As regular readers of this blog know, on April 30, 2014 I was illegally detained in the lane of traffic at a suspicionless DHS roadblock by Border Patrol Agent J. Tackett near mile marker 146.5 along SR86 in Southern Arizona. Agent J. Tackett threw a spike strip down in front of my vehicle within about 30 seconds of the stop for daring to ask him a few questions. Tackett's unlawful detention was furthered by his supervisor G. Serrano who continued the detention while dispatching another agent to call over Pima County Sheriff Deputy Avila under the false pretense that I was blocking traffic while failing to inform him that Agent Tackett's spike strip & detention were the actual cause of the blockage.
Deputy Avila in turn was hanging out at the roadblock collecting overtime pay from the Border Patrol under Operation Stonegarden - a federal grant program designed to pay local cops to aid and abet the Border Patrol with their internal enforcement operations nowhere near the border. Despite having no training, certification or authority to participate in federal roadblock operations, Avila was more than happy to merc himself out to the Border Patrol in exchange for the easy money.
After a short interaction with Avila at the roadblock, he waved me through at the insistence of the BP supervisor only to follow me in his patrol car and pull me over several miles down the road. During the ensuing stop, Avila showed me his inventiveness and imagination by citing me for horn honking back at the roadblock since he couldn't come up with anything more legitimate to charge me with. When I pointed out how ridiculous the citation was, he indicated he'd be more than happy to take it up with me in front of a judge.
I took Avila up on his offer and the case went in front of a hearing officer on July 11, 2014. After everything was said and done and the hearing officer ruled in my favor, it turns out Avila wasn't so happy to take it up with me in front of a judge after all.
To find out exactly what was said & done, I've included audio files of the ~fifty minute court hearing below:
Previous blog entries regarding this case can be found at:
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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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