David’s Sentence

March 2023, An update.

David was arrested by FBI agents on May 2, 2022 at the Portland Oregon airport while our family was trying to return to the mission field in Romania. The agents initially refused to state why David was being arrested. He was taken to an interrogation room in the airport where he learned that he was being accused of securities fraud, specifically insider trading. Gwen did not learn what the charges were until David was able to call from the county jail late that evening. 

Thankfully, he was released on bond and has been with the family during this extremely difficult time. After consulting with 5 different attorneys and cooperating as much as possible with the government, David eventually took a plea agreement. A person is considered culpable even if they were unaware that they were violating any laws. The old adage “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” seems like a reasonable and good legal principle, except that there are currently over 300,000 federal laws in the USA and many of them are vague and broadly applied. Only 2% of federal cases ever actually go to trial. It is very expensive to go to trial. The sentence imposed after going to trial is often twice as harsh as accepting a plea agreement. Consequently, the vast majority of them are resolved by plea agreements. 

David’s sentence hearing was held on February 14th. The probation office, the prosecutors, and the defense counsel agreed that the sentence should be below the guidelines of 46 to 57 months. Probation recommended 18 months. Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil handed down a sentence of 28 months, as a general deterrent to discourage anyone else from committing insider trading. Study after study has shown that harshly punishing crime does not deter others! 

What does work is making laws clear and holding everyone to the same standard.

Unless the Lord miraculously intervenes, David will surrender to the bureau of prisons on May 15, most likely it will be at Sheridan, OR, but he has not received his official designation yet.

Though David’s sentencing is not what we have been asking for, I praise God that He is with us! That He is working everything together for our good! That we were able to share the gospel with the judge, prosecutors, and everyone in the courtroom! I praise the Lord for enabling me to sing before and after the hearing! I praise God for His miraculous provision for our family! I praise God for making us aware of how incredibly unjust the justice system has become! I know that the Lord is calling us to raise awareness of what things are actually like in the justice system and to work to make things better! 

The Lord has given me assurance that He will be with my husband and He will not allow any harm to come to him! I praise God for setting limits on how Satan is allowed to attack us just as He set limits when Satan attacked Job. I fully believe that the Lord will not allow the US government to seize our house or my aunt’s house that she gave us as an inheritance! We will see what the Lord does!!!

Many Christians love Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” 

How can we say that we act justly if we ignore injustice? How can we say that we love mercy if we do not give mercy to our enemies? How can we say that we walk humbly with God if we do not take up our cross and follow Christ? 

Many people can not believe what is happening to us because it is so unjust and crazy! It is easier for some people to think that David must have done something really bad than it is to face the truth that our justice system is incredibly broken and being used as a weapon against the American people, especially those who love and serve Jesus outspokenly. It is overwhelming! I invite people to at the very least pray for deep reforms, repentance, and revival in the US justice system, the government, and the whole country!!! I believe it is also very important to be aware of what is actually happening!

I would ask people to please pray for us too. Prayer is always our greatest need! The devil is trying to thwart God’s plan for us, but I feel very strongly that we must boldly declare the gospel message wherever we are!!!

We are confident that we will return to Romania in the Lord’s time! His call for our family to serve there was unmistakably clear, and it has not changed. We were just given the opportunity to share the gospel with the incredibly godless FBI agents, prosecutors, and the judge. And now I’m sure there will be great opportunities for David to share the gospel in prison.

I have to keep my focus on the Lord and keep praising Him!!!!!!! Sometimes I am overcome by how evil this all is. I know and believe that God is working everything together for good!!!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Rich M

    Praying for David and for you and the kids. Coworker of David and fellow Idahoan. Praying for early release and that you can get through this with all the help you need and can travel to CA to see him. Hang in there and trust in the Lord!

  2. Sandy Smith

    I am so sorry and disgusted that your family is going through this trial. I think the USA needs to get back to the Lord and seek him for the decisions that are made. I will keep you and the family in my prayers. I know it will be difficult living apart.You now have to be both mom and dad and that will be hard. I’m prayng that God will provide for you needs both physically and spiritual. I’m also praying that you will be able to see David occasionally during this seperation. There is so many things that come to my mind. I don’t want to be confusing. Just know that I care and love you.

  3. Lori Wakelam

    Thank you Gwen for sharing the events of this major difficulty your family is going through, and to bring awareness for us to know how specifically to pray for not only your family, but for the failed justice system. PTL for your boldness and faithfulness to proclaim the gospel to all! Love and prayers, Lori

  4. Kitty Wilson Peltzman

    Thank you Gwen for sharing..Love you and are praying for you and your family.

  5. Rahela

    I am so sorry you are going through this! 🥺Prayers from România! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  6. Karolyn Rippy

    I am so sorry to hear this! My prayers are with you and your family. May God hold you in His arms to support and comfort you!

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