Caliphate would earn President Obama the exemplary titles of what he termed, “Mullah Barrack Hussain Obama” or “Allama Obama.” “The time is approaching fast. Barrack Hussain Obama must act now. This is a golden opportunity, Muslims badly need it,” he added, saying that the elevation of President Obama to Muslim’s Caliphate would be the “key to success.”

Original Link.