Due process is taking a beating in South Texas.
For the past two weeks, politically-correct forces have been throwing the book at two members of Ranch Rescue who were arrested after having the audacity to help a Hebbronville, Texas property owner evict criminal trespassers.
Hank Conner, 62, of Lafayette, La, and Casey Nethercott, 35, of La Mirada Calif., were arrested on March 19 by the Jim Hogg County Sheriff and a Texas Ranger. The volunteers were charged with assaulting an unnamed El Salvadoran national who they encountered on the property and escorted out to a public road. The Ranch Rescue group, and an independent eyewitness—French journalist Eric Boye who accompanied the two men—insist that the charges are false.
After almost two weeks in custody, Conner was released on $200,000 bail on March 28.
But as of April 2, Nethercott remains in jail in Falfurrias, Texas, with a $200,000 bail on his head. The saga continues.
A habeas corpus petition for Nethercott's release was denied April 1 in the state's 229th District Court. The ruling can be appealed to the state's 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio.
Ranch Rescue spokesman Jack Foote swears that the assault charges aren't true.
Foote reports that his two volunteers were denied medical treatment for the first two days after their arrest. Nethercott is being kept in solitary confinement at a detention facility with "no TV, no radio, no newspapers, no magazines, no books, not even a Bible," according to Foote.
"Casey Nethercott is being held as a hostage in many respects," according to Ranch Rescue California coordinator Stacy Polk. "His county-appointed attorney will not see him, so he only has me to talk with at night when he gets his one phone call."
"To hire an attorney is going to cost lots more than we have. They are using Casey as their poster child for abuse of power in Southern Texas. They do not want him out."
So if an independent eyewitness – a Frenchman, no less – swears that the men did nothing wrong, why were Conner and Nethercott arrested in the first place?
VDARE.COM readers already know the answer.
Remember that Ranch Rescue volunteers recently demonstrated their prowess in stopping marijuana-hauling "mules" along the Mexican border in Arizona.
A volunteer tactical team – with many years of military and law enforcement experience – captured and turned over 279 pounds of marijuana to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff in just one evening in October, 2002.
Their efforts were recognized in the media. They were lauded in a feature series in Soldier of Fortune magazine.
Ranch Rescue already proved what they're doing works.
Though their efforts may be largely symbolic, they are part of the solution for border area landowners trying to cope with the illegal alien invasion.
Ranch Rescue's motto: "private property first, foremost, and always."
The South Texas ranch where Nethercott and Conner were volunteering just happens to be a high-traffic area for illegal aliens, alien smugglers and drug smugglers. They trespass on the ranch to avoid a nearby Border Patrol checkpoint.
Ranch owner Joe Sutton had enough. He called Ranch Rescue. The group volunteered in a project they called Operation Falcon. And for their troubles, two of the volunteers were thrown in jail.
So how can the average citizen compete against a government's tyranny of good intentions?
Does the Nethercott and Conner affair prove the death of due process in Jim Hogg County?
Paul Craig Roberts, call your office!
How VDARE.COM can help:
Nethercott and Conner could use some pro bono legal help. Make a donation to their legal defense fund.
Ranch Rescue also asks you to give the South Texas authorities a piece of your mind.
Jim Hogg County District Attorney Herbie Silva and Assistant District Attorney Rudy Gutierrez
102 East Tilley Street
Hebbronville, TX. 78361
361-527-4056 - (phone)
361-527-5832 - (fax)
Jim Hogg County Sheriff Erasmo Alarcon
211 East Galbraith Street
Hebbronville, TX 78361
(361) 527-5843 (fax)
Doyle Holdridge (arresting officer)
Division "D" Texas Department of Public Safety
1901 Bob Bullock Loop
956-728-2215 - (phone)
956-724-9874 - (fax)
Casey Nethercott (ID# JW3954) is being held at the
Starr County Maximum Security Facility
Rio Grande City, TX
Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.