Democratic Senator Hal Lindsay Arrested, Dies in Custody-Fiction!  

Summary of eRumor:

Democratic Senator Hal Lindsay was arrested by the DEA over the weekend and was later killed while in protective custody.

The Truth:

A self-described fake news website is behind false reports that Democratic Senator Hal Lindsay from New Jersey was arrested and was later killed while in police custody.

And not only is the report false, there is no Democratic Senator named “Hal Lindsay” from New Jersey or any other state. New Jersey is represented by Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, both Democrats.

These claims stem from Last Line of Defense. The first of a series of reports appeared under the headline, “The DEA Just Raided A United States Senator–Dems In A Panic,” on June 10, 2017. Lindsay  was found to be in possession of some 400 marijuana plants and two greenhouses full of opium-producing poppy plants, according to the report:

The bust itself yielded more than $6 million in finished drugs alone, never mind the plants and raw product waiting for packaging. All in all, Senator Lindsay is looking at 70 years behind bars on the opium alone. He was taken into custody at his office in Washington DC and has since been booked and released on $10 million bail.

Lindsay’s office isn’t commenting on the ordeal but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has already called for his removal and a special election as soon as possible. The loss of yet another seat, especially in the northeast, would be devastating to the Democrats.

Last Line of Defense then published a series of follow-up reports that Hal Lindsay had given up his business partner, Lester Malroney, in exchange for immunity on charges of drug-running, arms dealing, and espionage involving the Clintons. Then, on June 11, the site published another follow-up report that Lindsay had been killed while in protective custody (this echoes the running Clinton body count rumor that we’ve investigated):

The Senator was in an undisclosed location enjoying a warm summer day for all anyone knew, until his protection detail realized his afternoon nap was going a bit long. They discovered him dead in a hammock of “natural causes,” citing a heart attack most likely brought on by the stress of the situation as the culprit.

Lindsay, who was scheduled to appear in several courthouses and in front of Congress to give testimony against the Clintons in a drug smuggling ring involving their foundation’s cargo ships. Lindsey was given immunity for what he knew, which will now be buried right along with him.

The story was widely circulated on social media, and it was re-reported by a network of fake news websites. But stories that appear at Last Line of Defense shouldn’t be considered factual, according to the site’s own disclaimer:

DISCLAIMER: America’s Last Line of Defense is a satirical publication that may sometimes appear to be telling the truth. We assure you that’s not the case. We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist. Names that represent actual people and places are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and do not in any way depict reality.

Given the reputation of its source, the claim that Democratic Senator Hal Lindsay was arrested and was later killed while in protective custody should be considered “fiction.”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 06/12/2017
Senator Hal Lindsay Arrested
Fake news websites and social media users have helped circulate the false rumor that Democratic Senator Hal Lindsay was arrested.