Activists Must Be on Guard Against Entrapment

By David Codrea

It’s relatively easy for the feds to get headlines by setting up low-hanging fruit. Plus it lets them tar the entire patriot community.
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA –  -( You’ve got to kind of wonder what kind of provocateurs were in their midst, what set these guys up to do stuff like this?”

I told reporter Judy Thomas of the Kansas City Star in response to questions about arrests in the Crusaders case.

“Every time these kinds of guys get in trouble, you’re talking about low-hanging fruit, you’re talking about people that talk to people they shouldn’t be talking to, making noises they shouldn’t be making. It’s just stupid.”

Thomas, who wrote a definitive “real” media report on the death of Mike Vanderboegh, also quoted New Mexico militia commander Bob Wright, who had joined me at his funeral in memorializing our friend. Note I linked to the Wichita Eagle site above because the original at the KC Star is behind a paywall (which I’m told you can access if you disable cookies, but that can create a whole ‘nother set of access issues).

I expanded on the “low-hanging fruit” observation and provided some cautions against entrapment in a recent Oath Keepers column. One of the dangers warned against — even if you exercise caution in personal conduct and associations — is if you’re a member of a group, one loudmouth making bellicose comments (someone you may not even know if it’s a large group) can put you all on the radar. And that someone may be an infiltrator or just a tiger-talking moron.

A Facebook friend reading my Oath Keepers piece asked why I don’t give proper credit to undercover ops that cull such people from our midst. Do we not all benefit from excising cancers?

That could be the topic of another article, but not that one, written as a caution against finding yourself directly — or sometimes more insidiously, indirectly, a target of entrapment. Each of the groups I mentioned were infiltrated and egged on, in more than one case where the supplier of a “bomb” was a federal agent.

Remember that after all the hoopla, the Hutaree case ended up with three guys getting released after time served on gun charges. As for Malheur, particularly with the prosecution’s one-sided “terror” allegations hinging on self-interested “CIs,” we need to keep in mind that the government routinely throws everything it has at the wall to see what sticks, and that as far back as the Bundy standoff in Nevada, the experienced and knowledgeable among us were warning against provocateurs. (Remember the heat Oath Keepers took when they’d seen and experienced enough? Now that up to 15 infiltrators have been pegged, do you see any of their armchair critics acknowledging they were right to disaffiliate after their counsel and support were rejected?)

Then recall where it really counted — when on-the-radar attackers successfully carried out their evil. Feds aware of them did not stop them. Think 9/11. And Orlando.

So while it may turn out to be a good thing that some low-hanging fruit was picked (depending on the results of their trial and not forgetting a presumption of innocence), it’s easy to get distracted. Especially considering how government, “progressive” and major media emphasis is focused on the patriot community while portraying imported Islamists as victims of intolerance.

The purpose of my piece was not to praise embedded assets — especially those performing “law enforcement” functions unsupported by the Constitution and/or principles of federalism, and thus properly the province of state law.

It was to caution those of us involved in virtual and meatspace activism, preparation and training to keep our wits and our morals about who and what we involve ourselves with.

David Codrea in his natural habitat.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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Button Gwinnett

There is a reason that the classic cell size is three. It’s not that you can trust two other people, it’s that only two people go down when the third is the infiltrator.


Well, the court said they were innocent so that means they did absolutely nothing wrong, right? Ever hear of jury nullification??

Street Survivor

The fish stinks from the head down. All roads lead to the Dixie Mafia Clintons.


I relate to what Teddy Roosevelt reiterated. “Walk softly and carry a big stick.” Or, the world war ll remonstrative
“Loose lips sink ships!” So keep those lips zipped, and for Gods sake, bite your tounge.


Add things like this to obamas legacy as he puts it

Thomas J Crowley

I believe.

Thomas J Crowley

It seems like we forget that John Adams and the rest of the Sons of Liberty were probably were considered “low hanging fruit” in their time also. Not every one in the movement loved them either, and the British would have hanged them, sooner rather than later also.


His “Mechanics” had been head down, eyes and ears open, for years…. he KNEW a new Powder Raid was afoot… and made plans to counter it weeks before. How? His eyes and ears all about Boston had passed on dozens of titbits of information, observations, etc, which he “processed” and “smelled” the plans of General Gage. Thus, when word came of the raid Tues evening 18th April, he had the machjinery in place. By morning 14,000 armed colonial militia had taken to the field to come against Gage’s Powder Raid party at Lexington. And they didn’t even have cell phones… Read more »


Reminds me of Paul Revere and his “mechanics”. How many are aware that Revere began his career as a resistance operative when he was sixteen, carrying a message to a secure area where a man wanted by the British Crown was sequestered, that the Brits had “made” his hideout and were planning to come get him? It was almost twenty five years later Revere had the signal hoisted in the Old North Church, rowed across the Back Bay, and tok to the horse provided for him by previous arrangement.

James Bailey

It is a foregone conclusion, that as far as legalities and the rule of law are concerned, we are all postcoital primates: those of us that is that still believe in the Constitution. It is far past time for people to take on the patina, the Opsec facade of a modern Potemkin Village: we keep our thoughts to ourselves, and that includes the written word, we keep our eyes down and our ears open. This is the methodology that kept people alive behind the Iron Curtain and it is the methodology which we now must adopt: the array of forces… Read more »

Gregory Peter DuPont

And no one saw this coming? Any time,but especially in an election season such as this one.
Exercise care and control at all times.OPSEC.


Thought crimes. Only in today’s communist controlled U.S.A..


If you’re part of a group they call you a ‘militia member’. If you stand alone you’re called a ‘lone wolf’. But if you refer to inner-city ‘gangsta’s’ as a ‘wolf-pack’ pack you’re ‘politically incorrect’. Let’s face it, the ‘Leftists’ in power control the language and the discussion. That’s got to change and Donald Trump is the instrument for change!

Brad Ferrell

As a long-time informant and Oathkeeper, I say let’s root them commie bastards out!!!


PATCON is alive and well, but living under another name these days.


For those not familiar with PATCON, take the time to watch this video where jesse trentadue explains:

Wayne Clark

Well, I got about 45 minutes of it before an “error” stopped the video. Some very interesting formation. I vaguely remember some of what this was about but what I find interesting, are two names that pop up in the cover-up…Janet Reno & Eric Holder. I guess a leopard doesn’t change their spots. The “aroma of cover-up”…I believe that smell is waifing through the air today & guess what names are attached!
Thank you for sharing this.


Glad you liked the first 40 mins. Try and watch the rest when you can. Also, check out this podcast with trentadue:

And speaking of names that come up, see if this name that is involved in the judicial aspect of okc rings a bell:

(Hint: he was nominated by obama for the supreme court after scalia died under bizarre circumstances.)

Silence Dogood

Excellent advice and assessment. I recall a case where an FBI operative easily “penetrated” a small group of arm-chair load-mouth racists who, had just were merely obnoxious, and well, loud-mouthed. This FBI operative quickly supplied explosives and even “planted” the explosive device the FBI operative “built” himself on a church bus. Guess who went to jail, and who didn’t? Do look a “gift horse” in the mouth. If, a “newbie” seems too “good” to be true, you’re probably right. Beware of a “newbie” way too eager or too anxious to get “involved,” especially those full of “suggestions” as to what… Read more »


too bad we can’t come up with some sort of information sharing system where such rats can quickly be identified and ratted out. I’ve come across some of the baited fool incidents… tonnes of federal charges laid, and maybe one small firecracker actually goes off. I was not surprised to read about the heavy level of infiltration now exposed in the Malheur case. We KKNEW some of the FBI operatives rattling about Burns were ratted out by the locals… playing their charade on the locals to make the “occupiers” appear the rats. Now we find even one of the drivers… Read more »

Wild Bill

Even your oldest friends will turn, for the money that the government offered. Three things to remember: First, the entrapment defense is all about “In whose mind did the crime initiate?” So keep all evidence, even down to the conversation, by having more than one person present in your conversation log. Two, every discussion is in the hypothetical for academic purposes, only, even if you believe that your communications are one hundred percent secure. And finally, have a cover story (e.g. preparation for weather disaster or the Apocalypse scenarios)