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Thread: FBI raids New Hampshire Bitcoin community

  1. #1

    FBI raids New Hampshire Bitcoin community

    Multiple arrests reported, including FreeTalkLive.com hosts, Bitcoin vending machines apparently seized around state, Feds said to cordon off Bitcoin embassy at Keene, authorities reportedly staking out Bitcoin Shoppe owner (?) Derrick Horton for three hours attempting interrogation.

    Details/updates: https://forum.shiresociety.com/t/nh-...-2021/12553/10

    If that forum goes off the air soon, and it may, I will probably try to post updates here on this Ron Paul Forums thread. Solidarity movement in Poland did newspapers by hand on onion skins, so I guess we can do alternate internet outlets. You can help by spreading our news.

    New Hampshire's high concentration of liberty activists and the Free State Project migration has caused the state to punch above its weight in the crypto space, but the question is... how effectively will we respond to *this?*
    Last edited by DadaOrwell; 03-18-2021 at 07:51 AM.
    Want freedom? Move to NH: http://FreeStateProject.org
    Want NH independence? http://NHexit.us



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  3. #2
    Below are copies of all my posts and links on Forum.ShireSociety.com, between 3/16 and 3/18 12 noon, trying to update people about the March 16 raid (I'm Dave Ridley)

    ----

    According to initial reports: Multiple arrests, multiple Bitcoin locations around NH targetted, Feds attempting interrogation of Derrick Horton from “Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree” movie. Bitcoin-boosting FreeTalkLive.com 10 host Ian Freeman reportedly arrested. Free stater Greg Surbey missing and the two crises possibly related. Details to follow as situation allows.

    A much more active discussion is here if you can see it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nhporcupines

    -----

    https://www.sentinelsource.com/news/...4cafa3103.html

    ----

    I remember hearing on Free Talk Live that around 2019 the FBI tried to interview people who knew the host, Ian Freeman aka Ian Bernard. Related to Bitcoin. It’s his house they are apparently raiding on Leverett, or at least that sounds like the address… lemme check.

    ---
    https://manchesterinklink.com/fbi-de...investigation/


    ---

    Please post what you know. Busy sending this thread to all the crypto news websites. Can I get a volunteer to spread it among secessionist or libertarian news sites? And let me know who you contacted?

    Update: I’m now sending it to the secessionist news sites and will post here with an update if I start sending it to the libertarian sites. What else can you think of that needs doing, other action items?

    Contact me at ridleyreport at live period com if you want to coordinate with me by email.

    Update: i’ve now contacted about 10 libertarian news sites regarding this.

    ---

    As I was logging on to Facebook today for the purpose of telling the world about the FBI raid on Keene free stater buildings, I saw a more shocking but related piece of NH liberty news.

    Free stater Greg Surbey has apparently disappeared

    https://whdh.com/news/nashua-nh-poli...gLQsNh5_d-kWq0

    You may already know this, but here’s what I have that is new: Well, actually new and old at the same time. Around 2008, Greg and I were attending “Taproom Tuesday,” a weekly libertarian gathering at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester, NH. He asked me to take a walk with him for a private conversation. It may have been two walks, separated by weeks… I forget.

    As best I can recall, he told me that he had been pressured by the FBI into a meeting with them around that time. They were investigating the Free State Project and Elaine Brown sympathizers. They apparently used a security clearance he had… as leverage to prevent him from exercising his Fifth Amendment rights to not answer their questions.

    He said three of them questioned him at a restaurant, Friendlies’ I think… and he was worried for his safety. He wanted to keep it quiet, the fact that they had interviewed him. But he said something to the effect that if anything happened to him, I should go public with what he had told me. The FBI doesn’t exactly have a reputation for “disappearing” people, and it seemed a little unlikely he would disappear, but now he apparently has…right before Hoover’s descendants arrive on the scene and start waving their johnathons around. The least I can do, possibly also the most, is carry out his request as best I can. So that is the basic gist of what I know; there are more minor details, and I will try to post them shortly

    ---

    I’ve started a separate thread for the Surbey disappearance and am posting more details there:
    https://forum.shiresociety.com/t/fre...issing/12559/2

    ----

    Sent this to about 25 crypto and financial news outlets:

    "FBI raids New Hampshire Bitcoin community

    Multiple arrests reported, Bitcoin vending machines apparently seized around state, Feds said to cordon off Bitcoin embassy at Keene, authorities reportedly staking out Bitcoin Shoppe owner (?) Derrick Horton for three hours attempting interrogation.

    Details/updates: https://forum.shiresociety.com/t/nh-...6-2021/12553/2

    New Hampshire’s high concentration of liberty activists and the Free State Project migration has caused the state to punch above its weight in the crypto space, but the question is… how effectively will we respond to this?

    Dave Ridley
    NHexit.com "

    ----


    According to Matt Roach this apparently took on some of the characteristics of a swat raid; an armored vehicle reportedly ripped out his window at the Leverett Street house; he’s posted a picture here:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/nhporcupines - This is where the most active discussion is going on that I can see, but FreeTalkLive.com 4 probably has a Mastadon chat or something that is more active.

    Also:
    https://www.justice.gov/usao-nh/pr/s...hange-business

    https://youtu.be/2zhbraMpONw

    https://patch.com/new-hampshire/conc...rrency-charges

    https://manchesterinklink.com/fbi-de..._Uf6m9okFpnjV0

    ---


    FreeTalkLive.com crew livestreams from damaged studio attempting to get a show on the air despite the raid 3/16/2021. Lots of conversation with useful info.

    https://youtu.be/02andqKlExc

    I did not however find a 3/16 show in their archives, as of 3/17.
    Folks in the studio during the live stream said that tip.LRN.fm is where they hoped people would send donations. LRN.fm is Free Talk Live founder (now detainee) Ian Freeman’s site.

    The new information I have which I haven’t seen in the mainstream press is that the police apparently undertook a forced entry using the controversial armored vechicle in Keene, the bearcat. This according to Matt Roach who apparently lives at a targeted location and posted a pic which I have seen, of his window reportedly pulled out by the cat. I’ll try to find it again and post it.

    some guy heckling at one of the raids apparently told the enforcers they would be “hung” after “the courts are controlled by us” or something to that effect. Such a statement is …unhelpful to freedom and, is hereby condemned… not sure who it was. Don’t fall for the temptation to do that $#@! folks.

    Ultimately, though, in a free country you should not need the government’s permission to do business as a money transmitter. It’s a reminder that…like Estonia…New Hampshire would be better off as an independent nation.

    ----


    Former NH Libertarian Party governor candidate Darryl Perry’s account has posted this to Facebook:

    "Andy, Renee, Aria & Colleen are being released with pretty strict terms (can’t use anything connected to internet without approval of probation officer, all firearms must be removed from house, can’t obtain/possess passport, can’t contact any co-defendants, must provide DNA sample, can’t use alcohol or drugs; submit to drug & alcohol testing & notify feds if they open any new bank accounts).

    Ian to have detention hearing on Fri at 3; will remain in custody until then

    Ian’s lawyer cited media reports citing unnamed FBI Agent(s) that there’s no threat to public safety

    Rich may have refused to be released because he didn’t want to comply with the terms of release (not entirely positive, as him & Ian had hearings at same time in front of different judges)"

    ----


    A free stater has posted this link to what he says is the indictment:

    https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/...C8A5H6eNcqARho

    Shawn Grissom’s account on Facebook posted this, regarding a peaceable standoff-of-sorts which developed on 3/16 at Derrick Horton’s home and/or business…he helps run the Bitcoine Shoppe at Portsmouth:

    “Derrick J asked me to post an update.
    Our Bitcoin Machine is safe and sitting in our business. Anypay Vending is registered with FinCEN and follows all applicable laws. We have a thorough Anti Money Laundering Policy that is over 100 pages and two teams of attorneys, NH and Federal.
    Both Steven and I have zero criminal record (mine was finally expunged last year). I do not believe this pertains to us, and the FBI was knocking on our door to ask questions. Which we refused.
    After 3 hours of knocking, we were left alone. We are directing our attorneys to contact the FBI.”


    ---

    Above: Window in Keene reportedly pulled out by armored vehicle on 3/16

    Liberty activists posts/comments on Facebook regarding what appears to have been the raid at Free Talk Live studios on Leverett St. in Keene:

    "Jackie Perry
    Matthew Roach
    they smashed in the windows?!?!

    · Reply
    · 1d

    Matthew Roach
    Jackie Perry
    yanked them out with the bearcat.
    5

    · Reply
    · 1d

    Jackie Perry
    Matthew Roach
    did they really bring the bearcat
    1

    · Reply
    · 1d

    Matthew Roach
    Oh God yes. "

    They are discussing the broken window image above, which I believe is Matt Roach’s room above Free Talk Live studios.
    Want freedom? Move to NH: http://FreeStateProject.org
    Want NH independence? http://NHexit.us

  4. #3
    If you're wondering why you're not seeing me reporting on this incident at RidleyReport.com, that's because my YouTube channel has been silenced, again. this time the accusation was "spam" for posting a podcast with Russell Kanning about NH secession. The channel and its 3,000 or so vids is likely to be removed shortly.

    I'm still uploading to https://www.bitchute.com/channel/CtLJSL0veP75/ and have a podcast recorded about this raid but the uploads are failing to appear in a timely manner; metacafe is comatose, rumble i'm getting 4 hits per vid and have moved on, facebook uploads not very easy to show you here... focusing on pre-youtube information-spreading methods meanwhile.

    If Forum.ShireSociety.com goes down, there is now a backup thread where I will plan to post updates:
    http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...47#post7028947

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eypEzl31-M Free Talk Live March 17 broadcast on a backup channel from studio damaged in raid.
    Want freedom? Move to NH: http://FreeStateProject.org
    Want NH independence? http://NHexit.us

  5. #4
    What are they being charged with? Tax evasion?
    9/11 Thermate experiments

    Winston Churchhill on why the U.S. should have stayed OUT of World War I

    "I am so %^&*^ sick of this cult of Ron Paul. The Paulites. What is with these %^&*^ people? Why are there so many of them?" YouTube rant by "TheAmazingAtheist"

    "We as a country have lost faith and confidence in freedom." -- Ron Paul

    "It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute." -- Ron Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No need to make it a superhighway.
    Quote Originally Posted by osan View Post
    The only way I see Trump as likely to affect any real change would be through martial law, and that has zero chances of success without strong buy-in by the JCS at the very minimum.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdrake View Post
    What are they being charged with? Tax evasion?
    They claim they were operating an exchange that wasn't following the regulatory framework that was instituted to help combat money laundering.

    https://www.unionleader.com/news/cri...f6e66b929.html
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc
    "You don't need a medical degree to spot obvious bullshit, that's actually a separate skill." -Scott Adams
    "When you are divided, and angry, and controlled, you target those 'different' from you, not those responsible [controllers]" -Q

    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DadaOrwell View Post
    Multiple arrests reported, including FreeTalkLive.com hosts, Bitcoin vending machines apparently seized around state, Feds said to cordon off Bitcoin embassy at Keene, authorities reportedly staking out Bitcoin Shoppe owner (?) Derrick Horton for three hours attempting interrogation.

    Details/updates: https://forum.shiresociety.com/t/nh-...-2021/12553/10

    If that forum goes off the air soon, and it may, I will probably try to post updates here on this Ron Paul Forums thread. Solidarity movement in Poland did newspapers by hand on onion skins, so I guess we can do alternate internet outlets. You can help by spreading our news.

    New Hampshire's high concentration of liberty activists and the Free State Project migration has caused the state to punch above its weight in the crypto space, but the question is... how effectively will we respond to *this?*
    WTF constitutes a "Bitcoin community"?

    Why haven't you posted a copy of the warrant?

    Linking to fedbook isn't helpful, at least to me, I've never had an account and won't.

    Calm down and try to inform those of us not in your circle what's going on and why......You're far more likely to get traction.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    They claim they were operating an exchange that wasn't following the regulatory framework that was instituted to help combat money laundering.

    https://www.unionleader.com/news/cri...f6e66b929.html
    Thanks for the link!

    Much more informative than the OP.

    [edit]

    Okay, read the article...........

    1st question I have is if Bitcoin is 'secure' have these people suffered a financial loss to where they can't afford counsel? If so how?

    Next question, Who out there in Keene doesn't understand what FDIC stands for?
    Last edited by tod evans; 03-18-2021 at 11:48 AM.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    They claim they were operating an exchange that wasn't following the regulatory framework that was instituted to help combat money laundering.

    https://www.unionleader.com/news/cri...f6e66b929.html
    What the hell? I didn't even know such a regulatory framework existed.
    9/11 Thermate experiments

    Winston Churchhill on why the U.S. should have stayed OUT of World War I

    "I am so %^&*^ sick of this cult of Ron Paul. The Paulites. What is with these %^&*^ people? Why are there so many of them?" YouTube rant by "TheAmazingAtheist"

    "We as a country have lost faith and confidence in freedom." -- Ron Paul

    "It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute." -- Ron Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No need to make it a superhighway.
    Quote Originally Posted by osan View Post
    The only way I see Trump as likely to affect any real change would be through martial law, and that has zero chances of success without strong buy-in by the JCS at the very minimum.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdrake View Post
    What the hell? I didn't even know such a regulatory framework existed.
    You used to be able to signup with crypto exchanges without "verifying your identity", although if you wanted to deposit or withdrawal fiat, you would have to give them your bank account or credit card info.

    Now exchanges require you to verify your identity, like a bank or other financial institution would have to do.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc
    "You don't need a medical degree to spot obvious bullshit, that's actually a separate skill." -Scott Adams
    "When you are divided, and angry, and controlled, you target those 'different' from you, not those responsible [controllers]" -Q

    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  12. #10
    USSANews.com is an aggregate news site like the Drudge. They get a good amount of traffic. They ask for news like this. Do your own write up and submit here: https://ussanews.com/News1/write-for...nce-necessary/. Might help drive reporting to your site through name and byline.


    We want your opinion. We want your articles. We want you to be independent!

    Look, we all have opinions, and I find that writing them out is the best way to vent, especially in this crazy world we call 2021.

    No experience Necessary!

    Yup, that’s right. You don’t need to be a professional writer and you don’t need to be a computer whiz. All you need is the ability to write (on a computer) a cohesive opinion or news article. Our editors will take care of the rest and make it look purty (sic).

    So What’s in it for you?

    You get your name (or pseudonym) out there and your work will be read by thousands of patriotic Americans every day!

    We’ll make sure you get credit and link to your social media accounts and/or website so you get more followers and website traffic (if that’s what you want).

    Write whenever you want.

    Write whatever you want, sorta. We’re looking for patriotic American writers who are fed up with the system and want to write their opinions and help shape this country for the better. We’re also looking for news junkies who stumble across a really juicy story that fits within our site.
    Last edited by phill4paul; 03-18-2021 at 03:16 PM.

  13. #11
    I own BTC but I'm putting money into Particl for this very reason. It promises to be everything BTC could have been. It's completely decentralized.

    Also, check out LokiNet. Everyone should GTFO of the Clearnet immediately and regroup on the dark web. Tor is crawling with FEDS and LEO.

  14. #12
    https://www.sentinelsource.com/news/...56c6912c8.html
    Shows police tape blocking a road in a residential neighborhood, presumably near Leverett St. in Keene.

    “Prosecutors say Freeman committed money laundering by conducting a financial transaction in August 2020 with proceeds he knew were from unlawful activity involving the distribution of controlled substances. The indictment states that Freeman exchanged $19,900 for approximately 1.54 Bitcoin.”

    They’re listing Bitcoin as a controlled substance??? I’ve never heard of that before.

    Keene Sentinel reports Ian Freeman is in custody at Merrimack County Jail, or at least his attorney Sisti told them that. A detention hearing is scheduled for Friday. Need help spreading the word.

    I’ve scheduled a demonstration/protest outside Keene Police Department to protest their collaboration with Washington in this raid. Need help spreading the word,
    1:15p Saturday, March 20. Details:

    https://www.facebook.com/events/624949948351933/
    Want freedom? Move to NH: http://FreeStateProject.org
    Want NH independence? http://NHexit.us

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by FunkBuddha View Post
    I own BTC but I'm putting money into Particl for this very reason. It promises to be everything BTC could have been. It's completely decentralized.

    Also, check out LokiNet. Everyone should GTFO of the Clearnet immediately and regroup on the dark web. Tor is crawling with FEDS and LEO.
    This is the first I've heard of Particl but I started looking into it based on your recommendation. Pretty interesting to say the least! Trying to get the desktop app running on my Raspberry Pil
    9/11 Thermate experiments

    Winston Churchhill on why the U.S. should have stayed OUT of World War I

    "I am so %^&*^ sick of this cult of Ron Paul. The Paulites. What is with these %^&*^ people? Why are there so many of them?" YouTube rant by "TheAmazingAtheist"

    "We as a country have lost faith and confidence in freedom." -- Ron Paul

    "It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute." -- Ron Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No need to make it a superhighway.
    Quote Originally Posted by osan View Post
    The only way I see Trump as likely to affect any real change would be through martial law, and that has zero chances of success without strong buy-in by the JCS at the very minimum.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by DadaOrwell View Post
    https://www.sentinelsource.com/news/...56c6912c8.html
    Shows police tape blocking a road in a residential neighborhood, presumably near Leverett St. in Keene.

    “Prosecutors say Freeman committed money laundering by conducting a financial transaction in August 2020 with proceeds he knew were from unlawful activity involving the distribution of controlled substances. The indictment states that Freeman exchanged $19,900 for approximately 1.54 Bitcoin.”

    They’re listing Bitcoin as a controlled substance??? I’ve never heard of that before.

    Keene Sentinel reports Ian Freeman is in custody at Merrimack County Jail, or at least his attorney Sisti told them that. A detention hearing is scheduled for Friday. Need help spreading the word.

    I’ve scheduled a demonstration/protest outside Keene Police Department to protest their collaboration with Washington in this raid. Need help spreading the word,
    1:15p Saturday, March 20. Details:

    https://www.facebook.com/events/624949948351933/
    I'm guessing that the "controlled substance" is some sort of drug versus being Bitcoin itself. But their defense attorney should ask for a "bill of particulars" and demand the prosecutor explain exactly what the controlled substance is.
    9/11 Thermate experiments

    Winston Churchhill on why the U.S. should have stayed OUT of World War I

    "I am so %^&*^ sick of this cult of Ron Paul. The Paulites. What is with these %^&*^ people? Why are there so many of them?" YouTube rant by "TheAmazingAtheist"

    "We as a country have lost faith and confidence in freedom." -- Ron Paul

    "It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute." -- Ron Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No need to make it a superhighway.
    Quote Originally Posted by osan View Post
    The only way I see Trump as likely to affect any real change would be through martial law, and that has zero chances of success without strong buy-in by the JCS at the very minimum.

  17. #15
    Continued copy-paste from Forum.ShireSociety.com traffic:


    ---

    Aahz
    Leader
    4d

    “Prosecutors say Freeman committed money laundering by conducting a financial transaction in August 2020 with proceeds he knew were from unlawful activity involving the distribution of controlled substances. The indictment states that Freeman exchanged $19,900 for approximately 1.54 Bitcoin.”

    They’re listing Bitcoin as a controlled substance??? I’ve never heard of that before.

    You’re misreading the sentence Dave. They’re saying he knowingly accepted fiat drug money in exchange for BTC. Likely a result of selling to the undercover agent.

    ---

    Leonard4Liberty
    RidleyReport2
    3d

    Hey Dave,

    Wouldn’t mind coordinating with you.

    jake [dot] leonard [at] heartlandnewsfeed [dot] com

    Might as well do my part to help out, since there’s only so much I can do about my Internet radio network, with FTL not live and the LRN stream being down.


    ---

    RidleyReport2
    1
    3d

    Thanks all. I’m posting a todo list here: Possible action items related to the FBI Bitcoin raids in New Hampshire 3

    I’ll try to update it to make it more useful.

    I’ll try to take a day of rest during Sunday 3/21; would one or more of you be willing to carry out some of the action items listed there?


    ---


    RidleyReport2
    1
    3d

    According to
    https://forum.shiresociety.com/t/fre...ed-again/12566

    a young lady was forced to leave the house on Leverett St. partially clothed during the raid, says the temp was 20 degrees. Also claims the authorities used a drone for initial entry into the house. So now is our drama is a sci fi drama?


    ----

    Leonard4Liberty
    3d

    Yeah, there was a first-hand description of this on Tuesday night’s FTL broadcast (although it wasn’t actually live). The individual was a co-host on Tuesday, Wednesday, and I believe Thursday night as well. Could be wrong, but I believe it was Ian’s girlfriend?


    ----



    RidleyReport2
    1
    3d

    Live feed of our protest at KPD today:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ithv-0GSN8A
    Turnout was about 15 plus a reporter from the Union Leader and one from the Keene Sentinel. Thanks to all who attended and spread the word! This was more turnout than I would have expected with just 36 hours to work with.

    My ridleos will trickle out much more slowly but meanwhile Ian’s girlfriend Bonnie confirms the account mentioned above, that KPD was in the house at Leverett St. Also it appears that activists did a good job getting video , within 10 minutes of the beginning of the raid at that spot. If that video had been uploaded within 48 hours of the raid, it would have had an electrical effect on the news coverage, but now the news cycle is over.

    It will still be invaluable as file video and for the purpose of helping to keep this issue on the front page. it presumably took some courage to film and we should be thankful to any and all who did so.



    -----

    RidleyReport2
    3d

    Looks like the free talk live shows have been appearing every night at
    https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive


    ----

    RidleyReport2
    2d

    Matt Roach is now clarifying that all the armored vehicles involved may have been completely Federal, and that KPD may be correct when it says “their” Bearcat was not involved.

    ---

    RidleyReport2
    RidleyReport2
    2d

    They are now saying not to donate at LRN.FM. for fear it (or the address there) may be compromised. A new option I keep hearing, and have heard from one of the hosts, is captainkickass@edge . Whatever that means (someone elaborate please.) What do you think is the best place to go for donating?

    ---

    Aahz
    Leader
    2d

    captainkickass@edge . Whatever that means (someone elaborate please.)

    It’s a FIO address 2 for cryptocurrency payments.

    --

    penguin
    Aahz
    1d

    This was a lie. I know first hand that Ian Freeman never accepted drug money in exchange for crypto. He had a clear policy against selling to ANYBODY who indicated that they were involved in criminal activity. On a number of occasions he turned down money from people who indicated that they were involved in some sort of criminal activity and the vending machines were clear as day that you should NOT inform anybody of the reason you were acquiring crypto. On numerous occasions people who appeared to be victims of fraud were turned away and asked to leave the premises without having acquired the crypto they sought. This would have been identified not by what they were using it for, since nobody ever asked that question, but rather in cases where there was a lack of an understanding of what Bitcoin was or what they were doing. If it appeared that somebody might be getting scammed that person was asked to leave.


    ---


    RidleyReport2
    1
    1d

    More coverage from the Keene PD protest https://www.unionleader.com/news/cri...3b193f087.html

    " # Keene activists protest arrests of ‘Crypto Six’

    By Damien Fisher Union Leader Correspondent
    Mar 20, 2021 Updated 13 hrs ago
    KEENE — About a dozen activists associated with the Free Keene cooperative stood outside the Keene Police Department on Saturday to protest the recent raids of Free Keene leader Ian Freeman’s home and the arrests of the so-called Crypto Six.

    Freeman, Aria DiMezzo, and Nobody, formerly known as Rich Paul, and others were arrested last week on federal money laundering charges. Freeman’s Leverett Street home was raided along with his Bitcoin operation, known as an “embassy,” on Marlborough Street.

    “The government stole my boyfriend, and the Keene Police Department should not have agreed to work with the FBI on trumped-up, dumb-ass charges,” said Bonnie Kruse.

    Kruse was sleeping in the Leverett Street home when Keene police, FBI agents and agents with the United State Treasury Department busted in to arrest Freeman and the others. Kruse, who was not charged, said she was handcuffed and detained for more than an hour during the raid.

    “The Keene Police Department should have stayed out of it,” Kruse said. “I woke up to my roommate yelling and lots and lots of noise and I’m naked.”

    She and Freeman grabbed robes as police and federal agents broke glass and broke in, shouting at them and terrifying her, she said.

    “They made me walk in glass and they made me put shoes on with glass in them,” she said.

    Kruse said Bitcoin is not a crime, and the charges are bogus.

    The Leverett Street duplex is also headquarters for many of Freeman’s Free Keene organizations, including the Shire Free Church Monadnock.

    Freeman is charged with laundering money using his churches and DiMezzo’s Reformed Satanic Temple as part of a multi-million scheme.

    Freeman had $180,000 in cash in his home, according to authorities, who found a room filled with 26 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition. The home is close to a charter middle school.

    Jason Gerhard from Northfield showed up at the protest to make his voice heard against what he sees as government overreach. The Keene Police Department’s cooperation with federal law enforcement is a step too far, Gerhard said.

    “The government has just grown so humongous,” Gerhard said. “We don’t want the federal government in our lives.”

    Freeman, 40, is charged with operating a multi-million dollar bitcoin exchange business that facilitated laundering money from scammers across the country.

    Also arrested with Freeman, DiMezzo, 34, and Nobody, 52, were Colleen Fordham, 60, of Alstead, who operates the Mighty Moose Mart, adjacent to Freeman’s Bitcoin embassy, Renee Spinella, 23, of Derry, and Andrew Spinella, 35, also of Derry.

    DiMezzo, Fordham and the Spinellas are free on their own recognizance. Nobody waived his right to a detention hearing and will remain in jail pending trial. Freeman is seeking to be released, and is awaiting an order from federal Judge Andrea Johnstone on his request to be released.

    Chris Wade, a Free Keene blogger, said Freeman’s Bitcoin embassy will be reopening soon, though he declined to get into details. He said the charges against Freeman and the others don’t make sense.

    “They’re bogus,” Wade said. “There was at least one part of it that was entirely fabricated.”

    In 2014, Freeman’s home was raided and his computers seized by FBI as part of a child sex abuse images investigation. He was never charged in that investigation.

    The Free Keene group was initially part of the Free State Project, an effort to get libertarian-leaning individuals around the country to move to New Hampshire and become embedded in the state’s political, economic and social structures.

    The Free State Project disassociated itself from Freeman in 2014, citing his advocacy for lowering the age of consent laws. "



    ----


    RidleyReport2
    20h

    Liberty activist Garret Ean and at least one friend chalk the sidewalks with “free the crypto 6” type messages outside Federal court at Concord. Marhiya Tucker - Chalkings in support of federally caged... | Facebook 8
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...00009919036488
    ---

    penguin
    4h

    Thanks for that video. I’m going to borrow it to show other people the support we have in New Hampshire. It’s a great demonstration of why people should move. Alone we parish, but together we thrive.

    ---

    RidleyReport2
    1h

    Edited ridleo with interview: NH: Activists protest FBI Bitcoin raid, KPD involvement

    https://rumble.com/vexcjz-nh-free-st...volvement.html

    ----
    Last edited by DadaOrwell; 03-23-2021 at 06:14 AM.
    Want freedom? Move to NH: http://FreeStateProject.org
    Want NH independence? http://NHexit.us

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jmdrake View Post
    I'm guessing that the "controlled substance" is some sort of drug versus being Bitcoin itself. But their defense attorney should ask for a "bill of particulars" and demand the prosecutor explain exactly what the controlled substance is.
    I agree, I read that statement as bitcoin was the fruit of the poison tree..

    Am I the only one who has trouble following the OP's posts?



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    Am I the only one who has trouble following the OP's posts?
    No.

    I have little patience for written musings of the average 'murikan.

  21. #18
    Grrr i'm sorry my OP was hard to follow. Probably I"m too close to NH liberty news to see the forest instead of the trees sometimes...but I figured you would cover for me with big picture summaries and you did; thank you.
    Want freedom? Move to NH: http://FreeStateProject.org
    Want NH independence? http://NHexit.us

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by DadaOrwell View Post
    Grrr i'm sorry my OP was hard to follow. Probably I"m too close to NH liberty news to see the forest instead of the trees sometimes...but I figured you would cover for me with big picture summaries and you did; thank you.
    Maybe take some time and spell it out for those of us who aren't informed?

    At the very least you'll have a sympathetic ear.

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    You used to be able to signup with crypto exchanges without "verifying your identity", although if you wanted to deposit or withdrawal fiat, you would have to give them your bank account or credit card info.

    Now exchanges require you to verify your identity, like a bank or other financial institution would have to do.
    Oh it's worse than that. In 2019 US Treasury forced the multi country FATF rules that exchanges share client information on any transaction. Full customer data when exchanges sent to other exchanges. There is a push now (End of 2020) to send all info to authorities for any transfer of fiat, or crypto, over $250 that crosses a US border (Which would be every transaction, I'm sure the feds would do it like they do telecom by forcing things to bounce over a border even if it's not the shortest path so they can tap every call and force a transaction to cross the US border)

    bitcoin may have started as semi anonymous but it sure isn't nowadays.

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/1...l-surveillance
    “…let us teach them that all who draw breath are of equal worth, and that those who seek to press heel upon the throat of liberty, will fall to the cry of FREEDOM!!!” – Spartacus, War of the Damned

    BTC: 1AFbCLYU3G1dkbsSJnk3spWeEwpqYVC2Pq

  24. #21
    More copy-paste from Forum.ShireSociety.com

    ------


    RidleyReport2
    5d

    FTL co-host Chris Wade (sp?) shot video of the raid from almost its beginning, and it has now been uploaded!

    https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmTRrWj8kWVgNj6...LmcQGG5ZRkVg8g 6


    https://rumble.com/veyssb-new-vid-of...-keene-nh.html


    https://www.courtlistener.com/docket...tes-v-freeman/

    irving12
    4d

    I signed up for the emailed notices for prev listing… there’s a hearing today for Ian… presumably for bail… see the updates.
    [happily i found out that the updates are quite fast]


    RidleyReport2
    4d
    Rumble 2
    Waid: FBI Bitcoin raid shut down 4 square blocks of Keene, NH 2

    Sponsor: http://ForkFest.Party - New Hampshire liberty-camping event! Aerials from http://YouTube.com/JNacoustic Want to buy an ad on the Ridley Report? https://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?to

    https://rumble.com/vf04ux-waid-fbi-b...-keene-nh.html


    RidleyReport2
    1
    4d

    On the March 22 show of free talk live, at roughly the 10 minute mark, one of the co-hosts, Bonnie, says that she has filed a sexual harassment complaint against one of the Keene police officers who interacted with her during the raid. I don’t know Bonnie’s last name.

    Go to this link: " Free Talk Live | Free Listening on SoundCloud " then scroll till you find the 3/22 show.

    Here is a much more detailed video of the Mighty Moose / Bitcoin Embassy raid on Hwy 101 in Keene.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX5u...ature=emb_logo


    penguin
    4d

    :slight_smile: I filmed this one too. Vincent did the editing. Thanks Vincent!


    RidleyReport2
    1
    1d

    And you did a good job filming it. Meanwhile…activists have set up a website where folks can send crypto and probably other types of donations meant to help the arrested folks:
    TheCrypto6.com 2



    RidleyReport2
    1
    1h
    Free Keene – 28 Mar 21 1
    VIDEO Released: March 16th, 2021 FBI Raid Of Free Talk Live, the Bitcoin... 1
    https://freekeene.com/2021/03/27/vid...ty-moose-mart/

    According to “Mr. Penguin” in the above article on FreeKeene.com,
    authorities raided “19 properties over the supposed use of cryptocurrency”

    Is he saying 19 properties in New Hampshire were raided on March 16? or is he including something outside that time and place? Can anyone name all 19 of the properties raided and post contact information for them?
    Want freedom? Move to NH: http://FreeStateProject.org
    Want NH independence? http://NHexit.us

  25. #22
    From article:
    Beginning in the spring of 2016, prosecutors said, the group opened bank accounts for the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, the Church of the Invisible Hand and the Reformed Satanic Church.
    Wut? With names like those, didn't anyone stop and ask whether there might be some Fibbies inside their group pushing this scheme? Church of the Hidden Hand???? Did no one pick up on that??? Reformed Satanic Church???? Come on people! You obviously had occultists (informants and/or LEO) in your group.
    Last edited by devil21; 04-26-2021 at 10:02 AM.
    "Let it not be said that we did nothing."-Ron Paul

    "We have set them on the hobby-horse of an idea about the absorption of individuality by the symbolic unit of COLLECTIVISM. They have never yet and they never will have the sense to reflect that this hobby-horse is a manifest violation of the most important law of nature, which has established from the very creation of the world one unit unlike another and precisely for the purpose of instituting individuality."- A Quote From Some Old Book

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by devil21 View Post
    From article:


    Wut? With names like those, didn't anyone stop and ask whether there might be some Fibbies inside their group pushing this scheme? Church of the Hidden Hand???? Did no one pick up on that??? Reformed Satanic Church???? Come on people! You obviously had occultists (informants and/or LEO) in your group.
    Are you unable to pick up satire? They ran Commercials for the past 10 years advertising those churches as a tax deductible donation.

    You joined in 2007. Surely you came across it at some point.

    However, Chris Cantwell was a co-host on the show for about 7 years, before he turned into a neo-nazi. So perhaps you're on to something.
    Last edited by XxNeXuSxX; 04-28-2021 at 07:12 AM.

  27. #24
    On strict bail conditions, authorities "release" one of the 2 remaining Bitcoiner detainees, FreeTalkLive.com host Ian Freeman. I believe he is now in home confinement.
    https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmdmSEGqnDFaJvR...ze3ZkPkMwHgsDZ
    Want freedom? Move to NH: http://FreeStateProject.org
    Want NH independence? http://NHexit.us



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  29. #25
    https://www.theverge.com/22599932/bi...an-prosecution

    THE SACKING OF A CRYPTO MECCA
    Libertarians built a Bitcoin economy in a small New Hampshire town — then feds tore it down
    By Russell Brandom Aug 2, 2021

    The sky was still dark when the agents arrived at Leverett St. in Keene, New Hampshire, a leafy block of kit houses at the quiet edges of the small college town. They settled on a house at the corner, surrounding it with two armored BearCat G3s and a fleet of unmarked SUVs. Both BearCats had gunners stationed in a hatch on the roof, clad in camo fatigues. The only light came from the blue-and-red sirens, strobing off houses in every direction.


    Inside, Ian Freeman was asleep with his girlfriend and their small dog Coconut. He woke to the sound of exploding glass. A ramming pole, tethered to the front of one of the BearCats, had plowed through a first floor window, tearing off the frame as it backed up. Freeman threw on a bathrobe and stumbled downstairs, still shaking off sleep. There was shattered glass everywhere. His first thought was that some stranger had thrown a brick. But then he heard a whirring sound, a small hovering drone that police had deployed to explore the house. He looked outside and saw blinding lights. Coming into focus beside the lights, men pointed rifles at him.


    One mile east, Freeman’s talk radio co-host Aria DiMezzo stumbled downstairs in her underwear only to be met by a tactical assault team, who told her they would shoot her if she moved. At the town’s Bitcoin Embassy, a group of agents tore a Bitcoin dispenser from the concrete floor, leaving four symmetrical holes where it had been bolted down. They took another machine from the Campus Convenience in central Keene, another from a bar called Murphy’s Taproom, and a fourth from the Red Arrow Diner in Nashua. Together, they held more than $50,000 in cash.


    There was even more money in Freeman’s home, seized by federal agents and later reported to the courts in a forfeiture filing: $180,000 in cash, a 100oz Swiss silver bar (worth roughly $3,000), and a platinum coin stamped with a portrait of Ron Paul. There were boxes full of gold-laced bills called goldbacks that were too obscure to even put a value on — some taken from Freeman’s home, others seized in transit by the postal service. The biggest prize was two Casascius physical Bitcoins, worth 100 and 1 btc respectively, first available in 2011 and now worth more than $4 million.


    For police, the money was nearly as important as Freeman himself. For years, they had been tracking his Bitcoin business for evidence of money laundering or other crimes. As far as they were concerned, it was all part of an unlicensed money transmittal scheme processing millions of dollars a year. The purpose of the raid was to break that system, tearing out Freeman’s Bitcoin machines one by one and seizing any illegal proceeds along with them.


    News of the raid spread fast. A local Linux developer and crypto activist named Christopher Waid rushed to Freeman’s house to film the last gasps of the raid, catching footage of the BearCats, the drone, and the bizarre militarism of it all. When he was done there, he headed to the Bitcoin Embassy, where a crowd had gathered to watch police carry out duffel bags and plastic tubs full of loose paper. Despite the name, the embassy was little more than a side room to a convenience store. The most radical part of it was the bookshelf, offering DevOps manuals alongside copies of Ludwig von Mises’ Socialism and Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.


    For years, Freeman had been warning about federal encroachment, broadcasting every night on the radio about the tightening fist of the state. His Bitcoin venture was part of a broader Free State movement in New Hampshire, turning a quiet corner of New England into a libertarian paradise. Now the counterforce was here, like a prophecy fulfilled, and the Free Staters understood their role perfectly. They were ready with cameras, asking for warrants and litigating precisely where they were allowed to stand while the raid dragged on. When police herded the crowd across the street, it just meant they had to yell that much louder.


    “You guys are the $#@!ing enemy!” one of the protestors told the agents, as they carried out another tub of papers. “You’re not protecting anybody’s $#@!ing freedom. You’re all a bunch of gangsters.”


    ByBy the end of the day on March 16th, six people were in custody: including Freeman, his girlfriend, and a married couple who lived nearby. Two co-hosts on the radio show were also named: DiMezzo and a man born as Richard Paul, who had legally changed his name to Nobody in protest of the bureaucratic state. According to the indictment, all six had been involved in Freeman’s Bitcoin dispenser business. An indictment filed under seal the day before the raid counted out thirteen instances when someone from the group had contacted a bank on behalf of the business since April 2017, listing each call or email as a count of wire fraud.


    The defense lawyers describe the project in more idealistic terms. “The defendants were a loosely affiliated group of people with libertarian political leanings that included a strong belief that Bitcoin was a great development for those who champion human freedom,” one filing reads.

    There are lots of people like that in Keene, although you might not guess it from driving through. A quiet college town of less than 25,000 people, the libertarian migration to New Hampshire (also known as the Free State Project) has turned it into a magnet for cryptocurrency buffs, some of whom have unexpectedly become millionaires after the Bitcoin boom of the past few years. In 2019, Forbes called the town a “crypto mecca,” citing more than 20 businesses accepting some form of cryptocurrency payment. Many of those businesses were solicited directly by Freeman and his cohort, who saw cryptocurrency as a kind of moral crusade against the belligerence of the US government.


    Freeman is best known as the host of Free Talk Live, a libertarian talk radio show syndicated to 185 radio stations across the country. Many of the activists outside the embassy had appeared on the show at some point, including Waid. When the BearCat rammed through the window, it was ramming into Freeman’s studio, a maze of cables and audio racks where the show is recorded, mixed, and distributed.


    Free Talk Live gave Freeman the power to draw together a community of crypto-minded libertarians in Keene, but it also amplified his ugliest mistakes. Most recently, it gave center stage to his still-active lawsuit against New Hampshire’s mask mandate. (“I was never really convinced that COVID was a particularly dangerous thing,” Freeman tells me when I ask about the case.) The show also gave an early home to the infamous “crying nazi” Christopher Cantwell, who appeared on Free Talk Live when he was still trying to brand himself as a libertarian anti-police activist. (“When he became a racist, I fired him from Free Talk Live,” Freeman says. “He just kept getting deeper into that world.”)


    The chaotic world of libertarian talk radio made Freeman’s show a natural gathering point for the early Bitcoin community. Free Talk’s first call about Bitcoin came in December 2010, the same month Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared from active development of the Bitcoin spec.

    Hyped on the Free Talk Live site as the first consumer media mention of Bitcoin, the episode now comes off as a bizarre time capsule. The first 20 minutes are taken up with a discussion of voluntarist alternatives to the fire department and municipal road maintenance, after which the conversation turns to crystal meth and Venezuela. Around 40 minutes in, a caller named Jeremy from Australia chimes in to talk about a new digital currency called Bitcoin.


    “It was about six cents for a Bitcoin in August and now it’s 26 cents, so it’s already increased quite a bit,” Jeremy says.


    “My initial concern was that it’s essentially a fiat currency, because it’s not backed by anything,” Freeman responds. “It’s a neat idea. I don’t know if it’s yet a fantastic alternative.”


    Freeman came around to Bitcoin in the months that followed, eventually fitting it into broader complaints about the way the US government controls the value of the dollar. The price kept rising: within three years it had cleared $1,000, then $10,000 four years after that. According to the forfeiture documents, Freeman’s cryptocurrency holdings are now worth well over $5 million.


    As more money flooded into cryptocurrency, something else came with it. The version of Bitcoin that’s become popular in recent years is less political and more straightforwardly interested in making money. Venture capital has embraced the blockchain as an opportunity on the same scale as targeted advertising or independent-contractor labor schemes. It’s rare to hear concerns about the Federal Reserve at a Bitcoin conference these days, and few are interested in standoffs with regulators — there’s just no money in it.


    But if you’re ready to work with regulators, the money is almost endless. Coinbase, an early adherent to federal Know Your Customer rules, is now processing more than $100 billion of transactions every month, while the company itself is valued at $50 billion. New wallet regulations are creeping forward from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and while some activists cry foul, most entrepreneurs have welcomed them with open arms. At the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, the Winklevoss twins promised a crowd of real estate moguls and retail investors that anyone who owns a Bitcoin will one day be a millionaire.

    For true believers like Freeman, that shift has been bittersweet. “There’s nothing wrong with somebody seeing it from that perspective and just wanting to invest in a thing and be successful,” Freeman tells me. “But in the libertarian Bitcoin community up here, they see it differently. They see it as a dramatic transfer of power.”


    But if Mt. Gox and the Silk Road represented a transfer of power, the power is now shifting back the other way. In 2017, international raids took down BTC-e (then the largest unregulated exchange), with a money laundering sting revealed the following year. An Ohio man was arrested last year for running a Bitcoin tumbler called Helix, which mixed blockchain records with obscure transactions; a month after the New Hampshire raid, a Russian-Swedish national was arrested for running a similar service called Bitcoin Fog.


    In public statements, prosecutors refer to these as “darknet” cases, treating the unregulated Bitcoin system as a loosely organized criminal conspiracy. There is a lot of tainted money on the blockchain: money from drug sales, online scams, or stolen from individual users as part of a breach. Tumblers and anonymous exchanges let criminals escape with that money, so law enforcement agencies are trying to shut them down one by one, like plugging holes in a dam. With so much dirty money trying to get clean, the prosecutions take on a kind of fatalist logic. Any unregulated exchange will eventually be used for money-laundering; any unmonitored flow of coins will eventually be an accomplice to a crime.

    yBy the end of May, both Freeman and DiMezzo were out on bail, with the trial scheduled for October 2022. Waid announced Freeman’s release with a wry blog post on Free Keene: “After Significant Delays Hostage Takers Release Ian From From Merrimack County Spiritual Retreat.”


    The conditions of the bail are stringent, befitting the aftermath of the raid: they can’t leave their homes, trade Bitcoin, or communicate with other co-defendants. That last provision created significant problems for Free Talk Live, since it meant the main two co-hosts could no longer speak to each other without risking more jail time. Within a few weeks, the court granted a relief order letting them talk for the purposes of coordinating the show, and the show returned to its usual troublemaking. By the end of July, they were drumming up support for a ballot measure that would allow New Hampshire to secede from the United States.


    Nobody took a more adversarial stance toward the legal system and stayed in jail for months longer. According to court records, his calls with the public defender broke down into screaming matches. After two weeks in jail, he made a phone call so alarming that it halted his efforts for pretrial release. The recording itself is sealed, but a filing gives alarming titles for the exhibits, including “audio clip — needs to die,” “audio clip — start shooting pigs,” and “audio clip — kill himself if sentenced.”


    Prosecutors say he made threats against his public defender’s life, and the public defender withdrew from the case the next day, putting the bail hearing on hold. As late as August, he was still in jail. Supporters rallied outside the corrections building, waving signs that said “Free Nobody.”

    Freeman’s cohort had always lived at the margins of the broader Free State Project — but after the arrest, a new wave of libertarian activism sprung up around him. The Free Keene website became a flurry of daily news about bail hearings and protests. Waid started a website to support “the Crypto6,” as he called them. Soon, T-shirts bearing the name were a regular sight around town. A longtime Free State activist named Dave Ridley started organizing jail rallies, lending more local credibility to the cause.


    As the jail rallies tapered off, Ridley turned to a more ostentatious kind of activism: branding himself as “Bitcoin Gandhi” and launching a 24-day march from Keene to Concord dressed in robes in a historically accurate Gandhi costume. A string of YouTube videos show him walking down the narrow shoulders of two-lane highways, picking up trash and occasionally being questioned by confused but genial highway patrollers. In an open letter to the head of New England’s General Services Agency, Ridley called for the federal government to distance itself from the case, saying, “escalations of this type indicate a Venezuelan-style slide into currency-fascism.” The month after, Ridley’s Gandhi alter ego took part in another protest outside the Concord federal building with Mr. Bitcoin, a Mr. Met-style foam suit embodiment of a physical Bitcoin.

    Freeman was familiar with this kind of civil disobedience, acting out to showcase the brutality of the carceral status quo. Years earlier, Freeman had smoked marijuana on the main street of Keene, daring local cops to arrest him for a crime that usually goes unpunished. (A friend filmed the encounter from across the street.) A longer running gag is Freeman’s refusal to pay municipal fines, litigating every parking ticket or summons until the bureaucracy finds it easier to simply give up.


    Looking at his Bitcoin business, it can be hard to tell where that activism ends and the straightforward business begins. Freeman’s machines were real, and he was making money by building out cryptocurrency infrastructure like any entrepreneur. But he arranged the business in a self-consciously risky way, avoiding financial licensing and other measures that insulate many Bitcoin businesses from prosecution. Even more than his Wall Street competitors, Freeman was deeply familiar with cryptocurrency prosecutions. He knew that his Bitcoin dispenser left him exposed, but it never slowed him down.

    Freeman believes he was under investigation as early as 2018, when he says a federal agent approached Renee Spinella with questions about Freeman’s Bitcoin dealings. Spinella refused to inform on Freeman; she and her husband were among the six arrested during the raids. But it was an ominous sign, the first indication of a federal case against Freeman’s Bitcoin business.


    Still, it wasn’t enough to make Freeman drop the project. As he tells it, his Bitcoin work was too important to give up, a kind of moral crusade against the American state and its ability to wage war.


    “I was on a mission to spread Bitcoin,” Freeman says. “To give people an opportunity to get out of this government money system that funds evil and funds violence and funds war. Dollar by dollar, people need to get out of that system.”


    Freeman also didn’t think the FBI could make a case. “We believed that this was legal,” he says. “There was a legal opinion written by our church attorney that looked at both federal and state regulations and he said, this is just a sale of a product; this isn’t money transmission.”


    That opinion, prepared by the Shire Free Church, rests on a unique technical point that makes Freeman’s Bitcoin dispensers more like vending machines than an ATM. The machines look like a Cupertino-fried version of your standard cash machine, but each one holds its own wallet, akin to a stash of Bitcoins held physically inside the machine. So instead of transmitting your money from somewhere else, Freeman argues it’s merely dispensing a locally controlled inventory. It’s a clever distinction, although one can see how the FBI might not be convinced.

    Freeman was operating the business openly and the New Hampshire Banking Department never told him to shut it down, but he kept receiving ominous signs from law enforcement. Earlier this year, he was cultivated by a stranger who claimed to be a drug dealer — and who Freeman believes was actually an undercover FBI agent.

    “This guy had been a Bitcoin buyer, seemed like a decent guy. He’d shown up at one of our crypto meetups,” Freeman says. “He wasn’t even talking to me personally, but I was within earshot and I heard him say he was a heroin and ecstasy dealer and it was like, ‘Red alert! We have a possible fed here! You’re either a federal agent or you’re a $#@!ing moron.’” Freeman says he recognized the legal danger and refused to sell to the man, thinking he’d avoided a money laundering charge.

    But if Freeman was ready to butt heads with the federal government, he wasn’t ready for the dramatic violence of the raid. “They could have just come and knocked,” Freeman says. “No one had to get their windows busted in.”


    He also wasn’t ready for the full scope of the charges. Reviewing the case now, he’s particularly alarmed by the charge of operating a “continuing financial crimes enterprise,” which was levied against him specifically. It seems to have been triggered by the Shire Free Church allegedly bringing in more than $5 million in gross receipts over two years, which puts it in a different class of criminal organization. When we spoke, Freeman was still expecting more charges to emerge from ongoing grand jury proceedings.


    “It was worse than I expected it to be,” he tells me. “And they’re not done yet.”


    OnceOnce DiMezzo was released, one of her biggest surprises was the bail restriction on Bitcoin. It’s a reasonable request from prosecutors — you can’t let an accused diamond smuggler sell diamonds — but it’s meant a huge change in her lifestyle because, unlike most cryptocurrency enthusiasts, DiMezzo actually uses Bitcoin as money. She tells me she made about 80 percent of her purchases directly off the blockchain before the arrest, usually businesses in the Keene area that have set up Bitcoin payments through a local point-of-sale system called AnyPay. DiMezzo says she could eat at a different restaurant every night and always pay in crypto. This isn’t how Bitcoin works for most people and it can feel like Keene’s crypto mecca is a kind of island, blissfully cut off from the broader motion of cryptocurrency.


    After the raid, the island is shrinking. In a phone call from the Merrimack jail, Freeman’s co-host Nobody spoke to me bitterly about Bitcoin developers’ refusal to increase the block size, a disagreement that ultimately led to the 2017 Bitcoin Cash split. His side lost that fight — the block size didn’t change, pushing the price of Bitcoin up while on-blockchain transactions got slower and slower. The Keene contingent still uses Bitcoin Cash where possible or fully anonymous alternatives like Monero, but it’s a much harder sell than Bitcoin.


    The financial side of Bitcoin (the side you would find partying in Miami) isn’t interested in Bitcoin Cash. They don’t care about on-chain transactions or anonymity or anything else that would add friction to the vast sums of money pouring into cryptocurrency. For most of the new arrivals, Bitcoin is about profit, not politics.

    “There’s that division,” Freeman says, “between the people who want to be regulated and controlled and people who see [cryptocurrency] as a new freedom that we have.”


    That division is particularly stark after the raids, now that supporters are trying to raise money and awareness. It would be a good time to have rich and powerful friends, but Freeman doesn’t have any expectation that the institutional Bitcoin world will step in. “They probably won’t speak up in any of our cases,” Freeman tells me. “We’re irrelevant to them.”


    Bitcoin was born as a way to escape from all this, to build a monetary system outside the reach of the dollar, the Fed, or the government. That was the dream that first drew Freeman into Bitcoin, before it was any more plausible of an investment than gold-laced currency or silver coins. In the decade since, Silicon Valley and Wall Street have gotten friendlier with Bitcoin, and prosecutors have learned how to tame it — but Freeman sees the same dream of escape still living beneath it all.


    “They’re gonna regulate the exchanges,” he says. “We know that. They’re going to regulate the banks, wherever else they can apply pressure… But regardless of how much effort they put into trying to control cryptocurrency, it will fail because of the decentralized nature of it.”


    It is a point of almost religious faith for him. No matter how hard the clampdown, it will be incomplete. The wilder forces will survive just out of reach.


    “They can’t control Bitcoin,” he tells me. “That’s why they hate it.”
    https://www.theverge.com/22599932/bi...an-prosecution
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc
    "You don't need a medical degree to spot obvious bullshit, that's actually a separate skill." -Scott Adams
    "When you are divided, and angry, and controlled, you target those 'different' from you, not those responsible [controllers]" -Q

    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."



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