Today’s document comes directly from the spouse of the landowner whose property Schuyler Barbeau was residing on. You would expect feminists to be outraged for how the FBI treated Mrs. Aenk during their unwarranted search of her property, but I doubt that the “social justice” advocates will be doing that anytime soon. For those of you who might not understand the implied significance of this event, it is a first-hand eyewitness description of what actual tyranny and oppression looks like in a real police state, as opposed to a fake grievance like #Shirtstorm. The included pictures depict Mrs. Aenk being handcuffed with her arms behind her back and a coat over her shoulders; the screenshots are taken from the surveillance footage at the ranch.
The violation of personal freedom and security coupled with the feeling of helplessness is overwhelming me. The emotions are still very raw and probably will be for a long time. The distrust of any person in law enforcement makes me tremble knowing they can desecrate their oath and the laws in obedience with the Constitution.
I have been raped without them touching my genitalia. I no longer feel safe or secure within the walls of my home or boundaries of my property. They have taken from me what I can never get back.
Traumatized by the massive intrusion, the eight dogs on my property are still on edge, which helps to enhance the feeling of uneasiness in the atmosphere of my property. When they bark, I jump, wondering if the federal government is sending the goon squad back into my home.
We don’t usually have traffic on our easement road way out here in the boondocks, especially during the winter months, but since the raid, every day and throughout every night, we now have a high volume of traffic. It is a constant reminder that at any time the federal government can invade my home, can rape my security, and then say: “Trust me, I’m here to protect you.” Then, they vilify you in the court of public opinion in the media to suit their agenda, not caring that you are left with the aftermath of slander, gossip, and innuendo, as the fear of the unknown tries to grip your soul, rip it out of your body and hold high in the air as if it were a trophy.
It is late on Sunday morning on December 6, 2015. It doesn’t know if it wants to rain or sleet right now and the sound on the roof sounds like pellets biting the tin in pea sized pellets, then quiets down to soft rain drops giving a peaceful feeling that all is well. Then the pellets hit the tin roof again, crescendoing back and forth.
My husband Allen, and our friend Schuyler, are 280 miles away retrieving a rescue dog with one stop left to meet with one of Schuyler’s buddies on their way home. Allen calls to tell me that they had just left Seattle and are about to get onto Interstate 90 to go to Snoqualmie Pass to meet Schuyler’s buddy. They should be home for supper.
I always feel a sense of insecurity when Allen isn’t home so I decide to busy myself with the rest of the morning doing household chores, secure in knowing that he will be home in about six hours with a beautiful new German Shepherd. I’m already in my torn up, gray sweat suit, cleaning the house, thinking a shower is going to feel good after finishing up. Then, I hear the dogs outside begin to bark a strange bark.
When I walk over to the security monitor I can’t see what is going on but I can see a couple of vehicles parked almost out of the view of the camera, so I look out the kitchen window for a better view. I see several black SUV’s, a couple white ones and several men walking around on the other side of the vehicles but I can’t make out who they are or what they are doing. They are just beyond the seeing eye of the security camera so I look harder.
My six kenneled German Shepherd dogs are barking profusely, trying to get up and over their eight foot fences to get at whomever is out on the easement road. My inside dogs are now barking and beginning to scratch at the front door, wanting out. My calm, 130 pound German Shepherd Military War dog, Major, is now going in to what I call “Soldier mode”and becoming almost overly protective. I call Allen but he isn’t answering his phone. That’s strange. He usually always answers. I try again. No answer.
What happens next occurs amongst a plethora of emotions. I see two squads of men in full black battle dress, fully armed with rifles, pistols and other weapons running up the drive way with one squad coming around the house to the back door. At the same time, I see another squad of the same type of uniformed men going around some of the kennels to the outbuildings. By the time I hang up the phone, the first squad of men are at my back door. My first thought is, “Oh God, I’m going to die”. I begin to get in a defensive mode. I didn’t see the third squad of men until I saw the playback of the video surveillance. There were about 25 men in full battle dress uniforms scattered all over the place.
Major is standing in front of me almost pushing me down, wanting me to sit. My head begins to spin. I can’t sit, I can’t stand, I can’t run and there is no place to hide even if I could run. Major jumps on me forcing me to the floor as he stands his giant body next to mine growling at the back door. I can see the hackles begin to form on the back of his fur and the foam from his mouth begin to drip in anticipation. His focus is on the back door as the muscles in his body begins to tense. Fear begins to creep into my heart.
The whole back area of the house begins to explode in violent bangs from an object crashing against the door. The door and walls shake and the pounding continues. I hear “Open the door, FBI, open the door!” Several men are yelling as the banging continues, shaking the walls violently.
I stand and run to the door trying to open it as Major tries to push me back down to keep me from the door. I make it to the door but whatever they are using to smash into the door has twisted the deadbolt to where I can’t unlock the door. BAM! More pounding and more yelling. I yelled back, “I can’t open the door, you bent the dead bolt. Go around to the front door and I’ll let you in!” BAM! More pounding and more yelling: “FBI, open the door!” I yelled back, “I can’t. You’re breaking my door!” BAM!
All three dogs are at the back door growling and snarling just waiting for whoever these men are so they can teach them a lesson. My body begins to shake in terrified sensations. I think to myself, “Are they really FBI or are these guys just pretending to be FBI? Should I go into defensive mode? If I do, will they kill me?” Then the back door breaks open and I feel a hand grip my arm with even more yelling and a deafening “BOOM!” as I’m being yanked out into the freezing rain in my house slippers. I hear many loud voices yelling in my face, “FBI, Get your hands up! Hands up, NOW!” I comply as I’m being pushed against the side of the house and my hands handcuffed behind my back. They’re flash banging just inside the threshold and my dogs scatter out the door while the men enter my home and Major stays by my side. “Major, NO! Down by me.” As Major begins to attack the man handcuffing me. Major sits by my legs, keeping an eye on the man who is manhandling his handler.
“What are you doing? Who are you? I didn’t do anything! What do you want? Why are you here?” I’m catching myself yelling over and over, as this man pushes me underneath the awning where the rain is pouring from the roof, making sure my body gets drenched. I hear several more bangs and see a couple of flashes from the windows as I try to look inside my house.
The man calmly introduces himself to me as an FBI agent, and they’re here to serve a Search Warrant, giving me no name other than “agent”. I count eight flash bangs inside the house. The following is my recollection of the exchange that ensued:
- Me: “Search Warrant for what? We don’t have anything worthy of a warrant.”
- Agent: “All of your questions will answered shortly. Is there anybody else in the house?”
- Me: “No! But you already know that.”
- Agent: “Is there anybody else on the property?”
- Me: “No! But you already know that, too.”
- Agent: “We’re here for Schuyler Barbeau.”
- Me: “He isn’t here. What makes you think he‘s here?”
- Agent: “We know, he’s already in custody.”
- Me: “Then why are you here? Is he alright? Where is Allen? What are you doing to them? Why are you really here?”
- Agent: “The Special Agent in charge will answer all of your questions when he comes in.”
- Me: “Where is he? Why isn’t he here? What’s his name? Where’s Allen? Where’s Schuyler? If they’re already in custody, why are you here?”
One more flash bang is heard as I walk out from under the awning pouring water on me like a shower and walk toward the door.
- Agent: “You can’t go in there until we clear the house.” The Agents rifle was pointed at me as if I’m some sort of criminal.
- Me: “I’m cold and now I’m wet. Unless I‘m under arrest, you cannot detain me.”
The Agent sees a sweater just inside the door, grabs it from the hook and drapes it over my shoulders when I see one of my dogs that was supposed to be kenneled in my peripheral view, then he’s gone. I run to the edge of the porch and down the steps to get my dogs back inside their kennels but I’m thrown to the ground before I can go any further, landing in the icy mud.
- Me: “Why are you letting my dogs out of their kennels? You have no right to let them out.”
The Agent stands me up and explains that I can’t go anywhere without him and that things will go a lot easier on me if cooperate.
- Me: “What’s there to cooperate with? You’ve just invaded my home for no legitimate reason and I’m supposed to be all nice and friendly! Really?”
- Agent: “Can you help put the dogs in the kennels, since they know you and get the rest of the dogs contained?”
- Me: “Yes but it’s hard to do with my hands cuffed behind my back. Am I being detained?”
- Agent: “Just walk slowly on this ice and help us get the dogs back in.”
- Me: “Am I being detained?” as I’m walking toward the kennels.
- Agent: “No. You are not being detained.”
- Me: “Then why am I in handcuffs?”
- Agent: “It’s for our safety.”
- Me: “Oh, so then I AM being detained.”
I’m doing what is asked to insure that my dogs are safe from the agents and possibly them from getting nervous and trigger happy. Gideon, the ranch dog, is nowhere to be found and Major is avoiding any and all contact with the agents. He is beginning to run around the area in a confused state, growling at any agent that looks at him.
The agent in charge of “protecting” his fellow agents from me is helping me secure the dogs in the kennels. Since my hands are behind my back, all I can do is call the dogs over to me. Gunner, Schuyler’s dog, is secured in the last kennel. Major is the only unsecured dog other than the lost Gideon.
As I walk back to the house, I ask the agent on “protection detail” if I can call my attorney.
- Agent: “No, not until the property is secure.”
- Me: “Then I’m being detained.”
- Agent: “No, you’re not being detained.”
- Me: “Then why am I in cuffs? Why can’t I call my attorney? Can I leave?”
- Agent: “No, you can’t leave.”
- Me: “But I’m not being detained…got it.”
When I get back to the house, I walk straight over to the phone and turn my back to it so my fingers can call my attorney’s cell phone. The Agent sees what I’m doing and takes the phone out of the cradle so I can’t use the phone.
“Not being detained…yeah…right…” as I plop myself down in the only chair left in the upright position.
Three of the four entrance doors are left open while the wood stove tries to do its job to keep the house warm. I’m angry. I’m scared. I’m worried about Allen and Schuyler when a man in regular clothes comes into the living room and introduces himself as Special Agent Michael Baldino from the Seattle office of the FBI. He explains to me that Schuyler has been arrested for possession of an unregistered firearm and that he is here to execute a search warrant of my property to look for explosives. He asks me if I know where the blasting caps are.
I hear several very loud bangs outside like what I had heard inside my house. When I look outside, I see some of the men throwing something at the dog kennels and then a loud bang and flash. The dogs jump. The men laugh. I hear the agent that is guarding me say something into his mouth piece and the men stop laughing and walk away from the kennels. I have to control my breathing to try and remain calm.
- Me: “Huh? What blasting caps? What are you talking about? There are no explosives or blasting caps on the property unless you count what your men have just done to my property and dogs.”
- Baldino: “In a few minutes an explosives dog will be here and we will know for sure.”
- Me: “Just so you know, there’s an explosives dog in my main bathroom. So if you bring your dog in, be aware that my dog in there.”
I had to place Major in the bathroom for his safety. One of the FBI agents was trying to follow Major around and I was afraid that the agent would try and claim that Major attacked him to give him a reason to shoot my dog.
Agent Baldino was trying to be polite as he asked a great many questions about Schuyler and explosives. I don’t know anything about explosives and Schuyler didn’t talk to me about explosives other than what he did in the Marine Corps and I didn’t understand any of that kind of talk, either. After about 45 minutes of asking questions of me and me not having any knowledge of what he was asking about, he walked out of the house.
I sat in the living room…shivering. I don’t know if I was shivering from being wet and cold, or out of fear, or both. My body begins to shake as the magnitude of the situation launches into my brain along with the wet and cold. I ask the agent if he could take the handcuffs off of me. They were tight and hurting my wrists since I’m not being detained and all. He told me that I would have to wait.
The longer I sit here, the more concerned I am for Allen and Schuyler. My mind is reeling on what is really going on. It makes no sense to me that if Schuyler is in possession of an unregistered firearm and he’s in custody, why are they asking about explosives? He has a pistol and that’s registered in his name so what game are they playing with Schuyler? Why do they have Allen?
Special Agent Baldino comes back into the room and asks me if I had ever seen Schuyler with a rifle. My reply is: “What rifle? Again, the only weapon I have seen Schuyler with is a side arm.”
He asks me if I have seen a rifle case. “I don’t know what one looks like. If he has one, I don’t know what it looks like. I never went inside where he lives. I‘m thinking I need my attorney if I‘m going to be questioned. If you have him in custody on a charge of possessing a rifle, why don‘t you have the rifle? Am I under arrest?”
- Baldino: “You are not under arrest. I’m not here for you.”
- Me: “You just said that I‘m not under arrest. So am I being detained?”
- Baldino: “No.”
- Me: “But I do have the right to remain silent. I’ve already asked to call my attorney and was denied. Why am I in handcuffs if I‘m not being detained or under arrest?”
The agent left without answering me.
Approx. 11⁄2 to 2 hours into the raid, several men came in to the house to talk to the agent that was guarding me. After the private conversation, the Agent asked a man if he could take the handcuffs off of me. “As long as you don’t think she will try anything. She’s your responsibility.”
The agent asks me to stand up and turn around where he takes the handcuffs off of me. The agent tries to make polite conversation so I talk to him about the ranch and what we do to rescue horses and German Shepherd dogs, steering off of Schuyler and the situation at hand.
The phone rings and the agent allows me to answer it. My cousin, who owns the property, is calling to ask if we are okay because the neighbor that lives past our home was stopped and questioned by the FBI, then escorted to his house. All of the neighbors are being escorted past our house. The feeling of humiliation came over me as if I was the one that did something illegal. I became even angrier.
Approximately ½ hour later, Allen calls in. I can hear in his voice that he’s shaken up and worried about Schuyler. He explains to me what happened about 280 miles away when he and Schuyler were detained and the FBI took Schuyler into custody. Then I tell him about the raid at the ranch. I can hear the anger in his voice as he tries to figure out what is really going on.
After I’m sitting in my living room for several more hours, Agent Baldino comes back in to the house to inform me that he has completed his search and most of the agents have already left. He said that he found nothing other than a few items in accordance with the warrant but not what he was really looking for. He said that he found nothing that could incriminate Allen or myself and apologized for the inconvenience. He said that I should get on with my day as if nothing has happened. He left me with copies of the warrants and what they “seized.“ And they all left. The whole raid lasted approximately five hours.
A neighbor called to tell me that he’s bringing over one of my dogs. Gideon has not come home so I assumed it was him, but it was Gunner. The feds had let him out of the kennel, again. Gideon finally did come home.
The following morning, at about 11:15 a.m. A black SUV with government plates parked just out of camera range as another SUV joined it. They sat on our easement road for several hours then left.
In the late afternoon, on Tuesday, December 8, Allen and I went in to Spokane to talk to our lawyer about what happened. After the meeting, we grabbed a bite to eat. While eating, we received a phone call telling us not to go home for awhile because there were about nine white government SUV’s at our property just sitting there. Although our emotions are running high and uncontrollable fear gripped us, we decide to go home, anyway. We need to be there in case the feds are pulling another raid. By the time we arrived home, (about 11⁄2 hour drive), there were no vehicles to be seen yet that does not stop the overabundance of emotions we both feel.
When Allen arrived home, he encouraged me to write down everything I could remember while it was still fresh in my mind.
Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive statement of what occurred.
/s/ Carrie Aenk December 13, 2015