July 28, 2010 While the outcome is not the least bit surprising, Larry Wilcox's sentence of 63 months in prison is a headscratcher when it comes to figuring what point he hoped to make.
Wilcox was convicted of mail fraud and threatening a federal judge in incidents rooted in Lapeer County and dating back a couple of years.
For some reason that is perhaps known only to him, Wilcox violated the state's Uniform Commercial Code by filing false liens on the property of township, county and state officials, including a Lapeer County judge, a prosecutor and a couple of state police officers. He used the same tactic in July 2008 when he filed a lien on the property of a federal district judge who'd ruled against him in a civil suit.
Wilcox claimed his First Amendment rights were violated when state officials attempted to perform inspections at his trash hauling business, Midway Disposal. The judge disagreed.
Longtime residents might remember a couple of "incidents" at the Burnside Twp. business where Wilcox had earned a reputation for disregarding authority, state regulations, government and laws as he deemed they were invalid and inapplicable.
Apparently he was wrong. Mr. Wilcox will now have more than five years in prison to contemplate the applicability of laws as they pertain to him. If one were to pick a battle for freedom from oppression and enslavement to an unjust governmental system, filing false liens against law enforcement officials' property seems an odd battle to pick.
Whatever oppression he felt from state officials carrying out routine inspections on a business that has short- and long-term effects on the environment is also a bit difficult to relate to. He'd danced to that tune before and the song ended with jail time.
The bottom line? Sixty-year-old Larry Wilcox has surrendered five-plus years with his family, friends and business for what? What was the expected outcome and possible gain? Wouldn't a lifetime of experience, personal and otherwise, demonstrate that those who disregard the laws have consequences to pay?
While not surprising, it is a most unfortunate situation for Wilcox and his family. Whatever his point was, five-plus years away from those you live hardly seems worth it.