Can Anyone Save Amish Salve Maker Sam Girod from Rotting in Jail?

sam products 2

Sam Girod’s salve products

The feds came for Amish salve maker Sam Girod this morning, hauling him off to jail, where he very well could spend the rest of his life.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about Girod’s legal problems with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and how they worsened significantly over several years of regulatory tussles, to the point he was facing criminal charges carrying penalties of up to 48 years in prison.

The immediate cause of Girod’s arrest today was his failure to appear last August at a status conference on his case. Apparently because he had been released from jail on his own recognizance, in advance of his trial, he was required to appear personally at every hearing.

The arrest was first reported on Facebook by food and health activist Sally O’Boyle (better known as Sally Oh).

At a hearing this afternoon at a U.S. District Court in Lexington, KY, a prosecutor accused him of failing to appear for the August hearing. Girod, who represented himself, said he understood that an appeal he filed to a U.S. Appeals Court on one aspect of his case had placed the entire case in abeyance. The judge didn’t buy in, and ordered that Girod remain in jail until the trial begins in late February. There was also talk in comments by supporters at Sally Oh’s Facebook post, that the local sheriff in Girod’s county had failed to follow through on a commitment to challenge federal authorities who might come looking for the Amish salve maker.

Complicating the case further is the fact that Girod apparently separated from his lawyer some months ago. According to a friend of Girod’s, he became disillusioned and upset when the lawyer sought to negotiate a potential plea deal with prosecutors.

As in many plea deals, the arrangement had Girod spending a reduced amount of time in jail compared to what a judge might sentence him to if he were convicted in trial. According to the friend, “Sam kept asking, ‘What is the purpose of having a lawyer if he wanted me to take a deal, and not go to trial?’ ” It’s not clear if Girod objected to paying the much higher legal fees that would have undoubtedly been required for a trial, as opposed to a plea deal.

So now Girod seems likely to go to trial, representing himself, up against seasoned U.S. Justice Department lawyers. And he’ll have to prepare his defense from a jail cell.

Girod’s disdain of legal representation is typical of Amish farmers and other business people accused of violating criminal laws. They generally disdain lawyers as an evil component of the mainstream culture they spend their lives avoiding. In the process, though, they frustrate non-Amish who want to support individuals like Girod, who seems a victim of overly aggressive FDA enforcement.

The odds for Girod in a trial were never real good, considering the apparent animosity among the FDA agents against him. Now, the odds appear very high that the 56-year-old Amish father of 12 could well spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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58 Comments on "Can Anyone Save Amish Salve Maker Sam Girod from Rotting in Jail?"

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Alvin Schlangen
January 13, 2017 9:57 pm

Life in prison for making salve for his community? Are you serious, David? Is this maritime law or irs?

Ken Conrad
Ken Conrad
January 14, 2017 3:39 am

David,
What the so-called “Justice” Department is doing to Sam Girod and his family is miscarriage of justice.

Those attorneys do not deserve the title of, “Seasoned U.S. Justice Department lawyers”… More appropriately they should be referred to as sanctimonious Machiavellian mouthpieces working for a pharisaical, “justice” department. Do they not have a conscience?

To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr… Your legal power has outrun your spiritual power. You have guided lawyers and misguided men.

Steven Richards
Steven Richards
January 14, 2017 5:00 am

Have family learn (unlearn?) stuff discussed on imbatman57 conference call recordings, then pass it on in letters and/or during visitations? There’s also Marc Stevens w/ the “No State Project”, but seems he recommends making some claims, like claiming to “own” stuff.

Sally Oh
January 14, 2017 3:32 pm

I found imbatman57 on talk shoe. Anywhere else I can find him to learn more?

Steven Richards
Steven Richards
January 14, 2017 8:16 pm

He’s on skype… if you search the user directory you should find him… or add me: masterchiefa and i’ll put you in contact, plus maybe add you to a room or two where we discuss that stuff

Steven Richards
Steven Richards
January 14, 2017 8:16 pm

search the skype user directory for imbatman57 i mean

Richard Barrrett
Richard Barrrett
January 14, 2017 12:02 pm

If every Amish buggy could surround the jail for a day, this may get media coverage of a peaceful protest. Is there anyone close by that can organize this? Public pressure does work. The FDA and the CDC is so callouss and cruel that they even cause death. This is revealed in http://www.VaccinesRevealed.com which is showing now for free for the next 4 days. Shocking news!

Sally Oh
January 14, 2017 3:33 pm

We are mobilizing asap! Will keep David posted and he can share here!

Sally Oh
January 14, 2017 12:08 pm

And pissy is exactly how the FDA is behaving. This entire thing is retribution for Sam’s refusing a second warrant-less search of his property. He allowed the first one on the condition that the Feds not take photos. The Feds did take photos (shocking, right?) so Sam refused the 2nd one.

Yes, I fear that without representation — particularly an attorney who is experienced at voir dire (jury selection) — he will spend the rest of his life in jail.

What he does next is critical to his freedom. I’m worried.

lis
lis
January 14, 2017 2:26 pm

Staying out of their (maritime/statutory) jurisdiction is the only way to get remedy. Youtube Karl Lentz, common law claim.

I can show Sam’s family or someone from his town how to file a common law claim on his behalf BEFORE the hearing. Sam should say NOTHING in court and let his claim ride. The only question relevant is: “who’s the wo/man with a verified claim that i do harm?” In common law, it HAS to be a man or woman (State of xyz is a FICTION and cannot interface with man) to bring a claim against the wrondoer; thus, cannot bring charges against man. This is why they need to turn people into persons (fiction) and we are ignorant of the law.

Sam’s family or friend can contact me and i’ll show them how. I don’t live in the same state/town, so i can’t file for Sam.

Sally Oh
Andrew
Andrew
January 15, 2017 11:01 am

Please look into jerry nullification add part of a defense. There may be people willing to come abs distribute pamphlets to educate people around the courthouse about this Tenet of law.

Gordon Watson
Gordon Watson
January 15, 2017 11:19 am

If you’re going to promote jury nullification, then = you first, Andrew … Make sure you tell prospects > “if you aren’t prepared to go to gaol for this, then you ought not be here”.

Freedom of the Press belongs to those who practice it … if you think the feds are acting like monsters, so far, it gets much worse when some true Patriot gets out on the public sidewalk exposing tyranny, in print

andrew
andrew
January 15, 2017 12:01 pm

Indeed and thank you for noting that caveat. Google Julian Heicklen. Is the trial being held in NYC?

Gordon S Watson
Gordon S Watson
January 14, 2017 3:58 pm

Mister “lis” = back in the 90s – scuffling-along through the so-called “DeTax” movement – I was in British Columbia Provincial Court many times, assisting self-reps. 3 times, sitting in the gallery, I watched as guys who pulled that stunt you’re advising, got taken out of the Courtroom in handcuffs, sent away for a psychiatric evaluation. Suffice to say : that Alice-in-Blunderland crap-ola does not work in the objective reality, shared by the rest of us. Not only is it NON-sense … it’s dangerous nonsense.

“ignorant of the law” ? That’s an understatement. You’re about 2 centuries behind what transpires in those playgrounds of the Cult of the Black Robe, in which there’s a whole different set of rules going on, than is pretended

Sue
Sue
January 14, 2017 4:00 pm
The best support Girod could get would be bodies inside and outside the courtroom, much as this community has done when farmers are harassed by local and federal authorities. I more than share his disdain for the so-called legal profession, having witnessed dealings at all levels of law. It is difficult to find an attorney worth much more than our wiping our butts with their diplomas AND license papers. Reality does not dictate inside a courtroom. And, certainly not where any (other) facet of government is involved. People don’t realize what judges (if you listen to them intently) will tell you as you walk past the gate in any courtroom in the land. Often, it is more a matter of the victims will not admit. Administrative Procedure would have cured the problem, but that is especially difficult for the Amish and others like them unless they have friends willing to take the risk and do things for them. Girod did nothing wrong – or should I say – did nothing most corporations do not do. However the process has gone too far now, and hopefully he does get a trial. Whether or not it is a fair one will amount… Read more »
Jack Moore
January 14, 2017 5:52 pm

Is this an administrative court, even though the penalty appears to be criminal? I ask this because I attended Vernon Hershberger’s trial in Baraboo, WIsconsin. It seemed like a fake court. Then I learned that the judge works for the state regulatory authority. No wonder he sustained 80% of the objections made by the prosecution and overruled 80% of those made by the defense! Oh, and the defendant was not protected by our U.S. Constitution. Thank goodness the jury found Vernon not guilty on three of the four charges! (Btw, Vernon had a really good lawyer.)

Sue
Sue
January 14, 2017 7:25 pm
If I had my druthers, I would call them Kangaroo Courts, but the effect is the same whether or not. These cases are held in federal court, usually FDA remains admin related rather than criminal, but just as in family court – the verdict and possible sentence are similar though attorneys would have you think different. These are, at this point, criminal charges, brought by an administrative agency. Effect is the same. Jail and fines. Given he was not able to do administrative procedure first, which could have effectively blocked the case from making it to court, its rather a moot point. He would need the advice of a good pro se now because any attorney worth his BAR membership will either recommend (as the previous one did) a plea bargain or will charge several generations’ inheritance to fight a jury trial. Bench trials in these cases are not something to hope for as these judges are generally paid either directly or indirectly by the plaintiff. Anyone interested in truth can see where this system is stacked against it, but for the Amish it is particularly difficult. They are willing to martyr themselves for truth, which is commendable, but often… Read more »
David R.(Canada)
David R.(Canada)
January 14, 2017 6:41 pm

Then there’s Obama pardoning real, hardened criminals while these victims of the anger of the pharmaceutical companies remain.

blesse\'d are the cheese makers
blesse\'d are the cheese makers
January 15, 2017 10:21 am

It seems to me that the local county sheriff’s “failure to follow through on a commitment to challenge federal authorities” is a huge problem here. The elected county sheriff in each county is the highest ranking law enforcement official in the county — even higher ranking that the feds. The problem is . . . most county sheriffs do not understand their Constitutional power AND duties. Therefore, most county sheriffs “cower” in the shadow of the federal tyrants.

This county sheriff should have “stood in the gap” on behalf of Mr. Girod, if the federal bureaucrats did not have the legal authority in the first place to shake Girod down.

The best shot Mr. Girod has is to make this as public as he can make it. Rally the troops. He needs to demand a jury trial for this as well. The feds do not like jury trials because they know how stupid and tyrannical they look when viewed by a jury.

This case needs to be as public and exposed as possible if Girod stands a chance to not be railroaded by a federal leviathan that is so out of control it is past any redemption.

mark mcafee
Mark Mcafee
January 15, 2017 12:11 pm

The first order of business is posting bail. Then get the best lawyer possible. FTCLDF pays off grandly right about now.

Gordon Watson
Gordon Watson
January 15, 2017 2:15 pm

you’re wasting your breath urging the Amish-man to reach out for assistance, to anyone other than his closed cult. That being the root of Mr Girod’s problem = double-minded-ness. IE. Assuming he could maintain his religious integrity, yet step off the Amish Reservation to deal in commerce, and taint himself with the ways of the sordid “English”.

no doubt Sam Girod is a fine man, whose salve does actually work. No doubt he sincerely thinks of himself as standing for a noble cause. But in this scenario, is he? What did Menno Siemens and the champions of that religion, do? Does he cleave to sound doctrine as given to us in the Bible, or not? Test question being : how come he didn’t ‘settle with his Adversary in the way’, as commanded by Jesus Christ ??

mark mcafee
Mark Mcafee
January 15, 2017 12:13 pm

Not much of a flight risk on horse and
Buggy

bless\'ed are the cheese makers
bless\'ed are the cheese makers
January 15, 2017 1:02 pm

He’s baaaaack.

bora petski
bora petski
January 15, 2017 2:55 pm

He’s never left, always right.

Nancy E Pordon
January 15, 2017 3:30 pm

How can we the people help him?

mark mcafee
Mark Mcafee
January 15, 2017 10:56 pm
I have been surrounded by groups of Amish. This is their culture and you absolutely correct. They mean nothing by this. It is a behavior and a way of listening intently. As far as him producing a legal product….all he needs to do is label it as a dietary or nutritional supplement. It would be legal under DSHA act, or the dietary health supplements act. The vitamin producers sought and received protection from the fda under DSHA years ago. He must immediately seek good counsel and seek a settlement with the FDA claiming his products are supplements not intended to treat any disease. When the FDA sued me 8 years ago, they tried to throw me in jail, fine me and tried to convenience a federal judge that I was a horrible criminal because I sold raw milk as pet food over state lines. With a good attorney, (Gary Cox ) we literally kicked their ass….they not only were embarrassed by the federal judge, they were ridiculed and sent packing by the judge with nothing to show for their great attempt at enforcement. When dealing with the FDA, you must act from strength and go for the throat. They only… Read more »
Blesse\'d are the cheese makers
Blesse\'d are the cheese makers
January 16, 2017 10:14 am
This is an subject where I agree whole heartedly with Mr. McAfee. You have to deal with these FDA folks from a starting point that the FDA is NOT there to make food safe and be your friend. They are there to control and shake down small producers. That is their real job. Folks must understand this. They are like the Martians in “Mars Attacks” saying, “Do not run, we are your friends.” In addition, the FDA is part of the illegal and unconstitutional “Fourth” branch of government. Our elected officials created these lawless bureaucracies. Then, once created, authority is “delegated” to the agencies by the elected bodies. After that, our elected officials in congress do little to oversee these lawless government behemoths. Moreover, most judges will “defer” to the agencies on top of that. What is most disconcerting about these tyrannical, lawless “Alphabet Soup” agencies is they have written into their regulations criminal sanctions (which in my opinion violates the 5th and 6th Amendments). They are basically jack booted thugs who swoop down on someone’s farm and ransack the place and then find ways to drum up charges against anyone who dares to question them. On top of that,… Read more »
D. Smith
D. Smith
January 16, 2017 9:45 pm

DOA FDA? (I wouldn’t use the RIP the author did because I don’t want any of them to ever rest in peace). I want the FDA dead on arrival wherever it goes when it scatters in the wind. 🙂

One can only hope this actually happens: https://www.lewrockwell.com/political-theatre/fda-rip/

Ditto for the fraudulent CDC.

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/robert-f-kennedy-jr-cdc-an-edifice-of-fraud/

The reader comments are pretty good, too, and there is a really good embedded link in the article (re: spider).

Owen Yoder
January 17, 2017 3:18 pm
bora petski
bora petski
January 17, 2017 3:55 pm

Sorry David I don’t mean to clog up your blog but again, I think this is relevant and needs awareness of the few who really care: Occupy the farM: http://civileats.com/2017/01/11/obama-finally-issued-rules-to-protect-small-farmers-are-they-too-little-too-late/

” give students a chance to expand their horizons, discover new passions, and enrich the quality of their overall education. Not everyone who attends a piano recital becomes a musician, and not everyone who visits a campus farm will become a farmer, but some will.”

mark mcafee
Mark Mcafee
January 17, 2017 11:08 pm
Here is my comment. I know for a fact that raw milk is allowed over International state lines. I have an official email from the chief counsel of the fda office in San Fransisco stating just that. They rightfully agreed with me that interstate commerce is not the same as international commerce. There are two sets of laws and regs that control these areas of law. If you want to ship raw milk to another country, that is fine with the FDA, as long as the other country is inviting the shipment and agrees with the import of the raw dairy product or raw milk . As far as Vilsack is concerned. He is a very good person. In his capacity as USDA secretary, he tried his best under the most impossible set of political conditions. As a delegate to the NFU, I have had the honor of hearing him speak several times. To hear him tell stories about being a friend of organics, while at the same time trying to keep the peace with GMOs and at the same time defend the rights of consumers to know what is in their food…was quite appreciated. It was the Midwest, verses… Read more »
Emma Gardner
Emma Gardner
January 18, 2017 6:21 pm

Very true, and international trade in raw milk is thriving. Many Canadians in B.C. regularly purchase raw milk from any of 39 licensed farms and 110+ grocery stores and coops in Washington State and bring it back in their weekly cross-border shopping trips. Customs officials happily wave them through.

The B.C. Government even confirmed in an email recently that they will take NO action against anyone who is bringing milk across the border or selling it to Canadian consumers, as it is not being produced/distributed from a farm in Canada:

“As provincial laws only apply in BC, the Milk Industry Act’s prohibitions on the sale or supply of raw milk do not apply to transactions occurring outside of BC. … Regulations prohibit the sale in Canada of raw milk to consumers … regulating the types and amounts of products brought back into Canada from another country (e.g., the United States) is the responsibility of the federal government.” (email from the Ministry of Health, September 19, 2016)

[Meanwhile, raw milk farmers in B.C. are faced with a provincial law threatening a maximum $3,000,000 fine and 3 years jail time for letting even the smallest amount leave the farm.]

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