John Ross on the 'Crime' of Having a Hidden Compartment in Your Car


Hidden compartment
CBP Photography / Foter / CC BY-SA

Last fall, Ohio state troopers pulled 30-year-old Norman Gurley over for speeding. Detecting an "overwhelming smell of raw marijuana," officers spent hours searching the vehicle and found no contraband. But they did discover an empty secret compartment. For that, police hauled Gurley, who has no criminal record, off to jail. As John Ross points out, Gurley's arrest struck more than a few people as an abuse of power. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley calls the incident "part of the expanding criminalization of America where virtually any act can be charged as a crime by police."