NORFED and the Police State Deputy:
The Face Off Bowie Valeriano Ibarra

By Robert Jensen

An account of harassment and ignorance by a Travis County Deputy who had to save face after being exposed to NORFED and refused to acknowledge the truth.

The following is an honest and frank account by the victim, Bowie V. Ibarra, of what transpired on January 5, 2002 between an deputy sheriff officer who was ignorant about the alternative currency, NORFED. The account will also document his inability to distinguish between counterfeit and lawful money and the resulting harassment and intimidation by the officer due to his inability to accept that his assessment of the money was wrong.

It was the evening of January 5, 2002. My girlfriend, Yedida Bustamante, and I had joined my roommate, Perry Farley, Jr., for an evening of billiards at Slick Willie's on Lamar in Austin, Texas. The evening was relaxed and lively occasion, which is usually the case when I am out with my girlfriend and my roommate.

The evening was coming to a close and it was time to settle my bill. I offered to pay for the game and beverages with NORFED. The waitress was told that she couldn't accept it and I complied with absolutely no incident. I paid for my first transaction with a debit card.

As we were leaving, we realized my roommate had purchased another beer before he had finished his first beer. We decided to hang out at the bar and let my roommate finish his beer.

As the conversation became longer than I had anticipated, I decided to order a beer and continue with our dialogue. Though I had been turned down once before, I decided to offer to pay for my beer in NORFED again. I was turned down again and I complied with the decision of the establishment with no incident. I paid for my beer with a twenty dollar Federal Reserve Note.

As I was getting the change for my beer, the dishonorable Deputy Richardson approached me at the prompting of the store manager. At this point, I was not afraid of his inquiry, since I had exchanged a $10 silver liberty with a member of the Austin Police Department and figured he only had a few questions about the currency. I was prepared to answer any of his questions. I was not prepared for the belligerent and arrogant manner in which he approached me.

The conversation started with the officer approaching me and stating something to the effect that I could not use the currency. I very politely replied that I could use it and that it was a new competitive currency. But before I could continue, the thuggish deputy insisted that I could not use it and that any other currency not put out by the central banking system was counterfeit. I politely, but firmly, tried to pass on the knowledge that the currency was not counterfeit, but was once again interrupted by the arrogant centurion. This time, he attempted to threaten me by claiming he would call the secret service and let them sort it out. I was not threatened at all by this tactic, since he would be doing me a favor. The secret service is very knowledgeable on the subject of NORFED, unlike this despicable deputy.

When this weak threat did not work, the officer then continued his aggressive assertion that it was illegal for me to try and pass the currency. Sensing his agitation, I tried to hand him my business card, with my name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, to end the conversation, stating that the website on the card could provide the information he so obviously needed.

With utter contempt and rudeness, the zenith of an ignorant and stubborn fool, deputy Richardson childishly stated that he was not going to look at the site because there is no such thing as a competitive currency, since only money issued by the Federal Reserve is the only legal money.

By this time, his stupidity and bullheadedness was irritating me tremendously. So I offered my hand to the deputy and told him that since we weren't getting anywhere in the conversation, I was ending it. I shook his hand, told him to have a good evening, and turned back to my friends. He walked away as I rejoined my friends.

After several moments of cooling down and talking about how the deputy acted inappropriately and aggressively over something he was simply ignorant of, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Richardson. He demanded to see my ID.

Though I respect the law and the good police officers and sheriffs deputies who are working to make our community good, the way the ignominious deputy Richardson treated me, a citizen he has taken an oath to protect, I was not prepared to return the respect. I had previously identified myself with my business card and since I had committed no crime, I told the officer that I was not going to show him my ID.

Now, I do understand that when an officer asks for your ID, he should also give you the reason why he is asking for it. The deputy did not show me this courtesy. It was obvious at this point that the deputy was on what some might refer to as a "power trip". Sensing a need to get even with me for not accepting his imaginary definition of counterfeit, he was giving himself an excuse to continue being a discourteous and disrespectful peace officer and a horrible example for his fellow Travis County Deputies.

If the deputy really knew the maritime laws he is supposed to uphold and protect, he would have known that my money was not counterfeit because it looks like nothing the Federal Reserve puts out. He would also understand that since I did not claim it was legal tender, which it is not, I was once again innocent of wrongdoing. The establishment had already taken care of the offer to barter, and I accepted their ruling with no incident both times. The officer had no reason to pursue the matter after our discussion. And if he was really interested in learning and not bullying, he would have listened to what I had to say. But now, the deputy was asking me to step outside, where the black heart and cowardly soul of deputy Richardson was about to show its face.

Not wanting to cause any trouble, I voluntarily (stupidly) followed the officer outside the establishment. I knew that the reputation of the Travis County Sheriff's department was not good, and I was prepared to experience the truth of that assertion. In the cold, the officer proceeded to demand my identification, reminiscent of the way Nazi's treated the people of Germany and surrounding areas. Sensing his rage, I very calmly told him that I was not going to show it to him because I did not do anything wrong. He then threatened to arrest me if I did not show him my ID, stating that Texas law states that anytime a law officer asks for ID, you must show it. Now, I understand that this is true, but there was no reason for him to ask me for my ID. At this point, he was using the law to take advantage of me as a means for him to save face after I refused to listen to his ignorant prattle.

I then began to tell him as gently as possible that we did not need to be doing this. He stated his threat again. I politely refused again. He then forcefully grabbed my arm and told me I was under arrest and began to handcuff me. As he put the first one on, he paused and asked me again if I was going to show him my ID. Not wanting to continue this mockery of justice, I told the officer that I would let him, but under duress. He said no and finished handcuffing me.

Standing in front of this gutless bully, he asked me again if I would show him my ID. I repeated my earlier statement that we did not need to be doing this. He then threatened to call the Austin Police Department to put me in jail. Not wanting to play his stupid playground game anymore, I told him if he wanted to see it, it was in my back left pocket.

Smiling, the grown up schoolyard bully then decided to frisk me for weapons. He then asked if the coins in my pocket was the money I had tried to use. I said yes. He then reached into my pocket and took my money, a clear violation of my 4th Amendment right protected by the Constitution. But that didn't matter to him. He was only concerned with wiping the egg off his face.

After he finished his gutless legal mugging, I assume he called a fellow deputy for an evidence report. I heard him ask the deputy about the NORFED currency and his reply has me laughing to this day. When he asked the deputy if he had ever heard of it, the response, which seemed to put NORFED in a positive light and backed my claims, made the officer grunt, very much like the grunt of a person who was proved wrong. I can never prove this, and Richardson's pride will never admit it, either. But that's what I think happened.

By this time, I was talking to my friends. We all had a laugh as the fellow deputy brought the evidence report and peeled out in the parkway, leaving the site quite swiftly. We assumed that the fellow deputy agreed with us in that Richardson was a waste of his time, just like he was ours.

The dishonorable deputy uncuffed me at the site, gave me an evidence report and stated that he was confiscating my property for the "investigation". He tried to tell me again that the money was not legitimate, but I refused to listen to his drivel.

Two weeks later, it was found that my money was, indeed, legitimate. Detective Wester of the Travis County Sheriffs department confirmed this the day he got the case, backing it up by the words of the secret service.

I have filed a complaint with the Sheriff's department and, though they claim they are not investigating anymore, I have yet to hear the full details of the investigation. If there was, indeed, an investigation, which I doubt, I want to see evidence that deputy Richardson was properly reprimanded. When the opportunity arises, I will demand a written report of their alleged investigation from Deputy Sampson.

Currently, my money is being held at the Travis County Evidence room. I cannot get to the evidence room until spring break due to my responsibilities at work. Fortunately, since it is real money, each day it is sitting in the evidence department, it is accruing interest.

When I liberate my money from the evidence room, I will take the dastardly deputy Richardson to small claims court to receive not only the interest from the money (10% compounded daily or otherwise), but payment for the beer I never had a chance to finish. Though I could take him to court, win, and take his house and other property for his misdeeds and abuse of the law, I think this is an amicable and reasonable solution to this dilemma. I have also informed Commissioner Gomez of my grievance and who has encouraged me to contact the Justice of the Peace for my district for the small claims trial. I will also have this statement notarized and put in a county records facility for future evidence against this deputy if another case of harassment occurs.

I hope you will excuse the fiercely vicious and vitriolic nature of this letter and know that it is only an honest response to the undue harassment and intimidation that the Deputy felt necessary to deliver due to his ignorance. In short, Deputy Richardson is not only a disgrace to the Travis County Sheriffs department, but to his father's name, his family, and the people he has taken an oath to protect. It seems that Deputy Richardson lacks the intelligence to know the laws as well as the heart to live by his word, his oath, to protect the people of Austin.

I hope that you will give attention to this matter.

Bowie V. Ibarra

BILL HICKS (1961-1994)

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