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SWAT Teams Used To Enforce Environmental Laws

federal agencies swat team

Americans can be raided by a federal SWAT team for violating such laws as the Clean Water Act. As unbelievable as that sounds, it actually happened [1] in August in the town of Chicken, Alaska.

Local residents reported that heavily armed agents from several federal and state agencies took over the community of 17. The agents were apparently checking to see if local miners had violated the act. The residents told reporters that the agents were armed and that some of them were wearing body armor.

“Imagine coming up to your diggings, only to see agents swarming over it like ants, wearing full body armor, with jackets that say ‘POLICE’ emblazoned on them, and all packing side arms,” gold miner C.R. Hammond told the Alaska Dispatch. “How would you have felt? You would be wondering … what have I done now?”

The raid or investigation was carried out by something called the Alaska Environmental Crimes Taskforce, consisting of state and federal agents.

It looks and sounds like a drug taskforce — even though its mission is to enforce environmental regulations. Critics are wondering: Since when do inspectors need to wear body armor to enforce regulations?

Bombshell New Book Reveals… How To Survive The Coming Martial Law In America [2]

The Militarization of Federal Law Enforcement

A number of observers, including Slate journalist Radley Balko, have been chronicling the increasing militarization of federal law enforcement. Balko, the author of The Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces [3], in particular has unearthed some shocking facts. For instance:

It is hard to keep track of the number of federal SWAT teams because some of these agencies deny [4] that they have such teams. Yet average citizens have reported encounters with such units. A big problem is that such agencies often use local SWAT teams or teams from other federal agencies when they undertake raids or enforcement actions.

Federal SWAT Raids Becoming Common

The Chicken raid is only the latest incident of heavily armed federal law enforcement agents being used to enforce regulations. In 2009 armed agents from the Fish and Wildlife Service raided the Gibson Guitar factory. In 2006 a SWAT team was used to arrest Buddhist monks in Iowa; the monks had overstayed their visas while on a peace mission to the United States.

We need to ask ourselves, does the federal government really need all those armed agents and SWAT teams? What do you think?