Originally published December 13 2013
Minnesota judge dismisses phony charges against raw milk farmer Mike Hartmann
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Despite its relentless attempts, the corrupt Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has once again failed to maliciously destroy the business of dairy farmer Mike Hartmann, who freely exercises his right to sell raw milk and raw milk products directly from his farm in Gibbon. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) reports that Sibley County District Court Judge Erica H. McDonald recently dismissed five of six phony criminal charges brought by the state earlier this year against Hartmann, who has been a target of the state for several years.
As you may recall, raw milk from Hartmann's farm was illegally confiscated back in 2010 at a drop point in Minnetonka by MDA agent Jim Roettger, who has earned for himself quite the reputation in local food circles as a heartless enemy of food freedom. In a video posted to YouTube, Roettger can be seen loading thousands of dollars' worth of raw milk that he stole into his red Jeep, which ironically bears an illegitimate handicap placard on the rear-view mirror:
Fast forward a few years and Hartmann and his customers are still being harassed by the MDA, with Roettger and his minions leading this taxpayer-funded oppression. On December 4, 2012, Minnesota state troopers pulled Hartmann over, at the behest of the MDA, later claiming that they did so because his vehicle tag was missing or out of date. They proceeded to illegally search his vehicle and seize raw milk and cheese that was present inside the vehicle, charging him with two criminal violations.
Just days later, state officials used the raw milk contraband they obtained during their illegal search of Hartmann's vehicle to acquire a search warrant for his farm, which they reportedly executed on January 9. From this search they tacked on several more criminal charges, bringing the total number in the case to six.
But these charges were eventually dismissed on the grounds that the state illegally searched Hartmann's vehicle. Not only had Hartmann not been illegally operating a commercial vehicle without a tag as claimed by MDA officials and their state trooper friends, but the state itself acted in violation of the law by illegally searching Hartmann's vehicle without probable cause, in the same way that corrupt troops of the state might search private property under a dictatorship.
"In granting the suppression motion filed by Hartmann and his attorney Zenas Baar, Judge McDonald held that while the initial stop was legal, Heyman's searches of the truck were not because there was no probable cause that Hartmann had committed any crime," explains FTCLDF. "Since it was the illegal search of the truck that led to the execution of the search warrant on the Hartmann's farm, the judge also held that any evidence obtained from the January 9 search was inadmissible as evidence."
Minnesota farmers under constant persecution by rogue state Though a notable victory against Minnesota's aggressive and ongoing persecution of those who dare to produce and distribute nutrient-dense foods, the food freedom fight is hardly over in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Roettger and his cronies have made it clear that they intend to keep pursuing those with any connection to raw dairy products, as well as meat and other farm-fresh fare not officially inspected and approved by the state.
Just months after the Hartmann incident, Roettger helped initiate a raid on Traditional Foods Minnesota, a Minneapolis-based food club that does not even sell raw milk products. According to The Complete Patient, more than 60 different products were stolen by the state, none of which included raw milk, and the club has since remained out of commission.
"The MDA made a big part of its overall mission the destruction of anyone who had any connection to raw dairy, and nutrient-dense foods in general, totally apart from Hartmann," explains food freedom advocate David Gumpert about the ongoing persecution of Minnesota farmers.
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