Government agencies execute raid on Amish farm previously scrutinized by feds, lawyer says seizure is ‘patently illegal’

News & Politics

Multiple government agencies executed a search warrant on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania on Thursday. Government employees are seen on video hauling away several coolers of products from the organic farm. However, the lawyer for the farmer in question argues that the seizure of food was “patently illegal.”

Three Pennsylvania State Troopers and seven employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture conducted an hours-long search of a farm in Upper Leacock Township. Police are seen on video ordering a reporter from the Lancaster Patriot to exit the building while the search was conducted.

Video of the raid shows government employees seizing multiple coolers from the Lancaster County dairy farm owned by Amos Miller.

The news outlet reported that the search warrant was issued by Magisterial District Judge B. Denise Commins on Wednesday. The search warrant purportedly included an affidavit of probable cause completed by Sheri Morris – acting Bureau director of food safety with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said it executed a search warrant as part of an investigation into two food-borne illness cases, according to Lancaster Online.

The potential cases stem from two underage individuals in Michigan and New York suffering illness after consuming raw eggnog and other raw dairy products from the Miller Organic Farm. Health officials in both states noted that the sickened individuals tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

The raid of Miller’s farm “sought, among other things, illegal raw milk and raw milk products, including eggnog,” the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said.

The government agency declared, “Miller has never licensed his retail operation.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said of the raid on the X social media platform: “Looks like Amos Miller’s farm is being raided. With all of the problems in society today, this is what the government wants to focus on? A man growing food for informed customers, without participating in the industrial meat/milk complex? It’s shameful that it’s come to this.”

Massie is the co-author of the PRIME Act bill that “makes it easier for small farms and ranches to serve consumers.”

“Consumers want to know where their food comes from, what it contains, and how it’s processed. Yet, federal inspection requirements make it difficult to purchase food from trusted, local farmers,” Massie said. “It is time to open our markets to give producers the freedom to succeed and consumers the freedom to choose.”

Miller’s attorney, Robert Barnes, proclaimed that the seizure of food was “patently illegal.”

Barnies issued a statement after the search was conducted:

Today, the Department of Agriculture of the State of Pennsylvania suddenly came, without notice, raided Amos’ farm, and detained everything Amos had in the farm’s freezer. They did so in a lawless manner, without appropriate authority, in violation of their own rules and regulations, despite never objecting to the prior resolutions reached with the federal government, and despite a complete failure by the state to even reach out to Amos’ known counsel, Robert Barnes. The state’s own rules require advance notice, reasonable time frames for inspections, and a showing of credentials, none of which occurred here. Instead, the state unlawfully obtained a search warrant, based on materially false statements in an affidavit by a high-ranking state official in an agency with a known grievance against independent farmers like Amos, and, after the raid and finding no evidence of wrongdoing, then illegally ordered detained every item of food in one of Amos Miller’s coolers, including buffalo meat not even subject to federal regulation. The detention order is patently illegal under Pennsylvania law. Despite the constant harassment, Amos will continue to do all he legally can to provide the food his members deeply need. Amos thanks you for your continued support at this critical time for food freedom in America.

Miller has been in legal battles with the government for years.

In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration scrutinized Amos over selling raw milk.

Two individuals suffered from listeriosis – one of whom died. Health officials traced the raw milk back to Miller’s Organic Farm.

The USDA came down hard on Miller for slaughtering farm animals without federal inspections of his operation. Miller argued that his farm only sold the meat to those with private club memberships to Miller’s Organic Farm, which he believed exempted him to federal regulations.

According to the Foundation for Economic Education, “The story reached a climax in March 2022 when a federal judge ordered Miller to cease and desist all meat sales and authorized armed U.S. Marshals to use ‘reasonable force’ to gain access to Miller’s farm so a court expert could inspect it.”

The expert and the U.S. Marshals took an inventory of all Miller’s meat on the premises.

Federal inspectors continue to investigate Miller’s farm every few months. However, Miller has often been in a standoff with the federal government over allowing inspectors on his farm.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil action requiring Miller’s farm to comply with federal meat and poultry food safety statutes.

The Amish farmer initially faced fines from the government of $250,000.

EXCLUSIVE: State agents leaving Amos Miller’s organic farm store, carrying off some of his productswww.youtube.com

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