This is a sad testament to just how far down into a police state the United States has descended. Undercover cops in Hillsborough County, Florida hired 118 handymen just so they could arrest them all for not having licenses.
Rest easy citizens. The cops saved us from those pesky handymen who only want to do a job in exchange for money without first being extorted by the state for a license. The sting, known as “Operation House Hunters,” saw sheriff’s deputies pose as homeowners seeking handymen on social media to do jobs that required licensure. These unsuspecting handymen would be lured to one of five homes, where undercover deputies filmed them performing or agreeing to perform prohibited tasks like painting or installing recess lighting.
According to Patch, the stings were carried out between March and December of last year. The arrests were announced yesterday. “These 118 con men and women were posing as contractors & preying on innocent homeowners in Hillsborough County, who were just looking to repair or improve their home,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister at a Tuesday press conference. The mug shots of those picked up in the sweeps were displayed behind him on big posters.
Notice the language. The sheriff actually said these people were “preying on innocent homeowners.” Preying on the innocent is now doing a job in exchange for money? No, the real problem was that the handymen chose to do their business without the state’s permission. And that is unacceptable in a police state like the USSA.
Sheriff: “We have arrested 118 people in an investigation we called, ‘Operation House Hunters.’ These 118 con men & women were posing as contractors & preying on innocent homeowners in Hillsborough County, who were just looking to repair or improve their home.” pic.twitter.com/5TQyb1QteZ
— HCSO #teamhcso (@HCSOSheriff) February 4, 2020
At least the majority of Twitter users called the cops out for their disturbing need to use violence and force against people for trying to provide a service in exchange for money…
Oh praise be!! We can all sleep safely!! Thank Lord for the #thinblueline between us and bad paint jobs!
— Gator Man (@OrangeBlueGator) February 6, 2020
This is why the authority granted the State should be reigned in. Operating without a license should at worst be a fineable violation at best not an offense at all. People have the right to provide service and arrange contracts between themselves without the State's permission.
— AlexKLacey (@AlexKLacey1) February 6, 2020
What terrible people. The police department, I mean.
What an unbelievable waste of resources.
— Jdub (@xclamashanpoint) February 6, 2020
Only eight of the people arrested as part of Operation House Hunter were repeat offenders, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department. The other 110 were arrested for first-time offenses. The bulk of those charges were for “unlawful acts in the capacity of a contractor,” a misdemeanor offense that can come with a $1,000 fine and a 12-month jail sentence. Repeat violations can result in a felony charge. -Reason
What’s worse, is that the cops are usually the ones conning these contractors into doing work without a license says Leslie Sammis, a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, Florida who is defending some of these handymen. Frequently, she says, officers will hire a handyman on the pretext of performing work that doesn’t need a license, and then during the course of the job ask them to do something that does, like unhooking a toilet or laying some tiles.
“When the handyman says no, then the undercover detective moves the conversation to something else and then comes back to the question later in a different way,” says Sammis. “By the time the handyman gets to the location, they want to make the homeowner happy and end up agreeing to perform work that they didn’t intend on doing when they first arrived. The undercover detective[s] are just creating a crime that probably wouldn’t occur otherwise.”
And that’s the nature of the police state, folks. It won’t get better either until we all stand up to this tyranny.
Battlefield America: The War on the American People is constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead’s terrifying portrait of a nation at war with itself. Police forces across the United States have been transformed into extensions of the military. Our towns and cities have become battlefields, and we the American people are now the enemy combatants to be spied on tracked, frisked, and searched. For those who resist, the consequences can be a one-way trip to jail or even death.
In exchange for safe schools and lower crime rates, we have opened the doors to militarized police, zero-tolerance policies in schools, and SWAT team raids. The insidious shift was so subtle that most of us had no idea it was happening. This follow-up to Whitehead’s award-winning A Government of Wolves is a brutal critique of an America on the verge of destroying the very freedoms that define it. Hands up!―the police state has arrived.
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