Report on Kuriatnyk Situation

I went down today, 10/29, to visit the Kuriatnyks. They live in the northeast corner of McDonald county, where Newton, Barry, and McDonald County intersect. Two and a half miles east of Longview, Missouri 20 miles away from Granby. I am the closest militiaman on the scene.

The situation in a nutshell is as follows:

The Kuriatnyks, Roman Catholics of Ukrainian descent, bought their five acres and farmhouse from an elderly lady named Imogene Harriman for $31,000 on Nov. 3,1994. This move infuriated her son, Joseph Harriman, who owns the acreage surrounding the five acre plot. Joseph H. had offered his mother $13,000, but she refused that offer and moved in with her son who lives south of Kansas City. She liked this son better. Imogene H. refuses to get involved in this situation. She paid for work on sewage lines later in accordance with sales guarantee.

Joseph H. has a daughter named Vanna who lives on a house on the other side of the Kuriatnyks. The Kuriatnyks are in effect surrounded by the Harrimans, much like the space inside the letter U. The old house they live in was the old home place of the Harrimans. However, when it was in Imogene's care, he refused to fix it up or even to mend the fences to keep his dairy cows in.

The Kuriatnyks, Michael & Laura, have four children: Jerimiah, 16, fraternal twin girls Jessica & Michelle, 12, and Monica, 6. They are devout Roman Catholics. Their house is now up for sale and they intend to move out of McDonald County as soon as possible.

Joseph Harriman, (does not have IRANIAN ideals, rather ARYAN ideals -- re:fax) was initially superficially polite, albeit menacing, until after Thanksgiving 1994 when Mrs. Kuriatnyk's father, a swarthy man with dark hair & eyes came down to visit the family. According to Laura K., that is when Mr. Harriman's overtly racist behavior began. (More about this in a later, confidential report as these are unproved allegations & I did not talk to the Harrimans today. Ditto for Mrs. K's charges of sexual harassment.)

When Michael Kuriatnyk had to go out on the road as a truck-driver for Contract Freighters, Inc. as a beginning truck-driver, Mr. Harriman's improper sexual suggestions became less subtle and more overt. Michael came home from his first trip on the road, Feb. 24, 1995 and demanded an explanation, and Joe H. was initially apologetic, then defiant. Mr. Harriman behaved himself when Mr. K was at home, but whenever Michael Kuriatnyk had to leave for the road, Harriman would take revenge by more outrageous behavior.

On August 3, Jessica Kuriatnyk was riding her bicycle in front of the house when Vanna H ran her off the road in a pick-up truck. Some blood and bruises, but no need for stitches. When Laura Kuriatnyk complained to Joe H. he said, " I've lived here all my life, I know the sheriff & we'll do whatever we want to you people & nobody'll help you. I'll burn that place to the ground."

On Sept. 15th a forest-green pick-up truck was parked in front of Joe H's farm. It came over to the Kuriatnyk's and a blond, blue-eyed man with a beige brace on his left arm claimed "I am from Soil & Conservation, and I want to go back on your property." Laura K. said, "No, I don't think so," and the man left. No badge or identification was shown. The pickup had Missouri farm tags, license plate Y38-7563???

On Sept. 16. Three daughters & nephew playing in back yard at 4-5 p.m. when Joe H. screamed at children. Children fled into house. Joe and Vanna H. parked in front of house in pick-up truck. (Dirt road close to house, parked in yard.) Laura K. grabbed .32 cal. S&W revolver with keylock over trigger guard in case Harriman's armed. (Husband Michael has only key to gunlock and he was in Warren Ohio as Michael's father was in hospital with heart attack.) Jerimiah Kuriatnyk (16 yr. son) confronted Harriman's. "What do you want?" Laura threw revolver into chair as Jerimiah opened door. Harriman's said "Nothing" and stayed a few minutes, then left towards Vanna's property. Gunfire was heard. Five minutes later, Joe H. went to highway. Michael K. received news about day's events and called Sheriff's department to make long-distance complaint. Laura K. also called Sheriff's department to make complaint. Sheriff's department denies complaints made. Kuriatnyk's lawyer has telephone bills to prove otherwise.

Sept. 18, 1995. As it was starting to get dark between 7-8 p.m. Family watching "Ghost," a videocassette movie. Jerimiah saw bright headlights of two AMC Eagle 4x4's and men in black fatigue suits got out with guns. He opened the door and six men in black ninja fatigues, black boots, black base-ball caps, mirror sunglasses and M-16 rifles rushed into the house. No badges, no IDs, nothing as they held guns to every one of the surprised family's heads including the six-year old. Everyone screaming. Fingers on triggers. Six year old Monica tried to run to her mother, Laura. Shoved rifles in Monica's face and ordered her to sit down. Laura tried to go to child & they ordered everyone to sit down.

After five minutes of this, Michelle (12-yr. old daughter) in shock. Screaming.

Laura shaking, state of shock, thinking "If we are going to die, it will be in each other's arms," so she announced "You are just going to have to shoot me, I'm getting my baby," then did just that.

By this time there were seven men in the room. McDonald County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Sweeten came in last. He was the only one in police uniform. He screamed at Laura K. to put her child down. He allowed the other six men in black to terrorize the family before he made his appearance. Nobody was searching, just terrorizing.

Deputy Sweeten grabbed Laura K.'s arm and pulled her outside. Other six kept guns on children. Sweeten read search warrant signed by Judge Raymond Gordon. ( I know Gordon. He was on my defective equipment misdemeanor case until I kicked him off by means of a Change of Venue and Judge for Cause motion on March 21, 1995 -- M.L.) Search warrant was not backed by attached sworn statement, affirmation, or affidavit as per Fourth Amendment. (Therefore illegal as hell.) It allowed the search for "illegal weapons, explosives and chemicals used for the manufacture of such, a shiny or nickel plated hand gun, and any documentation identifying the residence therein." Deputy Sweeten an hour later read the arrest warrant, also signed at 6:18 p.m. Sept. 18, 1995 by Judge Gordon, ordering the arrest of Laura Kuriatnyk for the Class D felony of "unlawful use of a weapon" punishable upon conviction under sections 558.011.1(4) and 560.011 RSMo, "in that on or about the 16th day of September," defendant "knowingly exhibited, in the presence of one or more persons a pistol, a weapon readily capable of lethal use, in an angry or threatening manner."

Laura denied illegal weapons. Tried to get in contact with husband Michael so he could tell where weapons were stored out of reach of children and end search, but couldn't reach him in Ohio. (Michael was a registered Federal Firearms dealer until Feb. 1995, when he didn't renew license due to tightened regulations on FFL dealers.) Searchers trashed house. Spent four hours until found rifles in attic. Found one pre-ban Colt AR-15, 2 Russian Mac-90s, one collector Russian SKS, one Ruger 10/22. All semi-automatic rifles. 2,000 rnds 7.62x39 Norinco lead core, 1000 rnds Winchester .223 factory rounds, 300 hand reloaded .223 rounds, magazines for the 7.62 and .223 rifles.

The inventory sheets were false, so the McDonald County Sheriff's office managed to steal an M-16 Vietnamese collector's bayonet, two survival knives, and 280 rounds of the factory .223 ammunition. Also because the sheriff's department fired the AR-15, Mac-90s and the SKS in order to "prove" that they were only semi-automatic, the condition of the rifles were degraded from never-fired to used status, thus causing Michael to lose money on them when he had to pawn them to pay family bills.

Three more men in camouflage fatigues without insignia showed up and started digging up the back yard around an abandoned well searching for weapons. They didn't find any.

When the .32 revolver was found, upon Laura K's cooperation, Deputy Sweeten demanded the key to the trigger-guard lock. Since only Michael K. had the key and he was in Ohio, Deputy Sweeten said, "Gonna have to break the lock off." Laura K. is convinced that is because they want to justify the arrest warrant, as a gun with an intact lock can't be used in a threatening manner or any other manner unless the lock is off the trigger. The revolver hasn't been returned as it is evidence.

The children and wife were not allowed to use the bathroom or a telephone. Laura K. used a portable phone to call her sister in Gravette Arkansas. When Deputy Sweeten caught Laura using the phone he was upset, but the sister insisted on driving over and collecting Laura's children. She did so, thus there was no need for the services of the woman from Neosho Juvenile Authority present. The sister would have stayed and picked up Mrs. Kuriatnyk, but Deputy Sweeten assured the sister that Mrs. K wouldn't bail out a $10,000 bond that night. The sister left with the four children.

The men in black uniforms were there for four hours searching the house. Around midnight the men finally searched the attic and found the rifles. They had found the revolver earlier, and after they found the revolver read Laura K. her rights. One or two men were stationed in the living room to guard Mrs. K and her children. Mrs. K was placed in one of the Eagle 4x4s with 4 black-suited men in the back and Deputy Sweeten driving. Two of the black-suited men were left behind at the house.

Mrs. K. was taken to the Pineville jail where Deputy Sweeten booked her without fingerprinting and photographs. She was placed in a holding cell without a functioning telephone. Several hours later, a McDonald County matron gave her access to a functioning telephone and the number of a bondsman who makes night calls. The bondsman, Gene Young, accepted a $300 check and a $700 post-dated check. Then he drove her down to her sister's, collected her children, and drove her back to her farm. Later that day, Sept. 19, she did a telephone interview with Robby Noel of Viking International, who put it on his radio show.

Michael K. found out what was going on, and he made a phone call to the McDonald County Sheriff's department, and they lied to him concerning his wife's difficulties.

On September 26, Mrs. K. filed harassment charges against Joseph Harriman for racial and sexual harassment and against Vanna Harriman for endangering the welfare of a child. This at the suggestion of the Missouri governor's office. McDonald County Prosecutor Duane Cooper was there, and couldn't look Mrs. K in the eyes, and skipped outdoors so he wouldn't be formally presented with the complaint in person. Nothing has been done on these complaints.

On Oct. 6, 1995 Laura Kuriatnyk was "arraigned," although Judge Gordon refused to let he make a plea. Her lawyer showed up four hours late. Preliminary hearing is set for 1:00 p.m. Nov. 27, 1995 at Pineville, county seat for McDonald County.

BATF INVOLVEMENT? My conclusion: I don't think so. But here are the facts:

Deputy Sweeten demanded that Mrs. K leave her back door unlocked the night of the Sept. 16th.

"If you don't unlock it, the ATF will kick it in," said Sweeten.

"Why is the ATF coming here. Haven't you trashed my home enough? You know I don't have any thing illegal here, you've gone through everything I own," said Mrs. Kuriatnyk

"We've finished, but the ATF hasn't begun." replied Sweeten.

The six men in black uniforms never gave their names or units. However, Mrs. K recognized one of them as being Sheriff's deputies and Jerimiah Kuriatnyk recognized two of them as Deputy sheriffs when they filed the complaint of Sept. 26.

The bail bondsman told Mrs. Kuriatnyk that he overheard that the Sheriff's Department was pissed because Harriman lied to them about explosives and dynamite and bomb-making chemicals and machine-guns. They conducted the search and came up with nothing illegal. Now their tails might be in the crack.

The Newton County Sheriff's office boasted on how they were conducting "hostage rescue" missions wherein their men learn how to break into houses using SWAT methods learned at Camp Crowder. They made these boasts when they were trying to drum up support for a gun range/police training center in Newton County earlier this year. If they can get away with this in Newton County, they are probably putting the same methods to use in a worse pesthole like McDonald County.

Now this is not to say that there were no BATF or fed thugs used against the Kuriatnyks on September 18, 1995. It is possible. Four of the men in black suits have not been identified as sheriff's deputies. But I think it was more likely that the McDonald County Sheriff's Department run amuck. They have had trouble with Robert Joss and the McDonald County chiropractors (and me) and other so-called terrorists, particularly during the past year. It is a corrupt county and the lid's about to blow off. The sheriff's department has had a long, corrupt, notorious history of using their power to ignore "their" marijuana growers, and imprison those who don't pay them off.

Michael Kuriatnyk had to show up for his new job at 10:00 p.m. He didn't want to leave his family. I offered to spend the night, and they took me up on it. I went home at 8:30 p.m. to eat and write a report, but before I got home Mrs. K released me from my word by calling my house. I called her up & she reassured me that Mike was going to go to work, he needs the money, but that they would be safe. I need to arrange for some watchers tomorrow.

Mrs. K's brother has notified local politicians, and they have professed outrage but have done nothing. I will release this report to the local press following notification with Mrs. K. Her brother will be handing out copies of her statement to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Monday, 10/30/95. Maybe the shit will hit the fan then.

This is a true, correct, relatively complete report of what I have seen and observed talking to the Kuriatnyks on 10/29/95. Any conclusions drawn are my own, but I do know the local political and legal ground better than any outsiders. This report will be sent to militia leaders/sympathizers. -- Martin Lindstedt 10/29/95

P.S. Above document has been scanned by Laura Kuriatnyk 10/30/ 95 and meets with her approval for militia release but not for press release as of yet. Internet release permitted.

-- Martin Lindstedt 10/30/95

Addresses to post letters to:

Sam Gaskill, State Representative
H.C.R. 79 P.O. Box 566
Washburn, Missouri 65722

McDonald County Prosecutor Duane Cooper
Box 345 Pineville, Missouri 64856

Sheriff Don Schlessman
McDonald County Courthouse
Pineville, Missouri 64856

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