Federal investigators asked banks to scour customer transactions for . . . purchases at stores including Dick's Sporting Goods and Bass Pro Shops . . .
I returned home from the grocery store late last week to find three black SUVs and an armored personnel carrier parked in my driveway. About a dozen FBI agents were milling around in my front yard. They all wore conservative business suits and looked like finalists in a Kevin Costner look-alike contest.
Daily Mail.com, January 18, 2024
In my backyard, I saw ten or twelve SWAT team members dressed in black, wearing Kevlar, and carrying assault rifles. Uh-oh, I thought, I must have skipped a payment on my Chase credit card.
But it was far more serious than that. At the Justice Department's direction, my bank analyzed my credit card records and discovered I had purchased two Carhartt shirts at Bass Pro Shop. The Feds read me my rights and arrested me on two counts of sedition.
I mortgaged my house to hire the best criminal attorney in Baton Rouge—Robert Hufflepuff. "You've been caught red-handed," Hufflepuff told me, "and the evidence against you is overwhelming.
"It's only a matter of time," Hufflepuff added, "before the FBI finds out about those mittens you bought at Cabela's. And how will you explain that copy of Saint Teresa of Avila's autobiography on your bookshelf? Religious literature is another extremism indicator."
On my lawyer’s advice, I made a full confession and agreed to rat out my relatives and go into the witness protection program. I have a big family, and the Feds arrested dozens of my nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law, and ex-brothers-in-law. All of them had bought stuff from Bass Pro Shop, Cabela's, or Dick’s Sporting Goods, and a few had some religious books in their homes. It was the biggest bust of treason plotters since Waco.
I've learned a lot from this traumatic episode. I now realize I should have never bought those Carhartt shirts from Bass Pro Shop. If I had bought them from Academy Sports, the FBI wouldn’t have arrested me, and about two dozen of my relatives wouldn’t be facing hard time in a federal prison.
Second, the FBI witness protection program is not as glamorous as you might think. I hoped to make a fresh start in a charming city like San Francisco. Maybe I could get a gig as a hedge fund manager and pull down some big bucks.
Unfortunately, my FBI handler only offered me one option: a new identity as a Baptist preacher in Dry Prong, Louisiana. I decided to take my chances.