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Tag: amish

12 Amish Charged with Hate Crimes for Amish Beard-Cuttings

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Religion can unite folks. It can also divide them. It can also make them do some crazy things. Just ask the Amish.

A federal grand jury in Cleveland on Wednesday issued a seven-count indictment charging 10 men and 2 women who are part of an Amish breakaway group with federal crimes stemming from five assaults occurring in Ohio’s Amish country between September through November of this year, according to a Justice Department statement.

In each of the incidences defendants forcibly cut the hair from the beards and heads of victims in a different religious sect with which they had had a dispute. Hair is highly symbolic in Amish religion.

“For nearly 500 years, people have come to this land so that they could pray however and to whomever they wished,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach in a statement. “Violent attempts to attack this most basic freedom have no place in our country.”

Charged with conspiracy to violate the Mathew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act–which prohibits the willful attempt to cause bodily harm to an individual based on their religion–was Samuel Mullet Sr., Johnny S. Mullet, Daniel S. Mullet, Levi F. Miller, Eli M. Miller, Emanuel Shrock, Lester Miller, Raymond Miller, Freeman Burkholder, Anna Miller and Linda Shrock. Some of the above we also charged in relation to hiding or obfuscating evidence from federal investigators.

The hate crime charges carry a maximum life sentence.

 

Amish Raid in Hate Crimes Turns Up Marijuana Seeds, Cocaine

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Amish beard-cutting saga grows stranger and stranger. Talking Points Memo now reports that, along with scissors and clippers, federal agents also found evidence of marijuana and cocaine during a raid on the compound of the beard-cutting suspects.

As previously reported, the FBI investigated possible hate crimes among the Amish community when members of a breakaway sect began cutting the beards of mainstream Amish in eastern Ohio.

During a Wednesday bail hearing prosecutors also introduced video evidence of drug use, sex and information related to the beard-cutting attacks, according to TPM.

The raid was conducted on the breakaway Bergholz Clan and led to the arrest of the Clan’s leader Sam Mullet and six others, all charged with violating the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Police found Mullet giving sex counseling to the wife of a fellow Bergholz member, found marijuana seeds in the home and cocaine in the barn.

To read more click here.

 

What the Heck is Going on in Amish Country? FBI Investigating

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

From an outsider’s viewpoint, the Amish are known for their food products and beards and cultural simplicity.

Now comes the FBI.

Station WKYC reports that the FBI is investigating crimes in eastern Ohio involving Amish-on-Amish incidents, including beard cutting. WKYC reported that the FBI is looking into whether hate crimes are involved with Amish members of a breakaway sect, who have disagreed with the way some Amish carry out their beliefs.

“We’re looking at any potential federal violations, specifically any civil rights violations, because we take civil rights violations as a very serious matter,” FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson told WKYC.

“We met with local law enforcement about a week ago and made the decision to enter the case,” she said, according to the station. A number of Northeast and Eastern Ohio sheriffs were involved in that meeting.

CNN reports five men have been arrested and charged with kidnapping and burglary stemming from an October incident. Authorities allege that the group  pulled an Amish man out of his home by the beard and cut off portions of it.

CNN reports that Jefferson County Sheriff Fred J. Abdalla said that was among a handful of incidents in several counties carried out by as many as 30 men and woman.

CNN reported that the perpetrators are suspected of being followers of a breakaway Amish group led by Sam Mullet.  Three of the five men arrested are sons of Mullet.

CNN reported that “local law enforcement officials and members of the Amish community believe Mullet has created a cult and is single-handedly behind the beard cutting incidents and other crimes in recent years.”