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June 26, 1995
Christopher F. Padavich
P.O. Box 79
Plano, Iowa 52581
Post Office Box 4091
Des Moines, Iowa 50333
I'm writing you to tell you about being arrested in Appanoose County Iowa near Centerville.
On February 19th 1993 I was arrested on a county road near my home by Appanoose County Sheriff's deputies, Centerville Police Department and Iowa Division of Narcotics agents for "Prohibited Acts".
I was operating my father's 1985 Ford Escort station wagon in a legal manner when I was stopped and arrested. Police Officer Mike Seay informed me he and Chief Deputy Gary D. Anderson had obtained 3 search warrants. One warrant for my residence, one warrant for my parents' residence and one warrant for a farmhouse that my father owns.
I was searched and sent to jail. I remained in jail until May 3rd 1993. It came to be known that officers Anderson and Seay had committed perjury on the search warrant application.
It also came to be known that Jerry Nelson, Michael C. Seay, Gary D. Anderson, and their informant Jeff Shondel, had engaged in a plan to "frame me".
Jeff Shondel, an alleged informant was said by Anderson and Seay to have "set-up" a situation in which Jeff Shondel would sell 3 kilograms of cocaine to an individual named Vincent Portela, who Shondel claims to have met at my father's farmhouse at rural Plano Iowa on February 12th 1993.
Quoting from the affidavit to obtain a search warrant, Shondel allegedly stated the following: Vincent Portela offered to purchase cocaine from Jeff Shondel for $60,000. Shondel described Vincent Portela as having a medium build, slender, and "with a large scar from his ear to his chin and a deformed upper jaw." Officer Seay alleges he showed a picture of Vincent Portela to Shondel and Shondel said that was the person he met with on February 12th 1993.
On February 19th 1993, three search warrants were issued in reliance on Mr. Seay's and Anderson's allegations that Shondel had arranged a "controlled delivery".
Seay and Anderson also alleged that Shondel had "smoked" marijuana with Chris Padavich on February 16th 1993 at my father's farmhouse in rural Plano Iowa.
On February 19th 1993 at 6:15 p.m. Officer Seay and Anderson went to the farmhouse owned by my father and executed a search warrant and allege to have found 4 1/2 pounds of marijuana.
On March 21st 1993 Officer Anderson aquired an ex-parte order from Wallace Carter, Appanoose County Magistrate, to seize one 1987 Lincoln Towncar, one 1982 Lincoln Towncar, and 34 cows that were located on the farm.
April 2nd 1993 the above property was sold at public auction.
The Iowa Department of Revenue assessed a penalty of $20,360 against me for 2019 grams of marijuana.
The was done to collect the Drug Tax Stamp that Iowa law allows.
The Drug Tax Stamp is collected on "allegations" in the state of Iowa.
If a person is accused, then the Department of Revenue can collect the tax. The amount of tax is computed by taking 2019 grams of marijuana multiplied by $5 a gram. The law then calls for "double penalties" which makes it $10 a gram.
On May 21st 1993 in Appanoose County District Court I filed a motion to suppress the 4 1/2 pounds of marijuana.
The District Court Judge James P. Reilly heard the motion to suppress.
Michael C. Seay, Gary D. Anderson, Jerry Nelson of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and Jeff Shondel, testified at the hearing for the state.
On direct examination by my attorney, Jeff Shondel testified that "he did not know Vincent Portela". Shondel also testified that he did not remember describing Portela as having a scar from his ear to his chin and a deformed jaw.
Shondel testified that Jerry Nelson on February 19th 1993 had given Shondel $10,000 and provided Shondel with 61 pounds 6 ounces of cocaine.
Jerry Nelson testified that there was no sale of cocaine on February 19th 1993.
Officer Seay testified that in fact Vincent Portela was in prison in New York and could not have been at the residence as Shondel and Seay had said.
Mr. Seay claims he did not lie or know Shondel was lying when he had prepared the affidavit.
Mr. Seay claims that Shondel met "a look alike" to Vincent Portela, another individual that has a scar from his ear to his chin and a deformed upper jaw.
To date Mr. Seay has not produced anyone who looks like Vincent Portela.
The search warrant relied on in this case was an "anticipatory" search warrant.
The warrant was issued on Mr. Seay's and Shondel's representations that Shondel would sell 3 kilograms of cocaine on 2/19/93. There was no one at the house when Shondel arrived there, no sale, no money, no Portela.
The judge, James P. Reilly, ruled that a controlled set-up is legal even if the drugs are not delivered to the property if Shondel said he had smoked marijuana there.
The testimony at the motion hearing clearly establish that the "controlled set-up" was "a mere pretext to an unjustifiable search."
The fact that I was arrested on the roadside for "Prohibited Acts" demonstrates that the controlled delivery that did not occur was the basis for the search warrants.
The reason being, that I was not arrested for "smoking pot", but for cocaine that the law enforcement agents had provided to a convicted felon named Jeff Shondel.
At the time of my arrest, Officer Seay advised me that he was going to search. Therefore, the police were not aware of the contents of the residences.
On December 3rd 1993 I was found guilty of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and Iowa Drug Tax Stamp.
On January 14th 1994 I was sentenced to two 5 year sentences to run consecutively and fined $5,000 on each count plus 30% surcharge.
I was sent to prison until January 22nd 1994 when my father posted $20,000 appeal bond.
The case is now on appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.
On May 15th 1995 a hearing was held at the capitol in front of 5 justices of the Iowa Supreme Court.
In the hearing, the Iowa Assitant Attorney General, Bridget Chambers, agreed that Shondel had lied and the Mr. Seay and Anderson had known that Shondel was lying.
Justice Louis Lavaroto said, "Does the state agree that Shondel's credibility was totally shattered at the motion hearing?"
Miss Chambers' response, "Yes".
It is now apparent that there was perjury and that the police engaged in a scheme to "frame me".
I'm currently awaiting a decision in the case. The issue remaining is whether the police can obtain 3 search warrants for 3 properties on a known liar's allegation that he had smoked marijuana at one of the residences.
The Iowa Supreme Court on April 26th 1995 in State v. Gillespie, an appeal from Polk County of a cocaine distribution case, ruled that Iowa Code chapter 808 does not allow "anticipatory warrants".
That is the reason the state claims that "smoking marijuana" is sufficient to uphold the 3 warrants.
It should be noted that Shondel when asked could not even describe the interior of the residence he claims to have been in on the dates Shondel claims to have been there.
Mr. Seay and Anderson in the affidavit for search warrant claim that they had "confirmed" Shondel's allegations.
At the suppression hearing, Mr. Seay claims that he was at the Law Center in Centerville, 11 miles away, and that neither he nor any other officer observed any activity at any of the three residences.
It was also discoverd that Jeff Shondel was a convicted felon. He was a convicted thief. Also Shondel was facing 20 years in federal prison for possession the cocaine that law enforcement used to "set-up" the search.
In the attachments to the search warrants, Mr. Seay claimed that "Shondel had no motivation to falsify information". At the motion hearing, Seay claimed he did not know Shondel was a felon or that Shondel was facing prison time. It's obvious that the police here are corrupt.
Obviously, Judge James Reilly condones illegal acts by the police.
I feel Ihave a duty to reveal these criminals to the public.
If the Iowa Supreme Court upholds the search warrants, I plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court the search and the Iowa Drug Tax Stamp.
If anyone has any input about my letter, please have them write to me. My address is Chris Padavich, P.O. Box 79, Plano, Iowa 52581.
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