3 Years In A Russian Jail For One Box Of Ammo
Contact George Bush, The Department Of State And Your Congressmen
— Ask them to intervene on behalf of a US pastor in a Russian jail for having one box of ammo
Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151
Thursday, April 24, 2008
GOA has learned that the Russian Republic has sentenced an American pastor to 3 years in prison because he had 20 rounds of hunting ammunition in his luggage.
The pastor — Phillip Miles of Conway, South Carolina — hadn’t realized that carrying the twenty rounds in his luggage was in violation of Russian customs regulations. And the cartridge regulation was nowhere mentioned in the pamphlet handed American visitors at the Russian airport.
Pastor Miles declared the ammunition in Myrtle Beach. But at the Moscow airport there are no signs in English to indicate that a separate declaration must be made to customs officials. Airport authorities confiscated the box of .300 caliber ammunition and sent him on his way.
Pastor Miles was later arrested when he returned to the airport on February 3, and he has been in jail ever since. GOA has heard from a member of Pastor Miles’ church that the Pastor has some health issues making it even more important to get him out of jail as quickly as possible.
The three-year sentence is currently on appeal. But outraged American hunters and gun owners are asking why the Russians have imposed such a severe sentence for an innocent mistake — particularly since there is no question that Miles had intended to give the box of ammo to a friend (a fellow pastor and hunting enthusiast) for his own personal use.
“There’s no way that the judge in this case would have sentenced this pastor to three years in prison without first checking with high ranking officials in the Russian government,” said GOA Founder and Chairman, Sen. H.L. “Bill” Richardson (ret.). “This is a different country that we’re dealing with and their judges are nothing more than puppets.
“But you can be sure of this,” Richardson continued, “if Ronald Reagan were still President over here, there’s no way the Russians would have dared to do this to an American citizen.”
The State Department is quietly trying to negotiate his release, as are both of the South Carolina senators: Republicans Lindsay Graham and Jim DeMint.
ACTION: Even though some of our elected officials already seem to be negotiating clemency for Pastor Phillip Miles, it’s important that they know the American people are behind them. So please contact President Bush, the State Department and your congressmen. Ask them to do everything in their power to get Pastor Miles released from prison.
You can e-mail a pre-written letter to all of the above contacts at the same time by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center (where phone and fax numbers are also available).
—– SAMPLE COMMUNICATION —–
The Russian Republic has sentenced American pastor Phillip Miles to 3 years in prison because he had a single box of hunting ammunition in his luggage.
Miles — of Conway, South Carolina — hadn’t realized that carrying the twenty rounds in his luggage was in violation of Russian customs regulations. And the cartridge regulation — which required an additional customs declaration — was nowhere mentioned in the pamphlet handed American visitors at the Russian airport.
The three-year sentence is currently on appeal. But it certainly appears that the Russians have gone way overboard in imposing such a severe sentence for an innocent mistake.
This is particularly true because there is no question that Miles had intended to give the ammunition to a fellow pastor for hunting purposes.
I would ask you to do whatever possible to use your good offices to protest what is at the least a grave injustice against an American citizen traveling abroad.
Thank you for whatever you can do on Miles’ behalf.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING OUT WITH NICKELODEON!
As you may remember, we told you that Nick News was looking for some well-spoken teenagers to discuss the Second Amendment issue. No doubt, they will be featuring teenagers from the “other side,” but you guys certainly ensured they will have access to excellent pro-gun representation.
In fact, Nickelodeon’s producer was very excited (and impressed) with the number of candidates GOA provided. So some of you should expect to be hearing from Nick News soon, if you haven’t already.
We are very thankful that you are doing your part to instruct your children and grandchildren in the freedoms protected in the Bill of Rights. But we are also grateful that you would make them available to help educate their peers. Thanks again.