Tresspassers Will Be Prosecuted

Ranch Rescue's Jack Foote swears he just wants to mend fences. Is pseudomilitary secrecy, right-wing rhetoric and an armed vigilante militia the best way?

Roger Barnett, a working rancher/ propane merchant near Douglas, Arizona, has become a poster boy for property rights supporters and anti-immigrant activists. He's appeared everywhere from the Douglas Daily Dispatch to ABC News, made famous for claiming to have detained -- over the course of a two-year period, with the help of his brother Donald -- more than 2,000 criminal trespassers on his property.

An October 2000 "Officer Safety Bulletin" from the Department of Justice contains the appraisal that "The Barnetts, usually armed with pistols and assault rifles, have captured more than 1,000 illegal alien trespassers, holding them against their will until U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrive to take custody of them."

This in Cochise County, where, according to a June 2000 report in the Arizona Daily Star, the eight months prior had seen 32 incidents of American citizens personally detaining trespassers, while the Mexican consulate documented 25 armed detentions by county residents in a year.

"Private property first, foremost, and always. Everything else is not even a close second."
"Private property first, foremost, and always. Everything else is not even a close second."
"Private property first, foremost, and always. Everything else is not even a close second."
Greg Houston
"Private property first, foremost, and always. Everything else is not even a close second."

Foote, perhaps impatient for an invitation, called Barnett that millennial summer and asked if Ranch Rescue could come on down to the 22,000-acre Cross Rail Ranch and help out. Barnett suggested Foote write his congressman instead.

But by October 2000, Barnett had changed his mind. Foote announced "Operation Raven" (in reference to the keyword "Nevermore"). The DOJ got wind of Foote's plan and circulated a bulletin, "American Anti-Immigrant Groups Rally to the Southwest Border," naming Ranch Rescue first on its list of eight potential affiliates -- everyone from the Concerned Citizens of Cochise County to the Klan to the National Organization for European American Rights to the Foundation for Optimal Planetary Survival.

Ranch Rescue protested its inclusion. The DOJ issued a mumbling apology for "mistakenly implying an affiliation between legitimate organizations concerned about the effects of illegal immigration with anti-immigrant or racial supremacy hate groups."

Ranch Rescue traveled to Douglas. A late October Sunday edition of Douglas's Daily Dispatch gave away the story in its headline: "Ranch Rescue pitches tents, repairs fence, goes home."

Foote says he had 20 volunteers representing six states, that they stayed about a week, fixed some fences and were largely waylaid by rainstorms.

"They repaired fence," Barnett says. "We had the inclement weather and everything, it was bad, so they couldn't do that much, but then they did quite a bit for when they were here. Three or four of the days were just sitting around doing nothing, getting rained on, and that's about it.

"I think they're sincere, they want to help out and everything. They can see what this country's turning into with all these illegals coming across.

"I feel that we might have a better chance now that we don't have this Clinton in office anymore….I think Bush is going to -- there's gonna be something happen there, I do believe. They need to stop it 100 percent. They need to stop them people from coming to the United States, from every country like that. If they keep letting it happen, our country's not gonna be no better off than their country are, than Mexico is. After ten, 20, 30 years of this illegal immigration, this country's gonna be down in the dumps. It's gonna bring it to its knees. Nobody's gonna be making no money, everybody's gonna be working for pennies and everything, it'll be just like they are in Mexico right now."

And on Ranch Rescue: "They were real good. They were super, I thought."

I email Leitha and tell her to look at my web page.She reads it and calls immediately, admitting to harboring him.I tell her that if she can make him happy, (he was a very unhappy person) that I was happy for them. OK, the story should end here, but it doesn't. I told the parties that I had heard of his so called demise, that he was alive and well in Houston.If he ever wants to talk to any of his friends again, he'll have to contact us and apologize, and even then it won't be the same Recent Update! Torre is still at Leitha's. We know this because he emailed his resume to an associate of mine (not knowing that I know this person) and his address was in Houston, and it gave a phone number! I called the number. Leitha answered. I hung up. I would like to talk to him again, and if he ever does call, I will remove this embarrassing page from the web. -- From Michael Alessio's Web site, "Where in the world is Torre Foote?"

Jack Foote will not provide his full legal name -- security reasons -- but he does deny that he is Torre John Foote. "Sorry," he writes, "no. Someone else has been trying this same guessing game with me. He is still sending me names to 'try on,' but so far no cigar. Please stop guessing, as I have already gotten tired of this from someone else. If I were running for public office, sure, but we are only trying to repair ranch fence, for Pete's sake."

Here are some of the reasons to think that he is lying.

Judging by public records from 1998, one Leitha Renea Mullens and one Torre John Foote for some time that year lived together at 15554 FM 529 Road No. 157 in Houston. Later voting records document Leitha Foote, same D/O/B, at the same address. If you call Ranch Rescue volunteer coordinator Jack Foote at the number listed on his Web site, he will answer, "Top Notch Ranch." Top Notch Ranch, according to its Web site, is operated by Leitha Foote. Jack, of course, is a natural switch from John. Torre John Foote's date of birth was August 30, 1957. In June 2000, Jack Foote told the Arizona Daily Star he was 42, as he would be if he were born in August '57. Torre John's friends think he's gone underground in Texas with a woman named Leitha.

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