Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
Join us on Pete's couch.

DrugWarRant.com is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
January 2010
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Archives

Jailed for possession of candy

Via The Agitator

In the New York Post: Two Bronx men free after ‘drugs’ turn out to be candy

Two Bronx men were locked up and left to rot in a filthy jail cell for nearly a week after a pair of cops mistook their candy for a bag of crack.

The “drugs” were finally tested five days later and determined to be popular Coco (coconut) Candy. The charges were dropped.

The trouble began the night of Jan. 15, as José Pena, a 48-year-old plumber, and his longtime pal and colleague Cesar Rodriguez, 33, were headed to a party, and decided to stop at a bodega on 181st Street and the Grand Concourse.

When they came out, cops were waiting and asked to search their Ford minivan. “I said ‘Go search.’ I even opened the door,” Rodriguez told The Post.

Lesson #1: Never, ever, ever, ever, agree to a search. If you’re guilty, you’re helping them catch you. If you’re innocent, you’re wasting your time, you’re taking a chance since they aren’t required to fix anything they break, you’re leaving yourself open for being charged for something you didn’t know about that fell out of a friend’s pocket, and you’ve got the possibility that a couple of morons will think your coconut candy is crack and throw you in jail for a week.

An officer rummaged around, came out holding a “Hello Kitty” sandwich bag, and shouted “Bingo!” the men said.

“It’s only candy!” Rodriguez said, as the cops handcuffed him and Pena, and several other police cars rushed to the scene. [...]

“Can you test it? Can you taste it?” Rodriguez asked the cops. “Shut up!” they replied.

“I didn’t know having candy was a crime,” he said. [...]

The Bronx District Attorney’s office confirmed that the case was dropped after authorities realized there were no drugs. The NYPD had no comment.

Today’s drug war. Guilty until proven innocent.

Check out some of the comments…

why should the cops be suspended???? if it looks like crack and is in a plastic bag they should be arrested regardless, if they didnt arrest them and it was crack and they sold it to one of your kids you liberals would be going nuts on the cops, and as for tasting it?? wtf if some1 asked me to taste crack and risk my life with all the chemicals its cut down with i’d tell them to screw themselves its my life or thiers, this is a no brainer, both men arrested and have the alleged drugs sent to the lab for testing

Lock em” up anyhows……

Just because they didn’t find drugs on these two this time doesn’t mean that they’re not guilty…

Lesson #2: There are a few real knuckledraggers who read the NY Post.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

72 comments to Jailed for possession of candy

  • Paul

    I can understand the cops did not want to taste it, but they should have had a field testing kit back at the station and tested there, then released the men. I don’t think there’s any excuse at all for waiting for a slow lab test to release the men.

    Now, I’m not too sure about the advice to refuse searches. As you know, if you refuse a demand for a search, the cop is not going to just say, “Oh well, then. On your way!” Instead, he is going to go apeshit. He’s going to look for a way to search you, call other police units and a dog, and you are in very real danger that they will plant something or find or manufacture a different violation to charge you with.

    I know that some of you are going to scream at me or call me a coward, but I say to you that YOU PUT TOO MUCH FAITH IN THE LAW to protect you. Cops are just people, and they violate the law all the time, just like everyone else. Some are good, some are bad, but the sad fact is the profession is a draw for some of the worst apples out there. If one of them targets you for a search, you are probably screwed no matter what you say.

    For those who refuse a search, the cops will try and make the process into the punishment. The best thing that can happen is they call their buddies and hassle you for a very unpleasant couple of hours. Other options are taking your car or home apart searching for drugs, finding a substance that needs to be tested, or planting something on you.

    If they can cart you off to jail, even if only for a few days, they will view that as a win. They stuck it to you, and you couldn’t and can’t do a damn thing about it. You may have fantasies of suing the cops after it is all done, but that is probably not going anywhere, really.

    The law, its judges, and the prosecutors are strongly allied with the police. They all work together to protect each other and their power and that mostly means making sure punishments stick and dismissing complaints against them.

    This sorry state of affairs has built up slowly over time, and now I don’t think we’ll ever be able to put these bullies back in their place, short of armed, bloody revolution as Jefferson would have said. Arrogant cops and judges pushing people around is a shameful thing, but we’ve enabled them over the years through our laws and servile deference to authority.

    My advice, assuming you are innocent, is to graciously permit the search and pray they don’t make something up. You’ll probably walk away from it. If you refuse, who knows what may happen to you.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    As I’ve said before, there is no way to enforce a law that prohibits the mere possession of a powder or a leaf or a pill – a substance in any form – and do so in a matter consistent with the Constitution. The cops in this case had probable cause to make the arrest. Therein lies the problem.

    Did you know that cops can arrest you for the possession of ANY controlled substance, even if you have a legitimate prescription for it? An affirmative defense does not negate probable cause under the law of any state in America. So you can have a pharmacy Rx bottle of Vicodin with your name on it, your ID to show it’s yours, and the police can still arrest you as you had possession of a controlled substance. They normally don’t bother because a valid confirmed affirmative defense like a legit Rx means the DA will lose at trial, so the case will be dismissed once it works its way to the DA’s desk. But, they CAN arrest you if they want to without violating any law, even if you wave your Rx in front of their face, get them to call your doctor and the pharmacy.

    Drug war or constitutional rights. You can have one, not both.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    Oh, and these guys are lucky they still were not prosecuted for possession of a “simulated” controlled substance, also a crime in most states.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Exactly what the cops want you to think so they’ll get more people to consent.

    I can tell you first hand from a number of friends who have refused searches that refusal works. Do it politely and firmly.

    What about these two guys? They agreed to a search and were innocent. How’d that work for them?

    I will never voluntarily submit to a search, if for no other reason that to make the point that as free Americans we don’t have to. But more practically, I’m more afraid of something going wrong if I agree to a search (even if I’m innocent) than if I refuse.

    I suggest you spend some time at http://www.flexyourrights.org/ and check out their new video when it’s released.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Paul

    Pete:

    It is a tough call. I can see it working, or not working both ways. But I’ve heard plenty of stories from people who refused a search and things went very badly. How about your friends? Tell us the story–what did the cops do?

    As for these two guys in the article, I think they were going to jail no matter what they did.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    I’m a lawyer. NEVER consent to a search, but always be polite about it. Don’t tell the cop to fuck off because he has no warrant or anything rude like that. But even if you think you’re SURE that your car has nothing in it, do not consent.

    A friend of mine once dropped a valium in my car, and I found it under the passenger seat when I was cleaning out my car. Must have been there for months. Fortunately no cop searched my car during that period of time. Point is, I had no idea a valium (C-IV controlled substance) had been on the floor under my passenger seat.

    Please, NEVER consent to a search. Tell them a lawyer friend of yours always told you to politely decline to give them consent to do a search, and you’re following the advice of your lawyer.

    I’ve had so many clients who wouldn’t have been in trouble if they didn’t consent. And these were people who KNEW they had drugs in their car. “I figured if I let them search my car and find it, they’d be cool about it and just give me a warning” is the dumbest phrase I’ve heard the most times in my life from the most people. I reserve the right to slap my clients in these situations.

    DO NOT CONSENT. If you can’t do it politely, then don’t do it politely. There is a little known constitutional right, albeit a rarely protected one, that you can say nasty things to cops. It’s not illegal to tell a cop to fuck off and shove his gun up his ass and go fuck his mother because he’s a stupid [pick racist slur]. You have a first amendment right to do so. But I’d counsel against it. Just politely say “no” to giving consent to search. When you consent, any hope of winning a motion to suppress goes right out the window.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Just me

    why should the cops be suspended???? if it looks like crack and is in a plastic bag they should be arrested regardless, if they didnt arrest them and it was crack and they sold it to one of your kids you liberals would be going nuts on the cops, and as for tasting it?? wtf if some1 asked me to taste crack and risk my life with all the chemicals its cut down with i’d tell them to screw themselves its my life or thiers, this is a no brainer, both men arrested and have the alleged drugs sent to the lab for testing

    Lock em” up anyhows……

    Just because they didn’t find drugs on these two this time doesn’t mean that they’re not guilty…

    These statement re-enforce my thoughts that citizens of this country have been condition to the point of blind obedience. We have rights and power to reverse this trend. As bruceM stated, Saying”NO” is the avenue of doing so, along with changing how lawenforcement is conducted( Ending prohibition is a big step in that direction.

    I had an incident were I gave a drunk friend a ride home. In rifling through his pockets lookng for his keys, he left a small bag of cannabis in my car. If I had been pulled over and concented a search well…
    So no, I wont concent either.

    Sorry LEO’s not trying to make your job harder, just making my life easier.

    With the guys and the coco candy, why didnt these officers have a field test kit? Why couldnt they find one ? maybe they didnt want to for some reason? Just saying, the accused names sound Mexican…

    Some of the comments that were made in Petes story sounded racist also. Just cause they were Mexican..they were guilty?
    It is wrong, illegals or not.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • [...] the New York Post: Two Bronx men free after ‘drugs’ turn out to be candy via Drug WarRant via The Agitator Two Bronx men were locked up and left to rot in a filthy jail cell for nearly a [...]

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Bruce

    I once had 5 big drunk BC Lions football players stagger across my path with open bottles of whisky and they commandeered me and my car to take them to a party. Halfway there, CHECPOINT!!
    lol You should have seen the cops face…
    “Get em outta here” was his only comment. lol

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Wow. This is absolutely breathtaking. The absolute tyranny of this so-called Drug War, and what a waste of resources it is!

    Thanks for the tips, Bruce.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Duncan

    Paul, I’ve had occasion to have a cop ask if he could search my car at a routine stop, I said no, and he looked at me quizzically and then said, oh well have a nice day. Yes I was in cognitive dissonance for a couple of hours subsequently, but you just can’t say it won’t happen.

    I also had a half hour ordeal with a cop who wanted to search my house with me ‘standing mute’ on the stoop and him banging on the door of an empty house for 15 minutes to get some other resident to answer and give him permission to search. It seems he really thought that some other person could give him permission to search my property. There are times I wish someone else had been in the house, and had given said permission, just so I could know how that would have played out.

    Regardless, I think your advice to consent to a search to be ill advised, and that it promotes the very behavior you fear. Funny though, I just had occasion to find a small baggie with some vegetable matter that looked suspiciously like some cannabis that was misplaced in 2007. I had no clue that I had misplaced it or that it was where it was until I found it.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Paul

    Duncan:

    Points well taken. I have never been in the situation myself, and I’m interested in hearing people’s stories on the situation. I have read many news articles and anecdotes where things really ended poorly, and I’ve formed an opinion that just about anything could happen. Perhaps I’m wrong.

    I think your half hour ordeal with the cop who wanted to search your house is a bit disquieting. The weird behavior of trying to get someone else to give permission to enter your house is very strange.

    I saw that video of the ex-cop (can’t remember his name) who gives advice on surviving police searches. It is the exact opposite of the advice to refuse the search. Basically, he says that scumbag cops like he used to be will be all over you, looking for a way to search you if you refuse. If you are going to be driving around with your stash, make sure it is very well hidden.

    Recently, I had a friend going through Canadian customs who was pulled aside for extra attention (he’s one of the usual suspects). A cop came up the line, asking each person if they had ever been arrested. My friend said yes, and the cop asked him for what, and my friend said, “you have computers, go look it up.” (he didn’t want to discuss it in front of the rest of the people there)

    The cop said, “Really?!? You’re not going to tell me?!” and then pulled him aside for a proper application of the third degree. In the end, they let him go because he had nothing at all on him, but his refusal got them VERY excited and angry.

    Now, that was Canada, and it was customs, not a traffic stop. But still, the cops hate resistance and the results are unpredictable. A couple of years ago, Canadian customs kept some poor foreigner waiting for a translator for several hours. He needed to go to the bathroom but they wouldn’t let him, so he picked up a stapler and menaced them with it. Customs officers tasered him several times and he died.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • permanentilt

    “Just because they didn’t find drugs on these two this time doesn’t mean that they’re not guilty…”

    I think my main problem fighting drug warriors is that I just simply cannot fathom the mentality that would lead you to such an absurd conclusion. I mean, that is so completely illogical that it makes my brain bleed. And when you throw in the fact that many who say this also claim they “believe in freedom”, how can you possibly fight people who are so insanely dishonest? Most of the time they are also obsessively oblivious to the fact that it could absolutely happen to them!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    permanentlit: the drug war has caused everyone in America (except for the crazy minority like us) to wholly abandon the presumption of innocence. I am in courts quite often, I have seen and participated in … well.. not “hundreds” but MANY (never counted) criminal trials and the defendant is presumed guilty. By the jury, by the judge, by the prosecutor, and by every witness. If they are there, they must have done something. And because there are so many laws, and because we all commit 3 felonies on average each day, everyone knows the “they must be guilty of something” logic is in fact true.

    It’s pretty much impossible for the average juror to put aside the presumption of guilt, as they firmly believe that if someone is in the defendant’s chair, they are guilty of something. To remind them of the presumption of innocence is, these days, to remind them of a counterintuitive technicality they will most likely disregard as soon as the prosecutor invokes “the children” in closing arguments.

    In my experience, I’d say about 85 to 90% of my clients were guilty of something, just not the crime for which they were charged. Sometimes there’s a big disparity in seriousness between the two, sometimes there’s not.

    I think the best way we can reinvigorate the presumption of innocence is to have a 3rd jury verdict of “innocent” on top of “guilty” and “not guilty” (or not guilty by reason of insanity if applicable). Prosecutors (and police who thrive and justify their existences, manhood, and budgets based on convictions) vehemently oppose this as they argue juries will merely split the baby and give compromise verdicts on the middle ground verdict of “not guilty” (which I would call “not proven” or “not proven beyond a reasonable doubt”). Also, when the jury does return a verdict of actually “innocent” (which is an affirmative finding in favor of the defendant, versus “not guilty” which is a finding that the state merely did not meet its requisite high burden of proof), the state should have to pay for the defendant’s attorney’s fees, costs, and reasonable damages.

    Are most Americans – especially those too stupid to get out of jury duty – too dumb to understand the difference between “not guilty” and “innocent”? I don’t know. A lot of them are, though I think it could probably be explained to them well enough to give them a rudimentary understanding of it. The problem is, once blood, guts, drugs, and children come into the picture, none of that will likely matter.

    As a side note, I think we should ask if defendants are religious. Most will say yes. In those cases, they should forfeit a jury trial and just accept a verdict of guilty or not guilty based on a coin toss. God will intervene, and if he gives the wrong verdict, well that’s just “god working in mysterious ways” and a good religious person should accept that without question. That’s what having faith is all about. Only atheists should get the privilege of having an actual trial, if they so desire. I’m sick of seeing people babble about Jesus this, God that, Church this, faith that at trials, trying to save their asses, when they claim to believe it’s all in God’s hands anyway. Hypocrites. Give ‘em a coin toss. Save taxpayer dollars.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Buc

    Paul, I agree that it’s a tough call.

    I’m with you in that there’s a good chance your life will become a living hell if you don’t consent and they are determined to get you for something no matter what, whether it’s trumping up charges, lying on the police report or planting something on you.

    Not consenting, even if it works and you can prove without a shadow of a doubt that you are innocent, still may not have things end up in your favor. Not when the cops can lie their ass off on the police report and on the stand and prosecutors will still push every word of it as truth to win while the judge completely eats it up as absolute, word-of-God fact. See: http://www.ocweekly.com/2010-01-07/news/moxley-confidential/ (a case where the defense attorney has audio of the investigators verbally threatening and coercing an admission of guilt by a suspect and the judge refused to listen to it)

    I don’t trust the law and I don’t have faith that the Constitution can protect you in a world where judges routinely interpret the Constitution however they see fit, whether it’s in the name of justice or just in order to have a case go the way they want it to go.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    The problem is that to be a judge in America (at least one who presides over criminal cases), it’s an informal requirement that you have been a prosecutor. Defense attorneys don’t get to be judges. Sometimes prosecutors who retired from the DA’s office and went into private practice doing criminal defense for a few years can be judges, but that’s the best you’ll get. Having been a “tough on crime” prosecutor is a de facto job requirement for all American judges. Here in Harris County, Texas, the death penalty capital of the world, “district judge” is merely the second-highest position in the DA’s office (DA being the highest).

    Look at Bushbama and his horrific appointment of the right-wing, pro-life, anti-defendant Sotomayor. But since she’s a two-fer on the minority basis (female and hispanic, though of course women aren’t technically “minorities” but you know what I mean) and because the republicans put on a “she’s horrible” act, all the Democrats and Bushbama supporters blindly supported sotomayor. She’s going to be a huge regret for liberals. Assuming they care about anything beyond the color of a judge’s skin and the type of genitalia between a judge’s legs.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Last year I got pulled over (taillight out) after dusk while driving to visit my mother-in-law in the hospital. She’d told me to bring a bit of sugar, so when the cop peeked in with the flashlight there was a ziplock baggie of white powder on the passenger seat. Cop never said a word about it.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • DdC

    With the souder seat belt violations leading to arrest, I tend to agree with Barry Cooper. If you have a small amount stashed well then consent may prove the best answer in the long run. I’ve been stopped and spent 45 minutes getting patted down for weapons, continually ask if I was toking, that the cop smelled it and I might as well admit it. Never did. They threatened to bring nose dogs, shook my back pack and more threats then finally let me go. But consenting to searches is different than admitting guilt. Now it looks like singing with the intent of making music may be probable cause…

    Barry Cooper Says Consent to Searches
    Here is a transcript of Cooper’s section on consent searches, interrupted by our detailed reactions:

    You’ve heard your entire life: Refuse consent. Refuse consent. Refuse consent. I don’t recommend that. You’re free to do whatever you want, but I recommend quite the opposite.

    If you’ve hidden your stash in a hard to find location — like taught earlier in this DVD — give the officer permission to search if he asks. Here’s why: One hundred times out of one hundred, when somebody refused consent to search to me, they always had something in their vehicle they did not want me to find. It was usually drugs. Sometimes it might be a Playboy magazine or something of that nature. But there was always something they did not want me to see. Law enforcement officers know this.

    Flex Your Rights has eagerly anticipated Barry Cooper’s new video Never Get Busted Again: Vol.1 Traffic Stops, which finally arrived yesterday. After reviewing Cooper’s DVD, we’re disappointed to report that Never Get Busted badly misses the mark regarding consent searches.

    Mexican Musicians Face Jail for Songs Glorifying Drug Trafficking

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Hope

    I’ve refused a search twice. Once when we had a new car and were traveling out of state. Those Memphis police wanted that car. They made my husband go sit in the back of a police car and one officer stayed with me at our car while we waited for the dogs and more officers.

    They did make us wait for them to bring dogs to sniff the outside of our car. When the dogs didn’t react to anything… they tried their best to get a dog to jump up on the back of the car without actually lifting him up there. I saw the man doing it.

    My husband said he’d rather have just let them search, but he knew how I felt about it and he said he didn’t want to “Wimp out” in front of me. We’d actually been talking about this possibility earlier in this trip… not really thinking it could actually happen.

    He didn’t, either. Wimp out, that is.

    One really tried to intimidate me. Brought tears to my eyes once.

    My husband thought the the one that had him was nice and polite, under the circumstances.

    Once at my home. I was alone late at night and heard a strange bunch of noise in the nether regions of the house. I thought it might be a good idea to call the sheriff rather than be scared all night.

    I let them in my house of course, to look around the area of the house where the noise was coming from.

    Apparently, one of them noticed something that alarmed him. Apparently, a bag of broccoli caught his eye. We’re talking a commercially packaged bag of broccoli, not broccoli in an unmarked plastic bag. It was out of the refrigerator, along with several other things and the vegetable crisper drawer, because I had decided to clean the refrigerator. He didn’t bother to look closely or say anything then, but the next day, I got a ‘knock and talk’ request to search my home, because “someone” reported they saw a “big bag of marijuana” in my house. What! Good grief! That would have been absolutely impossible, because such a thing didn’t exist there. They wouldn’t say who reported this to them. But it didn’t take much to put it all together as to “Who” such a person might be.

    I’d already invited them into the house, and was just flabbergasted at their request to search my home. Silly me. Cops and vampires. Who knew? I thought it was something to do with the evening before and they were just being nice and checking to make sure everything was still ok. I didn’t have a clue and no reason, whatsoever, to suspect such a thing as they were up to might be happening. My husband walked in from his shop about that time and asked what was going on.

    They said they wanted to search our home because someone had reported to them that they’d seen “a big bag of marijuana” there. My husband asked them if they had a warrant. They said “No”, but that they could get one… and that they’d bring dogs and tear our house up worse than they would if we just let them, these strangers, government agents, pilfer through our belongings. They told us, “We’ll tear your house up worse if we have to have a warrant.” It felt so jarringly, stunningly “Nazi”.

    They left to supposedly “get the warrant” and we didn’t see them again except around the community and they’d glare at us. One touched his gun, glaring, while holding my husband’s eyes, when he saw my husband at a local business about a week later.

    Don’t think they can’t make mistakes like thinking broccoli was pot. A sheriff friend of mine many years ago arrested a man with pickup truck bed full of Poke Salat.

    http://images.google.com/images?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&q=Poke%20Salat&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

    He’d some how managed to live in the country all his life and not know what poke salat looked like. Not like marijuana, I can tell you that.

    And of course we’ve all heard of people being raided and arrested for plants mistaken for marijuana. Tomatoes, okra, narcissus, and even sunflowers have been mistaken by law enforcement as a plant banned, seriously banned, to American consumers.

    It’s not so easy to trust and like and appreciate some law enforcement officers as it was a few decades ago. Anybody with half a brain should be able to see why.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    DdC: I’m a criminal defense lawyer and I deal with this stuff day in and day out.

    Do not consent to a search – ever. You’ll always hear some jackass say they consented to a search and they had a little pot and the cop was nice and let them go. They’re the exception, not the rule. Some people fall in love with their high school sweethearts and get married and live happily ever after, in constant love for their entire lives. They’re the exception, not the rule.

    It’s not true that 100% of the time when people refuse to consent to a search they have contraband in their car. Informed citizens who are not morons deny consent because they know it’s their right to do so. And you never know what’s in your car, even if you think you’re 100% certain there’s no contraband, there could always be a valium on the floor under your passenger seat that accidentally fell out of a friend’s pocket.

    Consenting to searches means you’re waiving your 4th Amendment rights. That means whatever the cops find, you cannot file a motion to suppress it in court. Consent is an exception to the requirement for probable cause.

    Also, remember that it’s basically illegal to have large amounts of cash (“large” being relative and up to the discretion of the officer). If you consent to a search and the police find $1000 in cash, they may very well seize it as the proceeds of unlawful activity. Then the burden is on YOU to prove that it isn’t, after paying for a lawyer and court costs, etc. Don’t drive with cash. You can’t get arrested for it, but you can have your money taken away.

    DO NOT CONSENT TO A SEARCH. NEVER. NEVER EVER.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • DdC

    Coopers point was IF it is stashed well, as it should be. Most times cops won’t waste their time outside of visuals in the trunk and glove box. If you refuse they have ways around it anyway. Especially with the anything being probable cause rules. It’s a police state when it comes to the Ganjawar. Act accordingly. Sometimes being alive is worth more than being Constitutionally correct. As stated, even large sums of cash can be probable cause, so why would anyone believe these copsuckers wouldn’t do what they please? In this case of the candy bar no consent was needed if it was visible through the windows. In all cases concerning the Ganjawar. The best defense is a good offense. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cures. As for the courts, Shakespeare’s Henry VI summed it up best for me “kill all the lawyers.”

    [url=http://drugwarrant.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1209]Help Free Dana Beal… Founder of MMM[/url]
    Several days ago Dana Beal was arrested by local police in Coles County, Illinois after being stopped. According to a Sheriff?s department spokesperson, Beal was in possession of over $100,000.00 cash. Unable to verify where he obtained the money Beal has been incarcerated in the Coles County Jail- bail has been set at $250,000.00 (he has been deemed a flight risk due to his past record), and he is being charged with ?Laundering of criminally derived property with a value of $100,000.00.? Mr. Beal is yet to step into a courtroom, however, as his bail was set by a judge who evaluated his arrest and ruled that it was valid and with cause.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Ed Dunkle

    I just got one of those little video flip cams. It’s about the size of an iphone and shoots an hour of HD video. Very easy to carry in the off chance that the police cross your path.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    No, even if you and foggy mind in your haze of pot smoke think you have your drugs (or guns, cash, or whatever the contraband may be) hidden really, really well, you should still NOT consent to a search.

    And it’s the Drug War, not the “Ganjawar.” Your singlemindedness continues to infuriate me.

    If the police are going to violate your rights, ignore your refusal of consent, and conduct a search anyway, you at least have some ammo at court for a motion to suppress if they find anything. Far better than the prosecutor having you saying “sure I give consent” on the police video/audio recording (or your signature on a form, as some police departments use).

    Ed: It’s usually not a good idea to tell the cops you’re recording your encounter with them. It’s not illegal, though sometimes they’ll say it is. They can record you, but you can’t record them. You know, for the chldren.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • DdC

    Well Brucie again I see XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX concerning the Ganjawar and consent. Spoken like a true lawyer and as I said I agree with ole Henry. The Ganjawar is Fascism and has nothing to so with Constitutional rights anymore than the pseudo right to bare arms against a SWAT team. All you do is get innocent victims jail time. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Each situation has to be taken separately, its a judgment call. Just like your utopian right to shoot heroin at Chucky Cheese. It is the Ganjawar, no one gives a rats ass about junkies. Anymore than drug thugs giving a shit about the 4th Amendment. Don’t be a bad ass, play it by ear and if you have large quantities that will lead to large jail time, refuse. If its no big deal and they have to bring in dogs and you make it a big deal, you will pay for it. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Yup Perry Mason won all the cases so I reckon there is justice in the world. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX In your world we already have the right to shoot dope, why hide that if its a bogus law? XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Because bogus laws still get cage time for offenders. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX The Ganjawar is a corporate product enabled by gullible lawyers!

    Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp. While GOP and DNC continue to bicker over nonsense. Farmers still can’t grow. Drugs and Ganja are Gateways to prison profits and cop-shops bloated budtgets.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • warren

    It should be manditory for all sane citizens to carry 45 cal six shooters. This might make the cowboy cops think twice about there candy arrests.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • DdC

    It might, but most likely they’re the same naive twits in the NRA that gave us mandatory minimums. Giving boomer yuppies 45′s would help in reducing the over population, of boomer yuppies with 45′s. I’m ok with that.

    Heston died, NRA’s Mandatory Minimum didn’t

    Nixon Lie Keeps on Killing
    The Constitution is made from parchment, not Kevlar.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • DdC

    DWR Censored Posts 1 of 32 forums posted.

    Bias?

    Oh but No, even if you and foggy mind in your haze of pot smoke is ok…

    Your singlemindedness continues to infuriate me is not ad hominem eh?

    Well so be it, At least the Ganjawar infuriates someone.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    It infuriates me that you’re posting at this website solely for pot, not because you’re against the drug war or drug prohibition. You’re a drug warrior. You support the drug war. You support drug prohibition. You want all drug users to be locked up.

    You just want an exception made for your own personal drug of choice. Your precious “ganja” … you don’t even call it the drug war. To you it’s only the pot war.

    You’re a hypocrite, and you should go post on one of the billion marijuana reform websites. You are not consistent with the spirit or intent or clearly stated purpose of this website. Go away, and take your random marijuana-oriented quotes/links/stats/errata with you.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BillyBob

    DdC just stop it. You irritate those of us with brains and are not helping at all.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Just me

    Hey Warren:

    I agree, everyone should carry a peice. A few things would happen I feel.

    1)We would find out who the real criminals and idiots are right away. They would either end up dead or locked up.

    2) cops would be more apt to be ‘Nice’ to people who can legally carry a gun as big as or bigger than their own.

    3) people would remember that its not a good Idea to piss off your neighbor(or fellow shopper or driver) have some sense of what manners are.

    4)We would all be a bit thinner carrying around all that iron….ok maybe not but its a thought.

    5)
    As one young women said at a hearing in congress one day ,” ..I realised we have a right to bare arms…not to protect our selves from criminals…but to protect our selves from all of you…”,( As she pointed at the congressmen of our government.)
    Freedom would mean something then.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Just me

    Oh and this…

    6) If terrorist seen we mean buisness…maybe they would be less apt to try blow up a plane or in the future blow up a shopping mall.

    There was a Admiral? of the japanese navy in WW2 that said the reason they would never invade America is because they knew ” ..Behind every blade of grass is a gun…”.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Paul

    @Just Me: An armed society is a polite society. :)

    @DDC: I think you’re going to get your wish on legalizing pot in many states very soon. Do you think you will still be with us on the rest of the drugs?

    I DO care about junkies. That junkie you so scorn is a person, somebody’s baby (even cops are!), and they are not just some trash to be thrown away. They are weak, or unlucky, however you want to think about it, but they are people.

    They do not belong in cages just for shooting heroin. Prison should be reserved only for truly dangerous people, not people we just disapprove of.

    @BruceM: Very interested to see your comments, especially given your experience in these matters. The consent/no consent argument is basically a calculation of risk and cost:

    If you breezily consent and the cop gives a cursory search and lets you go, you win. This is the best case scenario. The chances are good this will happen. Whether he was right or wrong to ask and you to spinelessly consent is a separate issue.

    If you consent and the cop finds something, you lose big because you cannot suppress the evidence in court. Chances of this are low (but possible!) unless you really are guilty and have poorly hidden your stash.

    If you refuse consent and the cop lets you go without a search, you also win, but it may be nerve wracking. I can’t judge what the chances of this are, but it is probably better than 50-50. This is a win, but you may earn the cop’s enmity, like in Hope’s case above.

    If you refuse consent and the cop searches you anyway, there is a chance the cop will find something or make something up. Now Bruce’s advice comes into play and you can use the violation of your rights in court. I also have no idea what the chances are this will happen, but probably less than 50%.

    If you are arrested and sent to court, you have already been punished before you get there by the fees, fines, and expense of hiring a lawyer. If you have refused the search, you now have a chance of avoiding jail time by suppressing the evidence.

    @BruceM: Of your clients who have gone to court and refused the search, what percentage were you able to get off by moving to suppress the search?

    p.s. There is a fifth scenario: You refuse the search and the cop wigs out, smashing your teeth in and tasering your twitching body on the ground a dozen times, then claims you assaulted him or resisted arrest. You get dentures in prison and reside there for 7 years in misery.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Just me

    War on drugs…LOL

    War doesnt decide who is right..only who is left…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    It’s very rare to win a motion to suppress. They’ve made so many exceptions to the 4th Amendment that it’s basically meaningless. Especially when automobiles are involved. But when you have a suppression issue it gives you SOMETHING to bargain with with the prosecutor. Sometimes you’re not trying to suppress physical evidence, but rather a statement or a confession. Hard to put a % on success rates, really depends on so much from case to case.

    If you refuse consent and the cop searches anyway, your rights were violated. I’ve never had that happen. I’ve never once had a client tell me that he refused consent but the cops searched anyway. Not once. That really doesn’t happen – they don’t ask for consent if they have a reason they can search without consent. Rather they just come up with some excuse for why they didn’t need consent to search. Either they got a search warrant or they rely on an exception to the warrant requirement, most commonly the “plain view” exception. The pot under the passenger seat was in plain view – the cop saw the brown bag under the seat (with his x-ray cop vision) and based on the cop’s training and experience, brown bags under car seats contain drugs, and thus he had probable cause to search the car. No search warrant required – automobile exception, since we don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy in our cars according to the SCOTUS.

    The second pot is legalized, DdC and the hypocrites like him will immediately be gone from this website. Unfortunately for all of us, pot is not about to be legalized. But for your own good, please do not take legal advice from DdC. His posts speak for themselves.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Paul

    “If you refuse consent and the cop searches anyway, your rights were violated. I’ve never had that happen.”

    That’s probably the best argument right there.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • permanentilt

    Bruce, totally agree with you on everything you replied to me. Most people have this innate pro-cop bias that makes them believe that the cops always have a reason if they take action against someone. When I try to explain some of the egregious constitutional violations police routinely pull, they always seem to say “well, they must have had a reason.” Why would you assume that the reason is anything other than power hungry, trigger happy, racism, corruption, ect. In some people it is just blind obedience, in others it is unquestioning faith in the system, some have friends that are cops, but in all of them it is totally ridiculous.

    I’m in Houston too by the way, small world :)

    On Barry Cooper, he thinks from a law enforcement perspective. Most of what he says is about knowing how to fleece the cops, and most of it is real good, but the “don’t consent” mantra comes from a lawyer’s perspective. Cooper is trying to not get you caught, “don’t consent” is about defending your rights in court. It kind of depends on if you can afford a good lawyer. If your only option is a public defender, then hide it, consent and pray might be a better option, but if you can get a lawyer, clearly “don’t consent” is always better. Saying “My lawyer has advised me to never consent to searches (or breathalyzers)” is the best way to go, because you demonstrate to the cops that you have a lawyer and are prepared to take the case all the way.

    While we are on personal stories, I have a pretty crazy one. When I was in college, I was driving after work to a friend’s house (in the ghetto) to drink beer and smoke, I had a 12pk and a quarter oz with me. I got pulled over for not wearing a seat belt of all things, so I thought no big deal. The cop pulls me out of the car and we are having a friendly convo, nothing big. I cooked at a restaurant that always let cops eat free, because it was 24hrs and sometimes there was trouble. We talked about the different foods there. So another cop shows up and walks over to my car, peering inside. I see him open the door and start rifling through my stuff!!! I’m like “what is he doing?” and the first cop says “you don’t have anything in the car right?” I said “just some empty beer cans but I haven’t been drinking” (and obviously i hadn’t as I was still in my work clothes). Of course he finds the pot, which I had put on the floorboard under the mat in the backseat (where the beer cans were). I get handcuffed and put in the car while they continue to search. They find nothing more. They pull me out and the second cop says “I saw this on the floorboard, it looked like pot, so that gave me probable cause to search” It was a FUCKING BLADE OF GRASS OBVIOUSLY, right where my feet are when I drive, so unquestionably I had walked through some grass and gotten in my car, no person would ever mistake it for marijuana, it was OBVIOUSLY GRASS. So I’m thinking “what the fuck” I told them that I had no idea it was in the car, I drive a lot of friends and it could have been dropped, I did admit that I smoke pot but said I keep it out of my car and don’t smoke and drive. (note that this was before I had ANY idea about my rights or how I should or shouldn’t handle police encounters).

    So the first cop relates a few of his wild stories from college, at LSU where I went. Told me that he never smoked pot, but he got pretty crazy too. Tells me that they are going to write me a ticket for expired inspection (not even for no seat belt!) so I could just get it renewed and it would cost me nothing. They told me to make sure to keep my car clean (took the pot obviously) and let me go! I was flabbergasted!

    I understand that I got incredibly lucky in this situation, and assume that it will never happen again (it wasn’t the only time I got extremely lucky with the cops in college either), I now know the cops probably knew that any lawyer could get the evidence thrown out, but just felt the need to share :P

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    Heh, I’ve had so many clients just like DdC… going to court tomorrow morning for one actually. These idiots and their “I know not to consent to a search but my pot was really well hidden!” excuses. Either that, or “I figured the cop would be cool about the ten pounds of pot in the trunk of my car if I consented to the search.” Normally I hate profiting off of the drug war, and for the record I’d gladly never have another drug case as an attorney in exchange for having drugs legalized tomorrow. But stupid potheads are different. I charge them extra. My non-pot clients get a discount, which is subsidized by the idiot potheads whose own stupidity got themselves arrested.

    I’ve represented people accused of possessing every type of drug. In my experience, the people who are marijuana users are always the dumbest, with the least common sense. People involved with non-marijuana drugs always have more common sense. I fully support legalizing all drugs – including marijuana – but either marijuana makes you dumb, or dumb people get the most enjoyment out of marijuana. The potheads get themselves arrested. Users of other drugs get arrested due to bad luck, snitches, or otehr factors that are usually out of their control.

    I firmly believe that the reason there are so many marijuana arrests vis a vis all other drugs is not because marijuana is so much more widely used, but because the users of marijuana are inherently stupid, or the substance enhances their stupidity in such a way as it causes them to act so as to get themselves arrested. That’s simply not the case with heroin or cocaine or oxycontin or adderall. I’ve never had a client who was caught injecting heroin in a car. But I’ve had dozens who were caught smoking pot in cars – plain view of the car’s window. What is it about marijuana and cars? Does the drug only work in automobiles?

    I’ve had the best stuff Amsterdam has to offer, and it’s by far the most worthless drug to ever be “controlled” (from a recreational point of view… if it helps alleviate someone’s legitimate medical problem then more power to them). I’ll never understand why anyone would risk so much as a $1 fine over such a worthless drug for mere recreational use. Unless I didn’t smoke it right when I was in Holland, as I didn’t smoke it in a car.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    permanentlit: yes sometimes people get lucky, but legal advice should not be based on the lucky exceptions.

    I think very little about cops. Read my last post about cops and their orgasms in the previous thread.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Hope

    Paul. Very well said, Sir.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    Oh, just to be clear, I’m not saying no cops would lie about having received a citizen’s consent to conduct a search. I’m just saying in over 5 years of criminal defense in a city with a very corrupt police department, I’ve yet to have a case where my client said he refused to consent to a search and the police searched anyway and lied about him/her giving consent in the police report.

    I have not heard of such a case from any lawyers I know, either. I’m sure it has happened, but it’s not something I’d worry about. Again, rare exception, not rule. Statistical outlier are to be disregarded, otherwise you can’t make rational decisions.

    There are certainly tons of cases where they conducted a search and came up with a bullshit reason as to why they did not NEED consent. That happens every ten minutes.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Hope

    If we look at a thing as to whether it’s deadly or dangerous or not and decide to make something illegal… against the law… because it’s too deadly or dangerous to “allow”, then we have to look at how deadly and dangerous substances/drugs are and how deadly and dangerous prohibition of those substances/drugs has proven to be. Google Drug War Victims. Or check the candle on the the first page of DWR.

    People risk their own lives all the time doing stupid, risky stuff. They do. Some more than others, but they do. Sometimes they are searching for a thrill, others are just clumsy.

    It’s human nature to take risks and giant leaps. I feel that I’ve taken a risk posting to these posting places as someone who believes there must be a better to deal with people taking drugs, than the present system. I hate to think there are probably people that literally hate me for talking about trying a different approach in dealing with the dangers and harms that might or might not come from the use of those substances/drugs.

    Humans take risks, for one reason or another. Especially when you’re a young human.

    But those Drug War Victims…

    No way did that have to happen. Those people died because of prohibition. They died because prohibitionists decided someone had to die… as discussed on another thread.

    As I said before… people die from stupid stuff all the time. Falling off the porch. Cigarettes. Candy. Food. Flying through the air and falling. Driving in front of trains. Stepping in front of cars. Accidents. People have accidents doing stupid stuff all the time.

    So why is this drug thing such a crime? I don’t think it’s “Saving the Children” or anyone else.

    Prohibitionists, paid and volunteer, treat people and act like these “drugs” they claim to fight, are so hideous bad, somehow, that they, the prohibitionists, should be free to pre-kill some people… to save people from being killed, or having their lives “ruined”, by drugs. They ruin lots of lives, to “warn” others… about not ruining their lives.

    But why should people who didn’t even do a dangerous drug have to die to keep it from happening?

    And some of these people that literally “Live” to fight the war on some drugs… they will kill you at the drop of a hat.

    This not at least allowing people to make sure addicts have clean needles. You want them to die and maybe take innocent people with them? That’s obvious. Is that wise?

    We’ve got to have a saner, safer, healthier drug policy. We’ve got to stop killing people and letting them die over our disdain of their use of these substances.

    We’ve got to.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • aussidawg

    Hey Bruce, I respect the fact that you are an attorney. I just wanted to bring up one point I think you failed to include in your advice on refusing the cops a free search. If you do not give them permission to search your vehicle and they do anyway, anything they may find is inadmissable to court as evidence due to an illegal search (uh..unless they claim “probable cause”) If you do allow the search, anything found is admissable as evidence. Am I correct?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Hope

    When I wrote, “our disdain”… I meant our disdain (and fear), as a nation, or society, or government, or whatever it is that wants to hurt other people so badly, not my personal disdain. But, I’m part of this “Society”, whether I want to be or not. I don’t want to be part of something that has treated citizens like the War on Drugs has, but I am. My tax money. Money I earned is being spent on these prohibitionist efforts…this War on Drugs.

    I see people being hurt and killed in ways they shouldn’t have been hurt or killed… because of prohibition. I do have a great disdain for being used to pay for and being dragged along in this atrocity of policy that looks to me like a great persecution, a world wide persecution of people, that makes about as much sense as witch burning and the Inquisition.

    I don’t have any feelings of disdain, that I’m aware of, well I do shrink at the thought of sucking something up my nose or using a needle, but, in general, I don’t give a lot of consideration to other people’s drug use, whatever it is and I’m certainly not disdainful of them or their use of a substance. Alcohol. Herbs. “Drugs” … whatever.

    Perhaps I should have said, “Because of the disdain of some”.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • aussidawg

    “Are most Americans – especially those too stupid to get out of jury duty – too dumb to understand the difference between “not guilty” and “innocent”?”

    Bruce, I agree with most of your arguements, but avoiding jury duty isn’t one of them. I *TRY* to get on criminal jury duty, especially those involving drug charges. I have been able to successfully convince fellow jurors that for example: the F.B.I. entrapped an individual, the Texas Department of Public Safety did the same…and convinced fellow jurors that what the defendant had been subject to was unlawful. She was aquitted.

    We don’t have a lot of power as an individual, but if we sit on a jury, we have the chance to sway others to a logical choice. Why pass up that opportunity?

    Cheers my friend…I know you are fighting the right fight, but please don’t advise people to miss an opportunity to assure the right thing is done!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Hope

    Aussidawg. I agree. It’s very important.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BruceM

    If you do not give them permission to search your vehicle and they do anyway, anything they may find is inadmissable to court as evidence due to an illegal search (uh..unless they claim “probable cause”) If you do allow the search, anything found is admissable as evidence. Am I correct?

    Yes, you are correct, assuming they had no independent reason aside from consent to be allowed to conduct the search. I did mention this, when I said:

    Consenting to searches means you’re waiving your 4th Amendment rights. That means whatever the cops find, you cannot file a motion to suppress it in court. Consent is an exception to the requirement for probable cause.

    There are many reasons they can conduct a search of a vehicle without a warrant. Search incident to arrest. Plain view (if you’re pulled over for a traffic stop – speeding or whatever – and the cop sees drugs sitting on your lap he doesn’t need your consent to seize it). Exigent circumstances. There are so many exceptions to the 4th Amendment that the prosecutors will usually come up with some reason to justify the cops’ illegal search after the fact, and all prosecutor-judges (judgecutors) will agree that it was reasonable.

    The framers of the constitution screwed up by sticking the word “reasonable” in the 4th Amendment. Most people will see anything the state does in furtherance of stopping crime to be “reasonable” especially after the fact with the 20/20 hindsight of a crime having actually been committed.

    Most people would have no problem voting to get rid of the 4th Amendment. There are about 30 or so children locked up in pedophile rapists’ underground basement sex torture dungeons right now, as we speak. If we got rid of the 4th Amendment and let cops bust into and search every house in America, we could find and save nearly all 30 of them. “If you’re not a pedophile kidnapper child rapist then you have nothing to worry about” is quite appealing logic to most people. 90% of people would vote to get rid of the 4th Amendment.

    Of course, we could save the lives of thousands of children each and every day if we lowered all speed limits on all roads to 5mph. Yeah, it’s slow, and it will take several hours to drive to work – much faster to just ride a bike (though speed limits apply to bikes too), but think of how many children will be saved! Hardly anyone would go along with the 5mph plan, though.

    For some reason, people are willing and eager to give up their right to privacy but not at all willing to give up their ability (it’s not even a “right”) to drive faster than 5mph, even though it would save many more lives and “precious children.” Isn’t that interesting?

    We simply don’t value privacy. We do value the ability to move fast. It’s as if there’s more of a “right” to move fast than there is a right to privacy.

    Meanwhile, because of abortion, you have all the religious jackfucks out there actually arguing that there is no right to privacy at all, since the words “right to privacy” don’t appear in the Constitution.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Duncan

    “It’s not true that 100% of the time when people refuse to consent to a search they have contraband in their car.”

    What if I have my complete, extended collection of marital aids in the trunk? Would you want to explain the function of a fleshlight to the cops? Sheesh, some things I like to keep private.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0