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  • Drug stops

    I am looking for advice to tips that anyone can give me in regards to finding drugs in vehicles. I work at a department that has alot of time to do traffic and dig into traffic stops. First of all does anyone know any good sites to find more information on how to read people on traffic stops, or "profile" vehicles. We have a K-9 but the vehicles that we stop the dog either alerts and we find nothing or does not alert at all.

    The K-9 officer and myself are really big into drug stops. I was just wondering if anyone has had success with any tactics or any tips or advise would be great. Also if anyone has any real good websites that teach more about drugs as a whole that would also be appreciated. Thank you.

  • #2
    I would love to find a website like this too, but I have to do so. AS far as me though, it takes time and experience. You get a few good pops and learn from it. Ask questions, questions and more questions. Eventually they will slip up, give consent to search, or give you the PC you are lookign for. Other times, it just isnt meant to be, remember them and get them later. Im sure I have missed alot, but I will see them again.
    Susupect Suspect..I have a trianed K9 come out come out or you will be bitten.

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    • #3
      Website? Don't know of any. Local laws, and drug trends/indicators vary from area to area, state to state. On a national level, I would start by reading the 'Tactics For Criminal Patrol' book by Caliber Press. This book is IMHO the premier text on the inderdiction of criminals in transit. I would also highly recommend attending the Caliber Press Street Survival seminar. Much on criminal indicators and 'profiling' is discussed during this seminar.
      I am in no way associated with this company, but their material is good, and applicable to officers in all states with minor tweaking due to varying states search and seizure laws. If you were in the Mid-Atlantic region, I could go further, but Wisconsin...Not a clue.
      Last edited by CUFFS137; 09-14-2007, 04:02 PM.

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      • #4
        the hardest part is getting in the vehicle. you just have to work your way in. you can tell by the persons actions if they are hiding something. for example if they are too nice and they are over cooperative. or if they are reluctant to let you do anything. its real easy to get PC on a 2 man team, have the primary officer talk to the driver and back up officer look in the passanger window to see if there is any paraph or dope visible. but if there are passengars in the vehicle its quite harder because somewon has to keep eyes on all of them. it takes time but it gets pretty easy after awhile to spot who has something to hide. just my 2 cents

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        • #5
          Our court has severly limited our ability to do "searching" stops. You need ot have probable cause.

          Also, in order to do a roadcheck, you can only check ONE reason for the check beforehand, on a form that has to be with the reports for the roadcheck. This is probably limited to my state because of charges of profiling.

          If you check "License and Insurance" and have a drug dog with you, you will give the strong assumption that you're really doing a drug check. This will further erode your (or our, at least) rights to do road checks without profiling.

          Of course, if you develop probable cause, you can call in a dog. Or if it's strong enough, you can search without a dog.

          A dog hitting and not finding drugs is not a good thing for prosecution, if the defense asks how many times the dog has hit without finding anything. I know it means the scent is there, but I also know that dogs will sometimes lie.

          I agree with Who that it's easy to spot someone with something to hide. It's much more difficult to articulate that reason to the point that it reaches PC.

          The courts are tightening up on what was a pretty generous right to search an automobile. Just don't be the one who makes such a bad case that we lose the right without further curtailment.

          When it comes to the 4th Ammendment, I do NOT believe in pushing the envelope. I worked dope for almost 9 years, and made plenty of busts, and got a healthy appreciation of what a person's "Rights" are, and how not to violate them. It's not worth taking the chance of making bad law to effect an arrest for an 8-ball.
          "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Probation Officer here in Nor Cal. This may seem like a "Duh" reply, but it's often overlooked by my SO and PD bros here in my county. Always ask if the dirtbag is on Probation or Parole. Quite often, here in Cali anyways, the subjects Probation or Parole status won't show when you run their 27, 29. I can't count how many times I've radioed a unit on a stop to inform the officer the subject was just placed on probation and subject to search and seizure...but not showing in the system.

            My felons aren't the brightest bunch either. They'll tell you straight up that their on Probation or Parole if you ask...usually thinking they'll score points with their honesty. Thank them for their honesty...then toss the car! You gotta love "subject to search and seizure anytime, with or without reasonable suspicion, with or without probable cause"

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            • #7
              I think what you really need is a class on Search and Seizure. That covers a lot of ground, and gives you the latest on what you can and can't do. Look around for one and you can probably find it at a regional academy.
              "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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              • #8
                Outside any formal training you can find I also recommend "Tactics for Criminal Patrol". It is a very thorough text on the subject.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GCPD0171 View Post
                  Outside any formal training you can find I also recommend "Tactics for Criminal Patrol". It is a very thorough text on the subject.
                  +1. Great book.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rabbot,

                    I am also in WI.. I can't stress highly enough the MCTFT courses that are provided for free. They are given at the HIDTA offices in Milwaukee. Patrol Drug Interdiction was a fantastic 3 day course I have took there a couple of years ago and I still use the stuff I got there to this day.

                    Here is a fun little trick...

                    Ask the questions in this order:

                    1) lemme ask you a question.... What do you think about the drug problem here in this town...city...State....(Wherever you are from)?(First question, throws them way off balance.. Everybody hesitates on the first question.. they don't know where you are going with it)

                    2). What do you think should happen to people who are caught with drugs? (look for hesitation in answering here... A person with drugs in the car is going to try to think of the "right" answer.. but they don't want to hem themselves up by saying "send the person to jail"... Some will say.. "I think they should be given probation" is a fine answer... As long as there is no hesitation. Hesitation means thinking..

                    3). Why might someone call us up and say this car was involved in illegal drug activity? ( Plants the idea in a guilty person's head that you already know about the drug activity. They will attempt to rationalize their behavior to you like stopping in front of the drug house becomes "i was picking up a friend"... or otherwise explain their behavior

                    4)Are you familiar with all the items in the car? (Yes is a good answer.. No may be the truth, but it may also be an attempt to distance themselves from contraband in the car.)

                    5). Is there any Marijuana or Cocaine (or other drug of choice....) in the car?
                    (My favorite answer to this question: "There shouldn't be" -- It is like Christmas when I get that answer -- you never know what presents you are going to find in the car!!! Plus.. I will say, I agree with you, There SHOULDN'T be any drugs in the car, but then again, that wasn't my question.....

                    If the person answers No to that question, pause for 3 seconds, and in the same tone of voice ask it again "Is there any Marijuana or Cocaine in the car?"... You would be surprised at how many people change their answer... An innocent person will get indignant and answer NO even louder the second time.

                    Keep in mind, none of these questions provide any sort of probable cause (with the exception of Yep... I got lots of weed in my car, here it is!).. but they are questions that will give you an idea if you may want to spend any more time with the occupants. I can't take credit for any of the questions... I learned them at the Patrol Drug Interdiction Class put on by MCTFT... I think the instructor was from West Illinois where lots of interdiction happens.. Fantastic Class!

                    Hope this helps!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks

                      Thanks for all the good info and keep it coming I want to learn as much as I can and put that information to use. Thanks

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MilwaukeeCU View Post
                        Rabbot,

                        I am also in WI.. I can't stress highly enough the MCTFT courses that are provided for free. They are given at the HIDTA offices in Milwaukee. Patrol Drug Interdiction was a fantastic 3 day course I have took there a couple of years ago and I still use the stuff I got there to this day.

                        Here is a fun little trick...

                        Ask the questions in this order:

                        1) lemme ask you a question.... What do you think about the drug problem here in this town...city...State....(Wherever you are from)?(First question, throws them way off balance.. Everybody hesitates on the first question.. they don't know where you are going with it)

                        2). What do you think should happen to people who are caught with drugs? (look for hesitation in answering here... A person with drugs in the car is going to try to think of the "right" answer.. but they don't want to hem themselves up by saying "send the person to jail"... Some will say.. "I think they should be given probation" is a fine answer... As long as there is no hesitation. Hesitation means thinking..

                        3). Why might someone call us up and say this car was involved in illegal drug activity? ( Plants the idea in a guilty person's head that you already know about the drug activity. They will attempt to rationalize their behavior to you like stopping in front of the drug house becomes "i was picking up a friend"... or otherwise explain their behavior

                        4)Are you familiar with all the items in the car? (Yes is a good answer.. No may be the truth, but it may also be an attempt to distance themselves from contraband in the car.)

                        5). Is there any Marijuana or Cocaine (or other drug of choice....) in the car?
                        (My favorite answer to this question: "There shouldn't be" -- It is like Christmas when I get that answer -- you never know what presents you are going to find in the car!!! Plus.. I will say, I agree with you, There SHOULDN'T be any drugs in the car, but then again, that wasn't my question.....

                        If the person answers No to that question, pause for 3 seconds, and in the same tone of voice ask it again "Is there any Marijuana or Cocaine in the car?"... You would be surprised at how many people change their answer... An innocent person will get indignant and answer NO even louder the second time.

                        Keep in mind, none of these questions provide any sort of probable cause (with the exception of Yep... I got lots of weed in my car, here it is!).. but they are questions that will give you an idea if you may want to spend any more time with the occupants. I can't take credit for any of the questions... I learned them at the Patrol Drug Interdiction Class put on by MCTFT... I think the instructor was from West Illinois where lots of interdiction happens.. Fantastic Class!

                        Hope this helps!
                        I have personally seen this line of questioning on several traffic stops and it really does work.

                        Also, if you have that gut feeling (which is usually right) and they are dicking you around, mention the K9 and that is usually the icing on the cake.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think that expierence is a key issue here. I don't mean that in any sort of bad way, but I swear that it will come to you as you get more time under you. There are several key features that are wonderfull indicators that have already been mentioned. Most importantly, take your time and if you keep pounding the pavement, it will come to you.

                          I have had numerous marijuana poundage stops. Trust me, you will know it when you get it. Bad guys always have a tendency to be of the nervous sort! If you think you can smell it, ask for consent, or what ever your sog's are, but just remember the 4th admen. If they tell you to stop while your in the middle of a search, then stop! You will get them another day trust me.

                          Don't rely on your k9, even though he may be a great dog, they are like humans. Some days they want to work, and some days they don't. A k9 is a good way to get PC, but it is not always a true indicator that narcotics are in the car. They could have used the vehicle transport them in the past. Dogs are wonderful, but try it on your own first, I think that it makes you a better hunter of sorts.

                          All in all, keep putting your eyes on the pavement and you'll find it!
                          "Why am I getting a ticket? Because I am trying to deminish my Christmas card list, that's why!"




                          CBPO
                          WRITTEN 05/05/09

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jdlong View Post
                            Probation Officer here in Nor Cal. This may seem like a "Duh" reply, but it's often overlooked by my SO and PD bros here in my county. Always ask if the dirtbag is on Probation or Parole. Quite often, here in Cali anyways, the subjects Probation or Parole status won't show when you run their 27, 29. I can't count how many times I've radioed a unit on a stop to inform the officer the subject was just placed on probation and subject to search and seizure...but not showing in the system.

                            My felons aren't the brightest bunch either. They'll tell you straight up that their on Probation or Parole if you ask...usually thinking they'll score points with their honesty. Thank them for their honesty...then toss the car! You gotta love "subject to search and seizure anytime, with or without reasonable suspicion, with or without probable cause"
                            +1 for North Carolina. Ask every stop! If they're on Intensive probation, it's a guarantee they have warrantless searches/seizures. If not Intensive, radio for any on duty PO...we'll know or look it up in a jiffy. Also, it doesn't matter if it's their vehicle or not...if they're present, the car can be searched! Sure, they have the right to refuse the search BUT they go to jail for violation of probation. They have to let you search per their conditions. I would ask your state/county's PO's about search policies. I worked as a patrol officer before going into probation and never knew about that gem of info. Be safe!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When Desert Snow is in your area, take that class! Joe David is great!
                              Best interdiction class out there IMO.

                              Comment

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