So according to Mlive.com the three Palestinian born men who were arrested in Caro, MI last week for buying too many cell phones don’t seem to have done anything wrong. Federal officials are not filing any charges because the three broke no laws and had no connection to any terrorist groups. Tuscola county prosecutor Mark Reene is so far refusing to comment and is pressing ahead with the case. I’m guessing that this is a case of a rural prosecutor pursueing a high profile case with an eye on some higher elective or appointed office in future. The actual facts of the case are clearly irrelevant. Guess what Reene’s party affiliation is? I’ll give you a hint, he’s not a democrat. This guy is trying to railroad these guys for political reasons.
Wed Aug 16 Update: The County Prosecutor Mark Reene has agreed to drop the terror related charges now that the US Attorney has trumped up some federal charges for these guys. The charges are not however in any way terrorism related. They are now being charged with conspiracy to defraud consumers with counterfeit goods and intent to promote the carrying on of a specific unlawful activity, and in this case the activity is conducting financial transactions involving the proceeds from counterfeit goods. I’m not sure how they paln to prove this one. The guys are buying and selling cell phones. They paid cash for the phones, reprogrammed them and re-sold them. The only thing you can really accuse them of is bypassing a flawed business model on the part of cellular service providers. The phone companies may not like that but I don’t see any wrong or illegal about it. I suspect that they will hold these guys in custody for a few weeks until this all blows over, and then they will quietly drop the charges and let these guys go. Sounds to me like the Detroit US Attorney is just providing a face saving out for this over-zealous prosecutor.