Boar preserve owner takes plea

Danny Henshaw, the Buckingham man whose pig hunting preserve was swarmed by state and federal agents in a September 12 SWAT-style predawn raid, accepted a plea bargain in court March 2.

In January, Henshaw was found guilty of operating an illegal hunting enclosure, but the judge agreed to consider Henshaw's motion to quash on the grounds that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, which state code gives jurisdiction over seven "game animals"– deer, bear, bobcat, rabbit, raccoon, fox, and squirrel– had no right to arrest Henshaw for hogs, which are not listed as game animals.

Now living in Colorado, Henshaw and his wife, Cindi, flew in for the court hearing and accepted the Commonwealth's offer: a fine of $250, suspended on the condition he repay the state $1,500, the cost of DGIF agents hunting three boars at Henshaw's Willis River preserve in Gladstone.

"He felt it was the best thing," says Charlottesville attorney Norman Lamson, who represented Henshaw. "It would end it so he could move forward." And with a Class 2 misdemeanor conviction, Henshaw was facing the possibility of up to six months in jail.

The state claims it initiated the raid because the hogs killed by undercover agents tested positive for pseudorabies, a highly contagious swine disease.

However, critics question allegedly ham-fisted tactics used by the state and USDA against Henshaw, who's run a Virginia preserve since 1990 and moved his operation to Buckingham six years ago. Henshaw supporters pointed out that the Internet-advertised facility was no secret, and they wonder why the animals were not tested and quarantined, rather than blasted away by shotgun-toting government agents, who took out Cindi Henshaw's separately housed pet pigs, Cupid and Valentine.

"What is really sad is this is happening all over this country!" writes Becky Coit in an email to Henshaw supporters. "Not just to Danny and Cindi, but to many people, who have chosen the farm way of life, the very people who for generations have built this country from the ground up."

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13 comments

Thank you to all that have supported us along the way. It is certainly not over...

We were told on January 19th, by the judge and the C.A., that we did not need to appear on March 2 for the judge's ruling on the motion prepared by Mr. Lamson. In fact, the judge found Danny guilty on the 19th, PRIOR to even reading the motion...The judge showed no courage or backbone; I am not surprised. He fears this government and what his "buddy in Cumberland" might think... We know about his friend. Danny refused to plead guilty, for to do so would have meant he was commiting perjury. He still has his ethics even if the USDA, VDACS, VDGIF, the State Veternarian and the court officials do not. This case has been a farce from the beginning and shoved up our _ _ _ _ _. (Please excuse the term.)

And for the record, the tests are not conclusive. We have had an independent veternarian review the tests from Iowa. His findings are interesting, to say the least. And also, the tests also proved that Cupid and Valentine had not diseases whatsoever. They did not need to be killed. It was just a "few good ol' boys" having a field day...in our fields and with our animals. Our animals are gone. Our innocence in our governmet is gone. What they have left in their quake is two MORE angry, intellegent, strong, persistant individuals. There are many of us.

These officials know that what they did was wrong. A sin. They lacked the courage, the innate ability to stand up and say "No" to those "in charge". They are all very small men and women. My husband is not like them at all.

cindi henshaw

Danny would not bow down to the pressure and did not plead guilty. He was railroaded with laws and rules that do not
exist and through motions that were not heard. HE AND CINDI STOOD TALL AND STRONG AND REFUSED TO PLEAD
GUILTY TO SOMETHING THEY ARE INNOCENT OF AND THE UNFAIR, UNJUST TRIED THEIR BEST TO BREAK THEM BUT
THEY DID NOT BEND OR BREAK. JUSTICE MY FOOT. TENS OF THOUSANDS SUPPORT DANNY AND CINDI AND I AM ONE
OF THEM. RAILROADED AND STILL THEY STAND TALL FOR ALL OF US. THANK YOU DANNY AND CINDI. THIS IS
NOT JUSTICE OR EVEN A RESEMBLANCE OF WHAT AMERICA IS ABOUT. NO JURY OF PEERS JUST A JUDGE THAT DID
ANYTHING BUT JUSTICE IN MY OPINION.

Danny and Cindi,

I am so sorry for all you folks had to go through at the hands of a govt gone bad.
I can't understand how Virginia could have gone from the mother of presidents and such giants of personal liberty and small govt as Jefferson,Washington and Lee.to the mother of facism.

I hope you guys find a new start and that what happened to you will go on to become a stake through the head of this godless so called govt,may you both be blessed and find peace.

THIS THING THAT HAPPENED IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY! WE AS AMERICANS HAD BETTER WAKE UP BEFORE OUR RIGHT'S ARE GONE!

LAW'S ARE BEING PLACED ON US IN THE NAME "WHAT IS BEST FOR HUMANS" SUCH AS SEAT BELT, NO SMOKING, AND NEXT IT WILL BE A NATIONAL I.D. CARD TO PROTECT US.

WAKE UP AMERICAN'S YOU ARE LOSING YOUR FREEDOM!!!!!!!

We were at the trial and saw the incompetence of the court officials. I should not say incompetence as they were very competent at perverting the laws and regulations of Virginia and the Constitution.
Hopefully Cindi and Danny can stay strong and fight the injustice which we will all face someday as this country has become a mud puddle.Small men with big egos and greed have taken over the reins of government but that can and will change when the sleeping giant of ordinary people finally get fed up and say NO MORE. That time is coming. Hopefully soon.

I forgot visit our website www.grannywarriors.com and help wake up this country. Stand up for yourself and others. Cindi and Danny are but one example of the injustice in this country today. It has to be stopped. Ron Paul will be running in the 08 election for President, stand up for him and his steadfast support of the Constitution and individual rights. See his website: www.ronpaulexplore.com...

Good luck in Colorado. I've followed your situation in Virginia through websites such as Nonais, sounds like you got railroaded. Never having been in your situation I can't say exactly what I'd do...but I'd sure be more than a little
p.o.ed and might want some answers, not that I or you will ever get them.
Coverups seem to be a Government specialty, especially when they know they messed up. The shooters are lucky they weren't mistaken for burglars or "pig rustlers" and peppered with buck shot, you know "by mistake". Hard to see who's a "goodguy" in the predawn.
I'm curious was there any compensation for the shooting of your two pet pigs? If the state claims the other hogs were
terminated for pseudo rabies and your pets didn't have that disease...sounds like YOU need to be compensated.
I still have alot of questions on how this whole thing unfolded.
Was the shooting of the pets even considered or heard by the "judge" (I use that term loosely) or was he playing along with a predetermined script? Have the trigger happy shooters been
interviewed? Who ordered the raid ? Was the excuse "just following orders" used? , they use that one when they can't hink of anything else! Is your case one that should be / will be reviewed by a higher court?
Was there ever even an apology for shooting the wrong pigs? If the independent tests are "very interesting" is there
another part of the story that has yet to unfold? Also I'm curious about the reference to the judge's "buddy in Cumberland" ....who is it ?
It's pretty bad when our court system is twisted and the outcome is predetermined. Sort of makes you wonder about that whole "with liberty and justice for all..." thing!

Danny and Cindi,

I have to say that I am really sorry to hear of this outcome. Please keep me apprised. It seems that those who work for agencies are above the law. What about indemnification? Are they not going to pay you for the loss of your hogs at the very least? It breaks my hear that this is where we are in our nation. People come and hunt your animals on your property and then hand you a bill.

We continue to trade real labor for fake money to pay fraudulent taxes on stuff we don't own. Then we send young people to die in the deserts to preserve our "freedom". Orwell was an optimist.

sorry but this maybe just what americans need to see,just how heavy handed some of our govt .officials are becoming. they seem to be becoming more power hungary day by day,the bill of rights seemes to have no value anymore .but to quite honest with you the american people seem to care not and will now take a stand.the news media cares not and will not report these intrusions of private rights. this article should have been front page news in every new paper in the USofA.

The worst parts of this entire situation are 1) the impudence which the Virginia officials handled the situation. 2) There was no third party proof provided of the "diseased" animals, 3) no direct contact with the Henshaws by the person/persons that ordered the action and 4) no help from any state officials willing to take a contrary stand.
Sound a little like the Gestapo? Where is the fourth estate in all of this? Isn't there a paper in Richmond?
Digusting that people can treat others with so little objectivity and not even an ounce of compassion.

I worry that it has already gone too far.
I believe The Government (not 'Our Government', for that no longer seems to exist) already has set in place, the means to do what it wants, when it wants, the way it wants. No one can win against an entity that has virtually unlimited resources, and it has the money and resources (ironically, that we worked to provide) to win if even through attrition.
NAIS is but one tool in an arsenal that is and will be used to subjegate the once free and proud people of this once great country.
Sadly, our society has adapted the attitude that as long as it's not happening to me, don't involve me. But when the all of the necessities of life are fully under government control, or under the control of a powerful few (food, oil, healthcare) then the people will become the 'sheep' to a shepherd that cares only for what his flock can provide to him. The people become slaves. Wake up people because IT IS HAPPENING.

One additional note:
A few weeks ago a local co-op magazine was sent out trying to sell the NAIS program. I shook my head as I read it knowing what I do about the process and what it really means. The way it reads, this program is going forward whether or not the public agrees with it.
Ironically, not long after the magazine aritcle ran, an 'supposed outbreak' of the equine herpes virus was diagnosed by the VA State Verternary Office; the same office that did the testing of the Henshaw boars. Because of this 'outbreak', all interstate horse sales were frozen. I have to wonder if the horse owners whose horses were 'diagnosed' had a third party test their animals or if they took the VA Vets word on the matter.
If one looks long and hard at this, one could almost see a pattern: Propose a law, create a 'need' for the law, pass the law.
Thomas Jefferson once said: "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."
He and other founding fathers helped create this nation with the intent that the government established should be 'of the people, by the people, for the people'.
If they were alive today they would lead the revolution that would overthrow the current power seat and once again put in place a goverment that believes in God and sustains its people.

Mr Wilkes, your reply to the below message is outrageous, arrogant, and ignorant showing your total lack of knowledge, respect and dedication to your post as well as to our Constitution or the Virginia statutes.

I hope you enjoyed the pork which you stole and which Danny Henshaw was forced to pay for even though it was his own hogs which supplied it for you and your mobsters.

We are a group of people who are not afraid to confront you or any of your henchmen. We will be planning a large protest in front of your office to alert the News Media around the state of Virginia and country of the caliber of person holding our Farmers and Animal owners hostage via your total disregard for individual and Constitutional rights. Hopefully you will be discharged from your position, ( in total disgrace) as well as made a pariah without a goon squad to protect you. Your people showed their mentality when they defecated on the Henshaw's property instead of using the facilities offered to them. Such a statement of backwoods ignorance and disrespect for themselves and your office! At least they did bring their own toilet paper.

You are a disgrace to the office you represent and the people of Virginia. They should hang their heads in disgrace to be represented by such a person.

Linda Hunnicutt (a member in good standing of the Granny Warriors)
828-683-2009
409-673-4891

From: Richard Wilkes [mailto:Richard.Wilkes@vdacs.virginia.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2007 3:10 PM
To: Cannon, Gary
Subject: Re: Unnecessary Animal Eradicaton

I do not cosider it worthy of a response.

Richard L. Wilkes, D.V.M.
State Veterinarian & Director
Division of Animal & Food Industry Services
102 Governor Street, Office 135
Richmond, VA 23219
804/692-0601
804/371-2380 FAX
richard.wilkes@vdacs.virginia.gov

Dear Dr. Wilkes,

This is Cindi Henshaw, whose animals and property you raped. You may not
find my comments worthy of response, as you did not another writer, but make
them, I will.

You are a coward. You did not have the courtesy nor the balls to do the
right thing by my husband and I. There was no need, whatsoever, to manage
the situation the way that you did... and make no mistake, you did have the
ability to do things differently. You have not faced us. You have stayed
hidden behind your title and arrogant authority.

Please be advised that you are not the only veterinarian in Virginia, nor the
United States. You are not the only veterinarian that knows how to read test
results. One day you will have to face us. And we are not afraid of
cowards. In fact, we are no longer afraid. For that, and that alone, I
thank you.

Cindi Henshaw