May 22, 2012

Sterling Hall bomber Karl Armstrong arrested after state troopers find $800,000+ in his motor home.

The bombing, which killed a man, happened here at the University of Wisconsin in 1970. Armstrong served 7 years in prison and has been free for more than 30 years. According to the court document filed yesterday, Armstrong was stopped for a traffic violation while driving on I-90, and, according to the state trooper, Jose Alvarez, seemed nervous. Alvarez "asked whether Armstrong had any drugs, guns or large amounts of cash, and Armstrong answered no."
Alvarez asked if he could search the motor home, and Armstrong said no.

Armstrong agreed to wait for a police dog to be sent to the scene, but while waiting for the dog Armstrong approached Alvarez and said he had changed his mind and agreed to the search.

Inspecting a bed in the motor home, Alvarez noticed a plywood plank with scratched and tool-marked screws and removed the screws and plank. He found two duffel bags, a brown paper bag and a black cooler pouch. Each contained heat-sealed bags of cash, which was later found to total about $815,000. Investigators who processed the money said it smelled strongly of cannabis.

Armstrong was arrested but denied knowing anything about the money, only that he had $4,000 in traveling money and was returning home to Madison.

27 comments:

Patrick said...

He was holding the money for some guy he just met. Said he'd be back for it in a week or two.

Sorun said...

What's missing in the article is that the brass at the Illinois State Police are now busy planning how to spend that money. Score!

Mitchell said...

He'd have a better defense if he were driving an ambulance.

Sloanasaurus said...

So does this make Armstrong part of the one percent?

This new business sounds more lucrative than selling lemonaide on Statestreet... although maybe that was all a front all along?

In the early 1990s I lived in a set of row apartments by the train tracks of Frances Street where the Koll Center now resides. I used to get Armstrong's mail. Apparently he used to live in the apratment before me.

Maybe the Koll Center now gets his mail.

MadisonMan said...

Investigators who processed the money said it smelled strongly of cannabis.

Of course they said that. The Staties want the money for donuts and coffee, and anti-crime bling. Confiscating "drug" money is a racket that the Police are engaged in, IMO.

The money should go to Fassnacht's kids.

The Drill SGT said...

Sorun said...
What's missing in the article is that the brass at the Illinois State Police are now busy planning how to spend that money. Score!


and running a lottery to see who gets the motor home :)

Chuck said...

It was the proceeds from the last charity buy-a-dinner-with-Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

peprgirl said...

Since when is it illegal to have $800,000??? Cash is now illegal?

If the banks are so bad and the stock market is tanking, and you can be arrested for hoarding your money?

Curious George said...

I say turn him loose. That $800k was for something, and the people who gave it to him are certainly going to want to have a "discussion" with this asshole. With a little luck, maybe the next thing they'll find stuffed in a bunch of bags is Karl.

YoungHegelian said...

I didn't realize it was a crime in the US to have a lot of money.

Are they going to arrest Romney next?

As much as I would like to see this schmuck get his, unless there was drugs on the scene (not just the "smell") or evidence of other criminal activity, this seems like a pretty weak case to me.

And I agree with MM --- I foresee a major increase in the donuts & coffee slush fund coming down.

ndspinelli said...

Sorun, LOL.

At least this guys crimes[and marijuana should not be a crime] have become non violent. My bride just reminded me that this guy got off Fed probation in on her first day of work there. He was in the office getting his release papers.

Locals know this guy had a couple businesses in town, Radical Rye[deli] and Loose Juice. There's a lot more $ in marijuana than smoothies or subs, and no fucking taxes. Oh wait..if it wasn't illegal there would be a lot of taxes! Just like booze.

purplepenquin said...

Since when is it illegal to have $800,000?

Since Reagan started cranking up the War on Drugs. People with that much money on their person are required to prove they acquired it via legal-means...and if they can't, then Big Brother gets to keep it.


People need to remember to never consent to a search. Especially if you have something you don't want the police to find...or even if you think you're clean, 'cause something the cops will bring their own along for them to "find"

Superdad said...

Don't ever, ever consent to a search or agree to wait for a dog. You say no to the search and when the cop asks if you'll wait for a dog you ask if you are being detained. The cop will say no and then you tell him your leaving.

The Drill SGT said...

MM,

Agree on both your points, not withstanding my lottery joke...

PS: Somebody, I think it was the VC guys had a post recently on civil forfeture. In one of the examples, Son was busted for some crime. retired mom, goes to a dozen ATM's to get the bail money, goes directly to the court house. They swab the money and find traces of cocaine and eize the money. she takes forever to get cash back, son rots in jail. Cops elsewhere point out that any given bundle of 20's from any bank is going to test postive for cocaine or grass...

they would not release the funds even though she had the dozen ATM receipts :)

Sorun said...

I'm skeptical that money smells like weed with casual contact.

edutcher said...

Don't suppose the WI State Police could reciprocate and "arrange" an incriminating stop for Ayers and Dohrn.

Sorun said...

What's missing in the article is that the brass at the Illinois State Police are now busy planning how to spend that money. Score!

No, they've probably gotten a call from Zero, who got one from "the guy in the neighborhood" to give back the money and kick him loose.

Patrick said...

Armstrong should have said no to waiting for the dog, but he probably figured that once he'd agreed to wait for the dog, and had a chance to think about it, he likely figured he'd have a better shot at the cop either not finding the money, or not noticing the pot smell (which a trained dog would not miss).

It would be odd, though to have this clown in jail for something like marijuana, but not for killing an innocent guy.

PatCA said...

Nice to know he learned his lesson in prison. :)

Your bank must also report you to the IRS if you deposit over $10K in cash.

So if you're a drug dealer, use a safety deposit box.

ndspinelli said...

He needed to launder that money..w/ Febreeze.

Cedarford said...

PatCA said...
Nice to know he learned his lesson in prison. :)

Your bank must also report you to the IRS if you deposit over $10K in cash.

So if you're a drug dealer, use a safety deposit box
=======================
Nope. The records of each and every safety deposit box under your name is electronic, retrievable records these days - and cops and the IRS and estate lawyers have employees that are adept in tracking them down once someone dies/is arrested/is being investigated.

There are good ways to hide/launder money - but sticking it in a safety deposit box is not one of them.

I also agree with those talking about police seizures and cop slush funds.
As well as the warnings about thinking hard about consenting to letting cops search your property, vehicle. And if they seek to detain you waiting on a dog, a warrant after their "may we please come in and just look around for a few seconds" gambit fails.
Generally, don't consent to search and if cops order you to wait...ask if you are being arrested....if not, just go away and maybe next day the cops are onto fresher pursuits and won't hassle you again.

rhhardin said...

The $800k was just gas money.

Crunchy Frog said...

So if you're a drug dealer, use a safety deposit box.

Storage unit. Just don't forget to pay your bill.

MadisonMan said...

Storage unit. Just don't forget to pay your bill.

You buy a storage unit (I love that show on TV) and it's full of drug cash.

Can the police confiscate it?

Gene said...

They got Al Capone on income taxes. Seems only fair that they get Karl (fertilizer bomb) Armstrong on drug dealing.

Big Mike said...

Armstrong was returning home to Madison? Which physics post doc was he planning to murder this time?

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