Indiana Sheriff Stands Up to Food Police, Threatens FDA and DOJ with Arrest for Trespassing

Posted on Dec 07, 2011 in Constitutional & Liberty Issues, Police, Military, & War, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Kevin Hayden –

Source: Food Clubs and Co-ops

David Hochstetler and Richard Hebron, two farmers subpoenaed by the US Department of Justice at the behest of the FDA, have found help, and protection, in an unexpected place… local Sheriff Brad Rogers, who stepped in to the situation and notified the DOJ that if they wanted to have any dealings with those under his protection and jurisdiction, they would have to go through him.

He also warned the DOJ that if they continued to visit David’s farm and property without a proper warrant, he or his officers would arrest them for trespassing.

Even in the face of severe coercive pressure (the DOJ threatened Sheriff Rogers with felony arrest), Sheriff Rogers stood tall and did not back down.

My words to Rogers? “Thank you!”

David Hochstetler has now received a letter stating that he has been released from the subpoena until further notice and that the hearing is cancelled.

The matter of Richard Hebron is still in administrative matters with the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund representing Hebron.

First, before I continue, I encourage everyone to drop an email or call Sheriff Rogers office and say, “Thank you!” Here is the office’s contact information.

Second, I want everyone to understand how and why Roger’s did what he did and how other sheriffs can be trained, encouraged, and emboldened to do likewise.

Hayden’s Note:

If anyone would like to start up an organization to get me elected as Sheriff in my local county, I’d certainly be up for the job!  As a former police officer-turned-freedom-activist, I think I could handle it well.  Haha

Rogers is a member of the County Sheriff Project, an organization founded by Richard Mack and friends, dedicated to training and supporting sheriffs to enable them to fulfill their constitutional oath.

So far, the group is a smash success, protecting people from government run amok and intrusions on private property and local communities in California, Oregon, Arizona, and now, Indiana, and probably elsewhere that we just haven’t heard about yet.

Average citizens may finally find they are not alone in standing up to the constant stream of stupidity being sloshed on them from the federal level and now have a person of authority and influence to rally around and behind.

Mack deserves our thanks and support. Mack is holding an event in Las Vegas and encouraging people to “Sponsor a Sheriff” so that they can reach as many local sheriffs as possible.

Please consider sponsoring your local sheriff or forming a group in your area to reach out to, educate, and perhaps sponsor as many local sheriffs as possible.



While it’s not clear exactly what kind of maneuvering led to the federal pullback, one factor working for Hochstetler may have been the efforts of his county sheriff, Brad Rogers of Elkhart County. He wrote two letters to the Justice Department warning it not to conduct inspections of Hochstetler’s farm without a warrant from a local judge. In the process, he got into a debate over the limits of federal power and the U.S. Constitution with the Justice Department’s Goldstein.

Earlier this month, Rogers emailed Goldstein that there had been “a number of inspections and attempted inspections on (Hochstetler’s) farm…” He warned that “any further attempts to inspect this farm without a warrant signed by a local judge, based on probable cause, will result in Federal inspectors’ removal or arrest for trespassing by my officers or I.”

That prompted Goldstein to cite the U.S. Constitution’s “Supremacy Clause,” which he said “has been interpreted since the earliest days of this nation to mean that federal law trumps state law whenever the two conflict.”

Goldstein argued further that the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act allowed federal agents “to enter Mr. Hochstetler’s property…without a warrant at all–pursuant to a long line of federal cases…” Moreover, he warned the sheriff that federal agents could arrest him– “that the ‘refusal to permit entry or inspection as authorized by section 374’ is in itself a federal criminal offense, which under certain circumstances is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to three years…”

The Goldstein letter prompted Rogers to reply, in a letter just being sent today, “When you assert that federal law trumps state law, it is a distortion of the intent, content and extent of the supreme law of the land–the U.S. Constitution-seen through a myopic and misunderstood view of Article VI, section 2 (The Supremacy Clause).”

He also asserted that “the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act could be deemed unconstitutional if and when challenged vis-a-vis the Tenth Amendment juxtaposed with The Commerce Clause.” 

He added that “our form of government was based on the principle that all officials exist to secure ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’…Your ‘cosmetic’ regulations will never ‘trump’ those principles. The citizen in question is a good man and has committed no crime. He is an upstanding member of this community. He does not have to allow you access to his property for the FDA to conduct random inspections.”

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