Read the following excerpt and try to guess what the convicted man did:
The government seized both cars and charged Beno with a spate of offenses, including two felony counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, one felony count of owning a vehicle without a vehicle identification number tag and two misdemeanors tied to those missing VIN tags.
If you guessed the man tried to run drugs with those vehicles you would be… wrong. The crime committed by this most dastardly of individuals, this man charged with several felony crimes, was owning cars that were not approved by the state for importation:
Authorities in Wisconsin are bound and determined to crack down on gray market vehicles. According to Stevens Point Journal, In 2010, the state government orchestrated a sting to catch Justin Beno selling two Nissan Skyline models, one of which played a role in the Fast and Furious franchise. A Wisconsin Department of Transportation investigator spotted both a 1995 and a 1996 Skyline up for sale and pretended to be a buyer. The investigator asked if it were possible to get the cars titled, and Beno said he believed the vehicles could be titled in Florida, then retitled in Wisconsin.
This story demonstrates a number of things I hate about our
justice punishment system. First, it demonstrates how controlled the markets are, one can’t even own an imported car unless it is on a state-approved list. Second, it demonstrates the absurdity of stripping somebody of their rights merely because they’ve been convicted of a felony. Felons aren’t allowed to own guns or vote in this country and I can think of no logical reasons a man charged with owning a vehicle that didn’t have a vehicle identification number tag shouldn’t be allowed to do either. Third, this story also demonstrates that the system is all about punishment:
Brown County Deputy District Attorney Dana Johnson offered Beno a plea deal wherein he would accept the misdemeanor charges and give up both fully restored Skylines. After offering to pay the fines and help the authorities find buyers for both machines overseas, the prosecutor declined. Instead, both cars will be crushed and sold for scrap. That’s particularly heartbreaking after Beno spent years assembling both from parts bought from all over the world.
Two perfectly good automobiles are going to be destroyed just so the state can get its jollies off by throwing around its authority. They might as well just say, “If you disobey our decrees we will do whatever it takes to hurt you as much as possible.” Beno put years of his life into restoring those two automobiles and then offered to help the state find foreign buyers for the illicit machines. This didn’t satisfy the state’s bloodlust though, if the cars were sold it wouldn’t have completely crushed Beno’s spirit, he wouldn’t be hurt enough. After all, the state needs to inflict the maximum amount of pain possible on any slave who steps out of line otherwise they may get the crazy idea they can step out of line again.
Anybody who believes the United States is the land of the free isn’t paying any attention.