The Other Side of Sophie's Story: How My Family's Life Was Destroyed by the Terroristic Threats of Farmer Scott Braglio (of Woodstock Maryland)
Some of you may already know, but two people are currently being charged in the state of Maryland with the alleged crime of stealing a calf. Now, the calf in question was 200 lbs underweight, coated in lice from head to tail, was cut up on her back and sides, and had hoof rot starting to ruin her feet.
The farmer from Braglio Farms lied (and has since admitted to lying in their official press release) and told the Baltimore County Police that the calf was worth $2500. This made it possible for the police to help out their friend (as the farmer bragged when he told me on a recorded phone call that the police were his corrupt assistants in all of this). No one looking at the calf would have valued her at more than $50 and most would have just said she was worth nothing. and no police force would cross state lines for $50 in property (as the law sees it).
Still, the police from Baltimore County Maryland crossed state lines to retrieve a calf that Braglio Farms had left to die. They had severely neglected her. But, they decided they were going to send their 'dear friends' at the police to go get this calf to prove a point that they are above the law and can neglect an animal and cause her great suffering(which is against the law in Maryland) and get away with it.
Now the police have more than showed their hand as being corrupt or at the very least unable to do their jobs. The police had photo, video, veterinary, and eyewitness testimony proving that the calf was neglected. They knew they were crossing state lines for what amounted to little more than $50 in property value to a neglectful farmer. And they decided they could get away with it and do a favor for their friend Scott Braglio. They planned to use intimidation ("We are going to have the FBI looking into this if needed" "We are going to shut you down" etc.)
The Baltimore County police have since pretended to not even know about this case when questioned. Then admitted they knew exactly what case and about evidence related to it a short time later. They refused to accept new evidence to the case by telling the chief detective on this case that he was not allowed to communicate with me (me being the chief witness to both the neglect of the calf on Braglio's part and regarding who brought the sick calf here). The head detective told the newspapers that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt who stole the calf (still an alleged action) and in what car the calf was taken. I have photo evidence proving he is wrong and they have one person involved admitting she brought the calf to us in her car and telling the police that the other person was not involved, but yet they persist in charging someone in no way involved with the calf getting to our sanctuary... with a crime. Then the head detective Kenneth Hanna made subtle threats towards me suggesting he would find a way to arrest me, saying that by sharing this story and going to the media the two people would get harsher sentences, and saying that he was ordered not to speak to me even though he was who I was told to send evidence to.
Then in a phone call with Scott Braglio of Braglio Farms, Scott threatened to kill me with a .308 sniper rifle. He said he had a bullet with my name etched in it. He promised to use his corrupt friends at the police force to continue harassing me. And said he would pour blood from the cows he killed all over our porch. And even said he wanted to kill every animal on our sanctuary.
And while threatening me, he kept yelling at me to tell him who stole his calf. He threatened me. He even attempted to bribe me to testify against who he thought did it by saying he'd give me the calf (Sophie) back if I would testify. In this phone call the farmer used homophobic and racist slurs to attempt to attack me. I can't help but feel that his hatred towards me was enhanced by his belief that I was likely a homosexual because of how compassionate I am towards animal and other humans, which to someone that finds joy in killing... it seems someone that doesn't enjoy the suffering of others must be gay (strange logic, but apparently the logic used nonetheless). And while I find it not the least bit offensive to be assumed to be homosexual, I find it scary that his anger towards homosexuals likely made him more eager to terrorize me through his words and threats of actions. He seemed filled with hatred towards me despite knowing I was the person who prevented his calf from dying.
I immediately got off the phone with Braglio and called Detective Hanna at the Baltimore County Police. I was shaking and completely distraught. But I managed to leave a detailed message. I also sent a very detailed email and included the recording of the entire call. I heard nothing back from Detective Hanna. In fact, over a month later, the police department in Baltimore County won't admit that I even reported this. I have the emails and recording of my leaving the message to prove it happened.
The police continued to take the side of Braglio and went so far as to lie to the media and fake an investigation into Sophie's abuse. The talked about the two women they are charging with stealing Sophie as if they had already been convicted and let Braglio refer to me as a 'malicious, terroristic, cult' leader despite having knowledge that Braglio was the one making terroristic threats.
So, I realize that many people not invested in animal rights may look at the story of Sophie the abused calf and think it is just about some calf that overzealous activists tried to save. They will mutter something about 'you can't just steal property without consequences'. And all that would be fine if the first law being broken was stealing a calf (which is still only the alleged case). The first crime was actually the abuse of Sophie which is extensively documented and proved. Yet, the police did nothing when they had the evidence (despite telling me that whoever stole Sophie should have come to them first when Sophie was neglected... And their inaction when presented with overwhelming evidence of animal abuse proves what exactly? that the police will do nothing?). And if someone wants to argue about the right to rescue an animal that is neglected... that is for a different place. I had no part in Sophie's rescue. We were simply the place she was healed and cared for. And I can prove she was neglected by Braglio. There are photos of Sophie neglected while still on Braglio's farm. And then there is the threats, the intimidation and attempted bribing of a witness, and completely destroying any feelings of safety or security my family once knew.
So, if you don't care much for animals, this story still applies to you. Because what is at stake is more than just a calf that was neglected to the point of nearly starving to death. This case is about people with money using the police to get their way. It is about people with money and influence abusing that power to push others around. It is about these same people destroying the lives of others so that they can continue to get away with harming innocent lives (both human and non). And it is about a fight for justice. Justice for all humans and animals.
Why did the Baltimore County Police Department not care that I was being threatened? Why did they not care that a witness in one of their cases was being bullied and that someone tried to bribe me to testify? Why did they show no interest in the fact that a phone call was made that left my family fearing daily for our lives? Yet, this same department spent thousands of dollars to return a neglected calf to an abusive farmer? Is that how justice works? Is this truly a country where having money trumps having rights or deserving justice?
And if you are the type of person that cares about that and doesn't like seeing innocent animals suffer (regardless of your dietary choices), then Sophie's Story has everything... And either way we are asking you to take a stand with us! Tell Braglio Farms and Scott Braglio that abusing others is not okay!
Visit www.savesophie.com and find out how you can help.
And join Friends of Sophie Action Network and help us make sure that bullying, threatening and abusing others is not going to be tolerated anymore. And that police corruption has no place in our world.