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Framed: Fighting Back Against the Department of Justice and ATF

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

This picture was taken ten years ago today, on August 10, 2008. Arsonist(s) torched my home in a failed assassination attempt after dozens of death and violence threats escalated and accumulated over the previous four years. These threats went unaddressed by government law enforcement executives who had the authority and duty to do something. They chose not to. 


Three international violent crime syndicates held murder contracts on me.  The Hells Angels, the Aryan Brotherhood and the currently newsworthy MS-13.  No one cared.

The photo was intended to send a message: I’M HERE and I’M FIGHTING BACK.

ATF, the FBI and the Department of Justice conspired in fabricating a case to prove that I burned my own home to the ground. The insinuation of their corrupt inquiry was vastly more painful: that I was willing to murder my own family by fire.

They turned their collective backs to the facts. They disregarded the evidence. Truth or justice was never the objective. An investigation was built with a pre-determined conclusion. It was a frame-job.  

What we see happening today in Washington, D.C. is a higher equal of what took place from 2008 to 2013 in Arizona. The difference? When notable officials are the targets, it's important news. When it happens to a bottom-tier federal employee, not so much.

I filed a lawsuit in the United States Court of Claims. Pre-trial, I was proposed a sizeable settlement, an amount that far exceeded what I ultimately won in court. I refused it. The government executives and lawyers who offered it did so not to let me walk away, but rather so they could issue a hush money payoff that would ensure their dirty deeds would go unexposed and hidden.

I was told, “Even if you win, you won’t win. We have resources that you don’t to extend this for as long as we want to.”


After a five-year litigation and trial, Judge Francis Allegra concluded that the government abandoned, betrayed and retaliated against me in the face of known, credible and verified murder contracts from a variety of international crime syndicates and their associates. 

In his 2014 opinion, he wrote:

“The United States wins its point whenever justice is done for its citizens in the courts.”

Presumably, what holds true for the citizenry in general ought to hold true for Federal agents who risk their lives in law enforcement. But if that is so, how does one explain this case?

Unfortunately, how certain ATF officials acted bears little resemblance to the lofty sayings carved into the facades of the Department of Justice. Experiences like these unfortunately bring to mind those that Agent Dobyns experienced – a time that should have been one of healing and reconciliation, but that instead gave certain ATF officials and agents the opportunity to harm Agent Dobyns further. 

The DOJ immediately appealed my winning verdict. Their threat to extend the fight and out-resource me wasn’t a bluff.

Taking a stand against the most powerful and intimidating legal presence the world has ever known, the DOJ, has at times been an almost unbearable burden on my spirit and soul. 

Even if you win against DOJ, you don’t really win.  At best you survive, or surrender.

One of the most humiliating events of my life is the official title of my lawsuit: Dobyns v. U.S.A. 


I never have been, nor ever will be against the U.S.A. I spent my entire adult life, spilled my own blood, gallons of it, fighting for her.

In a couple weeks, fourteen years from when the first death threat landed, my attorney Jim Reed will continue to defend our legal victory before an appellate court just steps from the White House.

For Federal, state and local first responders, every morning an alarm clock goes off. They leave their families and go to work knowing they may never see them again as they battle against violence and crime on behalf of people they don’t know, may never meet and some who hate them simply for the profession they’ve chosen. Still, they go. Willingly and enthusiastically. The unwanted and underpaid go unappreciated, while doing the unthinkable for the ungrateful.

I continue this fight for them as well. 

Win or lose the appeal – I’M STILL HERE and I’M STILL FIGHTING BACK.

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