We have an opportunity to help bring a case before the Supreme Court of the United States, with the argument that ICAC sting operations are a violation of the Fourth Amendment right to privacy. Mr. Achin’s appeal to the Supreme Court ofVirginia, Norman Michael Achin v. Commonwealth of Virginia, was denied on May 14, 2021. There is now an effort to take this case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Achin was convicted of “solicitation of a minor” however, the “minor” was an imaginary person brought to life by 3 officers: one pictured in photos, a second who exchanged text messages, and a third who was the voice actor on recorded phone calls. An imaginary person cannot intercept and record communications; and 3 officers cannot combine to “make a person.” These actions violate the laws regarding electronic surveillance, and therein lies the basis for the court case.
The appeal was based on Fourth Amendment laws derived from the 1986 Electronic Communications and Privacy Act, which modernized the ”wiretap” laws and protected electronic communications , like phone calls. At issue is the illegality of sting operation(s) because detectives are creating and controlling imaginary people online, and intercepting communications for them. Virginia interception laws are even more strict than federal laws; there are no “color of law exemptions”in Virginia (this means that law enforcement personnel have no more authority to intercept communications than does the average citizen).
This case has been spearheaded by Bonnie Burkhardt, a 30+ year federal employee with deep experience in the field of interception and privacy laws; the result of her career analyzing signals for the Department of Defense. She filed an amicus brief for this case, and is the author of a book titled: Manufacturing Criminals; Fourth Amendment Decay in the Electronic Age. Inthe book, Norman Achin is identified as “NNNNN” and his case is discussed in detail.
It is my understanding that the acceptance or refusal of cases by the Supreme Court of the U.S.has become something of a political issue. Since they only accept a small percentage of all possible cases, the presentation of numerous petition signatures might persuade the Justices as to the nationwide interest in thiscase. Please show your support for this issue by printing the petition (below) on plain white paper, filling out the requested information, getting as many signatures as possible (single-sided printing), and mailing the signed petitions to Bonnie at the address below. Please send all signed sheets, no matter how many lines are completed. Please mail the petition ASAP; but no later than July 1st.
Bonnie has said that Norman Achin has no money for legal council. She is in search of an attorney who might be willing to take the case pro bono, and several additional attorneys willing to write amicus briefs. She is prepared to turn over relevant court documents as well as her amicus brief; and answer any questions attorneys might have. She is undeterred by the current attorney situation, stating that the court may appoint an attorney if Mr.Achin is unable to provide one. The first and most pressing matter however, is to have the Supreme Court agree to hear the case.
Send your petition to: Bonnie Burkhardt
8402 Gambrill Ln
Springfield, VA 22153
Thank you for your help with this issue that is very important to our cause.
Down load the letter and petition Here letter-with-petition