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January 23, 2015 - 10:47am

DEVELOPING: Feds raid residence on Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Midmorning some time, agents of Homeland Security, Secret Service, ICE and State Police raided a residence at 3618 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia.

The agents arrived in multiple vehicles including two black vans.

While we were on scene, agents were pulling out large and small green branches. It looked for all the world like they had cut up the family Christmas tree and were stuffing it into large black bags.

An agent on scene said, "I can't tell you anything, except those are not Christmas tree branches."

Agents also carried out boxes.

When we asked a Homeland Security investigator if we could talk to the scene commander, he said we would need to contact the public information office for information. He provided a phone number. That number is nothing but an endless loop of voice prompts, making it impossible to speak to a real person or even leave a message.

We're are continuing to try and track down further information.  

UPDATE 11:02 a.m.: Reviewing my pictures from the scene at higher magnification on the computer, the branches appear to be marijuana plants stripped of leaves (one branch still has some leaves on it, and they look like marijuana leaves). Will have pictures posted shortly.

UPDATE noon: Karen Wisnowski, spokeswoman for Homeland Security in Buffalo, confirmed there is an ongoing investigation in a joint operation between Homeland Security, Secret Service and State Police, but could not comment further. She said the case is under a court-ordered seal at this time. More information will be released once the seal is lifted.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: We checked in with Karen Wisnowski. No new information available yet.

Ed Hartgrove
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Howard: As you have been in the "journalist" field for some time, I was just wondering if you could give me your opinion on something.

You wrote, "The agents arrived in multiple vehicles and with two black vans."

My question is:
In the "olden days", when reporting the news entailed using paper, ink, man-hours setting type, etc., would the last 5 words in the referenced sentence (and with two black vans) have been printed?

As "two black vans" would already be included in the "multiple vehicles" phrase, I would think a "hard-copy" newspaper would not waste the extra ink, paper, etc. on that addition.

Just wondering if you had an opinion on that.

Ed Hartgrove
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HUH!!!
10 minutes to get a minus vote on a purely respectable, and high-priorty, question.
I truly don't understand some people.

Oops, Sorry, Howard! Guess maybe you could've provided the "minus".

;)

Now, I'd expect minuses on THIS comment. Wail away!

Jack Dorf
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"High priority question" ...lol... Ed you been smokin that Christmas tree again?

Billie Owens
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This certainly seems like a big joint operation!

Ed Hartgrove
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Actually, Jack, that part was (apparently) a weak attempt at humor.

But, the original question was real.

Scott Ogle
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I've always found It's pot luck in comments.

Nick Taranko
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Ed,

I'd say they were important words, as "large black vans" have a different import than simply "multiple vehicles". Vans imply large quantities of something that need to be removed, while vehicles implies a simple arresting of individuals.

And a print paper would also add the same items, I believe. It's an important delineation.

Nick Taranko
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I've always said there needs to be a sarcasm font on the internet.

John Roach
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Ed, maybe your question was just stupid?

Ed Hartgrove
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OK, thanks, Nick.

And, btw, I never indulge in the early hours. Even 4:20 doesn't hold much sway for me.

Ed Hartgrove
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Legitimate questions, imo, are not stupid, John.

Some people? Maybe!

Gary Spencer
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Clearly, what is going in here is that the people living there were growing hemp to make rope. I think the feds should leave them alone.

Scott Birkby
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I'm guessing that the government agents stripped off the weed for themselves and confiscated the branches. At least they did their job of getting more people into the hands of the legal-prison complex.

Ed Hartgrove
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And, Nick. Your comment got me to wondering about another "pressing" matter.

It got me to thinking about the people who might buy the previously-police-owned vans at the "auctions". D'ya suppose such vehicles attract the drug-sniffing dogs when trying to visit Canada?

Thomas Mooney
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A complete waist of tax dollars . We could be taxing all that pot and it could actually help people . Instead we use agencies to the job that were not designed to do .

Where is the DEA ?

There were over 1million in salaries at the scene , so this cost the taxpayers big bucks for something that is legal is some states and is taxed .

make s zero sense especially when zero guns are involved

I feel so much safer knowing our homeland security is busting Pot growers instead of
protecting our boarders .As far as the Secret Service goes , was the president offended by the use of pot plants as Christmas tress so he sent his boys .

Stop the bleeding and trim all of these non performing agencies instead of waging a war on non violent criminals that will most likely take the prison bed of a child molester that was just released because of overcrowding

Nick Taranko
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Thomas - you're assuming it's only pot. Our laws are archaic on that, but as you noted, the complete lack of DEA involvement here is interesting.

Secret Service, ICE, and Homeland Security is a very odd and narrow range of people showing up. Will be interesting to see how this develops.

Brian Graz
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Jack Dorf
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Ed, I don't know what attempt at humor you are referring to.

Greg Siedlecki
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Homeland Security is a heading for a group of Agencies including US Custom and Border Protection. http://www.dhs.gov/department-components ... knowledge is king!

david spaulding
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Now the feds will take possession of this property and the accused's monetary assets.
Got to love our criminal justice system.... (yes, sarcasm intended)

Ed Hartgrove
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If that's the case, Jack, then, normally, I'd refer you to a later comment I made - but I won't.

Tina Causyn
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Ed,
You read the sentence wrong. The sentence said "The agents arrived in multiple vehicles including two black vans. The word "including" has a different meaning than "and with two black vans" It is describing what two of the "multiple vehicles" were.

Jack Dorf
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Ahh Ed you can say it I can take it. You need to not be so sensitive when we bust your balls.

alvin tufts
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Howard changes things without noting it all the time. There is no guarantee it was originally posted that way. Any corrections or modifications should be noted.

Ed Hartgrove
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You are correct, Tina. Thank you!

And, Jack. I have no intentions of calling you a joke. Not sure how that entered your thinking.

As for being sensitive about someone busting my balls, trust me, it doesn't bother me.

And, just in case Howard reads this comment, I still would like to know his opinion on my original question (even though Tina C cleared up my reading comprehension problem).

As Albert Einstein once said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

Mark Potwora
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homeland security to bust a pot grower..totally crazy....what is the point of having city county and state police...just another layer of government costing us all more money,,

Jason Crater
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Or we could focus on the content of the article instead of highlighting spelling/grammar/syntax/etc errors.

John Roach
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Homeland Security just for a drug raid? I doubt it. There is probably more to this that will come out later.

jeff saquella
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I think jack's comment was funny....ed's question seemed more nitpicking than anything else

Ed Hartgrove
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Actually, Tina, in comment #1, I copied & pasted the sentence directly from the original article. And, originally, it did not say "including two black vans". Someone at headquarters must've changed it.
So, I hereby withdraw my "reading comprehension" remark.

And, now I've got a headache (from the Florida heat, not this thread), so, if you'll excuse me, ...

Oh, in case anyone is wondering, heat is that invisible thing NY'ers have to go inside to find - not so, down here.

:>●

Billie Owens
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I edit stories, including those already published. This is my job. I don't always catch mistakes or poor sentence structure the first go round. Readers can be helpful in this regard. Nothing dubious at work, just this old newshound.

Billie Owens
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P.S. -- I've always needed all the help I can get and that's not likely to change.

Brian Graz
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So, what's up with this story? There is no other info showing in any web search/news media... ???

Even the WHAM post has been redacted.

Homeland security, others raid Batavia house January 23 ...
http://m.13wham.com/article?id=13709450&categoryid=1096&election=0&provi...
5 hours ago - Batavia, N.Y. - Multiple law enforcement agencies raided a home in ... executed at a residence on Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road around 9 ...

I did hear on WBEN Radio news that no one was arrested.

Scott Ogle
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"So, what's up with this story?"

It must be a conspiracy! Run from the incoming FEMA camps!

Ed Glow
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Well my curiosity is certainly at an "all time high" right about now! Sorry... I couldn't resist.

With all of the departments that showed up, along with the ones that weren't invited, I can't wait to find out what this is all about. There must be some specific charges going down here to not invite anybody from the county, and I'm also quite curious as to why Google spits out no hits on this news item other than links back to here.

Oh well... stay tuned and don't touch that dial folks!! You heard it here first once again, and Howard's pictorial evidence certainly can't be disputed.

Raymond Richardson
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Well it's obvious if Homeland Security is involved there must be suspected activity at this house that threatens national security.

Nancy Clark
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appears house is owned by Call's - wondering if it was being used for migrant housing and I say a lot more to the story than we all know.

Brian Graz
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Ahhhhhhhhhhh... I bet those were Cilanro plants for making Salsa.

Ed Glow
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It's got to be far more than just migrant housing and there's no doubt the "greenery" that was confiscated in the pictures was just an added bonus to what they were really there for.

The Secret Service doesn't get involved with small time stuff like illegal immigrants or drug busts. There's a whole lot more going on here than we're going to hear about until after it's a done deal. And even then we probably won't hear everything.

Howard B. Owens
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The reason there are no other news reports is The Batavian was the sole news outlet in WNY tipped to this raid going down (it's great to have good sources). We were the only news outlet at the house.

Since none of the agencies involved are talking, it is very difficult for other news outlets to follow up.

Only WBTA and 13WHAM have the story because they're official news partners and we openly share information. I was on the phone with both outlets while still on scene.

It's no conspiracy theory. It's just how the news business works.

I've heard all kinds of rumors, even one that sounds credible that explains the Secret Service being there, but I don't spread rumors on The Batavian.

We'll just have to wait until the indictment is unsealed. It will be unsealed when an arrest is made. An arrest will be made when authorities believe they have secured enough evidence to assure conviction. (Heck, there may already be an arrest or arrests, just not all involved yet. I don't know.)

I will say, I do have information on background only that indicates this case is bigger than this one location. But again, we'll have to wait and see when information comes out.

I'll follow up Monday, but since this is a federal case, I wouldn't be surprised if we don't learn anything for weeks, if not months.

Doug Yeomans
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The secret service would get involved if there was counterfeiting going on. From the secretservice.gov website.

What types of crimes does the Secret Service investigate?

The Secret Service has primary jurisdiction to investigate threats against Secret Service protectees as well as financial crimes, which include counterfeiting of U.S. currency or other U.S. Government obligations; forgery or theft of U.S. Treasury checks, bonds or other securities; credit card fraud; telecommunications fraud; computer fraud, identify fraud and certain other crimes affecting federally insured financial institutions.

Kyle Couchman
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As Doug said .... Financial crimes are what the Secret Service was created to do. Protecting the POTUS and other Officials while important is secondary to it's established mission...

1865 The Secret Service Division was created on July 5, 1865 in Washington, D.C., to suppress counterfeit currency. Chief William P. Wood was sworn in by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch.

1867 Secret Service responsibilities were broadened to include "detecting persons perpetrating frauds against the government." This appropriation resulted in investigations into the Ku Klux Klan, non-conforming distillers, smugglers, mail robbers, land frauds, and a number of other infractions against the federal laws.

for more info you can check...

http://www.secretservice.gov/history.shtml

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