Driver Arrested in Ohio for Secret Car Compartment Full of Nothing

What's in that cylindrical container? Is it full of drugs? IS IT?Credit: TexasDarkHorse / Foter.com / CC BYNorman Gurley, 30, is facing drug-related charges in Lorain County, Ohio, despite the fact that state troopers did not actually find any drugs in his possession.

Ohio passed a law in 2012 making it a felony to alter a vehicle to add a secret compartment with the “intent” of using it to conceal drugs for trafficking.

Gurley is the first actual person arrested under the law. WKYC in Northeast Ohio covered the arrest, with no notable journalistic skepticism whatsoever:

They pulled over the driver for speeding, but then troopers noticed several wires running to the back of the car.

Those wires then led them directly to a hidden compartment.

Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday state troopers made the arrest under the law, which is meant to combat criminals who modify the inside of their car, allowing them to store drugs or weapons inside secret compartments, which can often only be accessed electronically.

They just noticed some wires, did they? Just while in the process of handing Gurley a speeding ticket, they noticed the wires?

They did not, however, find any drugs, which means they’re arresting Gurley for the crime of an empty space:

Troopers arrested 30-year-old Norman Gurley, who didn't even have any drugs on him, but it didn't matter, because in Ohio, just driving a "trap" car is now a felony.

"Without the hidden compartment law, we would not have had any charges on the suspect," says Combs.

But because of this law, one more "trap car" is now off Northeast Ohio roads.

"We apparently caught them between runs, so to speak, so this takes away one tool they have in their illegal trade. The law does help us and is on our side," says Combs.

Combs’ claim is not challenged by the news station at all.

The law says it’s only a crime if the hidden compartment is added with the “intent” to conceal drugs, but it also outlaws anybody who has been convicted of felony aggravated drug trafficking laws from operating any vehicle with hidden compartments. The ACLU of Ohio warned against the new legislation:

The ACLU of Ohio believes SB 305 is an unnecessary and unproductive expansion of law. Drug trafficking is already prohibited under Ohio law, so there is no use for shifting the focus to the container. Further by focusing on the container itself, this bill criminalizes a person with prior felony drug trafficking convictions simply for driving a car with a hidden compartment, regardless of whether or not drugs or even drug residue are present.

Given this is the first arrest, you have to wonder how the courts might view a law making it a felony to alter a person's own property for reasons that have nothing to do with actual public safety. Maybe we'll see.

As for the car itself, the Institute for Justice’s 2010 “Policing for Profit” report calculated that law enforcement officials in the state have collected more than $80 million in shared proceeds from asset forfeiture funds. Oh, and the hidden compartment law exempts vehicles being operated by law enforcement officers, so if state troopers can come up with an excuse to use the ride they just grabbed, they may be able to keep it for themselves.

(Hat tip to Reason commenter Warty)

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  • B.P.||

    "(Hat tip to Reason commenter Warty)"

    Don't look him in the eye.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have a request. Rather than "Warty," could you make that "Warty Hugeman?"

    I just skimmed everything, but it sounds like they have nothing on the intent part. Not sure how they can even arrest someone without something more than the existence of a compartment. After all, he could be a weapons smuggler rather than a drug smuggler. Or just a libertarian or a James Bond fan.

  • sarcasmic||

    Just as no one carries over ten grand in cash unless they're a drug dealer, no one drives a car with a hidden compartment unless they are a drug dealer.

    There can be no other explanation.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If the wording of the law is specific to drugs, he could be using the compartment to bring nuclear weapons into the country and not be chargeable with this particular offense.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    He should say that at his trial.

  • Kenner||

    Explanation of real Reason -
    “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture" from the Institute for Justice.

    This "policy" has become unbelievable...

    First paragraph in article:
    "Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime...with civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with or convicted of a crime to lose homes, cars, cash or other property."

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm always surprised that people generally accept the Supreme Court as protecting the Constitution when it does things like rubber-stamping civil forfeiture. That's 100%, no doubt about it, unconstitutional and contrary to our legal traditions to boot.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm always surprised that people generally accept the Supreme Court as protecting the Constitution

    People tend to believe what they are taught in school until they learn otherwise. Since many people are only capable of being taught, but incapable of learning, they go on believing what they were taught forever.

  • Free Society||

    well said

  • WTF?||

    Due to the 'Patriot Act' it will soon be a crime to think about committing a criminal act. This is just getting us 'little' people used to how things will be.
    But what can you expect from a government who declares so called 'Wars' on drugs and terror when the solution to said 'Wars' is for the government to stop funding them.....

  • JeromeD||

    ALMOST wrote a long response to the contrary, but then I chanced upon your username. Well played.

  • Brett L||

    Haha. Mens rea is an archaic concept.

  • Acosmist||

    ? He accidentally did this? You sure?

  • Adam330||

    A dad of a friend growing up had a corvette that he had bought at a DEA auction that had a secret compartment in it. I guess he would know be a felon if drove it into Ohio.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    This means that everyone who lives in Ohio is a piece of shit. Even the libertarians.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Goddam this is getting fucking ridiculous.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    THIS. And it's accelerating.

    I try to stay positive, but I'm beginning to truly believe liberty is no longer salvageable. The number of laws that would need to be repealed is unfathomable.

  • R C Dean||

    I think we may be past the point where calm, rational engagement in the legislative/piolitical process can move us in the right direction.

    We're going to have to repeal politicians, wholesale, and possible the whole goddam bloated, predatory, unconstitutional mess currently squatting on the Potomac.

  • Paul.||

    I have sadly come to the conclusion that reform is not going to come at the ballot box. It's going to come from mass civil disobedience. Not that lefty type where people sit in, hoping to get arrested while protesting the mistreatment of transvestites of color, or whatever. Where the arrest is like a badge of honor among their cohorts. no, I'm talking about mass civil disobedience where the protesters are armed. where the protesters goal isn't to get arrested. the goal will be to say "we're not going to follow your rules anymore, and no we're not going to move along, and no you're not going to arrest us either." at that moment the police would move in and realize that everyone was armed, changing the entire dynamic.

  • Harvard||

    RPG's. If 5th century fanatics in far away shit holes can find 'em, why can't we?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    You are correct, sir.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    What do you mean by "repeal?"

  • SomeGuy||

    hence why i support a reset....yes NSA i support a reset....eat my shit!...because we know they read this and record it -_-

  • Terr||

    What if someone bought the car as-is without knowledge of the compartment? FYTW.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Ignorance is no defense, unless he is a government worker.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Maybe he intended to hide his money from the cops, since they have a nasty habit of robbing motorists.

    -jcr

  • Adam330||

    Any theories on what the wires would have been for?

  • The DerpRider||

    an amp in the trunk? ch changer?

  • ||

    The article doesn't mention what kind of car it is, so it could be anything. My '98 Mercedes had a panel in the top of the dash that I didn't even notice until I'd had the car 6 months. After figuring out how to open it, I found a built in cellular phone hidden in there by the nice folks at the factory. I sold that car to my dear mother earlier this year, and since she lives in Ohio, I guess I'd better warn her that she's likely to be arrested for drug trafficking.

  • mr simple||

    Electronic opening of the compartment.

  • Jquip||

    Maybe. But it's not much of a hidden compartment if it has a *doorknob* in plain view. Hardly matters if that knob is a handle or set of wires. It seems more likely to me that it's simply a speaker enclosure.

    No matter the case: Drug laws have moved on from criminalizing Euclidean distance to criminalizing solid geometry.

  • Semper Why||

    The wires are probably to activate the compartment door release mechanism.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    The DVR equipment and backup memory that mysteriously disappeared?

  • Dinerboy||

    Does the driver have a drug trafficking record? Do they have any evidence of "intent" or anything to suggest that he was between runs? What do the wires have to do with a secret compartment anyway?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Cops tend to ignore any element of any offense that hinges on mental state.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Mens rea? The perp I busted was a guy, not a chick."

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I had to dial my IQ back to qualified police applicant before I got that.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    You say that as if it matters.

    I once knew a fed cop of some variety who said, in complete seriousness, "Sometimes we need wiretaps to establish probable cause." I thought you needed probable cause first, but I'm just "little people."

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    My assumption was that he was a convicted felon, and therefore he fell under the felons with empty boxes part of the law.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Without the hidden compartment law, we would not have had any charges on the suspect," says Combs.

    "Our mission is to round up as many civilians as possible and lock them in cages."

    I ask again:

    Why should I do anything but cheer when one of these totalitarian fucks gets his brains blown out?

  • ||

    "Without the hidden compartment law, we would not have had any charges on the suspect," says Combs.

    That's the mask-slippage money quote right there. "We gotta arrest him for something! We just gotta!"

  • Adam||

    We've gotta seize to find out what's in it!

  • Doctor Whom||

    no notable journalistic skepticism whatsoever:

    I have a secret compartment in my car for carrying a shocked face just for situations like this.

  • Steve G||

    nice

  • Pro Libertate||

    He should've had it set up to shoot something out, à la one of those gag peanut cans.

  • Aresen||

    You do it first.

    Report from the hospital (if you survive) how it works out.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was thinking about that, but I figure with the trunk up and the surprise happening back there, the odds are the bullets would only riddle the back of the car before they figured out they weren't dead yet. Though I suppose an execution-style death afterwards might be a problem.

  • Gunblitz66||

    Cops are kind of like my dog, they don't like surprises and all surprises must die.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    A railroad spike mounted on an a compression spring?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Now, now. Maybe a lopping porn video?

  • ||

    lop
    läp
    verb
    gerund or present participle: lopping
    1.
    cut off (a branch, limb, or other protrusion) from the main body of a tree.
    "they lopped off more branches to save the tree"

    What kind of porn are you watching there Pro L?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Oops. Looping. I don't even want to know what lopping porn involves.

  • Aresen||

    You might have a whole new genre there.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I'm certain it's already out there.

  • ||

    It is a Warty story. I'm imagining it's just a reenactment of Warty Hugeman and the Hydra.

  • SugarFree||

    Warty Hugeman and the Hydra.

    It is an amazing coincidence that you have referenced this. Or you have hacked my Dropbox account.

  • ||

    Or you have hacked my Dropbox account.

    I'm impressed that you have guessed at both my level of tech savvy and my masochism.

  • SugarFree||

    Well, have fun hacking it from now on. My password isn't buttsizzle420 anymore, smart guy.

  • R C Dean||

    lopping porn video

    Not gonna Google that. Nuh-uh, no way.

  • Tolakesh||

    just because I googled it

    Lopping Tits Videos - 100% Free Porn Tube - Page 47 - Heavy-R.com
    www.heavy-r.com/index.php?
    We have tons of lopping tits videos all completely free to watch! Heavy-R is a free porn tube offering the most hardcore porn videos. Now you can enjoy all the ...

  • 2Sirius||

    Some people find doing yard work in the nude very sexy - you got a problem with that?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Set it up to squirt water on them like a lapel carnation.

    Clearly that would put the officer's life in danger.

  • sarcasmic||

    Prove the compartment wasn't for drugs! Prove it! La la la la la what? I can't hear you! La la la la la what? I said prove it! You can't prove it! La la la la la what? Guilty!

  • Locke||

    This kind of reminds me of a story I heard Penn Jillette tell in an interview. He said that in his early days he made a ton of money doing street magic, and he finally asked an accountant friend how he should report it for tax purposes. The accountant told him "If you report that you made THAT much money street performing they'll think you're a drug dealer, just keep it".

    PROVE YOU MADE THAT MONEY BY PERFORMING MAGIC! PROVE IT!

  • dagwood52||

    The constitution says innocent until proven guilty not the other way around.The police have to prove it was for illegal purposes.

  • Gunblitz66||

    Yes, they "have" to. If they did everything they had to do, we would have a lot less to talk about here.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm sure some lawyers in black robes can find some exception in there (whether it exists or not), especially in the name of the war on drug users.

  • Doctor Whom||

    History shows that when the three branches of government join forces against freedom, the Constitution has about as much effect as a letter to Santa.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The ACLU of Ohio warned against the new legislation:

    Maybe if the ACLU had not completely destroyed its credibility on actual "civil liberties" I might give a fuck what they say.

  • Numeromancer||

    “How do you know she's a witch?”

    “Because she looks like one!”

  • Aresen||

    She weighs more than a duck and doesn't sink when put in water.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    She's got a wart.

  • Drake||

    This is great police work! I always wire up my hidden drug stash to my battery.

  • Rich||

    Serious question for the legal beagles:

    TFL says: "Hidden compartment" includes, but is not limited to, any of the following .... Doesn't this language mean that TPTB can determine literally *anything* to be a "hidden compartment"?

  • Semper Why||

    I think it's more of providing wiggle room for a judge to determine if something is an hidden compartment even if it doesn't fall within a strict interpretation of the definition.

    That is why we call them judges: It's so they can make a judgement as to whether an interpretation is a reasonable one.

  • Aresen||

    That is why we call them judges: It's so they can make a judgement as to whether an interpretation is a reasonable one they want the cops fighting against them in the re-election campaign.

    Fixed.

  • Zeb||

    This is why, despite the different problems with lifetime appointed judges, I think electing judges is a terrible idea.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I think we should have a Supreme Supreme Court that does nothing but execute Supreme Court Justices for reinterpreting the Constitution for political purposes.

  • Zeb||

    And perhaps another one whose only job is to seek out an invalidate unconstitutional laws.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    If only.

    Perhaps an amendment stating the SCOTUS must review every law passed for constitutionality prior to the law taking effect. That should slow em down.

  • Andrew S.||

    Of course. Why else would the law have been written that way?

  • Aresen||

    Ohio passed a law in 2012 making it a felony to alter a vehicle to add a secret compartment with the “intent” of using it to conceal drugs for trafficking.

    Thoughtcrime.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To be sure, intent isn't the problem, because it, like the rest of most criminal laws requires proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, of such intent. Just like murder--it isn't murder if they can't prove the requisite intent.

    Without an intent element, many crimes become strict liability. So if someone attacks you out of the blue, and you kill him, you're guilty of murder if murder lacks an intent element.

    The problem here is that there is absolutely no evidence of intent. At least, not that's being reported.

  • Aresen||

    My point was more that there was no evidence of a crime to begin with. Somehow, they divined an "intent" to commit a non-existent crime.

  • Pro Libertate||

    In some situations, I can see the cops making an arrest without proof of intent on hand. Murder, again, is an obvious case of that. But that's among the more extreme crimes and the one you don't want to mess around with.

    With this, it seems to me the more appropriate thing to do is to not make an issue of the compartment but use its existence as probable cause for getting a warrant to follow the guy for a while and to conduct searches. Not sure how you justify the arrest, as there are not only perfectly legitimate reasons for a compartment (could even have existed without his knowledge, I suppose), there are illegal reasons that aren't drugs.

  • Aresen||

    Not sure I follow you, ProL.

    Since there is no actual "crime" - they said they had no other evidence to go on - they are divining intent to do something that has not happened.

    With a murder, there is a body or missing person; with a robbery, there is missing goods or money. In this case, there are not even drug residues.

  • prolefeed||

    Making it illegal to have a compartment in a car not visible to police because that * might * be intended to be used to in the future to transport drugs is both a thoughtcrime and futurecrime in one.

    That isn't even remotely "probable cause" to harass a citizen under the 9A, even if a government official chooses to misinterpret the 9A that way.

  • ||

    Yes, but they're going to argue that the intent was there at one time, if not at the time that they "found" the compartment.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm just saying that, at best, they could try to look for more evidence of a crime. I think it's weak sauce, too, but it at least is somewhat defensible. Arresting the guy is not.

  • Jquip||

    If intent requires proof beyond the shadow of a doubt: Prove what I'm thinking right now.

  • Zeb||

    And if there are no drugs found there, how could it ever be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he had the intent to use it to smuggle drugs? Seems to me that his stating "I didn't intend to smuggle drugs" should be plenty of reasonable doubt. Though I often suspect that my standard for reasonable doubt is rather more strict than most juries'.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's just like anything else--you have to present evidence demonstrating his intent. Really, it'd probably be enough if you could show he was trafficking drugs, though if you could prove that, you wouldn't need this law.

  • Zeb||

    See, to me there is always reasonable doubt about whether you have properly divined a stranger's mental state.

    I think it could be amusing to be on a jury some time. But the only time I have been summoned, I had just moved to another county, so I didn't have to go.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, what's the alternative? You do something accidentally or you have a valid, noncriminal reason for doing it, what's your defense? It's that you didn't intend to do the criminal act.

    Proving bad intent is absolutely critical to criminal law.

  • Adam330||

    Sure you can. history of drug trafficking, specific features of the compartment that are only consistent with drugs, discussions with friends/accomplices of what it was for, etc.

  • Acosmist||

    You don't know what intent is.

  • Rich||

    Just wait til they bust you for thinking about adding a secret compartment.

    Crap like that could be happening before 2050.

  • prolefeed||

    I think the first step would be making it illegal to download specs to your (illegal) 3D printer to 3D print such a device, even if you don't actually print it out.

    It is waaaay further down the Orwellian rathole for just thinking unapproved thoughts with no physical actions to implement them into a thoughtcrime. So, 2100, not 2050.

    Or am I being optimistic?

  • Enough About Palin||

    I wonder when they will get around to making the ownership of a safe-deposit box a felony.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Ohio passed a law in 2012 making it a felony to alter a vehicle to add a secret compartment with the “intent” of using it to conceal drugs for trafficking.

    Ohio has let me down, again.

    Is there any more useless poster around here than Warty?

  • velojym||

    Soo... I wonder whether the BATFE would be interested in some of these seized cars for their Fast 'n Furious runs.

  • MasterDarque||

    Yet another reason to say fuck Ohio

  • ||

    F*CK Ohio!

  • Jazzizhep||

    I am mad as hell, and I am tired of having to take it because a majority of idiots think I must.

    Man arrested for not picking up his children in a car (he was on foot).

    Vancouver bans doornobs in new construction. The city is described as a trendsetter. No word from the door lever lobby.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "Avery Aytes, a sheriff deputy and school resource officer, was on hand to prevent Howes from leaving with his kids."

    There are rumors going around that Avery Aytes fucks sheep.

  • Jazzizhep||

    Excuse me sir, your rumors are scurrilous. Officer Aytes has stated many times in his county it is against the law fuck sheep, and as such would never violate the law. He lubes up and lets the sheep fuck him.

  • prolefeed||

    With the money from the lawsuit settlement, this man will be able to afford sending his kids to private schools.

    Unfortunately, the settlement will come out of the hides of other citizens, rather than from the assets of the asshole who arrested him.

  • ReganT||

    So if I had a secret compartment to hide my junk food from my wife I would be committing a felony because I could also hide drugs there?

  • freeAgent||

    If they pulled you over when it was empty, they'd just say, "We apparently caught them between runs, so to speak."

    They wouldn't even wait for you to store some of your illicit candy stash.

  • Christophe||

    Make sure it's always filled with legal stuff. Maybe that'll save you.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Apparently, I have a hidden compartment that is always in my car when I am. It also, apparently, could be used to transport drugs. It is called my ANUS. Let's just hope NM and Ohio cops don't get together at the next Beat the Hell Outa Somebody (BTHOS)Conference.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Practice clenching in front of the cops, by the way, demonstrates the "intent" part of the law...

  • Snark Plissken||

    Now a fella, a quick fella, he might have a weapon secret compartment under there...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If you have a suitcase, that means you may be arrested for murder, because murderers have in the past transported the dismembered bodies of their victims in suitcases.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Man arrested for not picking up his children in a car (he was on foot).

    Just yesterday, somebody posted a link about the out-of-shape fatties who infest our schools. Maybe he's just trying to get his kids in shape.

    "Now, listen; when the shit hits the fan, you don't have to be faster than the bad guy, you just have to be faster than those other kids. Now, come on, DOUBLETIME IT."

  • ||

    (2) "Hidden compartment" means a container, space, or enclosure that conceals, hides, or otherwise prevents the discovery of the contents of the container, space, or enclosure. "Hidden compartment" includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

    (c) Any compartment, space, box, or other closed container that is added or attached to existing compartments, spaces, boxes, or closed containers integrated or attached to a vehicle.

    That would turn any pickup tool box or camper top into a “hidden compartment”. Way to go Ohio.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, seems like a locked glove compartment would qualify too under that definition. It doesn't actually seem to say that the compartment itself must be hidden or be a modification to the car.

  • prolefeed||

    The ACLU of Ohio believes SB 305 is an unnecessary and unproductive expansion of law.

    As bad as some chapters of the ACLU can be on 1A and 2A stuff, this particular branch of it deserves kudos.

    The law deserves to be tossed out as unconstitutional, but I have little confidence in a government officer upholding their oath of office to enforce this violation of the 9A.

  • Zeb||

    Where do they go wrong on 1A stuff? I thought they were pretty good on that, including agreeing with the Citizens United decision.

  • prolefeed||

    Try looking at the thread yesterday on the lesbian wedding photography case, where a business owner who had the temerity to say out loud their real reasons for declining to enter into a contract to take pictures found someone from the ACLU weighing in on the wrong side of that argument.

  • Zeb||

    So I guess it's a mixed bag.

  • R C Dean||

    Are you kidding - the ACLU is good on the First Amendment.

    I dunno about you, but my copy refers to Freedom of Association, something the ACLU devotes most its time and energy to attacking.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm thinking there's more to the story, like some COC (contempt of cop) or POP (pissing off the police).

    One of those cases where had he simply cooperated (kissed ass and waived all his rights) he would have driven home.

  • silverfang789||

    God forbid people try to hide their property from the long arm of the law.

  • freeAgent||

    "We apparently caught them between runs, so to speak, so this takes away one tool they have in their illegal trade. The law does help us and is on our side," says Combs.

    How the hell do they know this guy is trafficking drugs? If some conspicuous wires let them straight to the compartment, could you reasonably say it was "hidden" either? Regardless, modifying a car's storage space should not be a crime.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Fuck you Ohio. I can modify the fuck out of whatever I want if I own it.

  • dagwood52||

    The car's spare tire is showing in the picture. The secret compartment is probably where the tire goes.

  • Lungshot||

    They were saddened by not finding a dog to shoot.

  • Warty||

    I AM A GOLDEN GOD

    Seriously, Shackford, you post this while I'm busy? Not cool.

  • R C Dean||

    If the felony is altering (rather than just owning) the vehicle with a secret compartment, don't they have to prove that he was the one who altered it?

  • Taco||

    Can someone explain to me how a wire, in a vehicle, constitutes probably cause?

  • Christophe||

    Easy.
    The cops said it constitutes probable cause, and since they're all trained legal scholars, it is.
    New Professionalism.

  • daniwitz13||

    It is for the Prosecutor to PROVE that he had an "intent" to do drugs. All the Guy has to say to the Court, "that was NOT my intention." End of case. Pity

  • Acosmist||

    [citation needed]

  • ibcbet||

    Wow.. a secret place..

  • JeromeD||

    The article states that this is his first arrest. If that's so, he has an incredibly powerful case - the government would have to prove his intent with regard to drug trafficking.

    If he's smart, he'll sue. This will either be settled (at taxpayer's expense) or lost by the County (at taxpayer expense).

  • jimpeel||

    What part, of this part, of the law do they simply not understand?

    (I) This section DOES NOT APPLY apply to a box, safe, container, or other item added to a vehicle for the purpose of securing valuables, electronics, or firearms provided that AT THE TIME OF DISCOVERY the box, safe, container, or other item added to the vehicle DOES NOT CONTAIN A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE OR VISIBLE RESIDUE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE.

    So the box contained air. Is air a controlled substance?

    This is simply one more instance of theft under color of authority.

    This organization, Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (F.E.A.R.), fights for the rights of those who have been ensnared by the seizure and forfeiture laws.

    http://www.fear.org

    Seizure and forfeiture laws turn the police into bounty hunters; and the bounty they seek is the money and goods of those they have sworn to protect. The law is rife with corruption and stories of misuse of the law are legion. From the charter jet owner who had his plane seized for contracting with a suspected drug runner (who was never charged), to the police in Florida shaking down black motorists on I-95, this law has been an abomination.

  • steve baker||

    Back in the 70's, a couple guys whose dad owned an auto body repair shop noticed that if you welded a Cadillac Coupe Deville floorpan into an Eldorado chassis you ended up with a 3" space between the two that was handy for smuggling kilos of pot. Unless you were very tall, or used an Eldo with a sunroof, you'd never notice the decrease in headroom. Several of these modified vehicles were made and utilized. I always wondered what became of them?

  • steve baker||

    They even bought an old butter wrapping machine, which they took to Mexico, to wrap the pot in handy one-pound transportable bricks which filled the secret compartments neatly. The Butter Bricks, as they came to be known, also had the advantage of being of a size and weight familiar to American "consumers" and thus gained a marketing advantage.

  • steve baker||

    Unfortunately, the business became a victim of its own success. The brothers took a pickup truck and fitted it with a double walled slide-in camper which could haul far more Butter Bricks than the Eldorados. However, on it's first trip it ran into the Border Patrol's newest development in anti-smuggling technology - the pot sniffing dogs!

  • croaker||

    Police vehicles have a empty hidden compartment. It's where one would usually find a brain.

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