By Mike Wilcox
Like many Republicans and Democrats, I was appalled at the way Mueller and the courts decided to arrest former Trump operative Roger Stone. Instead of informing his lawyer that he was being indicted and he needed to come in on his own recognizance to be booked, the 66-year-old was the subject of a pre-dawn raid.
This wasn’t any raid. He was greeted at his front door by no less than 24 federal officers, some with weapons drawn and another dozen armored vehicles. You would think they were arresting El Chapo or one of his lieutenants. But instead it was Stone who lived with his elderly, deaf wife in a modest apartment.
Believe it or not, I had a similar experience. Approximately 12 years ago while living in Florida, I was greeted at my front door at dawn by two federal marshals, guns drawn, having at first hidden in the bushes at the side of my front porch. They knocked loudly and proclaimed my door would be busted down if I didn’t answer. In cutoffs and a T-shirt, I hurried to the door and swung it open.
They said I was under arrest, handcuffed me, and began walking me out to their unmarked car. Once in the car I asked why; they said they had orders from a court in Detroit. They then began to question me, assuming that I was a major drug dealer in the area, because that was their normal trade: busting drug-dealer types.
They soon realized after a short conversation I was nothing of the sort. I was a middle-aged businessman that had no clue about the drug business, and they soon ascertained that. I convinced them to call the judge’s chambers in Detroit that had issued the warrant and demanded that I be picked up. Come to find out, I had missed a deposition in Southfield having to do with a bad business deal, and that attorney conducting the hearing, was in cahoots with the judge, so they decided to teach me a lesson, or so I think.
The federal marshals were incredulous. “We wasted our time,” they said, picking up a man who missed a scheduled deposition 1,200 miles away. They couldn’t believe it. Never had they heard of this happening in their nearly 30 years of service. Both were extremely apologetic and even offered to stop and buy me a Big Mac.
But there I was, handcuffed in the back seat of a police vehicle, all because I missed a deposition that I didn’t even know about. I found out later I was notified by mail, not by process server, at a prior address. The three of us, two marshals and myself spent the one-and-a-half- hour drive to the federal courthouse in Orlando talking about family and careers.
Once at the courthouse, I was escorted to a holding cell, where I stood with others awaiting my time to plead before the judge. About two hours later I was escorted into the courtroom.
I was asked to stand and before I was allowed to say a word the judge went on a rant about this is the most ridiculous situation he had ever been involved in. He verbally admonished the Michigan judge, and told me to get the hell out of his courtroom. Oops; before he said that, he issued an apology to me, on behalf of the legal and judicial system.
That was my experience. I will never forget it.
That is why I have empathy for Mr. Stone. I understand to many he is a political scumbug, but, scumbug or not, no one deserves to be awakened at dawn by federal agents with guns drawn. Not Stone, and not I.