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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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May 21, 2014 - 12:04 am
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It was early Friday morning, October 18, 2013, in Mission, Texas, just a few minutes before dawn. Joel Escamilla, a supervisor at a local paper plant, was just about to step through the front door of the home he and his wife built together 17 years ago, the home in which they raised their two daughters, and go to work, as he has done every weekday for years. His wife, Gracie, 51, had not gotten out of bed yet.

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The Escamillas’ world crashed in on them shockingly, when men dressed in black poured over their six-foot fence and into their front yard. The men converged on the front door and began pounding and demanding to be let in.

“I was in bed. I heard a loud noise, you know, somebody was breaking into my house,” Gracie says. “I came out [and stood] on my staircase, with only my underwear, no top. Afraid. I thought it was an invasion. A home invasion.”

In the border town of Mission, Texas, home invasions are all too common despite the federal government’s claims that the border is safer than ever. Mission is situated on the Texas border with Mexico just across the Rio Grande from Reynosa. Reynosa has been one of the epicenters of Mexico’s hyperviolent drug war. That drug war has spilled over into the border states, including a notorious firefight between U.S. law enforcement and cartel gunmen in Hidalgo County’s Chimney Park in 2011.

In its past, Mission was best known as legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry’s home town. In recent years, it has become more known for corruption and for being too close to the drug war on the south side of the river. Drug cartel operatives cross the border into Mission and even own homes and money laundering businesses there. Cartel muscle conducted a home invasion just over a block away from the Escamilla home a year before. Even the Hidalgo County sheriff’s federally funded Panama Unit engaged in illegal home invasions, crimes for which its members have been convicted and are now headed to federal prison on long sentences. “No one feels safe here,” Gracie says. They stay on in Mission because it is home, and because the cost of living farther north of border, in cities like Austin and San Antonio, is just too high. Mission used to be a haven for retirees on fixed incomes.

On the morning of October 18, Gracie and her family had every reason to fear the men outside.

“They jumped the gate,” Gracie says. “They all jumped. They broke our sprinkler system.” Soon they were disrupting the neighborhood quiet, pounding on the Escamillas’ front door.

“I feel that they could have called or something, you know. It was not necessary for them to jump the gate.”

The authorities had in fact interviewed Gracie twice before, across three days a few months earlier in 2013. They left a business card at her gate with a request that she call them. She did. Investigators asked her to come in for interviews, and she did. She says she was cooperative both times. Five months of silence followed those interviews.

The men outside pounded on the Escamillas’ door, said they were the police and demanded to be let into the house.

Joel’s first thought as he stood at the door was to get his handgun and defend his wife and daughter.

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Top Rated Comments   
One of the biggest problems that police officers face now is a general lack of trust in officers from the public. A big factor of this is how police are handling issues where they are being recorded while on duty, in uniform and in public. Officers won't always become belligerent, but there are many cases where they do.

If the police wish to return to a general level of trust with the public, then they need to institute a policy where all uniformed officers are being recorded when engaged with the public. After all, "if they have nothing to hide, they shouldn't fear it."
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your question implies racism, or something. The fact is, I had no idea what decorations were in their home before I went there to report this story. So kindly keep your insinuations to yourself.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Non-violent crime means non-violent arrest.

Using a SWAT-style raid for fraud means there’s a list of people including Judges that should have their sovreign immunity stripped to expose them directly to the civil suits.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (146)
All Comments   (146)
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I just found the photo, it is of a team going into the house of a guy who was mailing ricin to other folds. It took two minutes to find, just google "ricin fbi and tupelo ms". When the guy at the NYT put up a fake photo he got fired, wonder what will happen here.

And for the record, I am former USMC, I am currently on a SWAT team and I believe in the Constitution enough to go overseas and fight for it. How many of you can say you have done the same?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
This mad me angry enough to sign up and comment. The picture on the video is fiction. That is an FBI SWAT team, but how many guys put up crime scene tape prior to a raid (lower left of the photo). Also, they are wearing JSLIST suits and gas masks, which are used if there is chemical or bio agents present. Former military guys, how many of you are gonna wear MOPP suits when you don't have to do so? That picture is a lie. Also, the female defendant talks about a female being on the "raid." There are only two females in FBI SWAT, and one is the Team Leader so she is not talking to a defendant.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Clearly a disproportional engagement by order takers against a presumed innocent American citizen. The background order givers violated the protection accorded to every unconvicted American citizen by the American Constitution , something that the former *professor* /*reader* of constitutional law at Harvard would agree with - provided he understood what he was *lecturing*.
Sadly, it were Americans too who helped craft the Nuremberg Principle - a body of International Law - which states that order takers must not follow given orders if they are in conflict with the law ; i.e. the excuse "I was only following orders" does not absolve from guilt. And yet, here we are , tiny step by tiny step , finding it perfectly normal when federal employees circumvent International Law as well as the Constitution.
Stalin , Hitler and Mao would get a real good belly laugh if they could see 'freedom loving' and 'human rights' lecturing U.S.A. now. You see, they knew all about 'tiny step by tiny step' disproportionality' .
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
My first impression at reading this story is an outrage at the police force used. This is because of the shock of something like this occurring. I live in an area where, in the last two years raids have been done on several homes for whatever reasons. I live in an apt that is connected to several others and I can say that when I am sleeping and there is a noise like an explosion very near-it is absolutely terrifying. With my husband having a heart condition it made it very scary for me and it did not involve us, other than stay put and inside.

My second reaction is where are the objective facts, it sounds like it is just from the victims point of view. In the case near by, days later we found out it was involving possession of drugs and a military gun arsenal. It was done they way they did for their and neighbor protection.

I do not like the way the cops in many cases are treating citizens, but there are good and respectful cops too, but I think the reporter did an inadequate job of reporting and should update the facts to the story or repost the story all together, so less confusion would result.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
The SWAT raid was insane. There was no evidence these people would resist violently. As for whether they could be guilty, its possible. But then again, fed prosecutors rarely offer probation, with no jail time, for a serious charge, and get turned down, if they had really strong evidence.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nice to see several Useful Idiots posting here who are willing to suspend the presumption of innocence in favor of our militarized federal bureaucrats.

Remember the story a few years back when a SWAT team from the DoE descended on someone's home who was late on their student loan payback of student loans? And similar stories from other alphabet agencies that suddenly began using SWAT teams for administrative / bureaucratic crimes? Gibson Guitars. And I believe there was one involving NOAA. How did they operate before without specialized militarized equipment. huge ammo stocks and making their own arrests?

And yet we have posters here implying that treatment of the Mrs. Escamilla was appropriate, even reasonable, necessary. It Can't Happen Here, right?

G-d Bless the Escamillas. My prayers & thoughts are with your family. And G-d help the USA.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
OMG. The date of this report linked above: Oct. 23, 2013. Kudos to you Marla, for finding this report.

So why all the furor over this now, Bryan & Bill? Slow news day?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am just ashamed of PJMedia and specifically Bill Whittle. This type of over the top rhetorical YELLOW JOURNALISM is what I avoid the leftist media over.
The cops *knocked on the door*. The husband *opened the door*. The wife HEARD her husband opening the door to strangers but showed up at the top of the stairs half naked in the middle of the night.
And, I have to say something about the treatment of allegations of PROFESSIONAL identity theft as if it's a misdemeanor. EXCUSE ME!!! But, as the victim of identity theft for DECADES, it is NOT a minor issue and nor is it easy to find the perpetrators. Or arrest and charge them once found. "Oh, it's a 'white collar crime' so just send them a letter saying 'Please come down to the station so we can arrest you.'" Yeah, THAT'LL work.
I don't know if this woman is guilty or not, but NEITHER DO YOU, Bill Whittle!!!
I'm SO ANGRY over this I can't even think straight. I feel betrayed by one of my most trusted sources for accurate information. I'm just nauseous. I'm done. btw, they never caught the person who lived for decades using my Social Security # to buy houses and default on them, collect paychecks and establish a terrible work record, run up hospital bills she never paid and other ways she messed up my credit. I just thank God that it happened before the digital age so it was much easier to prove I was not her merely by showing that I was living and working several hundred miles away while she destroyed my credit and almost my entire life.
Oh, and I am a Grand mother, too. Whoopee dee doo. I can commit almost as many crimes now as I could have in my 20's.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your response is ridiculous.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Veteran with just a side arm? Where's the high velocity round?

I just can't figure out why so many Americans don't trust the government. The next thing you know, POTUS will make it easy for illegal alien criminals to enter American soil by declaring land along the border government property without Congress approval.

Sorry for the Escamilla's.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The next thing you know, POTUS will make it easy for illegal alien criminals to enter American soil by declaring land along the border government property without Congress approval."

Yea, just like this:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/21/new-national-monument-nm/

Unfortunately, he doesn't need Congressional approval to declare land as a "National monument." Read the article. This land is right on the border and the local Sheriff is NOT very happy right about now. : (

Those who are aware and informed about the blatant crimes and run-arounds of this current administration seem to be constantly ridiculed by those less informed. You may know them as the all-too-happy to be "useful idiots" of the current administration and it's corrupt branches.

As for the subject of this article, we'll just have to wait for more information. In the meantime, keep in mind the many stories that have come out in recent months concerning over-the-top displays of unreasonable searches and seizures.

It's happening and it's going to increase over time.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
And there will be people making money off of them by selling them other people's identities.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are stuck on your own situation. It does not apply to the issues discussed here.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Raids like this have to stopped. Why would a warrant for arrest for financial fraud call for early morning action, and a team of armed officers to be present? I have lost respect for the FBI, the DEA, the EPA, nearly all federal law enforcement departments over the raids on respectable guitar companies (Gibson Guitars), dairies, and similar companies that are being intimidated beyond all reason.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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