By Anne Valente
By Lindsay Toler
By Ray Downs
By Lindsay Toler
By Danny Wicentowski
By Lindsay Toler
By RFT Staff
By Lindsay Toler
The pair rolled onto East Springfield Street just as a cadre of Gerald officers were arresting two suspected drug offenders.
So began two very busy weeks, as Jakob, along with Gerald's finest, rounded up dozens of drug suspects, collected several pounds of marijuana and attempted to set up narcotics buys. The suspects would later tell FBI investigators that they were never shown a badge or a warrant and that when challenged, Jakob would yell, "I'm a federal officer, I don't need a warrant!"
According to witness accounts, Jakob did most of the questioning, and the officers eventually let most suspects go, telling some to come back to the station the next day instead of taking them for an overnight stay at the Franklin County Jail.
"Two cop cars flew up here real quick and pulled in at an angle, and the guys jumped out and bum-rushed me," recounts 24-year-old Josh Davis, an unemployed ex-con who was doing yard work outside his grandmother's house when the law arrived on May 5. "They searched my house, my garage, everything, and they arrested me for my camping supplies — a couple of propane tanks and some mantle lanterns. "[At the station] he kept trying to stack years on top of [me]. 'We'll give you five years in the pen. No, we'll give you ten, fifteen, if you don't answer' such-and-such questions."
"I was getting high and had some buddies over, and I had a [surveillance] camera on my deck because I don't trust the people in here," recounts Rabbitt. "All of a sudden my buddy [looks at the monitor and] says, 'Dude, it's the cops, and they've got shotguns and M-16s!'"
Rabbitt says he refused to open the door, so Jakob kicked it in, shoved him to the floor and pressed a gun to his belly.
After McCrary found marijuana stashed in the toilet tank, Jakob flew into a rage, Fieser adds. "[Jakob] points the gun at Joe and yells, 'Where the fuck is the rest of it? Am I going to have to start tearing the walls apart? Where the fuck is the rest of it?'"
The pair say police confiscated Rabbitt's gun collection, his PlayStation console and $750 in cash. Fieser says Jakob also forced her to set up a Vicodin buy from a drug dealer. "He kept saying, 'If you don't do this, I'll call DFS [the state's child-welfare agency] on you. You've got a beautiful son. How'd you like to wait twelve years in jail to see him again?'"
Adds Rabbitt: "We ended up sitting there for hours before they let us go. Before we left they made us sign this thing that said, 'You cannot give up this federal agent's name or identity.'"
Neither Gerald nor any other jurisdiction ever pressed charges against any of at least a dozen people hauled in for questioning during Bill Jakob's scant tenure.
An avid seamstress and gardener, 52-year-old Linda Trest is editor of the Ladies' Pages of the Gasconade County Republican. But on the afternoon of May 5, 2008, she encountered a story that didn't quite fit her usual beat.
Trest got a tip that police were raiding the house of Gerald's one and only pharmacist — her next-door neighbor — and sped home to get the scoop. When she began photographing the raid, a man she'd never seen before stepped outside and demanded she put away the camera.
"I told him, 'No, I don't have to, I'm on a public street,' and he kept pressing and pressing. I asked, 'What agency are you with?' And he wouldn't tell me," Trest remembers. "He got extremely belligerent. He went back inside. He came back out, and all of a sudden he wanted to be my best friend. He said something like, 'Oh, my mom used to be just like you. She wrote a gossip column for a paper in Kentucky.'"
Trest has a brother who's a former meth cook doing time in a state prison. She's the mother of six kids who range in age from 17 to 35. Through friends of her kids and other contacts, she had been hearing for two weeks about the federal agent who was going around town performing warrantless searches. After her tête-à-tête with the cop next door, Trest was pretty sure she'd just met the man in question.
The following day Trest put in a call to the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, which soon determined that no federal agent was detached to the Gerald police force. But she still didn't know the fake fed's name.
Two nights later Gerald made Jakob's name known by hiring him as its "reserve" police officer. With one phone call to the state licensing agency, the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Program, Trest learned that Jakob was no federal agent — and that he wasn't even certified to be a cop.
Knowing she was on to something, she began to sketch out a page-one article for the following week's paper. At a meeting with Chief McCrary and members of his force, the chief told Trest he believed Jakob to be a member of the "Multi-Jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force" and that when he called to confirm that the agency had received his fax requesting assistance, a woman had answered and said, "Yep, we got it, everything is in order."