From the February 2003 Idaho Observer:

Flathead County Cabal: A crime that fears detection

Man with hard evidence of high-level vice unable to get out of jail

By The Idaho Observer

What happens when your local government is a crime that fears detection? What happens when it is discovered that local officers and officials are operating a drug and prostitution ring and there are unexplained murders possibly associated with it?

What happens when local citizens of Flathead County, Montana begin to investigate these crimes and bring legal actions to expose them and hold the perpetrators accountable? What happens when you are a licensed process server who serves the civil papers of those law suits?

What happens when you were part of the local Search and Rescue Team until the currently elected Sheriff removed you; you are a licensed snowmobile guide and have an extensive knowledge of the local backcountry; a 14-year-old boy is lost hunting in dangerous winter conditions; the Sheriff doesn't call you because you've been serving civil process on the Sheriff and his cronies in crime; the Sheriff calls inept deputies instead; the boy dies; and you send a scathing e-mail to numerous parties, exposing the Sheriff to further scandal before his upcoming election?

Dave Burgert found out -- the hard way.

It wasn't enough to have Flathead County Deputy Snyder physically assault Dave and his friend Bob Cesnik at Dave's home after a traffic incident. It didn't matter that the incident was initiated without probable cause and two State police officers testified that they never saw Dave assault Deputy Snyder. Dave was charged with assaulting an officer in county court. But the criminals in office had to do more to silence Dave.

Dave was called by an attorney to serve a summons. He was driving to meet with the attorney and private investigator who would assist in the service of the summons with information about the respondent. Just as he was to meet with them, they were pulled over by Kalispell City Officers. Dave pulled over on a side street a 100 yards away and began reviewing the documents to be served, while the police finished detaining the PI and the attorney. As Dave was standing beside his vehicle reading the documents, Kalispell police officer Carville walked up and sprayed him with an entire large can of OC-10, an industrial strength pepper spray made of Oleoresin Capsicum. The manufacturer recommends that it be used for only one to one-and-a-half seconds from a distance of ten feet. Otherwise, it might be fatal.

Officer Carville emptied a full can into Dave's face at point blank range. Deputy Snyder, who was under court order not to have any contact with Dave after the assault incident, came from behind Dave and hyper-extended Dave's arm while both officers took him down. Never mind that Dave was already twitching spasmodically from the OC-10. On the way to the police car Dave fell down from the spasms caused by the OC-10. This lead to charges of “resisting” arrest.

What do distributors of OC-10 say about its effects? “OC, or Pepper Spray, is an inflammatory agent; not an irritant. When someone is sprayed with OC pepper spray, the person's eyes slam shut. Even if someone does manage to get their eyes open, they won't be able to see because OC dilates the capillaries and causes temporary blindness. Additionally, instant inflammation of the breathing tissues restricts all but life support breathing. They double over coughing uncontrollably. A 6-8 foot range is plenty. Most defensive sprays are also classified by the number of one-second bursts. A good 1-2 second burst will disable almost any assailant. In all cases, it is critical to hit the attacker in the face!”

Remember, Dave had an entire can sprayed directly into his face. Why? As a licensed process server, he was about to serve legitimate court papers at the request of an attorney. The arresting officers committed a felony by interfering with court process. What did he do to cause his arrest? The job he was licensed to perform by the state.

The Attorney and the PI videotaped the spraying and arrest of Dave. Kalispell Police Chief Frank Garner arrived at the scene, confiscated the video and told them it was illegal to video tape police officers. The police would later erase the tape and turn it over to the FBI.

It was not enough to Pepper spray Dave, drag his spasming body into the back of a patrol car and call his convulsions resisting arrest. Dave was taken to the police station where no effort was made to wash off the OC-10. The video taken of Dave in the Jail booking area shows Dave sitting on a bench spitting and involuntarily excreting bodily fluids. And not just fluids. Dave's skin is peeling off his face from the OC-10.

Twenty-thirty minutes after being sprayed Chief Garner comes in and tells Dave he needs to cooperate. Two deputies stand Dave up to search him but he's blind, can't stand up and falls over. They put a canvas bag over his head and a bungee cord around his neck. Chief Garner comes back and again tells Dave he has to cooperate while Dave has the canvas hood bungeed around his head. All before there is any attempt made to wash off the OC-10.

Dave eventually received a copy of the booking video. The Kalispell police also had another video problem. The FBI sent the PI's confiscated and erased video to the NSA for deep tape recovery. The FBI sent copies of the recovered video showing Dave's spraying and arrest to Dave and the Kalispell Police.

What happens when hundreds of copies of videos showing Dave's torture by the Kalispell Police are made and sent out to many people including the Governor, the U.S. Attorney General, the news media and the Montana Human Rights Group? Nothing. And worse. The tapes were not allowed to be shown as evidence in the cases against Dave.

The media, apparently acting in concert with local authorities, also went into high gear against Dave. A story claiming Dave was a militia leader for a “Project Seven” with bombs, guns and a hit list to assassinate officials went out locally and nationwide. But there was no evidence. The story faded without a retraction, leaving Dave convicted in the press and the public's mind. The media would later claim the weapons and conspiracy to commit murder charges against Dave were dropped. But they were never filed for lack of evidence.

As the original county case proceeded against Dave, he requested a Public Defender (PD). Judge Curtis, who was alleged to be a cocaine dealer in some of the documents Dave had been serving, refused to appoint him one. Dave was originally released on his own recognizance, but instead, Judge Curtis revoked his O.R. release, required bail and put him under a monitored house arrest which cost Dave $300 a week for the monitoring.

Dave petitioned to a higher court for a PD, who ordered that he be provided with one. Attorney Lane Bennett was appointed and Dave tried repeatedly to see him but Bennett would not talk to him. Dave and Bennett were notified of an upcoming omnibudsman hearing on Dave's case. The procedural hearing did not require Dave's presence since his attorney would appear for him. Bennett did not appear, so a bail jumping warrant was issued for Dave's arrest.

Dave remained at large until he was spotted with a friend in a pick-up. A chase ensued and eventually they abandoned the truck. The friend was captured and held on $500,000 bail for assisting Dave. Dave continued to evade capture in a snowstorm. He was caught because he revealed himself when he saw that two deputies who were pursuing him were about to shoot each other in the blinding snowstorm. Dave was caught with a rifle but never pointed it at his pursuers.

The City case proceeded against Dave where he was found guilty by a jury of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer because he was sprayed with OC-10 and dragged into a patrol car. The court controlled jury was not allowed to see the videos which would have proven his innocence.

The county case against Dave was resolved by a plea bargain. There was no evidence Dave had assaulted Deputy Snyder. In fact, the State Policeman's testimony indicated that he had not. But Dave was coerced into a guilty plea on the bail jumping for time served and a very intrusive 10 year probation. The Bail jumping was from a case that didn't have any evidence to prosecute him with. Dave was sent back to jail to be processed out.

While in jail the Feds arrested him on federal charges of possessing an unregistered automatic weapon and a felon in possession of a weapon. The feds claim the military weapon he had when he was captured was capable of full-auto fire.

As a juvenile (17), Dave had stolen a horse overnight and returned it to the owner. The horses' owner didn't press charges but the state did. Dave served his sentence for this felony. In Montana, once you complete your sentence you are no longer a felon. But the Feds apparently don't recognize Montana law.

Neither do they recognize the Constitution or the Supreme Court. Under the Second Amendment, “...the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” In the 1934 U.S. v. Miller case, the Supreme Court essentially stated that the Second Amendment granted individuals the right to possess arms that were in use by the military.

Dave continues to be in federal custody. An innocent man, tortured by police officers and subjected to corrupted and criminal courts, has been a captive of gulag Amerika for over a year now. They are holding him because the local authorities are a crime which fears detection. And they pay for his incarceration with your taxes.

There is a tape of Flathead County Deputy Brad Parker asking a snitch to “plant baggies of dope and a sawed-off shotgun in Dave's truck.” This won't be necessary now, since the Feds have him on gun charges.

Meanwhile, the drug and prostitution ring can continue with impunity, while Dave decays in jail. He's had a stroke and a major tooth infection which went largely untreated. His Federal Defender is trying to get him moved to a federal hospital.

You may contact Dave and give him some words of support. His mail is monitored. If you write him, you must: 1) have a return address and name; 2) use his correct address with no other writing on the envelope; and 3) use a legal size envelope.

His address is:

Dave E. Burgert - 07636046
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

[address updated 03/08/03 - was Missoula]

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