John Morse Elected as Vice President of PIAVA

John Morse, Founder and Principle Member of Morse Investigation Services, LLC. located in Richmond Virginia, was elected to by the members of the Private Investigators Association of Virginia (PIAVA) as their new Vice President and will serve a two year term.

John Morse has a reputation for a no nonsense take charge attitude that he hopes will be embraced by fellow board members.

Morse served for 8 months as an appointed Board Member for PIAVA under former President Phil Becnel of Dinolt Becnel & Wells Investigative Group prior to running for elected office.  Morse’s vision for the Association appears, at first glance, to be similarly aligned with the New President of PIAVA, Kenneth D’Angelo of Target Investigations.  Also elected was Brian Pittler as Secretary and Mary Selley as Treasurer.


Farnsworth Phillips Update

The Preacher and the Prostitute:

the two Ps

Hanover Commonwealth’s Attorney Trip Chalkley said Tonya Farnsworth, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of extortion Tuesday.  Farnsworth is scheduled to be sentenced on January 7th at 1:30 PM.  Pastor Chris Phillips has elected to go to trial on November 25th 2013 in Hanover County Circuit Court and is represented by Attorney Craig Cooley.

Farnsworth was reported to be upbeat while pleading guilty.  It is rumored that Farnsworth has agreed to cooperate and help build a case against her boyfriend, believed to be Matthew Quevillion, who aided in laundering the hundreds of thousands of dollars of Farnsworth’s victims through various means.

In doing so Farnsworth will likely once again side step any serious jail time and yet again appear to get one over on the Justice System.  The same Justice System that seems to be simply so unjust to those that have looked towards it for comfort and protection.

Many news sources are reporting that in this case alone, Farnsworth conned nearly $180,000.00 in less than 90 days from Phillips.  Morse Investigation has been provided documentation by other victims that would take her total from similar scams to nearly $680,000, only 10 months since Farnsworth was released from jail for an unrelated conviction.

Many other of Farnsworth’s Victims have come forward courageously, and have reported resistance from the authorities to take any action.  This has been an all to common reaction by law enforcement when considering what to do about Farnsworth’s illegal behaviors.

When Farnsworth originally faced these charges, she tearfully expressed to the Judge that she had two small children that she was trying to care for and had huge medical bills, and that was why she had conned Mr. Phillips.

Morse Investigation Services would like to set the record straight.  Farnsworth did give birth to two minor children that she has had no contact with in many years.  Farnsworth has not provided for the care of either child.  In fact Farnsworth was ordered to pay child support for her eldest and owes over $70,000.00 in arrearage.  As far as major medical debt, we are not able to verify if this is true because of medical privacy laws.  However, based on every other known fictitious tale, that too is just another aspect her crocodile tears, all in an attempt to garner sympathy from the Courts.

The bottom line here is that Farnsworth has left a trail of victims that may total into the hundreds.  We simply hope that the Courts hand down a sentence that will keep Farnsworth away from the general public for a long time to come!

In no way are we suggesting that those victims who foolishly paid money to Farnsworth are not guilty of their own criminal acts.

As for Phillips, it is hard to separate him from his duties at his Church when thinking of his participation in these crimes.

Phillips is alleged to have stolen from the coffers of his church in an effort to buy Farnsworth’s silence.  A reprehensible act for certain.  Phillips deserves whatever punishment comes his way.

It is important to realize that there is a tendency to want to hand out extra punishment because Phillips has disgracefully added to the already black eye of the Church, as seemingly so many church leaders all over this country have done.

It is our understanding, derived from speaking to those in the closely knitted church community in Hanover County, that Phillips has been all but driven out of the County by a pitch forked crazed mob.



Tonya Farnsworth – Additional Victims asked to come forward

Richmond Times-Dispatch

A 33-year-old Henrico woman with multiple aliases has been arrested in Florida and returned to Hanover County where she faces two counts of extortion, charges of failing to appear in Henrico and Chesterfield courts and six charges of violating probation in prior convictions.

Tonya M. Farnsworth of the 4000 block of West End Drive in Henrico was arraigned this morning in Hanover General District Court and ordered held without bond pending a hearing Aug. 28. She was transported to Virginia by Hanover detectives Tuesday after a lengthy investigation into allegations that she extorted as much as $100,000 from an unnamed Hanover resident.

She appeared briefly before Hanover General District Judge Thomas Jones by video from the Pamunkey Regional Jail.

Search warrants filed in Hanover allege that an elaborate extortion scheme began Dec. 22 when a Hanover resident responded to a dating ad from a woman who identified herself as Tiffany. After paying her $200 for oral sex, the victim received multiple text messages from Tiffany accusing him of taking money from the West End Drive address.

“Tiffany demanded the victim pay her money or she would exploit him with pictures of the encounter,” according to the search warrant.

From January through late March, the victim left money almost daily at the West End Drive residence, totaling “in excess of $100,000,” according to court documents.

The victim, who was not identified in court records, worked with police to obtain recorded statements about the alleged extortion.

Farnsworth, who also uses the surnames Quevillon and Purington, is wanted in Henrico on a prostitution charge in an Chesterfield for a drug charge. She is originally from Amelia County, according to associates.

Everyone who has came into contact with this person has fallen victim in some way.  Many are afraid to come forward, while others are frustrated with a justice system that has allowed someone of such ill repute to continue to roam the streets.  Farnsworth could have been stopped nearly a decade ago, however the powers to be had little or no interest.

There is renewed hope that this time she will be fully prosecuted.  However to ensure that she is exposed as nothing more than a con and gets whatever time out justice system sees fit, Henrico County is asking any victims of Farnsworth to come forward.  Even if you have previously taken your case to another authority, Hanover believes that now that the ball is rolling other jurisdictions will be willing to jump on the bandwagon.  Hanover has pledged to assist in making the proper connections in your jurisdiction.

Hanover County authorities has asked to have their direct contact information removed from this article.  There is still a commitment to help connect victims with the proper authorities.  The recommended course of action is to contact your local authorities again and let them know about the current investigation in Hanover County Virginia and have them contact the Detective in charge of this case.  You may also send your information through this site and we will ensure that the connections are made to help you be heard.

GPS tracking legislation on way to Virginia Governor – Part 3

“GPS Tracking” Bill HB 1981 – From Placing to Implanting 

Delegate May has been the driving force behind what is now HB1981.  This started, according to May, as a failed attempt 8 years or so prior, when he wanted legislation that would protect any information that your vehicle transmitted, from being used or captured for any purpose.  

A few years later Delegate May says that a Constituent took his vehicle into a repair shop for work.  The mechanic alerted May’s Constituent to an Electronic Tracking Device that was discovered while working on his vehicle.  

The Constituent inquired, according to May, with local law enforcement and then the State Attorney Generals office about criminal actions only to become frustrated after learning that there were no crimes committed by his wife who placed or had placed the tracking device on the vehicle.  When the Constituant brought this to Delegate May; May found reason to rekindle his original desires from years before, and by using his Constituent as motivation, began crafting what is typically referred to GPS Tracking legislation.

Delegate May first introduced legislation during the 2010 session, HB670.  This Bill set out to clearly create a penalty, a Class 4 Misdemeanor, for placing an electronic tracking device onto a motor vehicle. This Bill was passed by in the Science and Technology Committee and died there.

In 2011 the Bill evolves to become HB2032 and is reintroduced. Now seeking to criminalize the placement of a GPS Tracking Device onto or in a vehicle, a Class 3 Misdemeanor.  The 2011 session was not kind to this Bill, ultimately being passed by once again by the Courts of Justice Committee.  

In 2012 the Bill takes on yet another incarnation this time known as HB 807.  HB 807 focused on the installation, placement, and use of electronic tracking devices to track the location of a person.  Despite Mays best efforts, the Bill was defeated twice during two sessions of the Courts of Justice Committee.  

In 2013 we get to see the current incarnation of May’s efforts to criminalize electronic tracking devices HB 1981.  In HB 1981, the legislation that has made it to the Governors desk to become law, the intent of what this Bill was supposed to accomplish becomes even more vague.  

So what was the intent?

This Bill, when it started out according to May, was to introduce legislation to provide a remedy for his Constituents inability to criminalize the actions of his then wife for tracking his whereabouts. May could not recall all of the particulars of the Constituents situation so many years later. However he was certain that it was a domestic issue that did not cause fear for his Constituents safety, but instead angered his Constituent ultimately because the information that was gained from the use of the tracking device was leveraged  in divorce proceedings.

Along the way of this Bills life, various groups either sided with May or came out fighting hard against May for one reason or another.  Some felt this was big Government dictating what can and cannot be done with ones personal property, while others had serious fear of being harmed by the misuse of such technology by an ex partner. Everyone who went on record at the Senate and House meetings seemed to have reasonable arguments and concerns either for or against Electronic Tracking Devices.

While preparing for an interview with Delegate May, I reread the legislation and tried to set aside any preconceived notions of what the Bill was to be about, and the many carve-outs that I had heard about.  In doing so I honed in on several issues and developed some pointed questions for Delegate May.  It did occur to me while I was reading that this bill felt very different than the previous versions that I had so loudly spoken up on previously.  

I will spare you the actual transcript of the interview with Delegate May in this article however I will release it at a later time if appropriate.  

One of the many surprises that I discovered when rereading this Bill with fresh eyes and comparing with previous versions was the noted absence of the word vehicle or motor vehicle in this version until addressing the fleet use of Electronic Tracking Devices.

When I inquired about the obvious migration of Mays Bill from the actual act of placing a tracking device onto a vehicle, and monitoring the vehicles movements, to what had now become placing an electronic tracking device onto or into a person, May became noticeably uncomfortable.  

May began to side step the inquiry, as any well groomed politician would, and said well that is a good question, “I am an electrical engineer by profession and not a lawyer” let me put you in touch with the “attorney who helped craft the actual language”.  

Not wanting May to run away from the interview, I digressed to a few ego-stroking comments and gave May the chance to become comfortable again.  As May let his guard down I began pressing once more about the evolution of this Bill and the various carve-outs as May liked to call them; even given certain sections pet names, such as “oh the Au pair carve-outs” or the “P.I. carve-outs”.  

Since HB 1981 focuses on deceptively placing onto or into a person and tracking a persons movements I wanted to press May on his intended definition of an Electronic Tracking Device.

When May was asked if technology like video cameras, such as those found in retail stores that are often covert and remotely monitored, would in fact qualify as an Electronic Tracking Device he agreed that they would.  May felt it was a stretch, however store owners who failed to notify the store patrons of Electronic Tracking would be in violation of this legislation.  It should be noted that May did attempt to play down this facet, and encouraged me to focus on the scope what the hidden camera could see in that type of setting.  

I wanted to get to the bottom of May’s intent so I then posed this question to May for further clarification. 

As a Citizen of Virginia, I decided, on a whim, to place a GPS Tracking Device or similar technology on my neighbor’s car without consent would I be in violation of this legislation.  May stated “no”.  May went on to say “you are monitoring the vehicle and not the person”.  

With Mays acknowledgment that personal property is not regulated by this legislation, it begs the question of how would one track the movements of the naked human over a large distance?

I covered other issues with Delegate May, as well as conveyed my thoughts on this Bills language, and my perception and ultimate disappointment, of the bills original intent versus what it had become.  I also expressed to Delegate May my confusion about the Bills lack luster ability to accomplish anything other than criminalizing the placement of an electronic tracking device on or in, and then monitoring the movements of, a naked human being.  

When May was asked about how he felt about HB 1981 and if he felt it accomplished what he had set out to do he said he was “pretty happy with it”.  I will agree with May on this comment for the following reason. Now we can now all feel a little safer, as citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, that we will have justice should we unwittingly swallow an electronic tracking device stuffed into that cheeseburger that is then used by the marketing department of a fast food chain to see where we go.

I attempt to make the point in this article that words really do matter.  I have heard from colleagues and others that gloss over the verbiage used in this particular Bill, say things like “well the intent was” or “what this is trying to say is”.

When writing laws, our legislators and those that they rely on to proof their work, really should pay attention to their choice of words.  If for no other reason than we have become conditioned as a result of outdated or ambiguous language to guess at a laws intention.

There is little doubt in my mind that if we had a video tape of the founding fathers thought process and their clear intentions for the US Constitution, there would be a lot less confusion about issues like those in the previously mentioned case law examples of this article.

In the next article in this series, I will break down the final and most important aspect of this poorly written legislation and demonstrate exactly why it will be unenforceable.  

We will also get back to the real focus of Electronic Tracking Devices, and look at other legislation that stalled in this years session that are likely to raise their ugly little heads again in 2014. 

Finally I will close this series with simple language that can effectively resolve the Electronic Tracking Device issue.  

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Written by  John Morse

Previous Article Links

GPS Part 1

GPS Part 2

GPS Tracking – Legislation on way to Virginia Governor Part 2

In Part One of this series, we discussed the core issues of GPS Tracking and looked at how rapid advances in technology affect both our privacy and our personal freedoms. In this installment, we take a closer look at specific cases that pertain to these technologies and how they have been legislated.

Another federal case of note regarding electronic tracking devices is U.S. vs. Knotts. In this instance, the Supreme Court ruled that the state had not violated Mr. Armstrong’s Fourth Amendment rights by placing a beeper device (an older cousin of the GPS we know today) into a container of chloroform without his knowledge. Mr. Armstrong had failed to adequately inspect the container before taking it into his possession of his own free will, regardless of its covert nature. The failure to inspect the container with the tracking device before accepting them was tantamount to consent.

The court ruled that monitoring beeper signals did not invade any legitimate expectation of privacy on the part of the respondent. Therefore, there was never a “search” or “seizure” that fell within the parameters of the Fourth Amendment. The surveillance amounted to following a car on public streets and highways. No person traveling on these public routes has reasonable expectations of concealing their movements. While the person in question did have some expectation of privacy within their home (or cabin, in this particular case), this does not extend to publically funded roadways.

In short, the court does not have evidence presented in Knott’s case that would indicate that the tracking was not done in a public place.This still begs the question of what to do when someone is no longer in public view; i.e. gated communities, private roads and other outlets that are off the public grid.

In both of these cases, the key element was the method used to place the tracking device and the monitoring of the device itself. In the case of Jones, there was no “consent” and his property was private despite being in public view and in a public area.

It should also be noted that Jones’s girlfriend, the owner of the vehicle, did not give her consent in the matter. Each of these scenarios presents a different approach to the same grey area that exists in today’s national discussion and legislation of electronic tracking methods and placements.

In part three of this article will break down HB1981. By doing this, we will reveal the Chief Patrons intent of the bill, and demonstrate how greatly it has strayed from enforceable legislation to unenforceable ambiguity.

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Written by John Morse

GPS Tracking – Legislation on way to Virginia Governor Part 1

This series of articles is designed to bring into focus the aftermath of US Vs. Jones and the rush to regulate Electronic Tracking of the American Citizen as well as Personal Property. The ultimate failure of Virginia’s HB 1981, and the unfortunate shortsightedness that will likely be followed by other States.

Child Abuse

Child Abuse 

Child abuse occurs all too often and can occur in a wide variety of forms. Although each state describes the act of child abuse and neglect differently almost all states recognize four common types of abuse and neglect on children such as sexual abuse, emotional abuse, child neglect and physical abuse. Sadly, when children are abused by their parents or caretakers you tend to find a combination of these types of abuse occurring within the home. Most Jurisdictions in Virginia consider parental substance abuse and abandonment as a form of child abuse as well.

Physical abuse is when a child is physically harmed in a non-accidental manner which can range from severe injuries to minor bruises and injuries. These injuries are typically caused from physical violence from a parent or caregiver due to hitting, punching, throwing, kicking, biting, hitting with an object, burning, beating or shaking a child whom the caregiver holds primary responsibility for. Even if the parent or caregiver did not mean to hurt the child by their actions, if bodily injury occurrs then it is considered to be physical abuse. Spanking a child is not considered to be physical abuse as long as it is within reasonable limitations and does not cause bodily harm to the child.

Child neglect is another common form of abuse and occurs when the caregiver or parent does not do what is required in order to meet the basic needs of the child. Child neglect can take on many forms such as failing to provide adequate food or shelter, lack of supervision, failure to provide necessary medical care or treatment, failure to provide the needed special education for a child with special needs, failure to properly educate a child by not sending them to school or due to consistent truancy, failure to attend to the emotional needs of the child and allowing the child to perform inappropriate activities such as consuming alcohol or drugs. Although in some cases the religious beliefs, cultural values and poverty may be considered when determining if these actions are considered to be child neglect.

Sexual abuse is a form of child abuse that is especially heinous and occurs when a parent or caregiver performs inappropriate sexual actions with a child in their care. Penetration, fondling of a child, incest, indecent exposure, rape, exploitation and sodemy are all forms of sexual abuse in a child. Any form of incest, sexual exploitation, prostitution or molestation by a parent relative or caregiver is considered to be a form of child sexual abuse and is a prosecutable offense in all states!

The last type of child abuse that we will discuss is emotional abuse and occurs when a pattern of consistent behavior causes harm to the emotional development of the child. This can be a variety of things such as constant yelling, criticism, rejection and threats or withholding love, guidance and support as a form of punishment. This type of child abuse is often hard to prove and makes it extremely hard for child protection services to remove the child from the situation unless the abuse is able to be proven to cause mental harm, injury or long term emotional damage to the child.

Article Written by John Morse