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by Sherman Austin...brought to you by Tendai
Tuesday, Aug. 05, 2003 at 11:38 PM
Sherman Austin's Legal Case in his own words.
Sherman Austin's Legal Case in his own words:
1. My name is Sherman Austin. On Jan 24, 2002, I was
awaken by my sister while taking a nap. She told me a
bunch of "FBI looking people", cop cars, and other
individuals standing around, were parked all up and
down the street and they were all focusing in on the
It was 4PM and I was taking a nap. I got up went to
the living room to look out the window. At this time
our house was already surrounded by some 20-25 FBI
agents and secret service armed with sub-machine guns,
shot guns, hand guns, bullet proof vests, and what
not. I then saw two men in suits approach the door. So
I went to the door to see what was up and they asked
me if my name was Sherman Austin. I said yes, and they
told me to step out side. I asked why, and they
grabbed me by my shoulder and pulled me out side.
I then saw about a dozen FBI agents in blue
windbreakers standing on the front-lawn. More began to
appear as they emerged from the sides of the house.
Every single one of them had their guns drawn and was
wearing bullet-proof vests. One of the special agents
then handed me a 25 page federal warrant for search
The rest of the agents came into the house with their
guns drawn and searched the entire premises. The two
special agents in suits sat me down and began
questioning me about my web site, raisethefist.com.
They advised me that they were performing a search of
the entire house, and were going to seize all of my
computer equipment which was being used to run my
During this process several FBI agents occupied my
room as they dismantled my computer network and loaded
everything into a big white truck parked out side.
They even took my political literature, and protest
signs. During this time I was being interrogated by
the two special agents and a secret service agent.
The Secret Service asked me a number of questions,
such as if I'd like to see the president killed. The
FBI asked me questions relating back to when I was 14.
(I was 18 at the time of the raid). They also asked me
a bunch of questions about my site, such as where the
log files were stored, if I was the only one who
worked on it, if I knew other people who visited it
frequently..etc. They advised me that I was not
arrested, but was in serious trouble. They also asked
if I was planning to go to the World Economic Forum
protest in New York on Feb 2nd (which was posted on my
Finally after approximately 7 hours, the agents left,
with my room completely ransacked, and all my
equipment loaded into their big white truck. Despite
what had happened, I went to the World Economic Forum
protest in NY. When I arrived I was standing in
Columbus circle waiting for the march to begin. Then
all of the sudden I saw a hand of a police officer
reach out to grab me as some 20 police charged at us
out of nowhere.
I was tackled to the ground by 3 officers, and
arrested with 26 other people. I sat on a bus for
about 7 hours before being taken to Brooklyn Navy Yard
Jail, where I was held for about 30 hours before being
taken into a back room in hand cuffs and interrogated
by an FBI Detective and a Secret Service agent for
several hours. They asked me questions such as if I
was a terrorist or involved in any terrorist
organizations. They also kept asking me questions
about the FBI raid at my house in California but I
declined to comment.
During the whole interrogation process I noticed more
and more FBI agents walking in and out of the room.
The detective then told me I wasn't going to leave
jail until they searched my car. I argued and said
they couldn't keep me much longer without charging me.
The detective said he didn't care and wanted to search
my car. Apparently they thought there were bombs and
other weapons in my car. I just wanted to get out of
jail and go home so I described him the area of where
my car was located and signed over the keys.
I was taken back to my cell and 5 minutes later I was
taken out again and driven to the court to be
released. As the jail guard was escorting me out of
the jail facility and into the court hall, 3 FBI
agents stopped us and were holding up a photo of me.
They asked me if I knew who the person in the photo
was, and I said it was me. They then smiled and said ,
"ok". So I walked on, and was released in the court.
I made a phone call for someone to pick me up and
waited around for about 30 minutes until about 5 FBI
agents came into the building and said I was under
arrest for distributing information related to
explosives on the internet. They hurried me out of the
court into a black SUV as one detective grabbed my
neck and told me to "shut the fuck up" as I tried to
tell people I was being arrested again.
They then drove me to a federal building down the
street and attempted to question me. I declined to
answer any of their questions. I was then taken to a
Federal Jail facility in lower Manhattan and put into
a maximum security 24 hour lockdown cell.
The next morning I had my arraignment, which was
postponed a few days so my lawyer could look through
the arrest warrant with me. A few days later I had a
bail hearing and my bail was denied as the FBI claimed
I was a "man on a mission", and I drove 3,000 miles to
carry out my "plot", and on the way back home I was
going to "blow up the Olympics". I was rendered a
"threat to the community" and was to be transported
back to California in custody of the U.S marshals to
face my charges.
A few days later I was driven to an air-force base in
upstate New York to be flown to a federal prison hub
in Oklahoma. My ankles were shackled together and my
wrists shackled to my waste as I was put onto a plane
with other federal inmates while guards stood
surrounding us with shot guns and M16's. I felt like a
prisoner of war.
When I arrived in Oklahoma, I was put in general
population, which confused me since the whole time I
had been in custody I was kept in 24 hour lockdown.
However I didn't care since it was better than
spending 24 hours in a small, cold, cockroach-infested
cell the size of a bathroom. I then called my mom and
she said that the prosecutors decided not to file an
indictment and therefore my charges would be dropped.
I was relieved knowing I was soon going to be
The next day two guards called my named and handcuffed
me and put me back to the hole (maximum security 24
hour lockdown). I was confused since I was supposed to
have been released any minute. 2 hours later they came
back to my cell and said I was going to be released.
My lawyer had a court order put in to have me
immediately released and put on a plane by myself to
be flown back to Los Angeles. After spending 13 days
in custody I arrived back home. All of my stuff,
clothes, wallet, car, etc. Was still in New York. All
I got back was my wallet. Everything else was lost.
A month after being arrested I got my site back online
and continued to do organizing work within the
community. 6 months later federal prosecutors called
my lawyer and said they didn't find anything on my
computers but didn't want to let me off the hook. So
they offered me a pre-indictment binding plea which I
initially rejected, but then decided to take. The plea
was a felony conviction for distributing information
related to explosives with intent, 1 month in jail, 5
months community confinement (in a half-way house),
and 3 years supervised release.
I went to court to enter the plea and the judge
immediately rejected it saying I should be serving at
least 12 months for such a charge. A trial date was
set for March 15th, 2003. I figured what the hell,
I'll go to trial. If convicted I thought I would be
looking at a maximum of 3-4 years. However after my
lawyer consulted the USPO working on the case, she
found out that a "terrorism enhancement" is applicable
to my charge, which could get me an additional 20
I wasn't in the mood to Martyr myself. I decided to
try and take any plea possible. My lawyer went back to
the drawing board and we worked up a plea with a
sentencing range between 6 and 12 months. (note: this
range is now 8-14 months due to a recent conviction
which brought my criminal history category up another
We went back to court and the judge accepted it, and
my sentencing date was set for June 30th.
That is pretty much where my case stands now. I do not
know how much time to expect, except a minimum of 4
months in jail, and 4 months community confinement,
and 3 years of very intense "supervised release"
(probation) according to the USPO's pre-sentencing
report which me and my lawyer just received and
It would be relief to think that a year after the
raid, constantly being followed, monitored, harassed,
having the nightmares, that all of this will finally
be "over" after June 30th, but everything tells me it
won't, becoming a young black felon in america only
tells me it's just the beginning.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 131 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
||Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 6:52 PM
|Bottom Line: If you are prepared to break the law, be prepared to pay the price.
||Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 10:13 PM
||Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 11:26 PM
|"The stupid will be punished"
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 12:35 AM
|Yeah right, asswipe akbar
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 12:36 AM
|voteing is degrading
||a stupid anarchist
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 2:41 AM
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 2:52 AM
|Its Called Money
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 5:59 AM
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 6:24 AM
|Oh "Land of Lies", how I would die for thee.
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 10:28 AM
|Actually, we all depend on one another to live.
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 3:46 PM
|How many of the things in your place was made by you?
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 7:04 PM
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 7:09 PM
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 7:10 PM
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 7:17 PM
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 7:23 PM
|I do not like green eggs and ham.
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 8:22 PM
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 8:40 PM
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 8:57 PM
|Rich, or Stupid?
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 9:06 PM
|All these dumb trolls
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 9:41 PM
|Take it somewhere else
||bye bye shermie
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 10:30 PM
|IM NO AMERICAN
||Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 11:41 PM
|What gets me...
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 9:51 AM
|And I think there are few highlights in this thread.
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 10:04 AM
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 11:06 AM
|Everyone has rights, Rich
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 2:04 PM
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 10:14 PM
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 10:17 PM
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 10:24 PM
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 10:32 PM
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 10:38 PM
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 10:55 PM
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 11:16 PM
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 11:38 PM
|A CHALLENGE TO YOU
||Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 11:46 PM
||Saturday, Aug. 09, 2003 at 1:37 AM
||Saturday, Aug. 09, 2003 at 2:34 AM
||Saturday, Aug. 09, 2003 at 11:18 AM
||Saturday, Aug. 09, 2003 at 12:56 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 11:18 AM
|p o t a
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 12:08 PM
|I call them weasels
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 12:16 PM
|Let's turn the bold off
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 1:45 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 1:49 PM
|I HATE .........
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 1:54 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 1:57 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 2:05 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 2:12 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 2:17 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 2:35 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 2:40 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 2:44 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 2:51 PM
|Q the counter point artist
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 2:55 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:06 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:09 PM
|TO HAHA AKA Q
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:12 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:13 PM
|to repost aka haha aka q
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:17 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:19 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:20 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:22 PM
|to Q... alias full-time spook
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:25 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:36 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 3:44 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 4:15 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 4:30 PM
|back to the issue
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 4:36 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 4:38 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 4:48 PM
|a message for sherman
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 4:52 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 6:16 PM
|Bold of like this.
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 6:25 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 6:27 PM
||Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 7:58 PM
||Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 8:39 AM
|bring in bill hicks
||Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 12:34 PM
|you obviously live a miserable and sheltered life Z
||Thursday, Aug. 14, 2003 at 5:27 AM
|what is anarchism?
||Friday, Aug. 15, 2003 at 5:31 PM
||to be european
||Friday, Aug. 15, 2003 at 11:25 PM
||Saturday, Aug. 16, 2003 at 6:23 AM
|The fact of the matter is...
||Saturday, Aug. 16, 2003 at 8:39 PM
||Saturday, Aug. 16, 2003 at 9:30 PM
|Fuck ittle bittle dickhead Sherman
||Crush the Left
||Saturday, Aug. 16, 2003 at 9:38 PM
|Free speech rights violated
||Fredric L. Rice
||Sunday, Aug. 17, 2003 at 1:35 AM
||Sunday, Aug. 17, 2003 at 6:27 AM
|all your base are belong to us
||Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 8:16 AM
|Sherman Austin is Guilty of Treason
||Sally Mae Alcott
||Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 1:15 AM
|He should be kept isolated in total darkness
||Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 9:34 PM
||Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 9:46 PM
||Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 2:11 AM
|Sherman's real words
||Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 2:15 AM
|la-imc should implement freedom AND dignity
||Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at 3:58 AM
|They Incarcerated the wrong terrorist
||Where did my rights go?
||Wednesday, Oct. 01, 2003 at 6:56 PM
|FUCK YOU MORON
||Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:35 AM
|I'll go a step further than Sherman.
||Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 11:45 AM
||Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 11:49 AM
|KOBE SBM is NED LYLE
||Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 11:51 AM
||Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 11:59 AM
|To all American boneheads
||Friday, Dec. 19, 2003 at 1:00 AM
|Shut the fuck up, Dane.
||Friday, Dec. 19, 2003 at 1:12 AM
|Get a clue, Max
||Thursday, Apr. 22, 2004 at 6:38 PM
| Bush Admirer like torture and death
||Thursday, Apr. 22, 2004 at 10:32 PM
|No - BA likes success and dislikes failure
||Thursday, Apr. 22, 2004 at 10:41 PM
|If Chile had stayed Socialist
||Thursday, Apr. 22, 2004 at 10:47 PM
|Pinochet the saviour.
||Thursday, Apr. 22, 2004 at 11:27 PM
|shit! what am I saying?
||Thursday, Apr. 22, 2004 at 11:36 PM
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