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Author: Subject: Ebay sodium. Fedgov no like. Seller goes to prison.
S.C. Wack
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[*] posted on 23-7-2011 at 18:46
Ebay sodium. Fedgov no like. Seller goes to prison.


The story of Krister Evertson is an old one, but I am quite surprised that it hasn't been mentioned here. Certain um members here um may um recall sodium metal being sold on ebay in 2003-4 and um arriving from AK in maybe um not the expected packaging and um maybe in cube form. Well you may be surprised to learn that you purchased one of only 41 pounds of sodium and you are on some list and the seller was sentenced to 21 months in prison, serving 15.

10 metric tons!

http://juneauempire.com/stories/052804/sta_akdigest.shtml
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2004

ANCHORAGE - The FBI has arrested a Wasilla man on charges of violating a federal law against improper shipment of hazardous materials by interstate commerce.

Krister Evertson, 50, was arrested Wednesday.

Evertson is accused of selling about 41 pounds of sodium metals on an internet auction site over nine months.

After each sale, the FBI said, the sodium metals were shipped by commercial mail services without proper labeling or packaging.


...........

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/2009/01/part-one-eco-i...
http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/2009/01/part-two-woe-m...
01/22/09

Krister Evertson is in jail in an absurdly convoluted legal saga that began with a misunderstanding of the most basic sort: He didn’t know that shipping by “ground” transportation from Alaska still usually entails an airplane flight.

In the early years of the current decade, Evertson was splitting his time between Wasilla, Alaska, where his aging mother lived and where he mined for gold, and Salmon, Idaho, where his sister lived.

In Salmon, Evertson spent $100,000 of his family’s money seeking to create a fuel cell that would use pure sodium, mixed with borax (yes, the detergent ingredient), to create clean energy without polluting the environment.

Pure sodium is a metal that, when in direct contact with a certain amount of water, can explode. But it can be easily bought online when it is packaged correctly, that is, surrounded by an oil solution that protects against water.

Evertson had legally purchased 10 metric tons of sodium from a dealer in China.

But he ran out of money in Idaho before his experiments bore fruit, so he carefully stored all of his materials, machines, and byproduct in stainless steel tanks, with much of the sodium either surrounded by oil and plastic or in its original, legal packaging from China.

He then moved his materials half a mile down the road to the Steel and Ranch Supply Facility, an industrial supply company in Salmon owned by a friend, and paid rent in the form of two sacks of 1,000 pounds each of borax, which his friend could re-sell for a profit.

Evertson said he planned to return once he raised enough money to re-start his experiments. He moved to his mother’s house in Wasilla, Alaska, taking a few dozen pounds of sodium with him, and began selling the sodium on E-bay to raise funds to finance a new gold-mining expedition.

Then on May 27, 2004, federal agents in black SUVs and waving assault rifles, appeared out of nowhere, forced Evertson’s truck off the road, and arrested him. He was charged for shipping sodium he had sold on E-Bay by air, which is understandably forbidden as a result of its potential explosiveness.

Evertson knew it was illegal to ship the material by air, which is why he had packaged it according to all available guidelines, and he had even checked the “ground transportation” box on the bill.

What he didn’t know was that in the UPS system, ground transportation from Alaska actually is carried by air. That meant Evertson should have put a special sticker on the package of sodium routing it for special “ground” treatment.

Federal authorities could have treated the incident as a simple civil violation, but instead chose to charge Evertson with a serious criminal offense.

Two years later, an Alaska jury aquitted Evertson of all charges.

When federal agents first interviewed Krister Evertson about his shipping sodium he had sold on E-Bay via UPS, he described his fuel cell experiments back home in Idaho in great detail.

Federal authorities in Alaska sent word to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Idaho, which promptly dispatched its agents to the industrial supply facility in Salmon where Evertson had stored his fuel cell materials.

The EPA agents treated the materials like a Superfund site. They cut open his steel drums, cleared away a perimeter – and, by their own account, spent some $430,000 disposing of every bit of Evertson’s painstakingly assembled experiments.

“They never told me; they just went and did it,” Evertson told The Washington Examiner in a telephone interview from his Oregon prison.

“It’s like Chicken Little: They run around like the sky is falling…. It’s like the perfect storm of misunderstanding and unfounded fear and they never asked me about it. I could have told them in one minute exactly what to do with it,” he said.

Despite his acquittal in Alaska, federal authorities filed new charges against Evertson in Idaho for allegedly illegally transporting his materials the half mile from his home to the storage facility and improperly disposing of “hazardous” waste, all based on strained readings of EPA regulations.

Evertson claimed he had stored the materials properly and they were perfectly secure.

“My expert witness said the stainless steel container could safely contain the intermediate process stream indefinitely, that means forever. The stainless steel was 3/8 of an inch thick. I bought it from the Long Beach, California, Naval Yard. It was completely enclosed…. I could have neutralized all of it for $200,” Evertson said.

Marc Callaghan, a government witness, testified that he tried to speak with Evertson, but claimed that “Mr. Evertson would not speak to me.”

But Callaghan’s assertion seems to conflict with the FBI’s initital description of Evertson as eager to discuss his fuel cell activities. Strangely transcript of Evertson’s second trial shows the judge did not ask prosecutors for elaboration on Callaghan’s assertion.

Never mind that Evertson had clearly saved the material for future use rather than abandoning it. Never mind that it would be potentially dangerous only if taken out of the storage materials Evertson had so carefully constructed.

And never mind, finally, that, in the words of Evertson’s appellate brief, none of the materials were “discharged into the air, land or sea,” and the government failed to produce any evidence “that the defendant intended this to happen.”

Indeed, the brief notes, “the EPA witness, Marc Callaghan, testified that the materials became hazardous waste [only] when the EPA disposed of them.”

Even so, on Oct. 22, 2007, the Idaho jury found Evertson guilty of the illegal disposal charge. He was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

Evertson has appealed, claiming the jury was improperly instructed by the trial judge on multiple counts that, if corrected, would have materially changed the jury’s understanding, and thus its verdict.

Evertson’s appeal brief sums up the absurdity of the whole case by quoting from a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in the year 2000: “To say that when something is saved it is thrown away is an extraordinary distortion of the English language.”

Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said prosecutors would have no comment because the case in on appeal. No hearing date has been set.




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[*] posted on 23-7-2011 at 19:56


Sounds like another case of overcriminalization per this new book, hosted by Ed Meese:

One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty

Ed Meese was Attorney General under president Ronald Reagan, IIRC.

More info about this book:
http://www.overcriminalized.com/one-nation-under-arrest.aspx

This site also has a video showing two cases, one of Krister Evertson and the other of Bobby Unser,

"America is in the throes of overcriminalization: We are making and enforcing far too many criminal laws that create traps for the innocent but unwary and threaten to make criminals out of those who are doing their best to be respectable, law-abiding citizens.

One Nation Under Arrest highlights a major effort to return the criminal law to its traditional and proper role in society: to ensure public safety and protect the innocent. With first-hand stories from victims of overcriminalization, One Nation Under Arrest sheds light on an insidious problem that few recognize or care about but which is vital to the fundamental values of the Republic and our concept of justice."

Also see:
http://www.heritage.org/events/2010/03/one-nation-under-arre...

I think the implications for all US home chemists should be painfully clear.




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[*] posted on 23-7-2011 at 20:45


I think in this case he aroused fedgov attention, and determination to use whatever takedown it could, to separate him from the sodium if nothing else. This is separate from the problem of political and LE mission creep IMHO, though used on the right-wing internet for demonstration nevertheless (um there are lots of state laws too). 41 sales in 9 months. How, exactly, did the FBI get involved?



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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 01:11


How was it packaged for delivery? Have the um buyers had any problems?
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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 01:33


Like it or lump it; this man broke the law. He put the safety of the postal delivery workers and the public at risk. He was punished.
OK, so it was an easy mistake to make to assume that ground shipping means shipping by air (Only in America...).
However, he decided to undertake this commercial activity. The responsibility to ensure that what he did was legal falls to him and to him alone.
It was his job to check. He didn't.

On the other hand, as usual, the authorities have over reacted. The sentence is excessive and the trial looks to have been a farce.
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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 07:43


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Like it or lump it; this man broke the law. He put the safety of the postal delivery workers and the public at risk. He was punished.
OK, so it was an easy mistake to make to assume that ground shipping means shipping by air (Only in America...).
However, he decided to undertake this commercial activity. The responsibility to ensure that what he did was legal falls to him and to him alone.
It was his job to check. He didn't.

On the other hand, as usual, the authorities have over reacted. The sentence is excessive and the trial looks to have been a farce.


He beat them charges your talking about.

What they got him for was illegal disposal which is total nonsense. He disposed of nothing. That's like convicting a man for rape because he's got a boner suggesting there was the possibility he could do something illegal with it.





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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 08:03


Quote: Originally posted by S.C. Wack  
The story of Krister Evertson is an old one, but I am quite surprised that it hasn't been mentioned here. Certain um members here um may um recall sodium metal being sold on ebay in 2003-4 and um arriving from AK in maybe um not the expected packaging and um maybe in cube form. Well you may be surprised to learn that you purchased one of only 41 pounds of sodium and you are on some list and the seller was sentenced to 21 months in prison, serving 15.

I remember seeing that sodium for sale from Alaska and thinking it might be nice to play with some again but I never bought any. Are they keeping a list of sodium buyers now or just "ground shipped" sodium buyers? ha
Another metal I almost bought was some of those large magnesium ingots for sale on eBay long ago. They just seemed kind of neat to have in a materials science sort of way. I once wanted some magnesium tubing just to tinker with, things you don't often see for sale. Inventing new uses for materials is kind of fun, being creative. Bombs and explosives aren't as interesting to me. When I was a kid it was fun to make triiodide, throw sodium into water, etc, but all that is old and boring. Making something useful or artistic is what motivates me.
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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 08:30
The Red Book sez


Just out of curiosity I checked The Red Book.

Sodium (metal)

IMCO Class 4.3
UN 1428
STTC 49 164 56
Label required - Dangerous when wet

Not the kind of thing your would drop into the US Mail,
I am not sure UPS would handle it.

Actually they wouldn't take it either.

http://www.ups.com/media/en/prohibited_2007.pdf

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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 08:43


When I was about 15 years old I ordered a quarter pound of sodium through an old Mallinckrodt catalog my high school chemistry teacher let me have. I wasn't home at the time so UPS left it with my neighbor. Funny, it had those large pictograph hazard stickers on the sides of the box, indicating exposive when wet, flammable, caustic to hands, etc. making for a very funny package.
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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 09:26


UPS delivered my sodium metal less than a year ago. it also bore the usual plethora of labels meant to instill fear in the ignorant. it wasn't delivered by freight either, rather it came on the same usual little truck with the same usual driver who brings all my goodies.



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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 11:06


Quote: Originally posted by The WiZard is In  

Sodium (metal)
IMCO Class 4.3
[...] I am not sure UPS would handle it.
Properly packed, sodium metal can be shipped through UPS under the ORM-D designation. There's a weight limit of, as I recall, one pound.
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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 13:12


Quote: Originally posted by watson.fawkes  
Quote: Originally posted by The WiZard is In  

Sodium (metal)
IMCO Class 4.3
[...] I am not sure UPS would handle it.
Properly packed, sodium metal can be shipped through UPS under the ORM-D designation. There's a weight limit of, as I recall, one pound.


Could be. Sodium yields zero hits w/ la UPS search engine.
That said I know someone (now dead) who regularly pick-up
50 pound box's of 2FA black powder from the back door of Goex
and then shipped them off via UPS. [Not to me! Where I live you
need an explosives licence to transport more than 8 pounds.]

I have gotten a few items from eBay sellers via the USPS that
would not have been accepted had the clerk known what was in
el box.

Some years back a PGII member got yelled at after a box
of Mammoth caps went boom in the mail.


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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 14:46


At the time and still, small ground shipments of sodium are covered under 49 CFR 173.211 packaging with a "no contact with aluminum" provision N34, and any of the DOT exemption packages, and a label with the corresponding exemption for the package as here: http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/ship/hazardous/re...

Sodium is hazard class 4.3, packing group I, regardless of whether it arrives from ebay as ORM-D via DHL or not, because there is no exemption period for it under 49 CFR 172.101/173.151. Up to 15 kg quantities CAN be carried by cargo aircraft, and requires a Cargo Aircraft Only label. There are more packaging requirements for sending it by air: Steel packagings must be corrosion-resistant or have protection against corrosion. For combination packagings, if glass inner packagings (including ampoules) are used, they must be packed with cushioning material in tightly closed metal receptacles before packing in outer packagings. Combination packagings consisting of outer fiber drums or plywood drums, with inner plastic packagings, are not authorized for transportation by aircraft. Plastic bags as inner receptacles of combination packagings are not authorized for transportation by aircraft.

PS
Many interstate sales of chemicals originating from the internet do not conform to the proper regulations because of the complexity, general ignorance, and deliberate falsification. Yet the FBI does not normally concern itself with this. My question is who called who at the FBI and why, and why did the FBI, EPA, and US Attorney's agree to take the cases. It would appear that they really did not want him selling or owning 10 metric tons of sodium.

If you want to talk about LE mission creep why not start at the county attorney level such as the motor vehicle homicide conviction for a mother whose child ran out in front of a car, instead of some operation of a motor vehicle in a federal wilderness charge.

[Edited on 24-7-2011 by S.C. Wack]




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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 16:29
10 000 lbs of sodium dumped into a like.....!


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3825610222960975525&...



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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 16:34
3 1/2 pounds of eBay sodium put to good use


Took longer then I had expected to (re)find this.

http://www.theodoregray.com/PeriodicTable/Stories/011.2/inde...
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[*] posted on 24-7-2011 at 19:06


Quote: Originally posted by The WiZard is In  
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3825610222960975525&...


:o




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[*] posted on 26-7-2011 at 04:14


I've seen the Theodore Gray sodium parties videos... As much as it's way cool to watch, I find it sad to waste all that nice Sodium.

Sodium is so hard to make, its purification beyond the reach of most experimenters, but it only takes a bit of water and a few seconds to turn it back to its hydroxide.

I know that if I were to acquire sodium, it would be mostly used as a dessicating agent, and maybe a little chunk in water with phenophtalein to make a nice little video... ;)

Robert




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[*] posted on 26-7-2011 at 06:53
This just in courtesy of the Wall Street Journal


Extracted from
As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared
GARY FIELDS and JOHN R. EMSHWILLER
Wall Street Journal 23-24vii11
http://on.wsj.com/n6A13J

One area of expansion has been environmental crimes. Since its
inception in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has grown
to enforce some 25,000 pages of federal regulations, equivalent to
about 15% of the entire body of federal rules. Many of the EPA
rules carry potential criminal penalties. Krister Evertson, a would-
be inventor, recently spent 15 months in prison for environmental
crimes where there was no evidence he harmed anyone, or
intended to.

In May 2004 he was arrested near Wasilla, Alaska, and charged
with illegally shipping sodium metal, a potentially flammable
material, without proper packaging or labeling.

He told federal authorities he had been in Idaho working to
develop a better hydrogen fuel cell but had run out of money. He
had moved some sodium and other chemicals to a storage site
near his workshop in Salmon, Idaho, before traveling back to his
hometown of Wasilla to raise money by gold-mining.

Mr. Evertson said he believed he had shipped the sodium legally. A
jury acquitted him in January 2006.

However, Idaho prosecutors, using information Mr. Evertson
provided to federal authorities in Alaska, charged him with
violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, a 1976
federal law that regulates handling of toxic waste. The government
contended Mr. Evertson had told federal investigators he had
abandoned the chemicals. It also said the landlord of the Idaho
storage site claimed he was owed back rent and couldn't find the
inventor—allegations Mr. Evertson disputed.

Once the government deemed the chemicals "abandoned," they
became "waste" and subject to RCRA. He was charged under a
separate federal law with illegally moving the chemicals about a
half-mile to the storage site.

"If I had abandoned the chemicals, why would I have told the
investigators about them?" said Mr. Evertson in an interview. He
added that he spent $100,000 on the material and always planned
to resume his experiments.

Prosecutors emphasized the potential danger of having left the
materials for two years. "You clean up after yourself and don't
leave messes for others," one prosecutor told the jury, which
convicted Mr. Evertson on three felony counts. Prosecutors said
clean-up of the site cost the government $400,000. Mr. Evertson,
57, remains on probation, working as night watchman in Idaho.

In a statement, Ms. Olson, the Idaho U.S. Attorney, said that by
leaving dangerous chemicals not properly attended he endangered
others and caused the government to spend more than $400,000 in
clean-up costs. "This office will continue to aggressively prosecute"
environmental crimes, she said.

Critics contend that federal criminal law is increasingly, and
unconstitutionally, impinging on the sovereignty of the states. The
question recently came before the Supreme Court in the case of
Carol Bond, a Pennsylvania woman who is fighting a six-year
prison sentence arising out of violating a 1998 federal chemical-
weapons law tied to an international arms-control treaty. The law
makes it a crime for an average citizen to possess a "chemical
weapon" for other than a "peaceful purpose." The statute defines
such a weapon as any chemical that could harm humans or
animals.

Ms. Bond's criminal case stemmed from having spread some
chemicals, including an arsenic-based one, on the car, front-door
handle and mailbox of a woman who had had an affair with her
husband. The victim suffered a burn on her thumb.

In court filings, Ms. Bond's attorneys argued the chemical-weapons
law unconstitutionally intruded into what should have been a state
criminal matter. The state didn't file charges on the chemicals, but
under state law she likely would have gotten a less harsh
sentence, her attorneys said.

Last month, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled Ms. Bond has
standing to challenge the federal law. By distributing jurisdiction
among federal and state governments, the Constitution "protects
the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power," Justice Anthony
Kennedy wrote for the court. "When government acts in excess of
its lawful powers, that liberty is at stake."

During oral arguments in the case, Justice Samuel Alito expressed
concern about the law's "breadth" by laying out a hypothetical
example. Simply pouring a bottle of vinegar into a bowl to kill

someone's goldfish, Justice Alito said, could be "potentially
punishable by life imprisonment."
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[*] posted on 26-7-2011 at 07:02


I doubt anyone will ever top that military video of the 3 ton ingots going in.

Surely they could have found some use for all that stuff, it must have cost a fair bit to produce it in the first place. Dumping it may have been as much a publicity drive as it was a practical solution.

It's awesome water pulling powers are certainly useful. Not too sure about the 'toxic war' thing. If I wanted something toxic, sodium is way down on the list of things that'd come to mind.

They were dumping that toxic sodium and simultaneously getting to work on something much worse;


Which was then also got dumped :D




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[*] posted on 26-7-2011 at 07:10


This;

Quote:
Ms. Bond's criminal case stemmed from having spread some
chemicals, including an arsenic-based one, on the car, front-door
handle and mailbox of a woman who had had an affair with her
husband. The victim suffered a burn on her thumb.


is blatantly not the same as this;

Quote:
"If I had abandoned the chemicals, why would I have told the
investigators about them?


I am all for Mr Evertson, but it does hinge quite a lot on the reality of how he was storing them. Playing the devils advocate, it's possible the EPA turned up and found, perhaps not the results of a disaster, but something that was not being looked after very well and on it's way there.




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[*] posted on 26-7-2011 at 15:04


The point is that the entire EPA case is their declaration that the 10 MT was abandoned hazardous waste. The EPA would have no case otherwise, there is no other legal way for them to take permanent possession of it, there are no other EPA laws to apply since they did not find any contamination of anything.

We in this country like to think that not affixing a Cargo Aircraft Only label to even 41 packages, intentionally or otherwise, does not often lead to FBI agents staking out a guy's house, running him off the road when he leaves, and putting machine guns in his face. And end, until the feds did not succeed in sending the seller of sodium on ebay to prison and had to try again, in federal trials which are rarely won. Some may wonder if maybe perhaps there might be something slightly more to this. Not having anything to do with some liberal conspiracy to enforce federal laws.

His appeal to The Supremes: http://www.wlf.org/Upload/litigation/briefs/EvertsonvUS,Repl...




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[*] posted on 26-7-2011 at 16:48


Quote: Originally posted by peach  
I doubt anyone will ever top that military video of the 3 ton ingots going in.


The Yellow Peril tried....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monju_Nuclear_Power_Plant
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[*] posted on 26-7-2011 at 16:56
We are from the Government and we are here to help you..


well ... actually NO, we are here to rub salt into your wounds.

I am sure the community would have been a better place
with this criminal behind bars. Along with those locked up to
protect themselves from illegal drugs. The cure is worse than
the disease
comes upon my mind.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/ga-mom-is-spared-104771...



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[*] posted on 3-8-2011 at 21:02


the federal government has over 10,000 + ways to convict someone.
looks like they were going after some low hanging fruit.




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