Monday, August 23, 2010

BLM Raids Dalton Wilson’s Ranch After Judge Sandoval’s Acquittal


(AUSTIN, NV) Just a year after being acquitted of an alleged criminal trespass by then Federal District Court Judge Brian Sandavol in a case brought by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Dalton Wilson drove home to his ranch last week to find the road blocked by BLM employees under order of Federal Judge Edward C. Reed. “I was by myself and they were packing guns. I don’t trust the BLM not to provoke an ‘incident’ as an excuse to hall me off in leg chains or worse. I went back to Austin and reported the incident to the Sheriff instead,” said Wilson.
Last year Wilson successfully defended his claim to 80 acres of land in Lander Co. Nevada before Judge Sandoval, defeating the BLM’s criminal trespass charge. “The BLM was trying to throw me in jail for living on a ranch which I bought from my predecessors in 1981. This land has been farmed and lived on continually for 100 years, property taxes have been paid on it and my predecessors applied for a patent to it in 1917. They received a patent for the adjoining 80 acres but it appears the patent and survey is missing from the official BLM record on this property,” Wilson commented.
The 73 year-old Wilson, who lives alone on his remote ranch surviving only on his social security check, has been in a David and Goliath battle for over ten years to protect his ranch from BLM bureaucrats intent on destroying his ranch. In a sad moment of Nevada history, Wilson was notified that the BLM raided his ranch, removed his personal belongings from his house and his livestock from his property.
The BLM, rather than merely appealing Sandoval’s acquittal, in an unusual move, brought a civil trespass charge against Wilson instead, raising the issue of double jeopardy.
“This is the strangest case I have ever seen,” remarked Ramona Morrison, NLSA Director, who has been following the case closely. “Wilson, after being acquitted and after repeated pleas to Judge Reed in this new case for a jury trial has never even been allowed a hearing before the Judge. Judge Reed has never ruled on the facts or law of this case and in fact is ignoring an Order from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals directing him to resolve the claims of the parties and to try this case.”
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a Mandate which is a stay until the claims have been litigated by the lower court and Judge Reed.
Don Alt, NLSA President, noted, “Reed seems to be acting in contemptuous disregard to the higher Court’s Order and Mandate and has issued what is tantamount to an edict from the bench allowing the BLM to forcibly interfere with Wilson’s property without due process of law.”
Reed’s order opened the door to the BLM to violate its own laws including the Federal Land Policy and Management Act when they physically blocked Wilson’s access to his home and the adjoining 80 acres on which there is no question of title.
“Dalton Wilson is only doing what the law clearly allows him to do and is being punished because he had the nerve to stand up for his Constitutionally protected rights,” said Morrison. “I am especially curious to know why Sheriff Unger allowed the federal government bureaucrats to conduct an unlawful law enforcement in violation of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act as well as the Nevada Constitution and law.”
According to Wilson when he asked Sandoval during one of his recent campaign stops for Governor about the government’s new civil case, Sandoval’s reply was, “The government doesn’t like to lose”.
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9732 State Route 445, #305  Sparks, Nevada 89436  775.577.9048
Contact: Dalton Wilson, 775.934.2281
Don Alt, Chairman, 775.577.9048
Ramona Morrison, Director, 775.722.2517


Scott Amos said...

I'm behind you 100% as a property owner fighting similar issues against the USFS. I'm on facebook here, along with criminal complaints I post online for all the world to see:

Brett said...

Disgraceful, but not surprising. Let's hope Mr. Wilson gets more cooperation from a responsible party than Kit Laney did.

Wait until he gets a load of how hard it is to get property seized in a raid back to its rightful owner. It ain't pretty.