More Scenes from the Drug War: Terrance Huff vs. The Brigands of Collinsville, Ilinois
William Norman Grigg
In December 2011, Ohio native Terrance Huff, a professional filmmaker, was waylaid near Collinsville, Illinois by a state-licensed brigand named Michael Reichert. After concocting a reason to stop Huff, Reichert (who has been fired twice after being placed on the “Brady List”) fell into his well-practiced routine of inventing "probable cause" to search the vehicle for evidence of drug possession or, failing that, something he could steal.
Reichert, of course, is a professional liar, which helps explain why he is a decorated officer with the Collinsville Police Department. From the moment he spied the rental car Reichert had "forfeiture" -- that is, armed robbery -- on his mind, and when Huff balked at consenting to the unwarranted search, Reichert insisted that because Huff's passenger looked "nervous" consent wasn't necessary. The costumed predator said that the car would be impounded and that Huff would be "given a ride" (that is, shackled and abducted) by a fellow tax-feeder if the search wasn't allowed.
Despite doing his formidable best to prompt his drug dog to "alert," Reichert failed to find evidence of drug possession. This was miraculous, given that Reichert has admitted, for the record, that he has planted drug "evidence" on vehicles parked in front of motels along the interstate. Collinsville is located in a particularly lucrative "forfeiture corridor" along interstate highway 70.
Huff created two short films depicting his experiences with Reichert and his criminal clique -- "Breakfast in Collinsville," and "Lodging in Collinsville." Along with his friend Jon Seaton, who had been his passenger during the encounter in Collinsville, Huff filed a lawsuit against Reichert and the agency employing him. In April, they were awarded a $100,000 settlement.
In a commendable act of public service, Huff has used a portion of that settlement to produce another short film, "Forfeiture in Collinsville," which describes how police and prosecutors in that small town, working with their equally corrupt and predatory comrades in California, conspired to steal the life savings of Robert Stahl, a Ohio native and pioneering computer engineer.
Mr. Stahl, a medicinal cannabis user in California, was ambushed by police in Collinsville en route to Ohio to be with his dying father. A traffic jam resulted in a detour into that town and an overnight stay in a Motel 6. His car was in one of the parking lots in which Reichert would plant drug evidence as part of what he called "training" exercises. Staff at several local motels have "cooperated" with the police by making anonymous reports of "suspicious" customers who pay cash for their lodging and drive vehicles with out-of-state license plates.
The system of surveillance, anonymous accusation, and utterly lawless behavior by police described in this video is worthy of East Germany. Huff and Seaton survived their encounter without suffering imprisonment or significant financial injury. Mr. Stahl, like many thousands of others, was not so fortunate. Outrages of this kind happen every single day on highways across the soyuz.
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