Dear JAQ, On Dave Burgess

December 3, 2011

All Posts, Editorials

In reply to a brief announcement about federal inmate Dave Burgess yesterday, Just A Question wrote:

Wow, Cavazo’s snitch unit is Having a Christmas competition with Burgess’ molester unit. I wonder who will get to eat Bologna sandwiches first.

I’m sure his whole “Christmas request” is in some code, which deciphered reads: IT’S ME DAVE, SEND POST CARDS OF NUDE YOUNG BOYS A.S.A.P .

Worse of all, the HA had no idea of this dudes preoccupation with young boys. The Angels love to do community service. I just hope, coach Burgess wasn’t pulling down little johnnies shorts on the basketball court after practice. I’m pretty sure there were some red flags. I don’t think it’s normal for a grown man to use photos of boy’s genitalia as a stocking stuffer. Better yet, maybe Burgesses insistence to be the first pant-less Santa Claus raised a red flag. Or Maybe, the children that sat on Santa Burgess lap, complained that a bulge made them uncomfortable.

I just thought we all needed a good laugh on such a serious topic. But really, stop laughing, Dave Burgess is innocent.

The Aging Rebel Replies

Dear JAQ,

Burgess is stained with the label of kiddie porn for the rest of his life. It is not inconceivable that a member of a major club could be a child porn enthusiast. A couple of years ago, a member of the Mongols was busted on a similar morals charge.

After all the hyperbole was stripped away, the charges against Burgess boiled down to about a half dozen provocative, nude or semi-nude photos of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter. I don’t know anything about any photos of boys. The photos of the girl had provocative captions, like, “Boy, I sure am a pervert,” or something like that.

Burgess has said that the captions were generated with software he did not own and never used. He has also said that the portable drives that contained the photos were identical to ones he had purchased in Reno except the drives entered into evidence were purchased in Vegas. And, several people with knowledge of the case think it is somewhere between plausible and likely that the girl, or a friend of hers, took the photos using Burgess’ camera and Burgess never saw them until after he was arrested.

The Backstory

The charges culminated 40 years of antagonism between Burgess and members of his family and federal police. It goes back to the old days when Nixon decided that the Mustang Ranch must be closed at all costs. I think Hoover was still running the FBI at the time. This antagonism resulted in several clear injustices against Burgess and particularly against people close to him.

I think it is incontrovertible that the traffic stop that eventually led to the child porn charges was a premeditated, coordinated, federal attempt to get something on Burgess. Just something. Anything. And also to gather “gang intelligence” on the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. I think all that context immediately raises the reasonable possibility that Burgess might have been framed.

There is also a vital constitutional issue in the case that has been absolutely ignored in the mainstream press. The issue is, how private should the information on your computer be? Both the Obama and the Bush Administrations have argued that none of the information on your “personal” computer should be private because if it is the terrorists win.

Last year, after Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, most of the public discussion about her qualifications centered around whether she was straight or gay. Nobody ever mentioned that one of her highlight issues was her advocacy of unlimited searches of personal computers under what is called the “plain sight doctrine.”

The Ninth Circuit ruled that there is some expectation of privacy on a PC in the BALCO case. And, in most cases where a computer is searched the search is conducted by non-police who must ignore all data that is irrelevant to the items specified in the search warrant. That is because most computer searches apply to financial crimes like tax evasion. I think the same search rules should have applied in the Burgess case.

Who Is Next

I think the same rules should apply to my computer when Ciccone or somebody decides to trump up a drug dealing or gun dealing charge against me, seizes all my hardware to see who I might have been talking to, and about what and when, stores my hardware in a child porn warehouse and then four months later discovers “65,000 images of child exploitation” on my computer and drives. I expect that would pretty much ruin any little credibility I have. It would certainly bring a screeching halt to really annoying headlines like “Government Loses Mongols Case.” That would be one way to shut me up.

You know that when I started nosing around the Mongols case the ATF tried to spread the rumor that I was a convicted child molester?  That was why I had time to work on the case.  Because I was a child molester who couldn’t get a job so I worked on a book about the Mongols case instead.  You know that, right? Ciccone didn’t just say that on this site.  That was out there for awhile.

I don’t think the Burgess case is about the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club except to the extent that the charges against Burgess have been used to smear that club and to the extent that many of Burgess’ club brothers just assumed the guy must be guilty. I think what happened to Burgess could just as easily have happened to a Mongol, a Vago, Bandido, Son, Gypsy Joker, Henchman, Highwayman, Pagan or Outlaw. What happened to Burgess has nothing to do with club politics.

I suspect that part of getting Burgess was that the federal police wanted to work out a set of procedures to similarly smear Mongols, Vagos, Bandidos, Sons, Gypsy Jokers, Henchmen, Highwaymen, Pagans, Outlaws, Vietnam Vets, Rough Riders, Set free Soldiers, Occupy Wall Streeters, Tea Partiers, Fundamentalist Mormons, militiamen, and other “gang” members. I think that for democracy to survive justice must at least appear to be just and in this case nobody even tried to make the prosecution of Burgess appear fair.


I know I am not blankly objective about the feds. After staring at the Mongols case for two or three years, I can’t hear about a car to car shooting in Washington, DC or an “elder militia” bust in Idaho without immediately wondering how the ATF is in that mix and who are they trying to set-up.

I knew who Burgess was before his child porn charge. We weren’t friends.  We did not know each other but I had met the guy in Reno. I had read what he posted on Dave’s World 81.

I was very surprised when he picked up the kiddie porn charge. I sat on the Burgess story for six months before I first wrote about it because I assumed Burgess was guilty. I kept holding my nose and peeking at the case, feeling ashamed for the guy and still peeking a the case. I kept peeking because I just always had the impression that Dave Burgess was protective of children. I think my first reaction was like, “Hell, you just never know!”

Then, eventually when the facts started to soften my gut reaction, I became convinced that the guy was framed. JAQ, if it happened to you and I thought you were framed I would say something about it too.

Lynching Bad Guys

I think Burgess was metaphorically lynched. There is a long history of lynching child molesters in this country.

I once saw my great-grandfather’s face in the middle of an old photo of the lynching of a child molester. According to the news account, there were 5,000 people in that lynch mob. In the photo, most of them were laughing and were probably drunk. In that time and place, I probably would have been in that lynch mob, too. Nobody likes child molesters or the people who look at pictures of kids being molested and who take pleasure from that.

That is why child porn cases are such slam dunk convictions. And, that is one reason why all computers and drives seized in biker related indicia searches are routinely searched.  The investigators hope to find child porn. I think that in Burgess’ case the search just took one extra step.

I think the child porn charge against him was an excuse to lynch Burgess and for the federal police to make an example out of Dave Burgess once and for all. And, even I am aware that I could be wrong.  I still think, “You just never know.”  And, that is the real damage the case has done to Burgess and everybody who cares about him.  His conviction could be overturned tomorrow and still the accusations made against him will never go away.

If I am right and Burgess was framed, it was a very foul injustice.  If he was framed, the men who did it to him should get a taste of their own medicine.




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11 Responses to “Dear JAQ, On Dave Burgess”

  1. rollinnorth Says:

    Well said, Rebel. This case should scare the hell out of every American citizen.
    Just start reading the Tenth Circuit appeal decision and the stench arises:
    “On July 24, 2007, Wyoming Trooper Matt Arnell observed a motor home with Nevada license plates at a restaurant parking lot in Evanston, Wyoming.   It was towing a trailer bearing an expired Wyoming license plate.   Arnell was aware (from a prior briefing) the motor home was associated with the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club.   He verified that the trailer plate was expired but did nothing more until the motor home was driven on to Interstate 80 heading east.   As Arnell followed the vehicle, he called for a drug canine to be brought to the area.   He then stopped the motor home to issue a citation for the expired plate.”
    From a set-up MV stop, that failed as a drug bust, to a kiddie porn rap is just so bizarre. The more you learn about this case, the more you see it was all about rousting Joe Conforti’s nephew. Add in a chance to smear the 81 and its LEO paradise.
    This case stands for the proposition that if the Man wants you, the Man gets you, “and there was nothin’ we could do about it.” What we can do is what you do Rebel, and spread the word.
    Wake up, America!

  2. RVN69 Says:

    I can only add one thing to the outstanding job Rebel has done in reporting this case.

    Everyone who reads this site should know that things can be remotely stored on your computer, all kinds of things including porn. There was a case last year where either the accused was found not quilty or the charges were dropped because he was able to prove that the kiddie porn found on his computer was put there remotely by someone from another state. If anyone believes that law enforcement would not stoop to doing that to someone they wanted to convict then you are delusional.

    Kiddie porn is a terrible crime and rightly so, but to plant it to get someone you cannot arrest legitimately is nearly as bad and it show the depths to which cops will go.

    An interesting aside to this case is something SVD can address with more authority than I, but the Shrink Association (sorry SVD) is being pushed by some of it’s members to remove pedophilia from its list of mental illnesses.

  3. RVN69 Says:

    Here is a link to a story about remotely storing child porn on computers

  4. anon Says:


    Well said and done. When I first heard of the Burgess case, I had a terrible reaction to him and anyone supporting him, such as HAMC on the BHC website. The more I read, the more I thought this was exactly the frame-up you describe… even if you think the guy might be innocent, you’re hesitant to defend him in the off-chance he might be guilty because the accusation is disgusting in every way imaginable.

    You did leave out an important aspect of his defense that I think is relevant, at least as far as I can recall.
    From Burgess…

    “So anyway after the “government forensics” team got a hold of the hard drives, it came to light that those five kiddy porn pictures that I was charged with were “NEVER” accessed! So the next court hearing went from five pictures to over 600 pictures. An interesting note is that anything over 600 pictures is a “mandatory” prison sentence. At that point the, U.S.
    attorney offered me a deal, but part of the deal was that I would lose my brothel (not sell it, just close it and lose it.) Again, I said “NO DEAL”. So by the time I got to court, the amount of pictures jumps to over 65,000. And for some odd reason it didn’t matter to the jury that none of the pictures were ever accessed?”

    I’m not a big fan of Dave’s feeling toward “whores,” which makes it seem like he thinks they are sub-human. I also think anyone involved in child molestation and kiddie porn should be executed, whether legal or extra-legal. Having said all that, I honestly believe – after reading the relevant information available to me – that Dave Burgess has been framed on the charges and has been framed on these specific charges precisely because of the negative feelings these accusations elicit in me and a hell of a lot of other people.

  5. Glenn S. Says:

    I’ve often tried to explain to my family members, co-workers, etc. that the conflicts between law enforcement and (fill in the blank with any of their enemies-of-the-day) ate not conflicts between good guys vs. bad guys, but simply between two entities, neither of which should be awarded the high moral ground simply because We the People are forced to fund one side through taxation and because the news media presents one side’s story as related to them by the one side.

    Free men (and women) should maintain free minds, and this takes effort. I have not been exempt from such intellectual laziness.

    I’ll tell you a story and its true: When I was released from prison, in 1995, I came home to my first wife. We lived in a pretty quiet working class neighborhood and our neighbors were a retired couple, Charlie and Pauline, their 30ish son Kenny, Kenny’s wife Brenda, Kenny and Brenda’s two twin pre-school children, and Brenda’s 14-year-old daughter Jeanette. Kenny was a crackhead. He drove this old piece-of-shit station wagon with the fake wood panel on the side. He generally wore a plaid jacket and striped pants, and his facial features looked like those of a high level moron. He “looked like a child molester.”

    The first thing my wife told me about these neighbore was that I should make sure it could never be said that I was alone with Jeanette. Jeanette, she told me, had recently told her teacher that the whole neighborhood was a coven of devil worshipers. She had said that everyone there, men and women alike, had raped her during occult ceremonies and continued to do so regularly. The authorities had investigated these claims, and found no merit to them.

    A few weeks later, Brenda asked us to take her to pick up Kenny’s car. He had been pulled over and arrested for driving under suspension. He had been out, she said, looking for Jeanette, who had run away. The next day, she told us that Jeanette had knocked on some people’s door (outside the neighborhood, where she was not known) and told whoever answered that her stepfather had been molesting her and would they please help. They called the cops. Kenny, already in the city jail for the D.U.S., was arrested for child molestation and moved to the county jail, where his fellow prisoners beat him half to death and put him in the hospital. His parents mortgaged their house to hire a bondsman and a lawyer. Brenda, aided by victims’ advocates, got a court order banning Kenny’s parents from allowing Kenny back into the family home and forcing the parents to continue to provide room and board for Brenda and the younger children. Jennette was put in foster care, and Brenda told us that abused children went to a really nice foster home, and were bought nice gifts of jewelry and clothing by the state. Kenny lived in the woods and slept in homeless shelters. Everybody, myself included, believed he was guilty. The lawyer his parents hired (one of the better small-time defense lawyers hereabouts) told them to accept the fact that Kenny would do 30 years unless he pled guilty, in which case he might get off with 10. Kenny refused to plead. Months passed.

    Then the truth came out. Jeanette was, in fact, treated very well in foster care. But she had to obey rules, and she refused to do this. So they took her out of the “nice” foster home and put her in a place for kids with behavioral problems. She asked her mother to get her out of there and bring her home and her mother refused. So Jeanette told her counseler the truth: Her mother was fucking some guy that worked at the Auto Zone, up the street. That guy agreed to move Brenda and the two young kids in with him, but not Jeanette. Jeanette and her mother had watched a Lifetime channel movie where a molested girl was adopted by a loving, generous, rich family. So the mother and daughter came up with the plan.

    The cops re-opened the investigation. Auto Zone dude admitted that he knew about it. Brenda confessed, and was arrested (she got 5 years probation). The charges against Kenny were dismissed, and he got custody of the kids, but his parents still have a mortgage instead of a worry-free retirement. (Kenny did get clean, and got a job and, eventually, another wife).

    But I had to wonder why I believed that shit. I mean, I was a writ writer in the penitentiary. I know just how bad the system is, how it will lie, and do whatever it deems advisable to put people in jail. But I let those magic words: “child molester” cause me to believe the lies.

  6. Not Surprised Says:

    Glenn S.

    Very good story. few years back, I had a step daughter 15. I say “had” because her mother and I are divorced now. Anyway, she was very much like the young woman you cite in your story. A year prior, her older sister had accused a male teacher of inappropriately touching her, got tons of attention from it. Scghool investigated, Cops invetigated teacher was suspended with pay during this. I at first believed her. After the teacher was cleared 100%, the older step daughter was expelled for 3 days under some rule about false reporting and was told (we were told) the teacher had legal recourse. it was months before the older step daughter admitted she made it up..

    So back to the yoounger step daughter….for reasons only she knows, she told a teacher I had “touched her in inapproprate ways”. Teachers are “mandatpory reporters” in that if they remain slient after being told something like that, they can be prosecuted. Same thing took place: she was removed from our home and placed in foster care with a friend’s family. Child Services turned this over to the DA and I was told ny my attorney I could face 20 years. Unreal, but true….

    After about a year, and after my ex step daughter had been kicked out of numerous foster homes, group homes, had run away and finally ended up in a locked mental ward in custody of the state, de she finally admit she had also “made it up.” here’s the thing though: Child services didin’t believe her. No charges were ever filed against me of course, but my current wife went through hell waiting for that “knock on the door” to take me away. he real fater did not believe her nor did her mother. The case did not get publicity, my name was never in the papers so Idid not have to suffer the scrutiny of my neighbors.
    if it HAD gone public or I HAD been formaly charged, I am certain most people would have assumed my guilt. Child Services and most Sexual Abuse investigators almost ALWAYS operate under the assumption that the alleged victim is telling the truth, regardless of any other evidence.

    But The American Bar Association says that charges of child sexual abuse have the highest probability of a flase conviciton that ANY OTHER CRIMINAL CHARGE.

    As this pertains to Dave Burgess, let me say that truly no one but Dave Burgess knows for certain if he is guilty or not. I will further state that the purprted “evidence” of 65,000 images of child pornography likley constitues on of the TOP prosecutions of an individual in the USon charges of child porn. The Interpol data base isthe only known spource I have been able to uncover that has more images than Burgess was said to have on that hard drive.

    In other words the chances that a State trooper woould uncover
    “the motherlode” of child porn based on a random stop, are equal to a hurricane blowing though a junkyard and self-assembling a fully funcitonal 747.

    It strains credulity to think that Dave Burgess, long on many LEO radars, would ever in a million years choose to transport 65,000 images of child porn in his personal vehicle while enroute to one of the most surveilled events in the country.

    You don’t have to even get into Burgess’s character or history. The laws of statistical probability are enough (for me anyway) to cast a very longand dark shadow over the entire stop, arrest and investigation.

    65.000 images. Assuming say, that every five images were of the same child, (for arguments sake), then that meas TWELVE THOUSAND children were repesented. In almost every other case involving ven 1/3 this much material, numerous other arrests are the result. Inaddition, LEO on aglobal basis has a legal mandate to locate, identify, and rescue the children in those images. Not a sinlge word was ever printed regarding this “foloow up” investigation, which, typically should span several continents. Not a word……….You have to ask you yourself some hard questions to believe what LEO says about Dave Burgess. I have and the answers don’t line up.

    Fibnally, to put this in perspective, transporting or even being in control of or possession of 65,000 images of child porn equates to sitting on about two tons of pure heroin. I mean having in in your car. I mean being a well known individual to LEO and having it in yoour car. I mean being a well known individual to LEO, having it in you car, and driving with a DEAD TAG (hello?) on your car AND driving to an event that LEO salivates over to observe. This sceanrio wouldn’t even work if it were a sit com.

    Thanks Glenn for sharing that story……….

  7. Philo Says:

    I don’t know if the dudes innocent or not. But as someone who graduated top of his class in NetAdmin/NetSec I can tell you for a fact that your computers, (and phones for that matter) give law enforcement and crooks alike the keys to the castle when it comes to the ability to ruin your life. Most folks can’t afford a forensic IT team to prove they’re innocent.

    This story brings to mind the case off the guy out east who worked at a nuuclear power plant. His company laptop was being used in an internet kiddie porn ring. Dude had no idea, or so he claimed. He lost his job, his wife, his life, his reputation. Everything. Luckily he’d stashed enough retirement cash to hire a good forensic IT team. That team was able to prove that his company laptop had been infected with malware that turned it into a ‘zombie’ for a kidde porn BotNet. If the dude hadn’t had the cash, he’d be in the joint right now. Forever.

    Also, if I remember correctly, wasn’t there something about the HD’s in this case being contaminated with data from the cops IT forensic PC’s, showing cross-data unrelated to the pictures?


  8. Glenn S. Says:

    No citizen can hope to match the resources of those trying to lock him up. And the citizenry roots for the prosecution as if its the home team.

  9. Slam Says:


    New to the site, and a first time poster. Since reading ‘Out Bad’ this week, and reading every word on this site over the past two weeks, I think I’ve figured out why you haven’t found a more “mainstream” reporting job! You actually do the homework 99% of reporters in today’s media refuse to do; research and objective reporting are virtually non-existent today, and I applaud your patient and logical presentation of the facts you discover.


    Houston, TX

  10. Rebel Says:

    Dear Slam,

    Thanks for your kind words. Clicks some ads.


  11. Tim Says:

    If people don’t think the Feds can do what they like,think about this. The Feds have been coming down on the “tea party”. Now wether you like or agree with tea party,is of no import here. Remember how a while back the Feds told IRS to look into the tea party? That’s proof right there if people don’t want to think the government is straight forward and solid. If they can sit there and try to destroy an entire entity,then why is it hard to believe they’d go after one man. Same government wants to take away our guns. Once again if they want to deny our right to own a gun or assemble to support their political party,then why do some people still believe Dave was guilty only cause the Feds said he was . Never thought I would say this about my country ,but we are almost along the lines of Hitler or Stalins thinking. If you spoke out against those 2, you go away for a long long time. If you associate with people or organizations the Feds don’t like,away you go. Yeah,this can happen to anybody.

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