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Update: PA Turnpike security contractor who sought ban on Luna book arrested on prostitution charges  Read more >>

PA Turnpike security contractor
seeks federal injunction
to ban Luna book

Russell Wantz hides facts from state judiciary committee


Posted July 27, 2006 -- An embattled Pennsylvania turnpike security contractor has asked a federal judge for an injunction to ban the writing, sale and distribution of The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna, by William Keisling.

Luna in court

Russell Wantz

Turnpike access road a half mile from spot of Luna's death. We ask, Who has the keys? A turnpike security contractor now wants book banned....

To view a video of the three-minute car ride from the spot of Luna's death to the access road, click the photos above or here >>

In a federal court filing that reached Yardbird Books July 20, 2006, Russell Wantz, owner of the Schaad Detective Agency, of York, PA, has asked federal Judge Mary D. France for an injunction "permanently enjoining (Keisling and Yardbird Books) from selling or otherwise circulating The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna."

A preliminary hearing on Wantz's request to ban Keisling's book was originally scheduled in the federal courthouse in Harrisburg, PA, on July 31, 2006. (Update: We belatedly received word on July 28, 2006, that the federal court hearing on whether to ban our book has been postponed, at the request of Wantz's attorney, to a later date. When we are given the new date of the book ban hearing, we will post this information.)

Wantz, meanwhile, is scheduled to testify September 12, 2006, on behalf of a sweeping bill (HB 2493) currently before the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would rewrite the rules governing private investigators in the commonwealth. These new rules would govern, for example, security contracts for Pennsylvania's new gaming and casino industries. Wantz has personally donated $2,650 to a York, PA-based political action committee, called the Leadership for Tomorrow Fund, that in turn has donated $26,500 to ten of the twenty legislators who are sponsoring HB 2493.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Luna was found drowned and stabbed 36 times in December, 2003, about a half mile from a Pennsylvania Turnpike access road. Wantz and the Schaad Detective Agency provide security for several state agencies, including the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the PA Liquor Control Board. A growing number of citizens and public officials have questioned the quality of turnpike security.

In The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna, Keisling wrote that the York, PA, police commissioner, and the current city controller of York, PA, arranged a meeting with an agent from the U.S. Department of Justice, asking for an investigation of Wantz and others, related to an ongoing corruption and prostitution scandal centered in the York County, PA, courthouse. In December, 2004, state Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Philadelphia) asked the state police to investigate Russell Wantz.

Keisling, and Yardbird, stand by the report published in the book. We furthermore stand by the right of all Americans to write and read books.