Fact Check

Police Don't Find Fake Democratic Congressman's Non-Existent Meth Lab

The problem here is that our legal system doesn't really provide for the prosecution of fictional characters.

Published Jan. 9, 2018

A police raid on a Tennessee congressman's property turned up a meth lab and fourteen pounds of methamphetamine.

On 8 January 2018, the web site America's Last Line of Defense published an article reporting that a police raid on a Tennessee congressman's property turned up a meth lab and fourteen pounds of methamphetamine:

When Police outside of Hollister, Kentucky raided the property listed as “Apex Salvage and Used Auto Parts,” they found a small shop that was buying and selling parts online and for about 30 hours a week to the public, turning a small but fairly insignificant profit. That business, however, was confined to one small building on a nearly 150-acre property.

Somewhere in the back corner, hidden under carefully placed canopies between huge Douglas firs, they found a laboratory capable of producing more than a pound of methamphetamine per day and a stockpile of nearly 14 pounds of street-ready dope.

The owner of the property, US Representative Jacob Gillstroff (D-Tennessee), has been under investigation by the DEA for nearly a year. Shortly after he won his bid for Congress when his opponent died under suspicious circumstances, Gillstroff bought the old salvage yard and moved the online business in, calling it a “worthy investment” for his family.

Had police in Hollister, Kentucky, actually raided such a shop, they would have been stymied in the pursuit of justice by the fact that the property's putative owner, U.S. Representative Jacob Gillstroff, does not exist. Only two of Tennessee's nine U.S. House of Representatives seats are held by Democrats, and neither of those seats is currently occupied by anyone named Jacob Gillstroff. In fact, "Jacob Gillstroff" doesn't seem to exist at all outside of this one story.

Indeed, nothing in this report was true, which was hardly surprising given that it originated with America's Last Line of Defense, a site that is part of network of fake news sites offering fabricated political clickbait material under the guise of dealing in "satire."


Eagleton, Flagg.   "Late Night Raid on Democrat Congressman’s ‘Salvage Yard’ Nets 14 Pounds of Meth."     America's Last Line of Defense.   8 January 2018.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.