AP ENTERPRISE: Montana jail deal raises questions
Matthew Brown – Sep 12, 2009
BILLINGS, Mont. — The Two Rivers Detention Center was promoted as the largest economic development project in decades in the small town of Hardin when the jail was built two years ago. But it has been vacant ever since.
Did I hear correctly? The spokesman for American Police Force said that they were interested in using the facility as a training center? Makes sense I guess, considering the possibility of ties to Darth Chainey and the shadow government.
City officials have searched from Vermont to Alaska for inmate contracts to fill the jail, only to be turned down at every turn and see the bonds that financed its construction fall into default. They even floated the idea of housing prisoners from Guantanamo Bay at the jail.
So when Hardin officials announced this week that they had signed a deal with a California company to fill the empty jail, it was naturally a cause for celebration. Town officials talked about throwing a party to mark the occasion, their dreams of economic salvation a step closer to being realized.
But questions are emerging over the legitimacy of the company, American Police Force.
Government contract databases show no record of the company. Security industry representatives and federal officials said they had never heard of it. On its Web site, the company lists as its headquarters a building in Washington near the White House that holds “virtual offices.” A spokeswoman for the building said American Police Force never completed its application to use the address.
And it’s unclear where the company will get the inmates for the jail. Montana says it’s not sending inmates to the jail, and neither are federal officials in the state.
An attorney for American Police Force, Maziar Mafi, describes the Santa Ana, Calif., company as a fledgling spin-off of a major security firm founded in 1984. But Mafi declined to name the parent firm or provide details on how the company will finance its jail operations.
“It will gradually be more clear as things go along,” said Mafi, a personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer in Santa Ana who was only hired by American Police Force a month ago. “The nature of this entity is private security and for security purposes, as well as for the interest of their clientele, that’s why they prefer not to be upfront.”
On its elaborate Web site and in interviews with company representatives, American Police Force claims to sell assault rifles and other weapons in Afghanistan on behalf of the U.S. military while providing security, investigative work and other services to clients “in all 50 states and most countries.”
The company also boasts to have “rapid response units awaiting our orders worldwide” and that it can field a battalion-sized team of special forces soldiers “within 72 hours.”
Representatives of American Police Force said the company presently employs at least 16 and as many as 28 people in the United States and 1,600 contractors worldwide.