Rick In Jail

Melissa Lepley's picture
Submitted by Melissa Lepley on Tue, 2007-10-23 04:04

Hello SOLOists,
I haven’t been around for a while, because for the last three weeks, I have been wading through a governmental cesspool of apathy, bureaucracy, and red tape.
Some of you may have noticed the absence of Rick Giles from this forum for the last month or so. He is not on vacation; he has not given up, or left in a huff. He is in jail, and has been since the 26th or 27th of September. He has been in prison, without arrest, without trial, without legal recourse or appeal, for almost a month. And why? What heinous crime, you might ask, warrants being thrown into jail with no rights, no information, and no idea how long he’ll be incarcerated? Well, the combined crimes of not being a US citizen and misreading the date on his tourist visa.
Rick was asking directions to the bus station, as pedestrians aren’t allowed to cross the border into Canada, on the 26th of last month. Instead of helping, the policeman took his ID, checked his visa, and found that instead of expiring on the 27th, as Rick believed, it expired on the 20th. He was taken into custody, and has been there ever since.
The INS, which is supposed to notify the New Zealand embassy whenever a NZ citizen is arrested, did not. His social worker, whom he requested get the address and phone number of the NZ consulate, got him the contact information for the embassy in New Zealand. If he hadn’t written my phone number on his arm during the few moments he had alone with his stuff, nobody would have any idea where he is. He used his one phone-call to call me, and I have harassed, begged, and bluffed my way to getting his address, inmate number, and all the information I can get, which is woefully little.
I have made contact with the NZ consulate in Chicago, and the Embassy in Washington DC. I informed them that one of their citizens had been summarily tossed into prison for the smallest offense imaginable. You’ll be glad to know that they are using their full diplomatic might on his behalf. They are making a file. They faxed him a letter informing him of his rights, which amount to nothing. They are very friendly and courteous, and try to be helpful. However, unless the US starts to torture Rick, there’s nothing they can do. Apparently the US government can hold him as long as they want, for whatever reason (or lack thereof) they choose.
This is a plea, dear SOLOists, from me. If anyone has any experience with dealing with the INS, or with the US Justice system… if anyone knows anything or anyone who can help, or even give advice, please contact me. I have done everything I can think of, and he’s still there, no court date, no rights, and no expectation of release. I can write letters to him, and send him books, writing materials, and stamps. However, I don’t even know where to begin to get him free.
Thank you.

( categories: )

Rick is back in NZ

Robert's picture

Rick is back in NZ. There is a new thread to discuss his immigration woes. Thanks to all who pledged cash to set him free...

Put me down for a

Mark Hubbard's picture

Put me down for a contribution Robert, not sure what yet. What is the time frame for this? From 7.30am tomorrow morning I'm away from my computer on a business trip for one week (if Ross is reading, to Geraldine, so I guess there'll be an influx of women into Timaru): I'm taking a laptop, but will be staying with friends, so have no idea whether I'll be able to check back in here or not).

 [Indeed, probably won't be doing much Interneting, other than business email, until 13th, as the granddaughter who stayed last weekend spent much of it on YouTube and used up my 5GB monthly broadband limit, so Ihug's throttled me down to dial up speed for the damned duration! Lesson for the wise vis a vis computers and kids.]

Nothing ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

.... in the Sunday Herald. Must have been upstaged by the Kiwi guitarist in a Dubai jail. Can't take these Kiwis anywhere. Weekday Herald will probably stay on the story though.

I'd have guessed much less

Richard Wiig's picture

I'd have guessed much less too, but I guess that's the difference between a ticket on short notice and booking well in advance.


Jason Quintana's picture

Put me down for $200. The plane ticket is that high huh? Ouch. I would have guessed much less.

Now when you had the lawyer contact the jail did you have her call the 875-7003 or 875-7000 number? In my experiences the first doesn't work well, but the second one does.

- Jason

Tickets out of the USA.

Robert's picture


All I can do at the moment is collect pledges. Until Rick asks for and is granted permission to leave the US voluntarily, there isn't any point in buying him a ticket.

Ball park estimates for cost are:

US$3091.10 for a set of tickets that will transport Rick from Detroit to Chicago to San Francisco to NZ via Air NZ and UA.

So far with pledges from Richard, Linz, myself and two others who PM'd me we have USD $470.

Like I said, until Rick gets permission to buy his own ticket we can only accept pledges for cash. And at present it doesn't seem as if we will get the US$3000 in time.

Thanks to all those who've offered to help pay.

Services to Islam...

Richard Wiig's picture

...yep, that's one reason to keep him locked up. I can chip in $100 NZ, but my fingers are crossed that he can cross into Canada. Is someone going to put in the full cost of the ticket and then everyone pays that someone?

Looks as though ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... the Herald on Sunday story is going ahead, even though the reporter hasn't heard from Melissa. He's spoken to the Detention Centre. He wondered if Rick might be on some sort of list because of SOLO. I said we'd jokingly given him the Services to Islam Award, but surely even America's intelligence services weren't that dumb?! We both laughed. Then paused ...


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Melissa - I've just been contacted by the Herald on Sunday, wanting to do a story tomorrow. I've given them your Yahoo e-mail addy, so keep checking it. The reporter is Cliff Taylor: 64 9 373 9365. Make a reverse charge call perhaps?

Personally ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... I think he should go to Florence. But if it comes to it, I'll chip in to match Robt's contribution. Smiling

Please god, no! Not New

JulianP's picture

Please god, no! Not New Zealand! How about Australia? Wink

The Latest...

Robert's picture

I've just been in touch with a Kansas City Immigration Lawyer who is interested in helping to publicise the case in the USA. She tried to contact Rick directly but can't get through to the detention center.

Melissa if you are reading this, I've sent you a SOLOmail giving you a heads-up. I asked the lawyer to get in touch with you. If she doesn't get back to me by phone and I'll see what I can do. The reporter she knows works for the Wall Street Journal and is based in Chicago.

The lawyer told me that Rick can ask the authorities for 'Voluntary Departure.' That is he can buy his own ticket out of the country and won't be banned from ever returning to the USA. There's a problem: they MAY insist that he returns to NZ - which means he needs to buy his own ticket.

So my question/challenge to SOLOists is are you guys willing to chip in and buy Rick a plane ticket back to NZ? I'll start the ball rolling with a pledge of $100 US. Just remember that Rick probably can't pay you back so only pledge what you can afford. And we've only got a window of about 3-days to do it.

Later on in the day I'll figure out how much it costs for a direct flight, one-way back to NZ. It's going to be expensive!

If anyone has a good picture

MikeE's picture

If anyone has a good picture of Rick for print can they please email me earley.michael@gmail.com

TVNZ ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... are now looking at doing something when Rick gets back, as long as Campbell Live doesn't. CL were blowing hot last week but then blew cold, so I think it'll end up on TVNZ.

Elijah, lets wait and see

MikeE's picture

Elijah, lets wait and see what they organise first.


Elijah Lineberry's picture

is the MP? (just curious)

Thanks - I've forwarded it

MikeE's picture

Thanks - I've forwarded it on to the NZ MP who is going to give it a go.

Canterbury Star newspaper is interested in it. Editors contact details are , Melissa, could you please email them directly?


Melissa Lepley's picture


Unfortunately, only Rick has all of this information, and I haven't spoken to him directly since the 27th of last month.

I don't know when he entered the country the first time.
His visa expired September 20th.

He was never officially arrested, but he was taken into custody the 27th.

To my knowledge, he has not had a court date, and has just been sitting in jail this whole time.

He arrived at the William Dickerson Facility on the 28th, after staying at the St. Clair (?) jail further north the night before.

The ICE never did inform the embassy, I did. I called the consulate in Chicago, to let them know that one of their citizens was being held. They confirmed with the prison that Rick was, indeed, there.

I don't know when the consulate has been in contact with him. I believe they have spoken on the phone once or twice. You can call Cathy Aldana at the Chicago office for details.

I have written to him every day since I got his address, on the 5th of October. I have received seven letters back from him. But we have never been in contact in real-time, not since they moved him to William Dickerson. As far as I know, I'm the only person in contact with him at all who isn't his "social worker" or a part of the INS, or the NZ Embassy/consulate.

I first contacted the consulate in Chicago on the 15th of October, and have traded e-mails with Cathy several times. Unfortunately, they can't do much, and don't seem to know much. Friendly folk, though.

I have tried calling the ICE (INS) staff, but haven't ever been able to get through to Mr. Davis, who is in charge of Rick's case. I believe that Jason McPhee, the embassy officer in charge of Rick's case, has spoken to him, but I don't know when.

He is expected to be released before the 5th of November, if by "released" you mean "sent back to New Zealand."

Sorry, that's all I know.


We have an MP interested in the case but they need more informat

MikeE's picture

ok we have an MP who wants to get involved by they need more detailed info for dealing with MFAT.

Can someone please try and sort this out and post here

"A timeline of events- when he entered the US, the day his visa expired, when he was arrested, when he was charged, dates of any court appearances, date he entered the William Dickerson facility, dates he was held in other facilities, when the NZ embassy was notified, dates they have visited/contacted him, dates that you/other friends have been in contact with him, dates that you/others have been in contact with facility staff, dates that you/others have been in contact with NZ embassy staff, dates that you/others have been in contact with INS staff, date you/others were first made aware of the situation, dates Rick has contacted you/others, date he is projected to be released, etc etc."

Good on you International Rescue...

Jameson's picture

Poor Rick! Hope you guys can prevent the poor guy's deportation - that'll screw up any hope of him getting back into the US.

The same thing almost happened to me. I was re-entering the states from Canada, en route to home in Miami (where I was working under the table while the company lawyers were working on my Greencard), and immigration noted that I only had 5 days left on my visa. They pulled me into an office and interrogated me for over an hour. Fortunately I had taken the precaution of removing any evidence of my working life from my Filofax and photo album.

They ummed and ahhed about sending me to court the next day, then out of the blue decided to let me go. I had to sprint to the plane, and made it on just as the doors were closing.

Incidentally, and coincidentally, Liv and I have been getting Tanya Spinka's rubbish mail for the last 4 and half years... now you know where to contact her, Claudia... Smiling

TVNZ "Sunday" Rang me regarding this last nite

MikeE's picture

I've forwarded all info onto their field producer.

Melissa, can you please get in touch with her ASAP to discuss. They want to give this media attention. They desperately want to get in touch with ricks parents regarding this.

Here is the person to contact:

Tanya Spinka

Field Producer
D. 64 9 916 7303
F. 64 9 916 7778
M. 64 21 921 152

One Week!

Melissa Lepley's picture

Rick only has, at most, one more week before he is deported to New Zealand.

I've gotten some very good tips and ideas from people here... does anyone know a way to keep him from being deported? He needs help drafting a letter to the DHS/ICE. I assume there are voluntary (or at least very cheap) legal services in Detroit, but I don't know how to find them.

Time is running out, and he doesn't want to be sent back!

Seriously, who do I have to bribe (sleep with, beg, threaten, extort, blackmail, whatever) to just have him kicked across the border to Canada?

I'm getting desperate, here.

Again, thank you in advance for whatever help or advice you all can provide.


"Shiny. Let's be bad guys."

Claire at Campbell Live or

Suma's picture

Claire at Campbell Live, or other journalists following up on this case, may want to use the information in this article or probe deeper..

The head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and various judges who (go out of the way to?) defend Arab defendents were hosted/honored last week in Dearborn (part of Detroit Metro) by the Michigan American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee headed by a person who has violated immigration laws. Read the article. It also mentions Sen. Carl Levin (from Robert's letter above).

Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Rick was thrown into jail and his case mismanaged (e.g. not informing the NZ embassy, not provided with a lawyer); ICE seems to be busy in Detroit.

"Free Rick Giles!"

Melissa Lepley's picture

Wow. I was ready to give up, when I saw that he would be deported soon, as getting him out of jail was my main goal. But now I'm ready to continue the fight! Nobody ships off my friend without a battle! Grr!

Having reviewed this thread, I see that all the information I have is here. The only other bit is the name and phone number of my contact at the consulate in Chicago.

Cathy D. Aldana,
Ph: (773) 714-8669 (ext. 221)
Fax: (773) 714-9483

She has been nothing but helpful, to the extent that she can help, so don't call her up and be rude, please. The INS guy in charge of the case? Or Rick's "social worker" who seems neither social nor much of a worker? Have at it. Now that my huge project is winding down, I can spend my afternoons calling and pestering people again! Unfortunately, for the last few weeks, I've been at work until 8 or 9pm, which makes getting ahold of office personel somewhat problematic.

But now I've got my afternoons free again, and a renewed will to fight! Look out world!


"Shiny. Let's be bad guys."

Cheers Mike I have been in

Fairfacts Media's picture

Cheers Mike

I have been in touch with Claire and have emailed some pics.

Claire is still trying to track down Rick's parents.

The Sunday Star-Times is interested in Rick's plight but is waiting to see what other media do before following up.

Claire says Rick will be put on a plane 'soon' but did not say how 'soon' 'soon' is.

But things seem to be moving at last.

Fairfacts, the lady to

MikeE's picture

Fairfacts, the lady to contact is Claire (forgot her last name) at Campbell live.

Anything thats better than the terrible pic he has on Facebook at the moment.

I have pics for the media

Fairfacts Media's picture

For any media out there , I have pics of rick that will be suitable for publication.

As a journo myself (alas technology and business) I know there's nothing the media love more than a decent picture.

 I can be contacted on 00-64-9-4444-893



Robert's picture

Anyone wanting to copy this letter and send it to other US Congressmen and Senators is welcome to do so. Just make sure to use your name...

Hi Jason...

Robert's picture

For good measure I've sent the following to the US Senators from Michigan...

Dear Mr. Levin & Ms Stabenow,

I'm writing on behalf of a New Zealand citizen by the name of Rick Giles. He is currently imprisoned in Detroit for the 'crime' of mistakenly overstaying his tourist VISA by several days.

Ironically, he was arrested at the Port Huron border crossing attempting to re-enter Canada en route to Toronto where he apparently had secured employment.

He has been detained, at great expense to the US tax payer since September 27, 2007 and will be deported back to NZ (a 12 hour air-flight across the Pacific Ocean) -- again at US Taxpayer's expense -- sometime in November.

I ask, nay plead, that you look into this matter and do what you can to have Rick released and deported to Canada both out of mercy to Rick and to the long suffering US Taxpayer.

Rick can be contacted directly:

Mr Rick Giles,
Inmate #34069
William Dickerson Facility Unit D3
3501 Hamtramck Drive Detroit,
MI 48211
(313) 875-7003; fax (313) 875-7928

Thank you for your time.



Jason Quintana's picture

I think the best bang for the buck might be local TV and talk radio stations :

WJR Talk Radio : http://www.wjr.com/contactus.asp
MyFox Detroit : http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/my...
CBS Detroit : http://cbsdetroit.com/contact
Channel 7 ABC : talkback@wxyz.com
Local 4 NBC : http://www.clickondetroit.com/...

It couldn't hurt to draw their attention to it.

- Jason

Just sent...

Robert's picture

a synopsis of the situation to FOXNews in the US via the 'News Tips' section of their website. I'll see how that goes and keep on them.

Anyone with details of any other US journalists who might be interested can PM me or list them here.

Here is what I sent. Any tips or advice would be welcome.


To Whom It May Concern:

I've got a story that an investigative journalist might be interested in.

A New Zealand Tourist by the name of Rick Giles has been imprisoned in a Detroit Jail for the crime of overstaying his tourist VISA by several days.

Mr. Giles was picked up at the border attempting to re-enter Canada in order to start a new job he had lined up in Toronto. He was on foot at the time and because pedestrians aren't allowed to cross the border, he asked directions to a bus station.

Unfortunately, he asked a Policeman. During the ensuing inquiries, the Policeman determined that Rick had mistakenly overstayed his VISA by several days.

Instead of escorting him to the bus station and allowing Rick to make his own way out of the US at his own expense, the authorities decided to arrest Rick and deport him back to NZ.

He has been detained for the best part of a month and will be flown back to NZ courtesy of the US-taxpayer. Do the math: an air-ticket to a country on the other side of the planet plus the cost of feeding, clothing and guarding an individual for 2 months vs. the cost of making sure that Rick bought a ticket to Toronto and boarded the bus.

According to the INS, Rick is not being held for any criminal activity – just his violation of his VISA conditions. I ask you, is this a cost effective use of taxpayer’s money?

If you want to contact Rick directly, he is:

Mr Rick Giles, Inmate #34069
William Dickerson Facility
Unit D3
3501 Hamtramck Drive
Detroit, MI 48211
(313) 875-7003; fax (313) 875-7928

You can get in touch with me (Robert Winefield) XXXX@XX.XXX or XXX XXX XXXX

Attempted INS Again

Jason Quintana's picture

Actually it isn't called INS anymore. It is now some division of Homeland Security.

No Luck, I called about 10 times and attempted to connect to every extension they had. I was finally able to speak to a low level clerk, and after a few questions he asked me to call back at 4. I would suggest leaving messages but it looks like most of the officers' inboxes are full. I didn't try to leave a message for all 7 or 8 of them so some might still work.

In any case, if people like the NZ Press, or anyone else wants to get involved here is the phone number again to the small immigration department responsible for handling Rick's case: 1-313-568-6047

- Jason

I am disgusted by the disregard for Rick's rights.

Marcus's picture

Although, I am happy there will soon be an end to this.

However, I am also angry that Rick is being deported to NZ by the US - because he must then pay for a ticket back to Canada from NZ, no? Assuming that is, that there are no more complications with his Canadian job or work visa as a result of this?

He doesn't deserve to be treated like a criminal for a lapsed visa. It seems like justice and common sense have gone out the window.

Annoyed! Grrrrrr!


Robert's picture

... If I can get a reliable version of events together then I was thinking of passing this onto some Journalists in the US.

The trick is to basically write the story for them and to line up the experts for them to interview. This lawyer in KC has tentatively expressed an interest.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to call and call Rick's jail on the off chance that I might luck-out and be on the phone when Rick is out of his jail cell. So I was hoping that someone with direct contact with Rick would get him the message to write down in detail what happened.

Then I can pass that document on to the lawyers and the press and see what happens. But we need something concrete and concise first.

Same Old from NZ Consulate

Dan Edge's picture

I Spoke to Burkman at the NZ Consulate in Chicago, and he told me the same story: There's nothing we can do to speed up the process, it's like waiting line at the DMV, the INS won't budge, Rick will be deported in a few weeks.

It sucks, but Burkman is probably right.

--Dan Edge

I'm very saddened to hear this.

atlascott's picture

It sounds like Rick will be getting out soon.

I pray that his stay is short and in the best of all possible facilities. And with luck, away from the general population of violent criminals.

We live our lives not realizing how our governments spout mere platitudes of freedom and due process.

But the reality is that there is no individual freedom, and that we have allowed our governments absolutely control over us.

One bureaucratic screw-up and you're in jail for 3 months. Or longer, maybe forever, unless you have good friends, like Rick has on this site. Even if you hear about it, most people shrug their shoulders and forget about it by lunch time.

I truly hope Rick is okay and gets out of this thing quickly.

Thank God we have such border security with Canada, while thousands of people per week are walking unscathed, untracked, and unscreened, into the US at its southern border.

Scott DeSalvo

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur!

I can ship you...

Robert's picture

... a Louisville Slugger by overnight FedEx if sweet reason doesn't prevail with that pretentious fart. I'm with Jason on this one.


Robert's picture

Check out Dan Edge's post above. He's given the ph number to the detention center where Rick is held. Pass that and Rick's inmate number onto the TV people and they can talk to him directly.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I'm reluctantly bound to agree. I detect no seriousnes about ideas on your part, just a penchant for being really, really silly and pretentious, in a way that is sometimes amusing but mostly fatuous and often evil. If you get on that train I'll discuss this with you in person.

Your senseless drivel has

Lance's picture

Your senseless drivel has moved from frustrating to boring Elijah. Stick to politics and finance.

And on this thread stick to Rick.


Elijah Lineberry's picture

things are interesting tonight!

1 example of swearing when up against the brick wall of irrefutable arguments we were talking about yesterday! Tongue

4 examples of freedom of speech being curtailed.

3 endorsements of socialist axioms

...and all this in a mere four posts! Shock

I should also point out that I use the word 'Negro' as a noun, not as a verb as Duncan claims.
If he would put the Red Flag away for a moment...perhaps I should point out that 'Negro' is a noun, for a member of the Negroid race.

I make no apologies for describing White people as...ummmmmm....white Puzzled

(It would not be solopassion without half a dozen chaps having their period, now would it?) Tongue


Duncan Bayne's picture


You really do come over as though you have a problem with people of races other than your own. Seriously. You generally describe everyone unlike you as Negro (even - as Jason points out in his own delicate way - Berbers, who are about as Negro as I am), and categorise Western NZers as 'White'. And describe 'Chinamen' as peasants.

While I don't share Jason's approach (just because I disagree with some people here doesn't mean I don't associate myself with the site as a whole), I do wish to take this opportunity to dissociate myself from you (or, more specifically, your ideas).

Oh, and it's Zaoui. And the NZ Government has been utterly unable to substantiate their initial claims of his terrorist activities.



Buy and wear InfidelGear - 100% of all InfidelGear profit goes to SOLO!


Elijah Lineberry's picture

of course I am sure it was he.

His photograph has been in newspapers and on television 100,000 times so I recognised him immediately.

I am well aware Tongue that 'criminals' in Remuera Tongue is hardly unique Tongue (fraudsters, embezzlers, de-frocked solicitors etc)...but terrorism, gosh, that is going a bit far!

Fuck You

Jason Quintana's picture

Elijah, you are an example of the reason that I can't associate myself with this website. You are a piece of shit. We have these blunt objects in America called baseball bats, and I would gladly ship one of them to a "negro" in New Zealand to take care of you.

In any case, if there were justice here you would be treated like shit and summarily banned. If you do have any "class" (as you claim to have) you would see that there is serious business taking place on this thread. Your snotty "gosh" bullshit is absolutely not welcome in our efforts to help Rick Giles. I am certain that he would agree with me.

- Jason

Are you certain it was him

Lance's picture

Are you certain it was him Elijah? Wouldn't 'those types' all look the same to you? Besides, if I'm not mistaken Zaoui is a 'Berber' not a 'Negro'.

Do try to keep up, there's a good chap. Wink


Elijah Lineberry's picture

of locking people up in Gaol... Shock

That negro terrorist chap, Ahmed Zowie, is outside! Shock ...I just got home, (driving for the first time in 2 years) and who should I see at the park across the street playing soccer?!?! ...but him! gosh!

A terrorist! at my house! (more or less) ...I told Damien to go out and give him a good slap and move him on, but he (Damien) refused! Shock ...gosh!

What kind of a World are we living in where these sorts of chaps are allowed to walk the streets of Remuera?!?! Puzzled

Some of Ricks phone numbers

HWH's picture

Here are two of Ricks numbers he last texted me from while I was helping him out on the last Podcast.

+17783894758 and +14033928350

Hope it helps


I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.- - Robert Green Ingersoll

K its not on tonites news,

MikeE's picture

K its not on tonites news, they are looking into it in more detail tomorrow.

Tried ringing the CIS in

MikeE's picture

Tried ringing the CIS in Australia as I know he did L & S the year before, but unfortuantely they only had his aussie mobile as well.

I've also spoken to Claire

MikeE's picture

I've also spoken to Claire at Cambell live. I'm not sure how close rick is to his family. I've checked his facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profil...) I've seen a cousin listed on there, so I've PMed him for phone numbers. All I've got is Rik's old Aussie cell phone.

Its annoying as I had texts with the US number but I didn't save them!

See, this is what happens

Duncan Bayne's picture

See, this is what happens when I let Rick leave the sunny, friendly Australian shores ... Shock Seriously, I hope things go well Rick, & I have no doubt you'll already be planning a most interesting podcast episode Smiling


Buy and wear InfidelGear - 100% of all InfidelGear profit goes to SOLO!

Rick In Jail

Fairfacts Media's picture

I've emeiled the NZ Herald and the Press newspaper in Christchruch, where Rick is from. I also spoke to the Tv1 and Tv3 newsrooms.

But thanks Lindsay for getting John Campbell on baord.

Campbell Live want to do an interview with Rick's parent's.

Does anyone have any contact details or remeber what they were called.

there are over 30 people called Giles listed in the phonebook for Christchruch.

I confess, I don't know much about this guy, but...

KingRandor82's picture

I just want to wish my best in support of the situation, and hope everything turns out ok Smiling

Contact details for Ricks Parents

MikeE's picture

Does anyone have the phone number for Ricks parents, just been on the phone to Claire from Campbell live, and she wants to run a story on it tonite.

Have forwarded it to those

MikeE's picture

Have forwarded it to those in ACT's parliamentary offices.

So if...

Robert's picture

Someone can ask Rick whether he can afford a lawyer (I assume he has travel insurance) I can get him the contact details of someone helpful.

I think that it would be beneficial to have someone document his case and send it to the American Immigration Lawyers Association. If what transpired has been accurately documented here then there is a chance that Rick's case can do some good if it is brought to the public's attention.

I would also think that such exposure might actually help Rick in terms of softening the punishment. It would be a shame if he were banned from traveling to the US ever again just for overstaying for seven days on a tourist VISA.

Info from the Immigration Specialists I consulted

Robert's picture

Hi Robert,

Here is the response from the immigration attorney. I forwarded the additional information about the involvement of the policeman to XXXXX, but I don't know if he sent that on to XXXXXX or not. Even so, it seems like the policeman was not very reasonable. If someone were planning to stay in the U.S. illegally, he would NOT approach a policeman! It seems clear that he made an innocent mistake in overstaying his visa, and the policeman could just as well have taken him to the bus depot and sent him on his way!


Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:12 AM
Subject: RE: In need of some advice

Wow. This is a first. He wouldn’t normally be given an attorney because this is not a criminal matter. He should consult with an attorney, however, to see if he can speed up the process or to see if he can avoid any of the harsher consequences of deportation.

On another note, this would make a very interesting news story--not only to show your tax dollars at work, but to show how easy it is to become what the anti-immigrant forces would call a “criminal” as he’s has overstayed a visa.

If he would like to pursue a news story, please have him give me a call at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Documenting this type of situation is of interest to the American Immigration Lawyers Association. I can also perhaps suggest some attorneys for him (I don’t know where he is being held so can’t give any suggestions at this point...)


Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 3:34 PM
Subject: FW: In need of some advice

XXXX – I have never heard of them doing this upon leaving the country! What’s the point, except to spend tax dollars on prison to make people wait for a hearing to make them leave who were trying to leave on their own accord….. Something seems incomplete in the below. ANYWAY, will this person be appointed an attorney for the hearing or are then own when they go into deportation proceedings?

Hope I’m not being too presumptuous asking the question (but I also thought you might be interested in the scenario).




Elijah Lineberry's picture

Am I reading correctly that Ed Burkhardt is the Consul in Chicago?!?! Shock

LOL Tongue ...that is so amusing Tongue ...I have often wondered 'whatever happened to him'.

Next Podcast Bumper edition

HWH's picture

It seems you guys are doing a great job helping Rick to get out.

Anyone willing to venture a guess as to the content of the next SOLO podcast?

Cant wait


I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.- - Robert Green Ingersoll


Ross Elliot's picture

"I did enquire as to why he couldn't be simply sent back to Canada to complete his work visa and was told that deportees are generally always sent back to their country of nationality."

This is crazynuts. The moon is closer to Detroit than New Zealand is--think of the greenhouse gases Rick's deportation will create. I'm sure the EPA could stop this if it was serious about global warming. Maybe they could FedEx him.

I'd love to see the item on the INS accounts for "deportations'. Not to mention the tab for his incarceration. It must be impressive. Your tax dollars at work, my American cousins.

Phone Numbers & Information

Jason Quintana's picture

I just made a few calls. The phone number listed above for the jail does not seem to work. This is the correct #:

313-875-7000 (Jail)

I spoke to a gentlemen who verified that Rick is being held there awaiting action by the INS. He verified to me that there is no other charge beyond an immigration violation. He indicated that if I had called earlier I could have spoken to a social worker for an update on his status. I also could have left him messages with the social worker.

He gave me this number : 313-568-6047 (INS)

Everyone at this INS division has gone home for the day, This is the number to the detention division in Detroit. These are the people who are responsible for doing something about Rick according to the gentleman at the jail.

Information for the NZ consulate is :

New Zealand Consulate Chicago

Street Address 8600 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, ( Suite 500N), Chicago, IL 60631 - 3505, United States of America
Telephone +1 773 714 8669 Facsimile +1 773 714 9483
Email: eaburkhardt@railworld-inc.com (I don't know why this is the email address for the consulate. But things relating to NZers never surprise me anymore)

Without any further information my strategy on this from long distance would be to hammer that INS phone number with inquiries about Rick's status, and to stuff the NZ consulate with requests for help. My experience with bureaucratic situations like this is that if you make enough noise people will get tired of it and someone takes action to get the noise to go away.

- Jason

EDIT : It looks like Melissa already got some good information. Hopefully that will be the end of it.

I'd recommend ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

.... he be placed in the custody of Cresswell. Smiling

Never mind.

Melissa Lepley's picture

Just got this e-mail from Rick's case officer at the Embassy.

"I finally managed to get through to the case manager handling Rick's situation, unfortuanatley he will not be sent back to Canada but is being deported back to New Zealand. I am unable to give you the exact date for his deportation at the moment but have been told it will happen before November 5th. I did enquire as to why he couldn't be simply sent back to Canada to complete his work visa and was told that deportees are generally always sent back to their country of nationality. The US government picks up the costs for the deportation/transportation, unless some other arrangements are made. The reason it takes so long to be deported is purely because of the huge volume of deportations that the US deals with every day and the various checks that need to be completed before allowing anyone to board a plane. I will continue to update you should I receive anymore information.

Regards Jason Mcphee
Consular Officer"

So he'll be released from prison soon.

Thank you all, for caring, and being willing to fight. It means a lot to me, and I'm sure Rick will appreciate it too.



Lindsay Perigo's picture

I thought you WERE the fire raging in San Diego! Smiling

Good luck!!!!


James S. Valliant's picture

Although I am myself preparing to evacuate from the fires raging here in San Diego -- and will be unavailable for the next couple of days -- I hope to be on line asap!!

Let me know via private emails if there is ANYTHING I can do!!

Border and INS Hell

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

America's border control and Immigration and Naturalization Service are pure hell. They excell only at keeping the good people out (and in jail), and letting the bad people in (and out of jail) .

Melissa -- Maybe try the highly libertarian Institute for Justice: www.ij.org 


How about radio talkback?

dinther's picture

How about radio talkback?

Does anyone intend to call Leighton Smith and get it on air this morning? It be best if Melissa does it since she knows him.

Carbon Tax is a hoax. Read more at carbonhoax.org.nz and spread the word.

Free Rick Giles!

Melissa Lepley's picture


Linz, I will be at work for another 6 hrs or so. I'm working on the biggest project of my life, currently! And my "press release" won't be ready for a few hours after that, since I still have to write it... so it'll be 2 or 3pm your time by the time it's ready.


"Shiny. Let's be bad guys."


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I'd suggest heading it up, "Free Rick Giles!" and we could send it out as a SOLO Press Release in your name. That way it'll get to the American media as aell as all NZ media and NZ politicians. It might pay to wait a few hours though till we see what Campbell Live unearths. It's seven in the morning here right now and I wouldn't expect to hear back from Mr. Campbell again before midday our time. His programme goes out at 7 pm. It's the one I went on recently re Pavarotti. He seemed pretty fired up about it when we spoke last night.

The Press

Melissa Lepley's picture

Dan, as soon as I get off of work tonight, I am going to begin composing a letter to the press, to do exactly what you are suggesting. As soon as it is complete, I will post it here, as well.



"Shiny. Let's be bad guys."

Edit: If anyone is thinking of writing to Rick, his mailing address must include his inmate number (34069) under his name.

Mr Rick Giles
William Dickerson Facility
Unit D3
Hamtramck, MI

Where Rick Is

Dan Edge's picture

William Dickerson Detention Facility
3501 Hamtramck Drive
Detroit, MI 48211
(313) 875-7003; fax (313) 875-7928

Alert the Press

Dan Edge's picture

Has anyone put thought into a letter to the press? I suggest writing letters to the local newspapers where Rick is being held, his hometown in New Zealand, the town in Canada where he is working, and all the national newspapers in NZ, USA, and Canada.

Melissa or others, do you have the info for where he's from, where he's staying in Canada, and where he's being held? Also helpful would be the contact info for the relevant newspapers, all gathered in one place.

--Dan Edge

Sent today...

Robert's picture


I was wondering if you could spare a few pearls of wisdom for a friend of mine who didn’t pay close attention to the dates on his US tourist VISA and has ended up in jail because he over stayed his welcome by seven days. He got picked up at the Canadian border, attempting to cross over and continue his world back-packing tour in the North.

Do you know what the usual drill is in these instances? I’m assuming that he’ll be held until they can arrange a deportation hearing or actual deportation. Is this correct? If so, would he benefit from hiring a lawyer or will one be appointed to him?

I realise that he’s basically made a rod for his own back through his inattention, I’m just hoping to soften the blow for him.
Any advise you could give along these lines would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks


More Information:

Melissa Lepley's picture

Rick is being held at the William Dickerson Facility near Detroit, MI. He is inmate number 34069.

Robert: He isn't a stranger, he's a very good friend of mine. There isn't much I wouldn't do to help him.

Mitch: I hadn't told anyone but his immediate family, because if this were going to be resolved quickly, I assumed he wouldn't want the whole world to know. But it isn't being resolved quickly, or, as far as I can tell, at all, and I'm at wits end and out of ideas.

Everyone: Thank you so much for all you've written here, and everything you're doing.

Free Rick!



Lindsay Perigo's picture

Yes! Free Rick Giles!

Rick would never flounce. The only way to get rid of him is to boot him or shoot him. Which is often tempting. But I can't for a second gainsay his passion for SOLO, manifest in his Podcasts. It had occurred to me to wonder why he'd been so quiet, but I had put it down to travelling.

He aint no flouncer

Matty Orchard's picture

Say what you want about Rick, he stands by his views and doesn't just follow people he respects when he disagrees with them. He sticks it out where the Kenny’s of this world just piss off when faced with a conflict. I admire that.

Free Giles!

And ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

James is a state prosecutor with a special interest in immigration. I've just alerted him privately. We now know where he is, and SOLOists in the States are making calls as we speak. Definitely it would have been useful had we known earlier, but that's spilled milk territory, and I imagine I know just how it happened that we've only just found out. Let's see what the new day brings.

Honestly thought he had flounced

HWH's picture

His absence had been bothering me big time, but I honestly thought he had flounced over that Prodos post that backfired on him.

Hope he gets out quick as it seems many of you have real contacts and influence.


I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.- - Robert Green Ingersoll

This makes me sick!

Mitch's picture

Jesus, this is the USA! The land of the FREE!? Is there something we don't know here, or are the cops being total fucking wankers?

Melissa, it sounds like you are doing a great job. One thing though, is there any reason we didn't find out about this earlier? Did Rick not want word to get out?

We have Scotty DeSalvo and JT Gagnon on this board who are lawyers and in the US, and those are just two who I know. And as Linz says, the best cure for this sort of thing is media treatment. I remember hearing about an Aussie who was detained in the States, and once the media was onto it the woman was released and sent home within the week.

Please don't take this as criticism, I'm just a little perplexed Sad


Ross Elliot's picture

...Melissa has been dealing with that, but if you have anything specific in mind, send her a SOLO Mail.


Richard Wiig's picture

I can't help Rick. If I could I would, but there are people better placed to help him than I could ever hope to. I trust that my passing on the story of the PC lunacy hasn't hindered their ability to help him in any way.

When I saw Melissa's

Mark Hubbard's picture

When I saw Melissa's headline I thought it a joke, until I read the post. I don't know Rick at all, but his position is unenviable, to say the least. Unfortunately I know of no one in a position to help, but if I can be of same, in some way I'm not aware of, let me know. (Does he have the appropriate resources, or family, to deal with any financial issues this may be raising?)

Fine, Richard...

Ross Elliot's picture

...but it's all too easy to jump on the bandwagon.

Now, back to Rick...


Elijah Lineberry's picture

post does not make clear Rick's precise location...and I am presuming (with mention of the Canada border) it is nowhere near New York.

But if I am mistaken, and he is in New York, I have a couple of chaps I speak to a dozen times per day...Wall Street types...who are happy enough to visit him in gaol and take him some toiletries or whatever.

I called them a short time ago and they would be happy to 'visit' him if he is in New York city.


Richard Wiig's picture

I wasn't suggesting that America is a police state. I'm not an America basher.


Ross Elliot's picture

...that doesn't make America a police state, nor does Rick's situation, it just makes that particular school and Rick's particular policeman assholes. By the way, dinther above provided a link to the official bash-America thread. They'd love your story over there.

I understand the need for

Richard Wiig's picture

I understand the need for heightened security, but this is crazy - policing without a brain. Here's another crazy story from America:

"A 7-year old boy has been suspended for drawing a gun at school - on a piece of paper. Kyle Walker's drawing of a stick figure shooting a gun earned him a one-day school suspension last week. He was suspended for violating Dennis Township Primary School's zero-tolerance policy on guns, his mother told the Press of Atlantic City. Kyle gave the picture to another child on the school bus, and that childs parents complained to school officials."

Nothing works better ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... than publicity. I've drawn John Campbell's attention to it. He's outraged. Stay tuned.


Ross Elliot's picture

...Melissa posted this I contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in NZ, spoke to the appropriate person, and was given email addresses, names, etc. Turns out Melissa has already been talking to right name at the NZ Embassy in Washington, DC.

Foreign Affairs' attitude is hurry up and wait. They say that it can take three months (or longer) for deportation to occur if that's how they decide to play it. The tragedy is that Rick was heading over the border, out of the US, when he was stopped. As an aside I was told he was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time as most people would have been simply hurried along into Canada instead of being locked up at the expense of the American taxpayer.

The real need is to get some hard info via legal channels on Rick's current status and probable future trajectory. If anyone Stateside has a clue as to how we can get that info, speak up, keeping in mind that Rick is not entitled to the rights of a US citizen and that the NZ government has no power to intervene.

"In the US there is this freakish power hungry attitude by your civil cervants."

Unlike NZ where our civil "cervants" are heroic freedom fighters...

Why I don't want to live in the USA

dinther's picture

In response to this knob's post This is why many other countries are better. Although I don't wildly disagree with most of the US policies. In the US there is this freakish power hungry attitude by your civil servants.

I experienced it first hand many years ago and still will only tavel to Europe via Asia. Not only would I not live in the USA. I won't even want to pass through it. Not for a minute.


Carbon Tax is a hoax. Read more at carbonhoax.org.nz and spread the word.

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