Excerpt from the Police Files, Hot Springs, AR. Steven Mross


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kbr80
February 12, 2004, 02:07 AM
Excerpt from the Police Files, Hot Springs, AR. Steven Mross

Am I mistaken for thinking this is plain wrong. I mean, I hate drug users, pushers and makers, but just think, an officer, on duty or off duty, observes you purchase ammo?


2/11/04

It was an unusually large purchase of salt that led an off-duty Hot Springs police officer working security at a department store to a felony drug arrest Monday night.
Officer Paul Calcagno was working at Price Cutter, 4216 Central Ave., shortly after 5:30pm, when he saw three men enter the store and purchase three large containers of table salt, which Calcagno knew is used in the manufacture of methamphetamines.
The officer followed then out to there vehicle and ran a check on the license plate, which showed outstanding warrants for the listed owner.

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mrapathy2000
February 12, 2004, 04:48 AM
I see nothing wrong. police officer doing a fine job.

why would you be worried about a police officer seeing you purchase ammo? you got something to hide:scrutiny:

I dont take the meth problem lightly at all. its sad when they get arrested then released and go right back to making meth with a new lab with new hazardous chemicals which cost the county tax payers more money cause they have another lab to cleanup.

Jim March
February 12, 2004, 11:50 AM
Hmmmm.

Meth labs aren't like pot patches or whatever. "Nasty" doesn't even begin. I had some jerks run one in the basement of an old wood apartment building with inadequate sprinklers and kids present.

Bet your butt this libertarian got the cops involved.

shooter1
February 12, 2004, 01:18 PM
Sounds to me the officer did a fine job! All police officers are (or should be) aware of persons who might be buying large quanties of substances that possibly be used in the manufacture of meth. Running the LP on the subject vehicle was a logical step. Gotta love the instant 10-51 check!!
Will

MicroBalrog
February 12, 2004, 01:23 PM
Info about meth labs here (http://www.drugwarfacts.org/methamph.htm)

"During Vietnam both the Air Force and Navy made amphetamines available to aviators. Intermittently since Vietnam up through Desert Storm the Air Force has used both amphetamines and sedatives in selected aircraft for specific missions."

Source: "Performance Maintenance During Continuous Flight Operations: A Guide For Flight Surgeons," NAVMED P-6410, Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, Jan. 1, 2000, p. 8, available online through the Virtual Naval Hospital of the University of Iowa, at http://www.vnh.org/PerformMaint/, last accessed Jan. 2, 2003.

yayarx7
February 12, 2004, 02:01 PM
we still use "go pills" .

HankB
February 12, 2004, 03:33 PM
During Vietnam both the Air Force and Navy made amphetamines available to aviators. It goes back further than that - my father told me that during WWII, Army Air Corps doctors used to pass out "pep pills" (Dexedrine? Benzedrine? Darned if I remember exactly what he said) to help flight crews stay awake on long missions, or on several consecutive missions with no down time between.

When they wore off, you came "down" hard and were grounded for up to 72 hours, depending on how long you were "up."

Of course, I doubt if the Army Air Force had a couple of Columbians cooking them up in a dirty garage somewhere . . .

geekWithA.45
February 12, 2004, 04:29 PM
Most of the research into stimulant use came out of the military. The Germans made some headway in WWII, and to this day, (and I quote my psychopharmacology professor, formerly of the Pentagon)

"Military 'no-doze' is essentially pharmaceutical grade speed."

The biggest reason stimulant use isn't widely used militarily except under emergency circumstances is because the drugs expend certain neurochemicals called catecholamines. Once they are depleted below a certain level, typically after 72 hours of use, the user will "crash" and sleep, regardless of the circumstances, and the stims won't be effective until the catecholamine level is restored, typically another 72 hours.

Naturally, when you push the human body that close to its limits, things can medically wind up being a lot worse than the "best case" of a man falling asleep in the middle of combat.

Dex Sinister
February 12, 2004, 04:55 PM
Sounds to me the officer did a fine job! All police officers are (or should be) aware of persons who might be buying large quanties of substances that possibly be used in the manufacture of meth. Running the LP on the subject vehicle was a logical step. Gotta love the instant 10-51 check!!

And the purchase of three "large" boxes of table salt (which as far as I know doesn't usually come in other than standard (1lb?) packages, is now probable cause to run plates on suspision, while off-duty???

Let's separate the question of whether these particular persons had outstanding warrants, or were bad sorts: Obviously we know that if we had police systematically stop people and ask them for their papers, or ran the LP's of everyone driving down a section of highway that we could find outstanding warrants and arrest people.

We could certainly catch more criminals that way - but we'd rather have to give up the illusion that we live in a free country.

However, let us suppose that these particular persons had been engaged in the manufacture of baked goods, or heaven help us had been buying innapropriate salt for the manufacture of Ice Cream!!!

Would it be okay for the officer to be violating the privacy of these people then?

Dex

Edited, because I can't type correctly today

kbr80
February 12, 2004, 05:07 PM
Dex got my point. My wife and I have a business, we purchase in bulk, and salt is one of the items. Just goes to show, the POLICE STATE is here, been here for a while, and its just going to get worse.

Michigander
February 12, 2004, 05:31 PM
Dex,


However, let us suppose that these particular persons had been engaged in the manufacture of baked goods, or heaven help us had been buying innapropriate salt for the manufacture of Ice Cream!!!

Would it be okay for the officer to be violating the privacy of these people then?


I'm not so sure running the LP of someone is a violation of privacy. Isn't that why there are LPs in the first place? And if they were in the manufacture of baked goods, then they probably would not have had outstanding warrants either. At which point I am assuming the off duty police officer would have let it drop and not tail them back to their bakery or meth lab, whatever the case may have been.

kbr80
February 12, 2004, 05:54 PM
Is buying salt, in whatever quantities, PC to do a LP check? I dont think so.

mrapathy2000
February 12, 2004, 06:13 PM
can you put up a link to source for article. its lacking on details.

kbr80
February 12, 2004, 06:28 PM
I am not an online subscriber to the Hot Springs news paper, you have to be to view the article. I typed the first paragraphs directly from the newspaper. What I left out was the suspects were arrested on the warrants they had out for them. My problem, as stated before, was an off duty cop, working as security, ran their LP because they purchased 3 large containers of salt from a local grocery store. I just think that is wrong. I hate anyone invloved in any way with drugs. But this is wrong. You should not be able to run someones tag number because of what they bought in a store. That just screams police state. If anyone is interested, I will type and post the entire article.

Langenator
February 12, 2004, 07:00 PM
I may be wrong here, but isn't that fact that a certain vehicle, bearing a specific license plate is on record as being owned by a certain individual a public record? The fact that the car is registered to that person is not private, so the cop, on duty or off, doesn't need probable cause to check on who owns it.

If the folks in question owned a restaurant and needed to fill all their salt shakers, and had no warrants out for their arrest, nothing would have happened. It would have ended with the plate check.

shooter1
February 12, 2004, 08:49 PM
A routine traffic stop, suspicious activity, or just a gut feeling will get your tag run. All a part of good police work. I'm sure most of us have had our tag ran a few times and never knew it. Helps us tell the good guys from the ones you complain about.
Will

Michigander
February 12, 2004, 10:41 PM
I also wouldn't doubt that the way the perps appeared (i.e. clothing, clean-shaven or not, etc.) had a LOT to do with the officer's suspicions, along with a thousand more tiny perceptions he was unconscious of at the time.

Dex Sinister
February 13, 2004, 02:23 AM
A routine traffic stop, suspicious activity, or just a gut feeling will get your tag run. All a part of good police work. I'm sure most of us have had our tag ran a few times and never knew it. Helps us tell the good guys from the ones you complain about.

Of course we have (had tags run illegally by police on a "hunch"): Random abuse of police power is fairly frequent these days, and one generally doesn't hear about it except with a cover story about how some "extraordinary" feature of a "particular" "criminal" caught the eye of a "vigilant" cop.

But that does not, however, make it acceptable in America. As far as I know, (regardless of whether it is actually done routinely) it is illegal for police to run tags except on legally justifiable probable cause - not just a hunch that it might be fun or fruitful to do so. That would quite specifically include not running tags while off duty, except on the direct observation of a clearly illegal act for which any citizen could perform a citizen's arrest.

That's what police are, you know: Citizens with the authority to arrest for misdemeanors, and relative immunity for good-faith incorrect actions performed in the course of their job. Regardless of all the current blather about "civilians" as opposed to cops, the police are not in a separate legal class from anyone else such that they possess the right to violate the rights of others, while your neighbor does not.

What you are essentially saying Shooter1, is that you have no right whatsoever to be secure in your person, papers, and possessions from government inquiry into whether you "might" be using something in a manner disapproved of by someone in the vast number of government employees that make up (or consume) almost 1/3 of the economy of the country.

Or IOW's, that you think it is fine for the police to treat everyone as a criminal until it is proved to their satisfaction that they are not.

Police efficiency is not really the issue here: The police in almost all Police States are extremely efficient. The question is the apparent lack of public outrage at the police in a free country using (some of ) the tactics of police in a Police State.

Dex

Dex Sinister
February 13, 2004, 03:19 AM
I'm not so sure running the LP of someone is a violation of privacy. Isn't that why there are LPs in the first place? And if they were in the manufacture of baked goods, then they probably would not have had outstanding warrants either. At which point I am assuming the off duty police officer would have let it drop and not tail them back to their bakery or meth lab, whatever the case may have been.

No, that’s not the purpose of license plates. The purpose of license plate is to make your car uniquely identifiable in the event that you perform an illegal action with the car.

In much, much broader terms, this is really a question of whether government employees have the rightful authority to treat the public as if individuals walking around required their “by-your-leave” (or permission) to “be allowed” to go about their business, or to treat everyone as if they might be guilty of something even when there is no evidence that they are doing anything wrong. [All of this assuming, prima facie, that the story is substantially correct in the first place.]

Suppose, for instance, you read a story about how an undercover investigative reporter had discovered that the police were routinely showing up at the meetings of [insert your favorite hypothetical group or favored minority] and running the tags of all the cars in the meeting parking lot, or who seemed to slow down as they passed the entrance. Would that seem okay to do in a free country? The actions of the cops in question are similar.

I’m not saying that Meth dealers are nice people – I’m simply pointing out that police actions that in a free country, police efficiency is not the paramount consideration: The rights of the 99% of the law-abiding people who don’t break laws and ought not be subject to random suspicion of illegal actions is.

This would have a direct parallel with whether your rights as a law-abiding citizen to buy one or more guns should be limited by the “possibility” that you “might” possibly intend to put them to evil use. Or maybe whether anyone who doesn't intend to break the law could possibly really "need" [the number of guns in your safe, plus the one you'd like to buy next] guns in their possession.

Philosophically speaking, in a free country, a meth dealer has just as much right to visit the grocery store and buy salt (breaking no laws on the way to and from) as you do to by a gun (breaking no laws on the way to and from).
Neither buying a gun nor buying salt is an illegal action, and neither should subject you to privacy violations.

Heck, I sometimes stock up on Sudafed because of allergies, and we all know that Sudafed is used in Meth manufacture! I must be a suspicious character too!

Dex

Pendragon
February 13, 2004, 04:09 AM
Dex,

That is Ephedrine, no "pseudo-ephedrine" and its not buying a few boxes thats suspicious, its buying it by the cases and pallates.

People purchasing large quantities of ephedrine are routinely looked into.

As far as using the salf for a restaurant - most restaurants are going to buy their bulk salt from a supplier - not late at night at Wal-Mart or however this happened.

I am curious as to why you think running tags is "illegal".

My understanding is that several state courts have ruled that motorists do not have a reasonable expectation to privacy when their license plates are in public view.

The cops can run your plates but get limited info - owners address, license status, outstanding warrants, etc.

A LOT of police work is running tags - looking for people who have expired tags, stolen tags, etc.

I am nervous as heck because I am driving in TX on expired CA plates - got my safety inspection sticker and proof of insurance, but not registerd and no bill of sale (from my sister - yet). So far, I have been lucky - low profile car, driven by low profile guy in a low profile manner - but luck always runs out.

I should be totally legal this week.

shooter1
February 13, 2004, 11:29 AM
As Pendragon pointed out, information received on a LP check returns rather limited information. Basicly a description of the vehicle, license exp. date, check for valid insurance, name and address of registered owner. As I stated earlier, this check is routine for traffic stops, if the vehicle is abandonded in a remote area, fits the description of a stolen vehicle, subject of a BOLO, or is being operated in an unsafe or suspicious manner.
By using this tool we are able to prevent a lot of crimes, (maybe against you or your property) recover stolen vehicles, and enforce insurance/licensing codes as required by law. Speaking for myself, I don't run tags for entertainment or to invade your privacy. I am an adovcate of ALL the constitutional amendments. It appears that some think that anything that happens to them is an invasion of privacy. I see it everyday. I know that this is more of an emotional issue than one of logic, and I will never be able to change this preception. We constantly hear outcries from these very persons to get the bad guys off the streets. Truth is, unless you do a little investigative work, you don't know who the bad guys are! The only other option I see, is to wait for the call after the crime has been committed. Somehow, I don't think that would be acceptable either. Oh well, no way to convince anyone that wants to disagree. Wouldn't it be a hoot if the next time someone calls about a suspicious vehicle crusing their neighborhood at 3 AM, if they were told that it couldn't be checked out for fear of invading someone's privacy? Enough rambling, those who don't understand never will.
Will

kbr80
February 13, 2004, 12:19 PM
Truth is, unless you do a little investigative work, you don't know who the bad guys are! The only other option I see, is to wait for the call after the crime has been committed.


So we are all treated like criminals by LEO's. It has risen to the point that an off duty cop can run your tag for products you have purchased.

dav
February 13, 2004, 01:05 PM
I'm pretty sure I could, too.

I am not LEO, have no connections or anything. But California law allows anyone to request a license plate check "for proper reason", which includes saying you are buying the car, or think there is something fishy, like it might be stolen.

License plate (ownership) info is not secret. Sorry.

shooter1
February 13, 2004, 02:27 PM
The only people that are treated as criminals are the ones who give good reason for such treatment. My point in my last post, which apparently was not clear, was: Ah, never mind, I'm wasteing my time trying to explan logical reasoning. If anyone wants to feel picked on, go ahead. If anyone has reasonable privacy concerns, it would be best to avoid the Internet.
Will

MicroBalrog
February 13, 2004, 02:35 PM
The following are related:

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/civilrts.htm

http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm

http://www.november.org/

http://www.hr95.org/

http://www.hr95.org/drugwarterror.htm

http://www.hr95.org/pix/0209.asa.dadda.jpg

MicroBalrog
February 13, 2004, 02:38 PM
http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/02/21/thailand.drugs/

http://www.druglibrary.org/think/~jnr/wodarts.htm

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/media/rlmiller.htm

WYO
February 13, 2004, 02:57 PM
This is one of those typical THR threads where someone posts a newspaper article about a single relatively innocuous fact that aroused a police officer’s suspicion, which then gets painted by some as another episode of “Cops Gone Wild.” Do you really believe that the officer used a single fact to decide to go to the effort to run a plate and then run the owner?

Do you think that, just maybe, he considered other facts that aren’t in the article? How about their appearance? Were they wearing hair nets like the guys who work in a kitchen meeting health code standards? Did they have “tats” consistent with the meth trade or prior prison experience? How about their eyes? Did they have crank bugs on their face? Did they look like they had been awake for 3 days? What did they say and how did they say it? Did they look like the type of people who would have an instant need for 3 lbs of salt? What about the car? What else did they buy?

Do you think that this cop, who is working a security gig, is running the plate of every vehicle? I bet not. Something about these people called particular attention to them.

In addition, running a plate and running the owner are perfectly ok so long as they are done for legitimate police reasons, and this fits.

In any event, there is no reason to debate this issue because we don’t know the facts.

kbr80
February 13, 2004, 02:59 PM
I think for 90% of most LEO's, being a police officer is a power trip. When I was a Police officer, I would ask new officers why they wanted to be a cop. 99 times out of 100, the reply was, ITS A RUSH. Its still the reply today, when an officer I know introduces me to a new rookie. The newer LEO's scare the hell out of me. I know a few LEO's, and trust them, but over 90% of them, I do not trust at all. At least with a criminal you know his intent. I know there are some good LEO's out there, damn few if you ask me.

MicroBalrog
February 13, 2004, 03:04 PM
Did they look like the type of people who would have an instant need for 3 lbs of salt?

1. Do you look like the kind of a person that has an instant need for a gun? I hope not. Are you in desperate need for a 4WD? (Gang-banger vehicle of choice IIRC). Do you have tattoos? Earrings? Do you wear camouflage/biker jacket/coloured hair?

2.In Israel, salt is sold in 1 kg (roughly 2 lb's) packages, I presume the same way as in the Land of the Free. Since when "he bought two packs of salt, GRAB HIM!" acceptable policy?

kbr80
February 13, 2004, 03:19 PM
In addition, running a plate and running the owner are perfectly ok so long as they are done for legitimate police reasons, and this fits.

Lets exclude the fact the cop was not on duty. I believe his job as security for the grocery store is to ensure the store is secure, not hunt druggies. He, at the very most should have called for a uniform, on duty, patrol.

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