Armed agents seize records of reporter, Washington Times prepares legal action

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Ms. Hudson said the experience of having “a half-dozen armed officers rifle through my personal belongings for the three-hour search was traumatizing.”

“But when the files were returned to me and I saw all the notes that had been in their possession for a month, it was gut-wrenching,” she said.

That her private files were seized, said Ms. Hudson, is particularly disturbing because of interactions that she and her husband had during the search of their home, as well as months afterward, with Coast Guard investigator Miguel Bosch. According to his profile on the networking site LinkedIn, Mr. Bosch worked at the Federal Air Marshal Service from April 2002 through November 2007.

It was Mr. Bosch, Mrs. Hudson says, who asked her during the Aug. 6 search if she was the same Audrey Hudson who had written the Air Marshal stories. It was also Mr. Bosch, she says, who phoned Mr. Flanagan a month later to say that documents taken during the search had been cleared.

During the call, according Ms. Hudson, Mr. Bosch said the files had been taken to make sure that they contained only “FOIA-able” information and that he had circulated them to the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees the Federal Air Marshals Service, in order to verify that “it was legitimate” for her to possess such information.

“Essentially, the files that included the identities of numerous government whistleblowers were turned over to the same government agency and officials who they were exposing for wrongdoing,” Ms. Hudson said.

Reached on the telephone by a reporter for The Times, Mr. Bosch refused to comment on whether or not journalist-related documents were seized during the search of Ms. Hudson’s home.

“I got to get on the phone with Coast Guard legal before I talk with you,” Mr. Bosch said. “It’s still an open investigation.”

Asked specifically whether documents related to Ms. Hudson’s reporting activities were taken during the search, he responded: “There was a lot of stuff taken.”

Legitimate Case?

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains that it has done nothing wrong in the case and that the investigation into Ms. Hudson’s husband is based on legitimate suspicion that he was illegally in possession of firearms.

The warrant outlines how Mr. Flanagan was found guilty in 1985 — when he was 25 — of resisting arrest in Prince George’s County, Md. A concealed weapons charge in the same incident related to an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon was dropped.

It also alludes to a no-contest plea to charges related to a tax on weapons manufacture, a conviction the justice of which Mr. Flanagan disputes on the basis of mishandled evidence and unclear advice from federal gun regulators.

In the warrant, authorities also noted that Mr. Flanagan was arrested in 1996 by police in Anne Arundel County for possessing a handgun in his vehicle, a charge that later was dismissed.

The warrant outlines how sometime this year Mr. Flanagan drew the interest of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after allegedly attempting to purchase “possible machine gun parts from a Swedish national.”

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About the Author
Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.

His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.

Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...

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