The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved POLICE D.A. SAUK COUNTY WISCONSIN — THEY RUINED OUR LIVES!!!!!!
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
THE FOLLOWING IS MY OPINION:
My name is David N. Waldrop. Perhaps you know me or have seen me in recent news stories. I was told to not talk to the press but I feel it may be the only way I am herd. I was arrested a few months ago for "Ebay Theft." In my local paper they made it seem as if this IS what happened, not this is what he is accused of. The Detective who arrested me, (Dave Edwards) The D.A. office (Chad Hendee) as well as my local paper has twisted this story and made it as juicy as possible for their own gain and entertainment. So, here I am not being "physically forced" but in a round about way giving me no other choice but to plead guilty for a crime that was really just a misunderstanding. I am 29 years old this year and as of next week I will have 4 felonies on my record I have to live with for the rest of my life, some probation and some jail time and over $12, 000 "restitution."(some goes to the county of course) I am going to just give a brief summary of what is really going on and why I am feeling bullied but not legally "forced" into signing an agreement, if you have questions or want more details, just ask I will be happy to answer your inquiries. My trial date is set for June 13, 2009. I’m sure I will have to enter my plea agreement before that probably next week sometime.
Back in October of last year, I decided to sell 2 guitars I came in possession of some time ago. I was not sure of their actual worth so I asked someone. I was told they were probably 61 Gibson es 355's. (They turned out not to be) With wishful thinking backing me up, I admit I ran with the idea no questions asked. My digital camera was no more so I Googled for a decent picture of one and used it for the ad as MANY MANY people do on Ebay. I did state right in the ad "I don't know anything about guitars. I’m going on what a buddy of mine said" I also never accept returns on my items I list. This being 2 items I was unfamiliar with, I also attached a 7 day return option for the buyers in the event they were unhappy or worse they weren't as I was told. I listed them ( 2 separate guitars, 2 separate ads, but it was the same guitar so it was the same ads) Almost immediately, two separate gentleman wanted to buy the guitars but wanted to conduct the sale in person outside of Ebay. This is dangerous and against Ebay policy and results in your seller account being closed on Ebay. I refused and told them we would have to use Paypal and do it by the rules. They refused to follow through the rules, so I refused to sell to them. This was later considered 2 attempted Felony thefts. (Punishable 7 years in prison)
So I than resubmitted the ads to give it another shot. I than had 2 more men who purchased them properly. I sent out both guitars. One of the men I never herd from again. The other man is how this all started.
Not even 72 hours after the sale he filed a claim he had not received the guitar. However I have proof it was in the mail. I did have contact with him I notified him that it was mailed; I even personally went to the post office who told me it takes 7 to 9 days to get there the way it was shipped. I don't know what he was expecting but he lives all the way in Pennsylvania!
The day arrived; he had received the guitar as promised. I know because my fiancé my 5 year old little boy and I came home to three 4 minute messages from him. Stating “You better be looking over your shoulder I am coming to get you. Be scared" "I'm sure you have family and a job, this is going to affect everything you do big boy" ETC. Demanding I send him the money back without my item in hand. So we did what any normal couple would do when a lunatic from the internet is calling your home, we called the local police and contacted Paypal and Ebay.
The Police listened to the messages and said "do not contact him” and to let Paypal and Ebay handle it and they would contact him and tell him to not have direct contact with us. He didn't listen. I was handling the situation through the proper way and following the Ebay/Paypal rules. The end result was Payapl found in favor of me and said "if he returns the merchandise please provide him with a refund as according to your return policy if any" Well, I waited for him to return it long after my 7 day policy was up, I knew he had received the same notice I did. I wasn't about to hold this crazy mans hand and show him how to return an item, that was his responsibility not mine.
Well, over 2 months go by. No guitar showed up, so no refund for him. After all the other man received his guitar and had no complaints so this guy from Pennsylvania must have been really nuts threatening my family and myself instead of just doing a return like a mature adult.
Then one morning (over 4 months later) I get a knock at the door, it was Detective Dave Edwards who demanded I come speak with him. I told him I needed to open our store. He said, "You have 15 minutes to meet me at the Baraboo Police Department" So I did. He took me into a little room and told me what the situation concerned. He also told me it was my right to have a lawyer which was followed by, "But I wouldn't suggest it" After talking about it for several minutes I was confused. I just agreed and signed the waiver to a lawyer because I honestly believed I would explain and he would understand the situation. I told him it was a civil matter and I would explain everything to him just as I did here. He asked me about the man in Pennsylvania, so I explained it to him. Than he asked “If there was another guitar?” I responded, "Yea why?" He said that the man I never herd from again (who purchased the other guitar) was included in his "investigation" As far as I knew he was a happy customer. He than let me know that the reason I never herd from that man again was because the detective called him and told him not to contact me before he even received the guitar!! I asked the detective why he would do that. I told him if he wasn't happy he had a right to a refund and that because of that he prevented him from receiving one. (I later found out from the police report that when Paypal told the man in Pennsylvania to send it back in order to receive his refund the detective told him not to, because than I would be in possession of the "evidence" and he couldn't charge me!) Appears to me like I was being setup.
He than arrested me for 2 counts of Felony Theft. I was shocked I just kept telling him he has no right what so ever to arrest me. He was also harassing my fiancé and trying to drag her into it too. He was telling me on the way to get booked how he was going to talk to her and threatening to lock her up too! When I finally went to my bond hearing 2 days later, (Someone forgot paperwork, which I was told 10 minutes before my hearing after the first 24 hours I was in jail. So I had to sit an extra day in my 6X9 cell) Anyways, they changed the charges to 2 felony attempted thefts and 2 felony thefts for a grand total of 4 felony's! And a possible conviction over 20 years!!! OVER SOMETHING I WOULD HAVE GLADLY RETURNED AND WAS IN THE PROCESS OF DOING SO, HAD THE DETECTIVE NOT INTERFERRED WITH THIS CIVIL MATTER.
I've never even been arrested for stealing anything. And now at almost 30, owning our own business, having custody of my son, just bought our first home and doing pretty well, I just decided to become a mastermind Felon? I never told these men a fake name or address or phone number or even not talked to them after the fact of receiving their money. That would be pretty dumb as a criminal to give your home address where your child sleeps. And if I thought I "got away with it" don't you think I would have kept going? Why not make 2 or 3 hundred thousand off it and why did I even bother sending them an item at all? I looked all over the internet there are tons of similar cases except for a couple details... they did it hundreds of times, used aliases, and didn't send them anything! I was trying to make good with the man from Pennsylvania’s refund, but the detective told him not to send it back. (There is a copy of that e-mail in the police report) So what was I supposed to do?
So far my case has been flying by unusually lightning fast. No one listens to my side of the story and they don't care.
What do you do when your arrested for some ridiculous charge by a man who works for Sauk county than are being prosecuted by another man who works for Sauk county and than not have a $10, 000 cash retainer to hire a private lawyer but make to much for a public defender and they give you a "court appointed attorney" who was hired by who? Sauk County.
My first lawyer they gave me didn't listen to a word I said; I never even got the chance to see the inside of his office! He would literally come in our store and yell and cuss at me and tell me to take a deal without even listening to my side. It almost seemed as if he worked for the D.A. instead of me. At this point my lawyer told me it was a normal thing and to wave my right to a preliminary hearing he also said that I was "pissing off" the D.A. and himself as well. I was also told if I were to go through with a preliminary hearing they would take away the plea agreement they had offered me. So I waived my right. So, I asked for a second lawyer to be appointed to me and they did so as I asked. They assigned me to a lawyer as nice as he is, that when you Google his name and office it says his practice areas are: Car Accidents, Divorce, Family Law, Injury Law and Workers Compensation….. Is it just me or are we missing an important attribute? Like Criminal Law or Business Law? Thank you for appointing me fair representation Sauk County.
So this is where I stand now. I have 3 choices.
Option 1: Sign a plea agreement for $12, 000 to be paid in the next 90 days and I get 2 petty misdemeanors ( I don't have the money so its not even an option for us)
Option 2: is sign a plea for 30 days jail 18 months probation and no criminal activities for 5 years or will I be sentenced. Still pay the $12, 000 I just have a longer time frame to do it, and I take 4 FELONY's on my record that will haunt my life forever!
Or option 3: takes a chance in court. I want to take that option but with the way they have been twisting this case in their favor, even if it’s just a 1% chance I was found guilty. There would be a possibility of me sitting in a Jail cell for over 20 YEARS!!! Losing my fiancé, my son, my family. And all for what exactly?????
Since this has happened I have been all over the front page of our paper and on news channels and the internet a few times. The story is one sided, we lost 75% of our business because everyone looked at us as criminals. (it’s a small town and word travels fast here) and we recently had to shut it down. The people who once waved and smiled have outcast us. It's embarrassing to show up at your son's school and everyone is whispering about you. I feel bad for my son and my fiancé as well. We have lost everything we have worked for because of this. And they originally told the man from Pennsylvania it was a civil matter until he wrote a long letter and faxed it to our DA. Most of it was just personal information on me (or what he thought was me, he had me confused with a different David Waldrop that was divorced and on probation among other things, not that any of that information had to do with this situation anyways) And he made sure to throw into his letter "you can't say I didn't try to get help from Sauk County on this" All of the sudden it wasn't Civil anymore? Strange.
Just about everything I have told you is in the 400 page police report. There are Copies of the emails between the detective and the customers my emails Paypal’s investigation results etc. This is one of the most unjust things I have ever seen or experienced. Well, there you have it. It's my side of the story and it can all be found right in the police report they wrote.
We have no more money, no more store, and no more fight left in us. We have been embarrassed, shocked and outraged; But like I said who do you complain to when this happens?
I am going to sign the plea for guilty to 4 felony’s probation and restitution that will follow me forever until I am buried. I refuse to chance losing my son, fiancé, or my family trying to defend myself for something I should have never been arrested for in the first place. Can you imagine sitting in a jail cell for 10 to 20 years away from your life and people who know and love you, thinking to yourself, “I should have taking the agreement” My life has been reset, against my will. I have to start all over from nothing and it will be a little harder this time with this following me. I am a good father a good boyfriend, a good neighbor. But now, because one man cried wolf and a few others helped him, those things mean nothing. It is sad when you are forced to do something against your will and there is no one to help you. It is unfair and unjust that my life is going to be punished this badly over this, and if I just had $12, 000 to give Sauk County they would just slap me on the hand and send me on my way. (Not that I even deserve that) I hope you all understand a little better the story of the "Ebay guitar guy in Baraboo" Thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell my story and thank you for listening. It is safe to say that when this is over, I will be transferring my probation and moving as far away from this county as I can.
Written by David Waldrop