Wisconsin- Well, I guess he’s the friend you call when society collapses.
A peculiar story has come out of Wisconsin recently. Authorities had taken into custody a man who was allegedly found living in an undetected underground bunk in the Milwaukee woods for years with a dog and a stockpile of weapons and ammunition.
The thought of it certainly gives some credence to the expression of “what hole did you crawl out from”.
Deputies who were responding to a call where reports came in that shots were fired near the Milwaukee woods had managed to stumble upon Geoffrey Goff’s abnormal, concealed dwelling on Wednesday when combing the area in response to the call that came in.
According to Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas who spoke at a news conference this past Friday, after entering the 8-foot-by-8-foot bunker, which according to authorities was also 20-feet-long, the deputies on scene had also found a collection of weapons which included two shotguns, a rifle, a handgun, three knives, ammo and a bow with arrows fashioned from “snowplow stakes”.
Sheriff Lucase stated during the conference:
“One would wonder how in an urban setting an individual is able to hide in plain sight.”
A fair observation, indeed. While having the cover of the woods, based upon the photos of the discovered bunker, the amount of digging and needed construction could have easily been spotted had anyone fancied a stroll through the area while it was being built.
The suspect, Geoffrey Graff, who had allegedly resided in the dwelling and toted copious weapons within it was charged Friday with possession of a shotgun, according to reports.
While shotguns are legal within the state, the charge pertaining to the shotgun refers to the length of the barrel, as short-barrel shotguns are illegal to posses in the state.
Geoffrey Graff was also charged with reckless endangerment after he had admitted that he was the one responsible for the gunfire reported to authorities.
He stated that he fired the shots that deputies were called to check out, citing that he fired a total of three shots in the direction of the Milwaukee River after his dog had ran away.
While the bunker was allegedly inundated with weapons and various hunting gear, considering that this was also the suspects home, there were also creature comforts present within the dwelling.
Lucas said Graff’s bunker also had a grill, some propane tanks, a generator, various power tools, boxes of food and canned goods.
The sheriff was alleviated that they had found the suspect when they did and pleased to speculate that nothing worse occurred during the interaction, stating:
“Let’s just be thankful that this didn’t manifest itself in a way, that it could’ve been more. We could be investigating something totally different.”
Apparently, Graff had managed to piece together the bunker on wooded land that was along the river.
According to a report made by local Fox 6 Milwaukee, the land in which Graff had used to construct his abode was owned by a local college.
Within the criminal complaint that was lodged against Graff, it proclaims that the individual had been living within the dugout for a period anywhere between seven and ten years.
Sheriff Lucas was also quoted as saying that the investigative team working the case had “not been able to find any ideological or political motive for the individual’s alleged conduct.”
Ideology aside, Graff did have a minute rap sheet where there were was an arrest pertaining to a scuffle with officers trying to detain him in 2012 and also a 2009 summons stemming from having eight German Shepherd dogs running alongside his bicycle.
Then you’ve got this guy – Steven De La RIva of North Syracuse, New York, who was using his “safe house” for something much more nefarious.
According to an online Syracuse paper, De La Riva, claiming to be an undercover police officer, met a 17-year-old where they allegedly agreed to exchange money for sex, according to a complaint filed in court. According to the complaint, the teen was an escort.
De La Riva showed the teen an identification card and identified himself as a police officer. He told her that he was conducting an investigation and was seeking information on anyone else involved with “drugs or prostitution” according to the complaint.
De La Riva drove the teen to his house, which he deemed a “safe house” with her head down.
Once at the home, he forced her to remove her clothes and take “mug shot” style photos of her. The teen told De La Riva that she would not have sex with him, and requested he just take her to jail. After her refusal, De La Riva allegedly choked her and stole $390 she had on her.
He was charged with 1st degree criminal impersonation, 4th degree grand larceny, 2nd degree unlawful imprisonment, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, and 3rd degree patronizing a prostitute.
De La Riva posted bail and is no longer in custody. Police detectives believe De La Riva could have more victims and have asked anyone with similar stories to contact the police department.
Apparently there are others beside De La Riva who don’t know how the whole police officer thing works. There seems to be a run on people impersonating police officers.
According to KTLA 5 in Los Angeles, Michelle Brianna Hughes, age 30 of Huntington Beach, CA was arrested on November 1 by the Costa Mesa Police Department.
Officers from the gang unit conducted a traffic stop on a 2016 Chevrolet Impala which had a police-style light bar and “California exempt” license plates on it. Hughes, who was operating the vehicle, was wearing a tactical vest with ‘POLICE’ on the front.
She also had handcuffs, a duty belt, Taser, a fake law enforcement badge and an unregistered handgun with a high-capacity magazine.
A statement provided by the Costa Mesa Police stated:
“Hughes identified herself to the arresting officers as a deputy for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Hughes is not a law enforcement officer and was in possession of other police uniforms from other law enforcement agencies as well as other government exempt license plates.”
Hughes was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer, carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm, and possession of a high-capacity magazine. Hughes posted bond when she appeared in court the day after her arrest.
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Authorities do not know why Hughes was in possession of the police equipment. Her occupation was listed in booking records as “armed guard.” The police department is seeking the public’s assistance to see if anyone may have had contact with her previously and had been victims of her ruse.
Also in California, a 25-year-old man from Riverside was arrested and charged with suspicion of impersonating a police officer in connection with an incident last week where he dressed up as a police officer and tried to get a free haircut at a barbershop.
According to the Press-Enterprise, Brandon Joseph Vielkand was booked and released on $50,000 bail and released.
Officers were called to the Much Love Barber Shop in Riverside wearing a tactical vest, hat and badge; you know, what normal people wear when they go to get a haircut. Witnesses said he was “acting erratically.”
When the real police officers showed up at the barber shop, they made contact with Vielkind outside where he was detained. A search was conducted of his vehicle, and two airsoft riles and one pistol grip airsoft shotgun was seized.
All the weapons were modified to resemble actual weapons. Officers also found several patches bearing police and federal law enforcement insignias.
While checking his background, an officer recognized him from police bulletins relative to a break-in at a church in Irvine, CA. in 2018.
In that incident, Vielkind and his brother Paul were taken into custody after they entered the church while carrying an airsoft rifle and vandalized electronic equipment, musical instruments and electrical wiring. One of the brothers was actually naked when he surrendered to police and the other was wearing only underwear.
Brandon Vielkind pled guilty to burglary, vandalism and possession of an assault weapon and sentenced to 180 days in jail. Details of Paul Vielkind’s case were not available.
According to the Vielkind’s mother Rhonda Hodges, she said in a 2018 interview that her sons went to the church because they felt it discriminated against her. Hodges said she is a Native American.
They went there to “discuss her complaints.” Apparently they were there for other reasons other than a discussion.