Couple Spied On, Raided and Kidnapped by Feds for Peaceful Posts Questioning Gov’t
A couple was ambushed, arrested and detained for 13 hours with no explanation before they learned that the evidence against them consisted of a stack of papers that contained detailed screenshots of posts from their social media accounts.
Sarah Leach said that she and her husband, Andrew, were ambushed and detained by police for more than 13 hours before they finally received an explanation for their arrest. The evidence the officers claimed to have against them came in the form of a previous error made by state police and a stack of papers that contained detailed screenshots of posts from their social media accounts.
“The raid was a result of two things, according to the Riverside Sheriff’s Investigator who interviewed me after having detained me for 13 hours without charges; the fact that they were aware that California Highway Patrol had seized, and then given back to us, high capacity pistol magazines to the prior year, something they are calling an error on CHP’s end. More disturbing were the stacks of printed pages from my social media accounts, particularly those things which criticize police and government overreach, police violence, my personal ideologies regarding self-governance and the inalienable rights we are afforded as human beings, and even memes and jokes they found, as parts of evidence to request a search warrant, including posts of a very subjective and ironic nature.”
Leach said the ordeal began when she and her husband were running errands one morning. After they parked at a strip mall and got out of their car, a patrol car from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department pulled up and blocked their path. Two deputies got out and informed the couple that one of the taillights on their car was out.
“We attempted to thank them and proceed, but were blocked from movement,” Sarah Leach said. “It was at that point I noticed a few others sheriff’s vehicles had arrived, including undercover vehicles. I realized this was not a traffic stop when I saw police agents in blue jeans with AR-15s surrounding the area. I began to record on my phone and inquire as to whether I was being charged, detained, or was free to go. They violently cuffed me, threw my phone on the hood of the car, and shoved me in the back of an un-air-conditioned police vehicle for about one hour until their supervisor arrived to begin questioning me about aforementioned magazines.”
After the pair were violently handcuffed, they spent the rest of the day in police custody, and while they were being treated like criminals, they were given little explanation about what crimes they had committed. During that time, a number of federal agencies worked together to raid the Leach’s home, seizing more than 100 personal items—all of which was obtained legally.