Federal Theft – The Todd Engel Story Continues
By: Todd Engel
Between the standoff at the Bundy Ranch in April of 2014 and my arrest in March of 2016, the FBI sent multiple federal informants/agents into north Idaho to infiltrate my life. When they have a target, they flood the area with “sources” according to my investigator. (my investigator is a former FBI agent supervisor of 30 years). They “bumped into me” at the gym, at church, and at the shooting range. Some I knew were working for the FBI and other’s I had no clue.
In the summer of 2014, the founder of the Oathkeepers, Stewart Rhodes began to visit and speak in Bonner and Boundary Counties regularly. I was living in the Bonners Ferry area at the time, so I attended his speeches. He immediately endeared himself to me as he had been at the ranch also. He introduced me to a man, I’ll call him Agent/Informant #2, who was the leader of the Oathkeepers in Bonner County. He’s one of the nicest, kindest Christian men you would ever want to meet. Former military, great family man, all the things that you would desire in a friend, and we became fast friends, even starting a company together.
In the summer of 2015, Stewart introduced me to and vouched for a man by the name of Jon Anderson. Anderson stated that he was former Special Forces in Canada and liked the USA because he could own AR-15 type weapons here that were banned in Canada.
I became fairly close friends with Anderson and Rhodes as we would shoot and train together regularly. Both stayed many nights at my cabin in Bonners Ferry.
On March 3, 2016, I had reason to believe that the FBI was going to arrest me as there was a massive nationwide sting operation occurring against many of those that had attended the ranch. I called Stewart and let him know that things were not looking good for me. He stated that he and his organization would do everything in his power to help me and my family get through this if I were arrested. Later, he called my family and stated the same thing. After that, he was never heard from again and never once tried to raise money for my defense or have members in his organization write letters of encouragement. He dropped me like a bad habit.
Our mutual friend, Jon Anderson, hours after my arrest went to my cabin and “secured” all my most valuable possessions including 30 weapons, many of which were in the AR and long-range platforms. He took tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition; hundreds of magazines; night vision; legally owned suppressors; my 2007 Cummings Turbo diesel; my four-wheeler; my dirt bike; and mountains of hunting gear, optics, LBVs, and anything and everything of true value.
Throughout my 4.5 years in federal prison, I told him multiple times that I wanted him to sell this and that to raise money for my family and for my defense. He stated every time that he wasn’t going to sell them as he wanted me to have something when I got out.
Upon my release in September of 2020, I began to demand my property back. He persistently lied that he was overseas working for the government as a Private Military Contractor and that he wasn’t going to be back for 6-8 months or so. That is when I hired my investigator (that I still can’t afford to pay. Thank you Jeff) to investigate Anderson. His background check showed that he was a ghost who hardly existed. Very rare for 52-year-old man not to have a history. His only addresses were in Virginia and West Virginia, close to DC. Nothing showed that he ever lived in Kalispell, Montana for 3 years.
Weeks after my arrest, Anderson told my two friends that held my Power of Attorney (one being Agent #2) that he wanted to purchase my truck and that he was sending the money to my family immediately. The title was sent to him, but the money was never paid. Dozens of requests for the money were answered by excuses after excuses. Anderson was continually lulling me into believing he was helping me and my family.
My investigator found that my truck had been sold in 2018, totaled by the new owner, parts sold off it and ultimately crushed by a salvage yard. In multiple phone calls in 2020, Anderson stated that he still had my truck and still wanted to buy it.
Shortly after my release I was contacted by a man that was in federal prison that stated that Anderson had become his friend in 2016. In 2018, this man was arrested by the FBI for weapons charges and the case was built on the recordings turned over to the FBI by Anderson. Anderson had recorded conversation in his vehicle and apartment. The discovery in this case has been sealed but the charging documents corroborate the statements about Anderson working for the feds. Also, a defendant in the Malheur Refuge case, who talked with Anderson in 2015, has signed an affidavit stating that Anderson turned over conversations to the FBI via FD-1023’s. Anderson had informed on him also.
In my conversations with Anderson after my release, when I started to put pressure on him to return my property and during my confronting him about the sale of my truck, he stated that “he did not fear the FBI” and that “he worked for the government”.
The 6th Amendment states that “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have……. the Assistance of Counsel for his defence”. Whenever I called Jon Anderson from prison and he answered the phone and talked with me, him, the FBI, and the Department of Justice were directly violation my 6th Amendment Right to counsel as he was an employee of the FBI. Also, he is absolutely forbidden to be in possession of any of my property after my apprehension.
The Office of Inspector General was sent a Complaint of these crimes and violations in the spring of 2021. They sent us a letter stating that they were sending this to the DOJ and FBI for further investigation. The FBI sent us a letter stating that they couldn’t care less that their employee had stolen dozens of weapons and was selling stolen rifles and handguns on the streets of America and was in possession of ATF regulated suppressors.
The American people and the courts have expressed grave reservations about failures at the FBI, especially in the FBI’s undercover and informant programs. Case after FBI case are being definitively rejected by courts and juries regarding jaw-dropping and completely unchained behavior by FBI leaders, undercover agents and informants victimizing defendants, many of whom are too poor to fight back. I was left indigent and unable to provide funds for an attorney because the person I believe to be an FBI informant denied me access to my personal assets and my defense suffered greatly. He should be held accountable as should the government agencies who are ultimately responsible for unleashing people who turn out to be predators loose as their surrogates against innocent American citizens.
The Boundary County Prosecutors Office pursued charges against Anderson until FBI Agent/Informant #2 wrote them a short letter stating that he had “gifted all of my possessions to Jon Anderson to sell” in July of 2016. This good Christian man gave everything I own to a person I had know for 6 months, not to my family that needed help or my best friend that he had been talking to everyday. The document was most definitely false as I have dozens of recordings of Anderson stating that “my property was still my property” and that he was going to return it as soon as he got back in country. He never once stated that #2 had gifted him everything I own.
At this time, I will not reveal FBI Agent/Informant #2’s name, background, or location as we will be reaching out to him to give him the opportunity to do the right thing, even though he is an alleged co-conspirator with Anderson. As for Stewart Rhodes, you decide.
This is Jon Anderson who lives in Putnam County, West Virginia. He is most definitely armed and dangerous.