Post details: DHS Checkpoint Day 5: The Gang's All Here

2008-02-07

Permalink 23:15:06, Categories: Privacy, Right to Travel, Homeland Security?, Checkpoints, 768 words   English (EU)

DHS Checkpoint Day 5: The Gang's All Here


On the afternoon of February 1, 2008, I was stopped yet again at a suspicionless internal Homeland Security checkpoint on SR86 in Southern Arizona near mile post 146.

[More:]

The location is over 40 miles North of the border and this was the fifth time in three weeks I've been stopped & seized at this checkpoint absent reasonable suspicion.

Normally, there are three or four agents manning the checkpoint with two patrol vehicles parked nearby. This time the scenario were dramatically different.

Present were no less than twelve agents visible at any given time along with six Homeland Security vehicles lining the entry to the checkpoint. There was also a large United States flag flying over one of the trailers - something that hasn't been present in the past:

Perhaps the agents were hoping the large American flag would somehow mask their un-American activities.

As I first came to a stop at the checkpoint, several agents converged on my vehicle and one can be heard pounding on the truck near time marker 01:15. About nine seconds later, another agent to the rear of my vehicle can be heard yelling, Hi Terry. This of course clearly indicates the agents knew who I was and, by extension, that I wasn't an illegal alien. Nonetheless, the agents continued to detain me for several minutes in order to harass and intimidate.

As the suspicionless seizure of my person continued, several Homeland Security agents can be seen waving at me near 02:09:

While several high(er) ranking agents can be seen near 02:13 standing in the background looking on with apparent satisfaction:

Whether or not they were also onscene to make sure things didn't get out of hand during this staged confrontation is unknown.

As time progressed, another agent wearing blue 'inspection' gloves and carrying a sprint camera phone (service issue?) can be seen walking around the vehicle methodically taking photographs. His name tag indicated he was Agent 'J. Gonzalez':

The tags appear to be attached with velcro however and easily removed. As such, I give little credence to the validity of a name displayed on a tag - especially when the agents refuse to verify their identity on request.

Near 02:39, one of the agents who initially waved at me can be seen shaking hands with another agent:

Finally, near 03:22, the same agent who yelled my name during the initial stop, yelled Bye Terry after I was finally given permission to go on my way after Homeland Security finished having its fun.

I also note the stopping agent, 'K. June', refused to face me after directing me to stop. Perhaps she was ashamed of her handy work. Instead, she pressed herself up against the cab of the vehicle between the two side doors just out of view. This was the same agent who stopped me on January 8th and during a night stop with drug dogs on January 23rd. What's also interesting is that a different agent was stopping traffic at the checkpoint when I first entered. Several Cars were in front of me but by the time I rolled up to the stop sign, Agent June had replaced the male agent who had been there initially. This isn't readily apparent from the video but it is in the higher resolution photos taken of the scene.

Another male agent also played hide and seek while pressing himself up against the passenger side of the cab between the front and rear doors:

Approximately thirty minutes after I passed through the checkpoint, only four or five agents remained on-scene to conduct operations. This means the rest of the gang with guns left the scene shortly after the staged show of force ended and I left the area.

While watching the video, consider the lack of professionalism displayed by these Border Patrol agents at every level. These are the same agents who have been empowered with an extraordinary level of unfettered field discretion to stop, seize and detain individuals based upon no reasonable suspicion whatsoever. Also ask yourself how much illegal traffic crossed the border forty miles to the South of this checkpoint while twelve Homeland Security agents played domination games along a public highway that never intersects the border at any point.

The 4th amendment was specifically created to protect us against this type of arbitrary enforcement activity by over-reaching federal agencies. It would seem however that the writ of assistance is alive and well in modern day America and anyone can be considered a suspect for no reason whatsoever.

Far from increasing the security of the country, these checkpoints serve as little more than obedience training for the burgeoning American police state.

Comments:

Comment from: danb [Visitor]
You're a hero. Keep up the good work. Soon we'll have the Real ID and the question won't be "what country are you a citizen of?" it will be "papers, please."
Permalink 2008-02-08 @ 11:25
Comment from: alex hidel [Visitor]
Has this driver tried to leave the country or is he flagged w/ +2 million U.S. citizens on watchlist ?

Seems those of us that are shouted down to "Love it or Leave it" can not exit the country, get a fair loan, participate in bloggs like Digg w/o censor then ban, or protest w/o being profiled and put in Homeland Securtiy database !
Permalink 2008-02-09 @ 18:06
Comment from: Visitor [Visitor]
By God, I sure hope you don't fly... actually I would love to see you pull your little ploy with the TSA officials.
Permalink 2008-02-09 @ 19:04
Comment from: Chris [Visitor]
What troublesme the most is faced with a citizen who KNOWS his rights and asserts them, they run around like little kids and take pictures of you with their personal cellphones. Keep up the assertion of your rights! Good luck
Permalink 2008-02-11 @ 22:13
Comment from: Eric [Visitor]
Wow, this is ridiculous. At the border, of course expect to be stopped. But being stopped at random locations within the US? That doesn't seem reasonable. If the line isn't at the border then where will this end? Can you imagine the cost that would be incurred if they try to expand this sort of program throughout the rest of the country? Not to mention the annoyance...
Permalink 2008-02-12 @ 05:52
Comment from: Michael [Visitor]
Thanks for continuing to do the important work that you do. I have come across these as DUI stops and stonewall them until they come up with a charge, but I can imagine most of the citizens they come across kowtow to them just because they have a badge and an "official looking" stop. What it comes down to is an exercise to see how much abuse and power they can wield before they send them on their way.
You know the old analogy about boiling frogs... The TSA is the same way, a bunch of underachievers standing around with a uniform - it does nothing toward actual "security". If I have to go to Washington DC on business (about 500 miles) I now take a rental car. It's cheaper, takes only slightly longer and invalidates "my need" to have a bunch of nosepickers rifling through my baggage. Interesting note - I wonder how many illegals/terrorists are running across the border while these jokers on the government payroll play grab-ass.
Thank you for your information, I get the impression a lot of citizens out there don't understand their "rights".
Permalink 2008-02-13 @ 14:34
Comment from: Ben Lavine [Visitor]
I am not a U.S Border Patrol Agent but your videos, audio recordings and commentary make me wish that I was.

I am however, a career police officer with over 20 years on the job. I feel that I can speak from some experience both with the law and with people like you.

You're a typical whiner. Complain about your personal rights being violated while offering nothing toward a solution.

Illegal immigration is a problem; Crime is a problem. To be blunt, I haven't seen where your rights have been violated.

'Probable cause' is not needed for a vehicle stop. The government retains the right to regulate vehicles and drivers. If you don't like that, lobby for legislation otherwise. Checkpoints are regulated by statutory law and case law. Again, if you don't like that, sue or legislate.

In my opinion, you're just another egomaniac who needs to be the center of attention.

Ben Lavine
Permalink 2008-02-14 @ 11:52
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
Officer Lavine

Thank you for your feedback. It should be noted that I also have much experience dealing with people like you.

You're a typical jackboot. Complain about everyone not giving you any respect when you've done little to deserve it while offering nothing to show for the tax payer investment in your training and salary over the years.

Homeland Security inefficiency is a problem. Homeland Security corruption is a problem. To be blunt, you've offered nothing here to show you're part of the solution as opposed to being part of the problem.

Agent permission is not needed to record a suspicionless vehicle stop. The people retain the right to hold all agents accountable for their actions. If you don't like that, lobby for a Constitutional amendment that bans the Bill of Rights.

Suspicionless checkpoints are a fundamental violation of the principles upon which this country was founded. Again, if you don't like that, become a legislator and seek to repeal our founding documents.

In my opinion, you're just another egomaniac who needs to be the one in charge.

Good day.

P.S. I would much prefer a constructive dialogue on this issue. Unfortunately Officer Lavine, your post shows you to be far more interested in insulting those who exercise their rights in protecting themselves while challenging the status quo.

You are of course welcome to prove me wrong on this count and actually offer some constructive feedback and valuable insights instead acting like a jackboot.
Permalink 2008-02-14 @ 13:20
Comment from: US Citizen [Visitor]
You should be glad that the border patrol is making the US a better place by eliminating drug/alien smugglers at checkpoints. Why not just cooperate with the people that represent our front line to the US and stop being a jackass by giving them a hard time. Insted of asking the agents who authorizes checkpoints why don't you look up case law and find out yourself who or what authorizes checkpoints. You should thank a border patrol agent for the danger he puts himself into to protect our nation instead of acting unprofessional as you are doing in your videos.
Permalink 2008-02-15 @ 16:26
Comment from: usc [Visitor] · http://visitor
you are such a turd, you just can't stop state your citizenship AND leave can you, you gotta be an idiot and try to push people so you can sue them and get money, all you are doing is looking for an easy way out. People like you need a good ass kicking and boot to the face to get the picture, you don't like the way the USA conducts buisness go somewhere else.....and anyone who thinks that this guy is doing a good thing can leave too, you all are just being babies about a simple stop that means nothing to anyone, all you have to say is US CITIZEN and be on your way, this guy acts like every one should know who he is and he is a no-body trying to cheat the system and get money, what a loser, hope I get to see you in a back alley my friend b/c then maybe I'll kick your dumb ass to IRAQ and we'll see how you like it over there you dumb shitbag...
Permalink 2008-02-15 @ 22:23
Comment from: Redditor [Visitor] · http://www.google.com/search?q=reddit&btnI
Please unblock reddit, it makes it hard to use your site in discussions when people get 403's "spammer" for linking to you.
Permalink 2008-02-16 @ 19:36
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
My apologies.

Reddit has been unblocked. I didn't realize it was on the list and am unsure if it was included in an automatically uploaded block list or inadvertently added after the fact.
Permalink 2008-02-16 @ 20:46
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
Why not just cooperate with the people that represent our front line to the US and stop being a jackass by giving them a hard time.

This seems to be an especially difficult concept for some people to understand. These agents weren't working the front line to the U.S., a.k.a. the border. Instead, they were working a suspicionless checkpoint along a State Highway no where near the border and that never intersects the border.

If the agents had been working the front line to the U.S., we wouldn't be having this conversation right now.

Would you also be in favor of random house searches anywhere in the country as well? After all, illegal aliens and drug smugglers have to sleep somewhere...

Permalink 2008-02-17 @ 09:39
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
you are such a turd, you just can't stop state your citizenship AND leave can you

Well I guess that would be fine for folks who don't mind being treated like criminals by their government absent reasonable suspicion. If you listen to these agents, you'll realize these seizures are about far more than just stating your citizenship. They're about visual searches, drug dog sniffs, searches for terrorists and indefinite detention until you've proven yourself to not be guilty of any crime being investigated. Sounds like you have no problem with innocent people being treated in such a manner in the land of the free and home of the brave.
you gotta be an idiot and try to push people so you can sue them and get money, all you are doing is looking for an easy way out.

You appear to be pretty big with the insults but low on the logic. I didn't seek out and seize these agents. They did it to me. I'm merely defending my rights by documenting non-consensual seizures by armed federal agents absent reasonable suspicion along a public highway. If they don't want to be documented then maybe they should limit their activity to investigating real suspects instead of putting the general public in harm's way.
People like you need a good ass kicking and boot to the face to get the picture

Your true self shines through with the above statement. You appear to be just another jackboot, or jackboot licker, who would use physical force to bend everyone who disagrees with you to your will. You make a great spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security by the way.
you don't like the way the USA conducts buisness go somewhere else.....and anyone who thinks that this guy is doing a good thing can leave too

Perhaps you can petition Congress to round up and deport every American who disagrees with your utopian vision of society. Better yet, since you appear to hold the principles upon which this country was founded in such contempt, perhaps you would be happier living elsewhere yourself. I can think of many third world dictatorial governments that would be happy to have a tyrant bootlicker like yourself as a subject.
you all are just being babies about a simple stop that means nothing to anyone, all you have to say is US CITIZEN and be on your way

If it means nothing to anyone, why are you wasting your time posting a comment on this blog? Even more interesting however is the question of why the federal government is expending so many resources and man-hours on something that means nothing to anyone?
hope I get to see you in a back alley my friend b/c then maybe I'll kick your dumb ass to IRAQ and we'll see how you like it over there you dumb shitbag...

Once again, thank you for pointing out the general mindset and mentality of those who support such police state tactics.

Since you have communicated a threat of physical violence in your post, the following information regarding your post is being made public:

Author: usc (IP: 24.255.58.79, ip24-255-58-79.tc.ph.cox.net)
This IP originates from a Phoenix-based Cox Cable subscriber
Email: nunya@yahoo.com (unconfirmed)


nunya 'at' yahoo.com is an active yahoo email account with a profile available here. Whether or not the poster of this comment is actually associated with the email address he/she left is unconfirmed at this time.
Permalink 2008-02-17 @ 10:20
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
***Note - the comment appearing below was moved here from a different thread because it's in direct response to earlier comments left here. Comments were closed at the time which probably explains why this comment ended up somewhere else.

I have re-opened comments on this thread for the foreseeable future or until the auto spambots latch onto the thread again and wreak administrative havoc...****


Mr. Bressi,

I do appreciate your posting my unedited comments.

However, you prove my point by your response.

"Thank you for your feedback. It should be noted that I also have much experience dealing with people like you."

"You're a typical jackboot. Complain about everyone not giving you any respect when you've done little to deserve it while offering nothing to show for the tax payer investment in your training and salary over the years."

This of course is based upon your extensive familiarity with me. Further, it has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

"Homeland Security inefficiency is a problem. Homeland Security corruption is a problem. To be blunt, you've offered nothing here to show you're part of the solution as opposed to being part of the problem."

Nor am I involved with homeland security as part of the United States Government. I have no dog in this fight. I made some observations based upon viewing a number of your videos. The reason I made those observations is that your videos don't show any corruption- Just frustration.

"Agent permission is not needed to record a suspicionless vehicle stop. The people retain the right to hold all agents accountable for their actions. If you don't like that, lobby for a Constitutional amendment that bans the Bill of Rights."

Where in my comment did I make any reference to videotaping agents?

"Suspicionless checkpoints are a fundamental violation of the principles upon which this country was founded. Again, if you don't like that, become a legislator and seek to repeal our founding documents."

Again, I made no mention of suspicionless checkpoints. According to the Supreme Court, done properly, they are legal.

"In my opinion, you're just another egomaniac who needs to be the one in charge."

You are entitled to your opinion.

"Good Day"

You as well.

"P.S. I would much prefer a constructive dialogue on this issue. Unfortunately Officer Lavine, your post shows you to be far more interested in insulting those who exercise their rights in protecting themselves while challenging the status quo."

The only dialogue you seem to rationally engage in is with those who agree with you.

"You are of course welcome to prove me wrong on this count and actually offer some constructive feedback and valuable insights instead acting like a jackboot."

I was not aware that I acted like footwear. You have your mind made up. No amount of dialogue will change any of your opinions.

Best,

Ben Lavine
Permalink 2008-02-25 @ 14:28
Comment from: greg taylor [Visitor]
I remember a law on the books wayback to treatie's time,that Custom's,border patrol don't need a search warant upto 50 miles from the Border,And a Mexican can work in America as long as they were able to return back to Mexico by eveing,not needing paper's to do so.When your Job is to search for trouble,That person losses sight of what is right.
Permalink 2008-03-03 @ 21:21

Comments are closed for this post.

Roadblock Revelations

Welcome to Checkpoint USA's blog. Here you'll find general information and discussions regarding growing threats to our right to privacy & travel.

While I refer to court cases along with state and federal law frequently in this blog, nothing written here should be construed as legal advice. I am not an attorney. Rather, I'm someone concerned about the growing disregard for individual rights present at all levels of government.

My conclusions are my own based upon personal experience and research. The law is made purposely complex however and varies significantly from place to place and circumstance to circumstance.

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