If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my free Email alerts. Thanks for visiting!
PRISON GUARDS ISSUE INCIDENT REPORT OVER USE OF THE WORD “FAIRIES”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 13, 2014) — Last week, The Post & Email received a lengthy typed document from federal inmate Darren Wesley Huff, who was convicted of attempting to use a firearm in a civil disturbance on October 25, 2011 at the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, TN.
The incident arose after false reports were called in to the mayor of Madisonville, TN stating that Huff, Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III, and others planned to “take over the courthouse” in Monroe County, where Madisonville is the county seat.
Fitzpatrick was scheduled to attend a brief assignment hearing on April 20, 2010 to which Huff traveled from his home in Georgia to attend. When heavily-armed guards allowed very few would-be observers into the courtroom, Huff and several acquaintances patronized a restaurant across the street. Fitzpatrick joined the group following the hearing.
Mainstream media reports fed into the claim that Huff had intended to carry out a nefarious, violent plot to “take over the courthouse,” and several participants in the scheme to frame him provided false testimony at his trial. Huff’s public defender, G. Scott Green, did not call key eyewitnesses who could have attested as to Huff’s whereabouts, which were not where the government claimed he was on that day in order to allegedly carry out the plot.
While the media claimed that an unknown number of individuals were armed near the courthouse, there were no altercations or arrests reported, and no one was identified as having carried a gun or threatened anyone. However, FBI Special Agent Mark Van Balen wrote in an April 26, 2010 affidavit that “eight or nine militia groups” had appeared in Madisonville to effect Huff’s alleged “takeover,” a statement not supported by material facts or witnesses.
County, state and federal governments spent approximately $500,000 to deploy local police, highway patrolmen, a SWAT team, snipers, and TBI and FBI agents into Madisonville for the hearing, which proved unnecessary. The U.S. Department of Justice has refused to release any documentation on the incident.
Huff left Madisonville uneventfully that evening and returned home. Ten days later, however, he was arrested on two federal firearms charges despite having locked his legally-owned firearms in his truck before exiting with the expectation of attending Fitzpatrick’s hearing.
A cabal of ideologically-driven individuals discussed the events leading up to Huff’s trial in October 2011 in their forum and admitted to having contacted then-Mayor Allan Watson to state that Fitzpatrick and Huff had planned violence for April 20, 2010. A member of the group is reportedly now working as an Obamacare navigator, and another is an attorney working for the Internal Revenue Service with whom Fitzpatrick has spoken by telephone.
Neither Huff nor Fitzpatrick had ever discussed violence, and Fitzpatrick was unaware that Huff would even be attending the hearing.
In February 2012, Fitzpatrick was informed in a phone call he made to his credit union that his military pension had been garnished by two-thirds by the IRS. No other information was made available. Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email that he did not at any time receive notification that he might have owed taxes for any reason. The levy was reportedly placed on his pension for two years, the last month of which is January 2014. It remains to be seen if Fitzpatrick’s full pension will be restored. The IRS’s unexplained action has been reported to congressional investigators.
On January 12, 2014, Huff contacted this writer by telephone and related that at a scheduled “team meeting” on January 10 to discuss his case, the team leader opened Huff’s file, only to find that all complaints issued against him were not there. “Everything is gone out of my file,” Huff told us.
In the prison system, an incident report is called a “shot” and carries with it “points” which could negatively affect the inmate from a possible relocation closer to his home.
The “shot” pictured above was issued to Huff for referring to prison guards reviewing his emails as “fairies.” In box 11, Description of Incident, the BOP wrote:
On the morning of 2-11-13 while reviewing an email from inmate Darren Huff…In this e-mail inmate Huff made the statement, “way to go fairies. This one is from nearly two damn days ago (rolls eyes).” Inmate Huff refers to the SIS staff as the e-mail fairies due to the fact the SIS office monitors is e-mails. On October 28, 2012 inmate Huff was counseled by myself in regards to his insolence about SIS staff (who he refers to as the e-mail fairies) in his e-mails. Inmate Huff continues this act of insolence towards staff after being counseled and chooses to engage in this behavior which justifies this incident report.
Huff explained that his reference to “two days ago” was to delays in his receipt of incoming emails which he perceives as deliberate.
“They had no right to do it,” Huff told The Post & Email in reference to the issuing of the incident report. “The email went to a private party.”
In the document he sent to The Post & Email, Huff describes other kinds of discrimination and poor treatment which have been carried out against him which he suspects could be racially-motivated.
During the telephone call, Huff explained that Board of Prisons regulations state that an inmate should be placed in a facility “as close to home as possible” within 500 miles. However, Huff was moved from Georgia, where his family lives, to Texarkana, TX during the summer of 2012, and his attempts to obtain a relocation reportedly thwarted. Huff reported that FCI is 533 “air miles” from his home.
Of the facility itself, Huff reported that it is “good,” although he still hopes to be relocated before his sentence is over in April of next year. Huff told us that when an inmate has 12 months left of his sentence, the warden begins to prepare “exit paperwork,” at which time a relocation might not be considered practical.
The Texarkana facility has returned mail to The Post & Email intended for Huff on two occasions, the most recent of which contained several articles and a brief written by Tennessee Deputy Attorney General Kyle Hixson stating that Tennessee grand jury foremen are not jurors. The reason provided for prohibiting Huff from reading the materials was that “the correspondence is a court appeal of another person, who is not inmate Huff.” It is unclear why articles or publicly-available documents would not be suitable for Huff to review, particularly if they relate to the reasons for his incarceration. Huff and Fitzpatrick had been attempting to stand up to corruption within the Monroe County Criminal Court, where the grand jury foreman had served consecutively for 28 years.
An appeal to Huff’s conviction was filed at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, OH, where a hearing will transpire on January 30 at 9:00 a.m.
This post was updated on January 14, 2014.