By on July 18, 2014

Defender90

Hide your kids, hide your wives and hide your Land Rovers, because the federal government is rounding up a handful due to questionable importation paperwork.

Jalopnik reports 40 Land Rover 90s, 110s and Defenders were rounded-up by the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday as evidence in a federal investigation over illegal importation of the iconic SUVs into the United States. Owners of the 40 dispute the agency’s claims, one owner stating his 110 was a 1983 model — citing the vehicle’s VIN — despite police claiming it to be 2000 model.

The seizures may be a part of an ongoing investigation into an importer in North Carolina who brought in Defenders younger than 25 years into the U.S., though none of the parties involved can comment. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement representative Vince Picard says the 40 owners “will have an opportunity to seek restitution for their losses.”

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117 Comments on “Forty Land Rovers Seized By Homeland Security In Ongoing Investigation...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    Homeland Security: keeping America safe from 24 year old Land Rovers.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Really, so they must have solved ALL other crimes already to get to this point.

    • 0 avatar
      PentastarPride

      Homeland Security is one of many federal agencies that serve no real purpose and are in desperate need of massive cuts and layoffs. These guys are supposed to be worried about extremist groups or making sure our borders are secure (and, hey, our borders are STILL open, and here they are, scouring the country for old Land Rovers). Exactly how would an imported motor vehicle be a threat or a problem to national security?

      Hmmmm…they must have a lot of time on their hands to be going after innocent people for no real reason.

      This is kind of like the raid these legalized gangsters pulled on Gibson and Lumber Liquidators. Both were “illegally” using imported wood. Does that create a dangerous situation for the American people? Would anyone lose any sleep at night, worried about a massive terrorism threat?

      I kinda love it when some part of the Federal government confirms, by its actions, how incompetent and corrupt it is. Of course, I don’t like the fact that our freedom, justice and the rule of law are weakened due to its actions, but this all plays in the favor of all of us who are rooting for a smaller, focused and responsible government. Those who are pushing for a socialist, nanny police-state won’t have a leg to stand on.

  • avatar
    sexyhammer

    Don’t they have anything better to do than confiscate people’s property under pretenses that are questionable at best?

    Like getting arrested on To Catch a Predator?

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Errr… finding and seizing things imported into the US illegally is what the enforcement branch of the Customs service does. What else are they supposed to be doing?

      • 0 avatar
        carrya1911

        There’s a term for this in law enforcement. It’s called “low hanging fruit”. It’s when a law enforcement entity expends effort and resources completely out of proportion to the actual threat posed to the public because somebody wants their stats to look good or because it’s a hell of a lot easier than doing real police work against real bad guys.

        Law enforcement agencies have a lot of discretion in how they do their jobs and to what efforts they will dedicate time and resources. Some uses of that discretion are incredibly wise. Some are incredibly stupid. Most are somewhere in between.

        The fact that there’s a law on the books somewhere and X action is taken to “enforce” it doesn’t make it a sensible or desirable action…in fact, there are times when an enforcement action tips the border between insanity and evil.

        To put it into a medical analogy, if a patient rolls into the ER with a sucking chest wound and an ingrown toenail, it would be career-ending malfeasance for the doc to treat the ingrown toenail instead of the sucking chest wound. In law enforcement that kind of decision making is often rewarded with a promotion.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          To continue your medical analogy, we WOULDN’T call it “career-ending malfeasance” for a plastic surgeon to be doing a consult for a face lift on the 9th floor just because he happens to be a doctor and there’s a patient dying of something-or-other in the ER downstairs.

          And we don’t consider it unusual when the Customs service seizes items it believes were illegally imported into the country when at the same time the Border Patrol is (or isn’t) securing the border.

        • 0 avatar
          jeffzekas

          Low hanging fruit reminds me of when the CHP stopped my son’s BMW for tinted windows- factory equipped and Oregon legal- but since he hadn’t yet registered his car up here, they reamed him with fines. The fact is: lots safer to stop a white middle class college kid then to pull over a gangster with guns and drugs!

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        It’s not what they’re doing but how they’re doing it. As the post noted in at least one case, they don’t even know how to read a VIN. The various government agencies have become attached to the tactic of a pre-dawn raid as their primary method of enforcement, when there are other, less draconian methods available, like knocking on the door with a search warrant.

        You should be aware that the “restitution” mentioned in the post usually involves begging the government for financial remuneration, since the vehicles are destroyed before the legal process is complete. We have a Constitution to protect us from such government activity, but neither the Chief Executive nor the the Congress or Supreme Court have seen fit to enforce its provisions, resulting in over 50,000 search warrants being executed by no-knock swat raid last year – The Washington Post in April cited 50,000 to 80,000, since police don’t keep accurate records.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The Customs Service no longer exists, following the creation of DHS during the last Bush administration. Customs functions are now divided between CBP and ICE. One could argue with some fairness that CBP and ICE do have more pressing priorities.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I’ll sleep better tonight knowing that these rogue Rovers have been rounded-up

      Hmm, suppose there’s any roving Rogues out there posing a threat?

    • 0 avatar
      Andy

      Maybe they’ll give them to the border patrol?

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      Unfortunately, when Customs became “Homeland Security” and started arming all guards, the attendant attitude seems cribbed from Dirty Harry. At a lonely Montana crossing, with a foot of snow and much falling, these morons wanted to inspect my Mother’s gift Sienna, even though it had been pre-inspected at airport Customs to prevent just this snafu. Inspection consists of checking several arbitrary sites I am clueless to the location of, yet when I went back to get my wallet, he immediately put his hand to holster as though a sixty-something and an eighty-something were going to threaten his precious border. He didn’t think it funny when I started laughing, and had my passport had any wrong marks it would’ve taken even longer than the 90 minutes they managed to take up. My suggestion to all importing cars either direction – do not declare it at a crossing. Take it to your nearest airport or in town office with a state patrol VIN inspection. They just seem more professional and it certainly is easier than having a trip delayed for possibly hours. Land Rovers? I guess if there’s a business to restore the old Wagoneers, these wouldn’t be far behind.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Olddavid,
        Customs has been around late 1700, 1789 I think. One of the oldest agencies. Customs has been armed since around that time. I am not sure what inspecting your car at the airport has to do with electing not to inspect it at the border. That’s what they normally do, inspect things. Also, I don’t think they were afraid you are threatening their precious border, but probably their lives. Age has nothing to do with it. There are plenty 60 year old bad guys. The guy doesn’t know you’re nice; he just wants to go home alive at the end of the shift.

        • 0 avatar
          olddavid

          It’s probably another false memory, but I do not remember my cousins who worked at Kingsgate, in northern Idaho, being armed. They sure are now. I guess context is everything. This particular crossing closes at 11p.m. and all the kids go into Canada (Cardston) to go to school. My dear Mom plays the organ at church for both of these guards. I was the unknown, I guess.

        • 0 avatar
          SatelliteView

          That does not mean we all should be hostage to the lowest common denominator.

          You profile people. If they are young, dressed ghetto style and black – the worst combination – you treat them differently then a proper elderly couple. It’s moronic to treat both cases identically.

          • 0 avatar

            The whole problem with profiling is personified in NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program. It’s target fixation – except here, the target is broadly defined yet narrowly contained at the same time. Hence why young + black = Stop and Frisk candidate, whereas your average white hipster would be given an automatic pass unless he/she deliberately does something to piss off the cops.

            But enough about that. Back to cars…

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Of course there’s a business to restore old Wagoneers, but they restore them to original condition. A Land Rover restoration involves ripping out the wiring and everything connected to it, and dropping in a LS1.

    • 0 avatar
      koshchei

      Was that question rhetorical?

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Well, if the law shouldn’t be enforced, then take it off the books.

    On a separate note, I’ve seen “vintage” Minis for sale online that were stripped down to the unibody and rebuilt with all 2000+ components.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      A fellow in my town does that as a business; if anyone needs a vintage Mini, see http://www.realminicoopers.com

      /shameless plug

      • 0 avatar
        DubTee1480

        I’ve gotten all hot and bothered on more than one occasion while looking at that site and dreaming of what might be

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          If you’re in or around Toronto, Peterborough isn’t far. Go have a look; they’ll schedule a test drive.

          • 0 avatar
            DubTee1480

            That sounds awesome but I can’t think of a reason I’d just happen to be up that way as I’m in central Mississippi. If I ever got real serious about it I’d definitely fly up to test drive and make a little vacation out of it.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      - “Well, if the law shouldn’t be enforced, then take it off the books.”

      That EXCEEDINGLY RARELY happens in USSA.

      For every law, ordinance or regulation that mah be repealed, 1000+ are added.

      Take a good look at the Internal Revenue Code (now 70,000 pages+) as just one example of the insanity of the legal bloat (that sucks up wasted resources to comport with) as just one of many examples demonstrating this.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        Even if you combine the USC and CFR sections about taxes, it doesn’t add up to 70,000 pages.

        The Internal Revenue Code (United States Code, Title 26) is only 3,864 pages. (I found this by simply going to the GPO website and pulling up a PDF of the thing.)

        The Treasury Regulations (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 26) is much longer (about 14,000) pages. The CFR is not law in and of itself; it interprets the law. Much of it is concerned with things like explicitly disallowing (or allowing) particular tax shelters. This would be less complex if the law were more precise; accounting is a complex subject (which is why you can get college degrees in it), so tax rules are correspondingly complex. Every time somebody comes up with a new wrinkle or thing to try, the regulations get a little longer when the IRS decides how to treat it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          I think the Title 26 US code is like the little rules of golf pamphlets. They tell you nothing of the application of the rules of golf. That’s the Record of Decisions, a multi-volume set that sets how the pamphlet rules are applied.

          I believe the IRS has its own equivalent of the Record of Decisions, explaining how the Title 26 rules are applied. Like the R of D, it’s a lot bigger than Title 26 verbiage.

          I remember a couple having to go to court to find out what was in it – the IRS doesn’t publish it, but requires taxpayers to comply with it. A judge ordered the IRS to produce it, and they just let the couple’s lawyers look at it (but not copy any part of it) to satisfy the judge.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          “It’s hard to reach a consensus on the exact size of the Internal Revenue Code, but lots of folks have tried. Most notably, Congressional speeches over the years have offered various ways to visualize the enormity of the tax code: 

          “One million words and nearly seven times the length of the Bible”
          “The income tax code and its associated regulations contain almost 5.6 million words”
          “At 1.3 million pages it is twice the length of Tolstoy’s War and Peace”
          The one description that most folks, on and off Capitol Hill, can agree on is that “the tax code is a complicated mess.”

          If you want to count the words yourself, you can find links at the IRS’ online Tax Code, Regulations and Official Guidance page. – http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Tax-Code,-Regulations-and-Official-Guidance

          Personally, I prefer the annual overview from tax software and publishing company CCH of the number of pages in its Standard Federal Tax Reporter. This book includes the Title 26 language, as well as explanations of the tax laws and associated regulations.”

          – http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/dont_mess_with_taxes/2012/03/how-big-is-the-us-tax-code-2012.html

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

        Ayn Rand

    • 0 avatar

      I get that the “law IS the law”, but why is the arbitrary number 25 years and then everythings OK? Who exactly is protected by this?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like that one in the photo; that’s the Real Deal with all The Stuff.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    It’s a cheap rhetorical trick (that TTAC has used more than once) to refer to the Customs Dept. by the name of it’s parent agency (DHS). Would the headline and article have said that the vehicles were “seized by the Dept. of the Treasury” when Customs happened to be under that agency instead? Thought not.

    Finding and seizing items imported into the county illegally is what customs does, and it’s what the customs office of every country has done for centuries.

    I have no idea if this seizure is legit or not, but it’s misleading to conflate the Customs Service with DHS’s larger and more controversial security-oriented parts like the TSA, Border Patrol, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Well, CBP is under DHS, has been since March 2003. It would have been more appropriate to call it CBP, or Customs, but I guess calling it DHS is not out of the realm. As for the seizures, I am sure they are legit. CBP enforces laws on behalf of many other agencies, DOT and EPA included. Most vehicle seizures are done under those agencies’ statutes.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Their/our resources are spent here because these illegals aliens can’t pick fruits/veggies, clean hotels/motels, wash dishes/bus tables, or build our homes.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    U.S. auto-importation restrictions are rather ridiculous. A lot of people were disguising newer Defenders as older ones (though I don’t know what they did about VINs), so U.S. customs actually partnered up with Land Rover in learning how to identify the newer cars.

    I’ll bet this was one of those systems that, like current dealer-franchise laws, were lobbied by someone who stood to gain something by them. So, again, what exactly are we keeping people safe from?

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Well, if you would like to change importation laws Kyree I would suggest starting with your congressman(woman). Customs is only applying the rules in the book. Trust me, a lot of stuff gets by in the vehicle importation world. Some get caught.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      During the 80s, there was a surge in grey market imports of used BMWs and Mercedes from Europe. The German cars were becoming fashionable, plus the dollar was strong, so those cars were a relative bargain.

      That did not please the Big 3, which saw their luxury badges eroding. Daimler also didn’t like their new cars competing against used cars from the Fatherland. So they lobbied for and got the 25 year rule.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      They’re keeping new-car dealers safe from the tidal wave of more desirable gray-market imports. Back in the ’80s, it was fairly common for people to buy EDM cars with little or no smog equipment (and therefore significantly more horsepower), ship them over here, and flip them for less than dealers of USDM cars could charge (thanks to currency arbitrage). The dealers didn’t like that, so they lobbied Congress to tighten up the import restrictions.

      Pretty much the same situation was what eventually got gray-market Kubota tractors banned.

      • 0 avatar
        Orson7

        Exactly…Customs is zero-ing in on the all the vintage Defenders being brought in, because they were lobbied to. Quite a coincidence, the TTAC article is directly above a review of the American-made/ approved Jeep Wrangler S…a new bare-bones competitor that costs about the same. Government is owned by big business, and this is just another “chicken tax” situation.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    I am really glad that after having secured our borders from illegal immigration and drug smuggling the Feds have nothing left to do but to hunt down the improperly imported Land Rovers. I could drink to that.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Well, the vehicles were seized by the Customs Service. It’s not their job to secure the borders from illegal immigration, and the DEA takes care of drugs unless they happen to be found at a border checkpoint or port. It IS one of their jobs to find and seize things smuggled into the country, as long as the item isn’t under the jurisdiction of another law enforcement agency, such as the DEA or ATF.

      So DHS as a whole has plenty of other things to do, but the Customs Service does not.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Actually, one of CBP’s job is to secure the borders from illegal immigration. CBP at the port of entry and Border Patrol anywhere in between, including major cities.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        While at a port of entry, the U.S. Customs Service inspects for anything and everything that’s illegal, illegal to import, or could do us any harm, not just goods and merchandise. Chasing down rogue products at a swap meets and Defender offender driveways, not so much.

        • 0 avatar
          Carrera

          Actually DenverMike believe it or not, CBP and ICE do go together on operations to flea markets, swap meets and other events looking for counterfeit merchandise and IPR violations. ICE ( Immigration and Customs Enforcement are the plain clothes special agents dudes) has the jurisdiction and that can be extended to CBP as well. In most cases CBP along with their import specialist are the matter experts when it comes to IPR violations, trademark infringements, etc..etc.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’m not saying we don’t need to be saved at the flea market from bootleg movies and whatnot, but when agents are sniffing out sea containers at ports and border crossings, they come in contact with lots more illegal and dangerous stuff that can actually hurt us.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “So, again, what exactly are we keeping people safe from?”

    From Central American illegal unlicensed minors driving them to school.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Hmmmm…

    First Uncle Sam bans the imports of Kalashnikovs, then investigating and potentially seizing the “good” Land Rovers (sorry Discovery owners).

    Dunno about the rest of you, but I sure haven’t been feeling like wearing my American flag shirt lately.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      First we find out that the Hellcat, which is SUPPOSED to be about America, is actually built in Canada by a British company with Italian shareholders, installed in a German platform.

      Then we find out that we can’t import assault weapons from Russia because they are invading their neighbors and shooting down passenger airliners.

      And then, we see that the Customs department can’t figure out which Land Rovers to ban. Don’t they know how terrible the Freelander was? Even Car & Driver panned it, which was quite a stretch for them.

      • 0 avatar
        koshchei

        They’ve always made LX platform cars in Brampton. Where is the surprise?

        I’m not sure what point you were trying to make in the rest of your rant.

        para 2: That you can’t go on a killing spree with a freshly-imported Russian weapon as opposed to one of the other thousand or so assault weapons on the market fails to warm my icy heart. Buy a used one that’s already in the US.

        para 3: I don’t think that vehicle import tariffs are based on Car & Driver reviews.

  • avatar

    We all feel differently if these were low end cars that didnt meet safety standards.

    Having said that. Many of these rules do more to protect importer profits than anything else. Mercedes learned that in the 80s when they were undercut by grey market cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Low end cars that don’t meet safety standards is another way of saying every car ever built more than 15 years ago. 20 if you’re feeling generous.

      I don’t support the federal schoolmarms going after those either.

  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    I’m as much of a fan of Land Rover as the next British guy, but I don’t understand why people bother importing Defenders into the US, when the Wrangler can be bought legally and at a great price.

    I assume the new DC100 (Defender replacement) will meet all US safety/emissions regs. No idea whether or not JLR intends to bring it over to the US.

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/land-rover/defender/first-drives/land-rover-defender-dc100

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      That vehicle in the photo is sweet. I have always liked these and the similar Toyotas. If you have enough money, you can get legal resto versions.

      I was excited about the new one you mentioned, Spreadsheet, so I followed the link. It looks like a Mini Cooper. Puke and puke.

    • 0 avatar
      Defender90

      And when Land-Rover stops the Defender and makes those they will be company with not a single authentic countryside vehicle to be seen in their line up.

    • 0 avatar
      Defender90

      And when Land-Rover stops the Defender and makes those they will be company with not a single authentic countryside vehicle to be seen in their line up.

      The Wrangler is probably what I’d buy were the Defender unavailable, but, for now it is, and I prefer the uncompromising design of the Land-Rover as a piece of kit.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Always laughable how car enthusiasts get selectively indignant over which laws are enforced. Go read the thread from a week ago about jacked-up brodozers rolling coal, or any loud-pipe Harley thread ever, and the peanut gallery was all up in arms about “why isn’t this enforced”, but here’s a law that is enforced and it’s “why don’t they have anything better to do” just because the car this time is something lots of us like.

    Do I like the law? No. Do I understand why it was enacted, to protect European OEMs? Yes. Do I think people who tried to slip one by Customs by shadily importing a re-VIN’d car rolled the dice and got caught? Yes. You lost fair and square, and yeah, the game’s rigged, but you knew the rules going in.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      This we agree on.

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      +1 Well put Chris – sometimes we really need a rational look at things.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      You’re awful warm and snuggly with this whole notion.

      Betcha if the Feds came and towed away your Defender, you’d be singing a different tune.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        I don’t HAVE a Defender, or any other VIN-swapped car. That’s the point.

        Here’s a comparison: I speed. All the time. Not crazy speeds, but always 5-10-15 over. Sometimes I get caught. I don’t get all whiny-whiny about it, I just accept that I broke the law and I pay the fine and I move on. I think the law is stupid and poorly implemented, but them’s the breaks.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          Solid posts, Chris.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Get an Escort Passport, save yourself a bundle on tickets. Sometimes beating the system is better then accepting or whining about it

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Your “point” would have carried far more credibility if you would have mentioned resorting to process to repeal and/or modify idiotic laws, rather than implicitly appealing to the lowest common denominator sentiment of “suck it up, serfs.”

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            You want to tilt at that windmill, knock yourself out. It would be far cheaper to buy a federalized Defender, a 25y/o one, or hell, buy half a dozen new ones and put it through the federalizations process. I’m telling you how the real world works.

  • avatar
    korvetkeith

    Strong bootlicking today. Doesn’t that leave a bad taste in your mouth?

  • avatar
    Onus

    I don’t understand why they would want to get caught up in this.

    If they want to build a defender from parts nothing is stopping you. Just import bodies, frames, etc. Why people have to move vins and stuff around is crazy.

    Just import the frame, body, etc and build it. Then register it in your state as a composite vehicle (what ct calls them but, most states have similar laws, check with sema ). The state will then issue a vin. You also usually need paperwork for parts but, thats it. Problem solved.

    Only thing is usually the engine. My state requires engines to meet whatever emissions it has for the year the engine was made. Go pick up a chevy from the junk yard. Problem solved.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Wouldst it be that simple ~

    ‘ Special Construction ‘ is a real nightmare in many states (mine too) , I’ve been building vehicles out of this & that for decades and if I never do another Special Construction again it’ll be too soon .

    The reality is : these late model body tubs are not as safe no clean emissions as they would be if made as U.S. compliant new vehicles .

    You and I might not complain when we got killed or maimed after rolling it off road or getting T-Boned going to work but most of the boobs who do this thing , will ~

    ” the bitter taste of low quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten ” .

    Too bad really as re bodying an old classic is fun and worthwhile to die hards .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      I imagine it is a pain to try to limit people from doing it.

      Not even sure i would do it myself. Tons of works Just putting the dang truck together let alone doing all the paperwork.

      I know my DMV is pretty straight forward Just follow to rules on the website and I’ve never had issues. Even with weird things like the car i bought without a title but, instead a title request form that can assign ownership.

      I suppose if you really want to build cars you can become a manufacturer. Err or sorta one like Local Motors.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    DHS = a totally useless government agency. Thanks baby Bush.

  • avatar
    BerlinDave

    Tax dollars at work….

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    Back when I owned my namesake Pinzgauer, I was also slightly worried this could happen to me. Mine was completely legal, but I head read about different states cracking down on them anyway.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    DHS Agenda:

    Investigate possible terrorists…Nope

    Round up and deport illegal immigrants…Nahhh

    Strip Seach 90 year old Grandmas at Airports…Just did it.

    Actually Secure the Homeland…Probably not.

    Seize Land Rovers…Heck Yes.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Here goes the basic reality of how this worked out. People who are paid to investigate illegal importers found a fairly solid case of illegal importation in North Carolina. They seize his records, his records indicate that these 40 defenders were illegally imported. They seize these defenders.

    Total amount of effort involved: Next to none. Basic legwork, a few tow trucks, and local law enforcement to enforce the warrants. It wasn’t like it was a 1000-manpower hunt for these defenders. They pretty much fell into the lap of the office doing the work to actually verify importation rules.

    By the way, if you import something illegally into any country it isn’t your property, it’s forfeited to the controlling entity you’re merely holding illicit property making you an accessory before and after the fact at a minimum.

    Then again the 25 year law is a bit much but until we change it it’s still a crime.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Is basic reality some sort of shill jargon? Read the Jalopnik article for an idea of the scope of this operation of coordinated SWAT raids in multiple states to take some used cars.

      • 0 avatar
        ktm

        You might want to re-read the article yourself. Not that I like defending Xeranar, but the article does not refer to SWAT raids. There was one “victim” who stated that state police, DHS officials, and a county sheriff showed up at his door. However, people have a tendency to exaggerate when it suits their agenda.

        I personally think that their time is better spent on other more pressing legal matters than illegally imported Land Rovers. It is the low-hanging fruit, hwever, and a means of padding their success portfolio (to offset all of their blunders) and to justify their 2015 budget for more manpower and equipment.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Pishaw! You totally like defending me!

          But really, the low hanging fruit argument is a bit obtuse. We have a dedicated office and network to resolve illegal importation. It doesn’t just search for cars under 25 years old but also human trafficking, illegal products, drugs, etc…so on and so forth. This is news because a subset of hobbyists enjoy these items so they get news, but it is a reality of a job done for the service of the state. You don’t complain when they find out who’s smuggling in drugs or illegal contraband of various sorts, just over these defenders that aren’t legal to sell here in the US until they’re 25 years old.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Jalopnik reports 40 Land Rover 90s, 110s and Defenders were rounded-up by the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday as evidence in a federal investigation over illegal importation of the iconic SUVs into the United States.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement representative Vince Picard says the 40 owners “will have an opportunity to seek restitution for their losses.”

    DHS/ICE: Completely understaffed and overwhelmed in dealing with the mass illegal alien invasion but totally on top of non-issues like confiscating forty grey market cars. Way to go Feds. Wanna swing north to DC next and enforce some other archaic laws such as the Constitution?

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “DHS/ICE: Completely understaffed and overwhelmed in dealing with the mass illegal alien invasion”

      I’d like all TSA agents immediately transferred to the Mexican border. Set up a few hundred checkpoints and have them confiscate the illegals’ liquids. Them let ‘em in and see how far they get. Two problems, solved with already funded assets.

      It probably wouldn’t hurt all those blubbery blue bellies to have to run around in that climate, either.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    A friend who once worked for the Angry Revenue Service told me that while in training, they were told “this is OUR money and our right (yes, right), to go collect it by any and all means.” I am not making it up and I am sure this type of training extends to all levels of govt agencies. Their attitude is not only cavalier but increasingly becoming “guilty til proven guilty”. Like 28 mentioned above, they are overstaffed when dealing with the illegals coming in (no money to be made) but are all over it when they can look the hero and generate revenue by seizing these cars. Don’t get me wrong, if the cars are here illegally fine, but should not the same vigor be applied to not 40 but thousands of illegal humans entering this country? After all, we will be footing that bill if they stay.

    On the other hand, I read on another site about some weird Canadian law where this guy in Vancouver had an older Ferrari seized. He needed to file some extra paperwork (and was notified) but never did it and was pulled over.. Boom.. car gone. I can’t remember the specifics but that’s close. The Fun Police are out in force everywhere.. Watch your a**..

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “while in training, they were told “this is OUR money and our right (yes, right), to go collect it by any and all means.””

      Ha, just try and find the email to prove this

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Lets assume this even remotely true. If you owe a person money is it their money to rightfully collect? I’m just checking because I’m really not sure if you understand the concepts of ‘owing’ and such.

      By the way, the people who do illegal importation are rarely the same people doing undocumented aliens never mind that importation crimes are relatively easy to resolve when it amounts to a handful of officers showing up to impound vehicles. But don’t let that get in the way of a good story to promote how bureaucracy you don’t really understand works.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        “Give me your tired, your poor,
        Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
        The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
        Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
        I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          That nutty-ass sentiment was written in 1883 by an upper-middle class female New Yorker. I’ll accept its use on a standing monument today if we can also go back to an 1883 population and the assumption that it refers to managed, legal immigration.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        If you like your oppressive bureaucracy, you can keep your oppressive bureaucracy.

        Ok seriously, how is bureaucracy supposed to work? I’m seeing misplaced priorities and a total lack of accountability on the part of the DHS bureaucracy we’re all referring too. Was this really the intended result?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Halftruth – You’re half right. So we continue taking the good with bad, when industry lobbys for cheap illegal alien labor.

  • avatar
    brianyates

    The Merxicans just called they want California back.

  • avatar
    PeteRR

    I see them on this Brit car classifieds site. Older Defenders, for sale in the US, but they look shiny brand you and they want shitloads of money for them. I wonder if it’s the same scammers.

    http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/list/28/

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    Wow, I’m so glad were being protected from the evil that is the Defender 90 and Nissan Skyline GTR, I mean…. please think of the children! It’s great when our borders are so secure as to banish enthusiast cars from our land, thus protecting our way of life….. oh wait…..

  • avatar
    Defender90

    Well there are a lot of Defenders stolen in the UK and they are very easy to dismantle and swap bits around… so these being ringers does have the “ring” of truth about it.

    On the other hand if that guy’s 1983 model really was mistaken for a 2000 one that ineptitude there. Why didn’t they just read out the VIN and chassis number right there? That would have settled it.

    The customs do know that a 1983 model can be rebuilt to look like a 2014 one don’t they?

    I was reliably informed that if you do import a 25 y o Defender there, it’s better if it’s not much modified and all numbers match. I assume once registered, it’s legal there to rebuild your car with all new axles etc?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Why didn’t they just read out the VIN and chassis number right there?”

      Because the VIN was falsified.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “The customs do know that a 1983 model can be rebuilt to look like a 2014 one don’t they?”

      If one goes to all the trouble/expense of rebuilding an ’83 with all 2014 parts, that’s one thing. That’s not what’s happening here. Allegedly.

      Far simpler/cheaper to attach the VIN from a totaled or rusted out ’83 junker to the ’14 Defender.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    40 less poseurs on the road? (The drivers, not the LR’s), how could, this not be a good thing?

  • avatar
    manxSR

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Rover_Defender#Defender_in_the_USA

    Defender in the USA
    1993 NAS Defender 110

    “In 1993 Land Rover launched the Defender in the North American (i.e. the United States and Canada) market. Although the Range Rover had been sold there since 1987, this was the first time utility Land Rovers had been sold since 1974. To comply with the strict United States Department of Transportation regulations, ranging from crash safety to lighting, as well as the very different requirements of American buyers, the North American Specification (NAS) Defenders were extensively modified. The initial export batch was 525 Defender 110 County Station Wagons: 500 to the United States and 25 to Canada. They were fitted with the 3.9-litre V8 petrol engine and five-speed manual transmission. All of the vehicles were white (except one specifically painted black for Ralph Lauren). They sported full external roll-cages and larger side-indicator and tail-lights. All were equipped with the factory-fitted air conditioning system.
    NAS Defender 90 soft-top

    For the 1994 and 1995 model year Land Rover offered the Defender 90, fitted with a 3.9-litre V8 engine and a manual transmission which was clearly intended to compete with the Jeep Wrangler. Initially, the Defender 90 was only available as a soft-top, but later version was offered with a unique, removable, fibre-glass roof panel or regular Station Wagon hard-top.

    In the final year of US production the engine was improved, designated 4.0 and mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. In 1998, regulations changed to require the fitting of airbags for both front seat passengers in all vehicles, as well as side door impact requirements. The Defender could not be fitted with these without major modifications, which given the small numbers of NAS vehicles sold in relation to Land Rover’s global sales, were not economically viable. Land Rover retired its utility vehicles at the end of 1997 to focus on its more upmarket Discovery and Range Rover models, as well as the then newly launched Freelander.”

    http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/2013-04-15-040000/cbp-targets-intercepts-illegally-imported-vehicles

    http://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/20592.ztv.html

    More info: http://www.eastcoastrover.com/imports.html

    A person in NC that has been bringing in/converting LRs is under investigation (and has been for some time, as I understand it) for bringing in illegitimate LRs & passing them off as being legit. This has been going on for a number of years, similar to the people bringing later model original Minis into the US & applying illegal titles/VINs to them… The couple in Statesville are playing dumb… they knew the vehicle was illegal.


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