FROM Hartley Peavey who shared his experience with me:

That “raid” was VERY traumatic for us since it came right in the middle of our North American Sales meeting.. To say that it was a “Barney Fife Moment” would be an understatement!!!..

An order for 10 Crest Power amps was taken by our German Rep @  the Frankfurt Musik MESSE from our distributor for Lebanon…. Apparently he put on the order that they “May want this shipped to Damascus” instead of to his warehouse in Lebanon.. This order came thru to our us Crest office which was about 4 miles from our main office… Apparently one of our little country girls spoke to a freight forwarder in Houston and quoted the info on the order about ”possibly wanting this to be shipped to Damascus”… I’m sure that she didn’t have ANY idea that Syria  was a “blacklisted country” and that Damascus was in Syria!!!..

The Houston freight forwarder apparently called U.S. Customs and told them that we were trying to ship goods to a “Blacklisted Country”…. All this resulted in a “raid” by 24 swat equipped “ I.C. E. agents out of the Fort Lauderdale office…

In the middle of our sales meeting our Security guard @ the front desk came into our meeting to tell me that I “Had to go to the lobby RIGHT NOW”!!!!!… I went out and these 24 guys and a big Ms. Hi-Way Patrolman were there in our lobby!!.. I asket them “ what the hell is all this about”… Their “leader” handed me a search warrant and said that “we have information that you are sending goods to a blacklisted country”…. I had NO IDEA what he was talking about so I told him … “OK, knock yourself out and search the place”…. They had surrounded our offices here and (reportedly) had snipers posted across the street… Apparently the Ms. Hi-Way patrol had also blocked the 4 lane street in front of our H.Q…..

They rushed all our people into our auditorium and announced that they were gonna be “given one chance to turn in their weapons”!!!.. Our wise ass salesmen thought that I was playing some kind of joke on them and started making wisecracks to the ICE Agents!!!!…

They rounded up all our computers and essentially shut down our business…. The real “IRONY” of all this is that they were 4 MILES from the CREST office where the order was taken and these I.C.E. guys were @ the WRONG LOCATION!!!

I shudder to think how much this “RAID” cost the taxpayers… The order was never shipped to Syria and our German rep (nor our Crest order clerk) had any idea that shipping to Damascus was a “No/No”… This went thru all kinds of courts and cost us big $$$ for 3 years….With the info they got off our computers and phone taps, I’ m sure they realized this was nothing but a “mountain made out of a molehill” and apparently just dropped the case since it was leading NOWHERE…

Rgds…. Hartley


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