[Update: Friday's hearing lasted about an hour at Pima County Justice Court with hearing officer Holguin. Deputy Avila showed up in person & testified for about five minutes or so. I cross-examined him for about twenty minutes and then testified for another twenty to twenty five minutes with a 14 page written statement and ten exhibits. Hearing Officer Holguin allowed my testimony & entered my exhibits into the record despite objections from Deputy Avila. Holguin hasn't ruled yet but will sometime in the next few weeks]
Yep, you read that correctly. On April 30, 2014 I was ticketed by a Pima County Sheriff's Deputy for beeping my horn at the CBP checkpoint after a CBP agent threw a spike strip down in front of my vehicle. I was stopped at primary and I asked the agent what his name was since his name tag was obscured by a tactical vest. The agent told me that he was the one asking questions, not me. When I pointed out that I was asking questions as well that's when the hot headed agent spiked the roadway in front of my tires.
A PCSD deputy was deployed at the roadblock that day and was collecting overtime along with mileage and other travel costs from the Border Patrol to assist them at the roadblock. You see the Department of Homeland Security is now in the business of bribing local law enforcement agencies with large grants from Operation Stonegarden to 'assist' Border Patrol agents in the field. The Pima County Sheriff's Department has had it's hand out to Homeland Security for the past few years now collecting about a million dollars annually from the program. Why not after all when all deputies have to do in exchange for the easy money is run cover for the Border Patrol while they harass domestic traffic inside the country absent suspicion.
See my video interview of a PCSD deputy regarding this issue last year:
I'll be in Pima County Justice court this Friday to fight the ridiculous charge and will be posting more about the incident later. In the meantime, I've compiled an image gallery below which outlines the sequence of events from the April 30, 2014 encounter:
Description: I arrived at the CBP roadblock in the early afternoon. PCSD Deputy Avila was already deployed at the roadblock when I arrived. Avila was being paid time and a half to assist Border Patrol agents at the roadblock under a federal grant through Operation Stonegarden at the time of the encounter:
Description: CBP Agent J. Tackett seized me in the lane of traffic at the roadblock's primary stop location while interrogating me:
Description: After I exercise my right to not answer questions at the roadblock, Agent Tackett throws a spike strip down in front of my vehicle, informs me I am being detained & prevents me from moving my vehicle:
Description: After I beep my horn to get the attention of the BP supervisor and to warn approaching traffic of the spike strip in the roadway, Supervisory Agent G. Serrano walks over & continues to illegally detain me in the lane of traffic:
Description: While I am being illegally detained in the lane of traffic by Agent's Tackett and Serrano, another agent runs back to the PCSD patrol vehicle deployed at the roadblock and falsely claims I am blocking traffic:
Description: PCSD Deputy Avila approaches me and asks if I am a “Constitutionalist” and why I'm blocking traffic while ignoring the fact I'm only stopped in the lane of traffic because federal agents have thrown a spike strip down in front of my vehicle and are detaining me against my will:
Description: After Deputy Avila begins questioning me, CBP Agent Tackett removes the spike strip from the front of my vehicle. Deputy Avila denies detaining me but persists in interrogating me on behalf of the CBP agents. Avila repeatedly demands that I present my driver's license and state my name. I repeatedly ask Avila if he is detaining me:
Description: During Deputy Avila's interrogation in which Avila declares I have failed to obey the lawful orders of the CBP agents despite Avila having no training or certification in federal immigration law or federal roadblock operations, a CBP agent tells Avila to cut me loose because he knows who I am. Deputy Avila continues to question me however. When I continue to exercise my right to remain silent, Avila eventually orders me to leave:
Description: After I leave the roadblock per Deputy Avila's instructions, Deputy Avila follows me in his patrol car and pulls me over a few miles down the road:
Description: Deputy Avila approaches the passenger side door and after some prompting tells me I've been pulled over for honking my horn back at the CBP roadbock:
Description: Deputy Avila orders me out of the vehicle:
Description: After I exit my vehicle, a CBP agent from the roadblock arrives on-scene, refuses to identify himself and claims he's there to provide backup for Deputy Avila:
Description: As the traffic stop drags on, two more CBP patrol vehicles arrive on-scene and two CBP agents exit their vehicle and talk with the first agent. All the agents refuse to identify themselves and Deputy Avila attempts to stop me from getting the names of the agents at least twice:
Description: Eventually Deputy Avila issues me a traffic ticket for honking my horn at the roadblock, an alleged violation of ARS 28-954(B):
Description: Both the CBP agent and Deputy Avila leave the traffic stop heading in the same direction towards Three Points, Arizona. The CBP Agent refused to provide his name before driving off:
Description: As I drive back towards Tucson after the roadblock encounter and the traffic stop, I observe Deputy Avila and the nameless CBP agent parked together along the side of the road near the CBP substation in Three Points, Arizona. A strange site to see after Avila repeatedly claimed he wasn't working with the Border Patrol & the Border Patrol had nothing to do with the traffic stop:
Description:I approach Deputy Avila to ask him about the identity of the CBP agent he was just conversing with. Avila continues to refuse to identify the agent under the dubious claim that he doesn't know the agent's name. Deputy Avila also accuses me of harassing the agent. Avila then refuses to talk any further and drives away:
Description:I approach the CBP agent's vehicle in an attempt to determine the agent's identity but the agent quickly backs up and drives away:
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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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