If It Sounds Unbelievable, It Probably Is
The other day, Will and a whole host of other bloggers linked to this Washington Times op-ed on the federalization of criminal law (which is, in fact, a big problem). Central to the story was the Congressional testimony of a man who claimed to have spent two years in prison “because he didn’t have the proper paperwork for some of the many orchids he imported.”
One problem: this wasn’t quite true, as Ken of Popehat discovered with the magic of a PACER account. It seems the guy was fully aware of the legality of his actions, which involved knowingly smuggling endangered species and taking some fairly obvious steps to conceal those orchids from detection. Whether this warranted a full-scale armed raid to execute a search warrant is, of course, another issue entirely. But the point is that this guy did a lot more than making an innocent mistake on his paperwork.