Post details: 'Homeland Security' Checkpoint: Day 4


Permalink 04:07:00, Categories: Right to Travel, Homeland Security?, Checkpoints, 422 words   English (EU)

'Homeland Security' Checkpoint: Day 4

It looks like the Department of Homeland Security has expanded the scope of its suspicionless checkpoint operations near mile marker 146 on SR86 from (as some would erroneously claim) a 'simple' immigration check to now include sniffs from specially trained drug dogs.


While driving home from work on the evening of January 23, 2008, I was stopped for a 4th time at this internal checkpoint. Agents weren't just limiting themselves to demanding one's citizenship status & visually searching vehicles however. This time, a Homeland Security K-9 handler ran his specially trained drug sniffing dog 360 degrees around my vehicle at the same time the stopping agent demanded I roll down my window and state my citizenship.

Just to clarify for folks unfamiliar with this story. I'm not discussing a border Port of Entry operation. I'm discussing a roving suspicionless Homeland Security checkpoint setup in the interior of the country, over 40 miles North of the border. Vehicles are being forced to come to a dead stop from 65 miles an hour by federal agents who have positioned themselves in the middle of a two lane State highway and refuse to identify themselves when so requested.

Several individuals have criticized me in the past by claiming it's no big deal to be seized by federal agents in the interior of the country absent reasonable suspicion to make inquiries regarding citizenship status. I suppose its also no big deal to be seized from one's travels absent reasonable suspicion so that specially trained canine units can get a good sniff of your property as well.

After entering the checkpoint and realizing a drug dog was present, I tried taking a full resolution photo of the handler and his german shephard searching the vehicle in front of me. My camera had different plans however and decided that was a good time to shut down for the evening. As such, the video of the stop ends shortly after I enter the checkpoint:

After the drug dog was directed at me, it came up empty pawed much to the disappointment of the on-scene agents. Shortly thereafter, I was waived through the checkpoint proving once again I'm no threat to the homeland - at least until H.R. 1955 is passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.

Anyway, for those interested, I have now consolidated my videos of these checkpoint stops on You Tube.

I'll also note before finishing up that I've definitely gotten the attention of Homeland Security. I'm thinking my next post may very well be titled, The Empire Strikes Back....


Comment from: Jodie [Visitor] ·
I live in Texas, very far from the border fortunately. However, I'm quite concerned about the erosion of our rights as US citizens under the guise of Homeland Security and other laws passed under the Bush administration. One big thing everyone can do is vote for the Democratic candidate in the national election in Nov 2008. Hopefully having a Democrat in office will help change some of the current egredgious abuses of power.
Great blog keep up the good work!
Permalink 2008-02-01 @ 10:59
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]
My goal in life is to be more like you!

Do you know if you are required to present your driver's license to police (state or local) at a CHECKPOINT (As opposed to presenting it if you have been stopped for a reasonable suspicion, where you pretty much have to)?

If they just ask you to present it with no probable cause (if you are driving) do you have the right to ignore their request and ask to be excused under the 4th amendment or does the fact that they are police and you are driving a motor vehicle force you to show your license/reg/proof of insurance?
Permalink 2008-02-04 @ 09:45
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
Regarding local or state police checkpoints, the laws vary from county to county and state to state.

To find out in your area, submit an Open Records Request (or its equivalent) to the closest police station or Sheriff's Dept. that conducts checkpoints on a regular basis. In the request, ask for a copy of the departmental checkpoint guidelines. If the department doesn't have written guidelines, it's prima facia evidence checkpoints are being conducted illegally.

In my area, I've received copies of checkpoint guidelines from the Tucson Police Dept. and the Pima County Sheriff's Dept. Both sets of guidelines make it clear officers are not to request a driver's license unless they have reasonable suspicion to believe a crime has been committed. Further, the guidelines indicate an individual doesn't have to roll down their window or otherwise interact with a stopping officer.

To read more about this and see a copy of an Open Records Request along with a set of checkpoint guidelines, go here.

I've also blogged about this before so check the blog archives.
Permalink 2008-02-05 @ 20:36

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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