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Watch your driving habits! No ten and two hand positions allowed! :NO:



NEW MEXICO — A federal appeals court has ruled that driving with one’s hands at the “ten-and-two position” is reason enough to pull someone over for further investigation. No traffic laws have to actually be broken. Additionally, the court ruled that facial acne is reason enough to suspect a driver is a drug smuggler.

The ruling stems from an incident that took place on April 18, 2012, at roughly 7:45 p.m. A border patrol agent driving down Highway 80 saw a white Ford F-150 heading the opposite direction. This took place roughly 40 miles north of the U.S./Mexico border — well inside the United States.


Although the truck was witnessed breaking no traffic laws, Border Patrol Agent Joshua Semmerling claimed he noticed several things that drew his suspicions, while passing the truck at 60 miles per hour.
First, was the driver’s upright posture. The female driver was sitting up straight with her hands located on the upper part of the steering wheel. This was viewed as suspicious activity.
Secondly, the agent claimed that the truck’s tinted windows were suspicious. It remains unclear how the agent saw driver’s posture through the “suspicious” tint.


Lastly was the truck’s rear license plate — which the agent claims to have observed in his rear-view mirror while traveling at a high rate of speed in the opposite direction. He claimed that he noticed it was from out-of-state; another suspicious characteristic.


The agent decided to make a U-turn and stop the truck.
The driver identified herself as Cindy Lee Westhoven of Tucson, Arizona. Agent Semmerling then used his keen crime-detecting skills to justify a search of her truck. He saw that Mrs. Westhoven had “acne” on her face and claimed that it was grounds for suspecting her to be a methamphetamine user.


Mrs. Westhoven had already proven she was a U.S. citizen. She had no warrants and had broken no laws, yet Agent Semmerling claimed that he believed she might be smuggling illegal aliens and/or drugs. When she refused to consent to a search, the agent used a drug K9 to sniff her truck. The dog turned up a small amount of cannabis. Westhoven was arrested.


Later in court, Westhoven’s defense tried to overturn the arrest due to the shaky ground upon which the stop was performed. Her attorney argued that the evidence was obtained illegally. The effort was unsuccessful; the court accepted all of the agent’s dubious tactics.


“Driving stiffly, having tinted windows, slowing down when seeing law enforcement, and driving in an out-of-the-way area may be innocent conduct by themselves,” Judge Scott M. Matheson, Jr., wrote for the appellate panel. “But when taken together along with driving a vehicle with out-of-state plates in a mountainous smuggling corridor 40-45 miles away from the border, we conclude Agent Semmerling had reasonable suspicion Ms. Westhoven was involved in smuggling activity.”


The 3-judge panel on the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the search, and rejected Westhoven’s motion to suppress the evidence.
The acceptance of such flimsy suspicions in court is the practical acceptance of zero need for any real indication of a crime occurring before any American can be stopped and searched by federal agents.

More: Federal court rules that stiff driving posture is suspicious behavior | Police State USA
 

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:p according to the federal government, being that close to the border meant she was in a constitution free zone right?
 

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I am a retired truck driver. So I guess because i can sit upright for ten hours straight , I am a terrorist ? I used to haul compressed Hydrogen gas. A D.O.T Checkpoint an officer wanted to know if i had any explosives... I said DUH, you noticed what i am carrying.

hindenburg-wide.jpg What happens when Hydrogen gas ignites.
 

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I thought that the whole K-9 car search thing was not probable cause any longer. Did a court rule that this was some how an invasion of privacy?
 

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Sounds legit to me...

:-D
 
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More proof, if any was needed, that the nation formerly known as the United States is well on it's way to being a full blown police state.
 

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A small amount of cannibis?!!!! Thank GAWD this federal agent was aler, and on the case! I feel so much safer now that this miscreant is off the street........or is on probation.........or had to pay a fine. I mean......under an ounce of MJ, what is that, like 2 hours in a federal pen? It probably cost more to transport, book, feed, and house this dastardly ne'er-do-well than she paid for her weed. What a waste of time & money. After verifying her citizenship he should've just walked away. Isn't he a BORDER PATROL agent?
 

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First and for most, the Criminal Justice System is now a business, the principle of justice is an outdated concept. Back in my time, if a Sheriff caught someone smoking a joint or committing some victim-less Tom-foolery, a stern warning was the order of the day; not a fine and/or a trip to jail.
 

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Sad commentary on our legal system... At some point a jury must have convicted... Ignorant... All it takes is one in twelve; we are lost.
Probably just before a federal judge. She was charged with possession with intent to distribute. The police claim is that she also acted very nervous and had two cell phones. She was detained for a dog sniff and the dog alerted. I hope the defense attorney got to cross examine the dog.

Once the judge ruled the evidence from the search was admissible, the case was over. Defendant pled guilty with the right to withdraw the plea if successful on challenge to Judge's ruling on appeal. No need to see a jury and get an enhanced sentence, especially when the Assistant US Attorney can pile a lot of pot on the evidence table.

It takes one in 12 to prevent a conviction. However - does anyone want to trust their future to 12 people not smart enough to get out of jury duty?
 
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