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  • Making hidden compartments illegal?

    POLICE FIND HIDDEN COMPARTMENT IN MAN’S CAR, BUT NO DRUGS OR ILLEGAL ITEMS – SO WHY WAS HE ARRESTED?

    Police in Lorain County, Ohio, arrested a man Wednesday after they found a hidden compartment on his vehicle. When officers opened the compartment, they found no drugs or illegal substances – yet the man was still arrested charged with a felony.

    Officers were able to make the arrest under the state’s new “hidden compartment” law, which is intended to deter criminals who modify their cars to store and transport drugs or weapons.

    Police initially pulled over 30-year-old Norman Gurley for speeding, but then noticed “several wires running to the back of the car,” WKYC-TV reports. The wires led the cops to a hidden compartment

    Even though a search turned up no drugs, guns or other illegal items, police were authorized to arrest him because the new law makes simply driving a “trap” car a felony. It was reportedly the first arrest made under the new law in Northeast Ohio.

    “Without the hidden compartment law, we would not have had any charges on the suspect,” Lt. Michael Combs, of the State Highway Patrol, said.

    According to WKYC-TV, the “hide” on Gurley’s vehicle was accessed electronically, “meaning you needed to perform a series of events in the correct order, and the the false floor seats or taillights would then pop out, revealing the secret compartment.”

    Though there are some critics of the law, Combs argues that it helps combat criminals involved in the illegal trade.

    “We apparently caught them between runs, so to speak, so this takes away one tool they have in their illegal trade. The law does help us and is on our side,” he said.

    While it’s unclear if Gurley is involved in drug dealing, Combs said the “hide” in his car was big enough to carry several pounds of drugs.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013...s-he-arrested/


    Thoughts......?
    USMC 2006-2011

    3rd Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team 2006-2009
    2/7 Fox Raiders 2009-2010
    Provost Marshall's Office 2010-2011

    CA POST Academy 2011-2012

  • #2
    This law has contempt of cop written all over it.... how dare you not get caught this time! Damn this is stupid.

    I had a hidden compartment in one of my previous vehicles I used to stash my GPS back when they cost an arm and a leg, I suppose that makes me a criminal.
    The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

    Comment


    • #3
      I like the LT's comments at the end.....

      “Without the hidden compartment law, we would not have had any charges on the suspect,” Lt. Michael Combs, of the State Highway Patrol, said.

      Well hmm, I guess you let him go then LT.

      I don't see this law staying on the books long.
      Last edited by CQB_0316; 11-22-2013, 07:21 PM.
      USMC 2006-2011

      3rd Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team 2006-2009
      2/7 Fox Raiders 2009-2010
      Provost Marshall's Office 2010-2011

      CA POST Academy 2011-2012

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by eyesopen View Post
        I had a hidden compartment in one of my previous vehicles I used to stash my GPS back when they cost an arm and a leg, I suppose that makes me a criminal.
        Didn't you have a glove compartment or center console in the car?

        I think the grading of a felony is really extreme, and I can understand the purpose behind the law, but this is going to open a huge can of worms that's going to cause plenty of headaches. Honestly though, what real purpose does somebody have in going through all the trouble to install a secret compartment in their car?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pittguy1984 View Post
          what real purpose does somebody have in going through all the trouble to install a secret compartment in their car?
          It doesn't matter.

          Maybe it's my hobby to try to create hidden compartments.
          Maybe it's to hide my porn from my wife.
          Maybe I keep a gun in there so if the car is stolen, it's unlikely the thieves will find the gun.
          Maybe it's to take advantage of a space that would otherwise be wasted.
          Maybe it's because I'm a little weird.

          None of those possibilities are illegal, nor should they be.

          Hidden compartment with evidence it was used for illegal activity? That's already illegal. No additional dumbass law necessary.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fëanor View Post
            It doesn't matter.

            Maybe it's my hobby to try to create hidden compartments.
            Maybe it's to hide my porn from my wife.
            Maybe I keep a gun in there so if the car is stolen, it's unlikely the thieves will find the gun.
            Maybe it's to take advantage of a space that would otherwise be wasted.
            Maybe it's because I'm a little weird.

            None of those possibilities are illegal, nor should they be.
            I agree I don't think it should be illegal either, I just think everyone knows the real reason those secret compartments came about. It wasn't any of the reasons you mentioned.

            Comment


            • #7
              This was passed as "Amended Substitute Senate Bill Number 305" , "An Act To enact section 2923.241 of the Revised Code to prohibit designing, building, constructing, fabricating, modifying, or altering a vehicle to create or add a hidden compartment with the intent to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance, prohibit operating, possessing, or using a vehicle with a hidden compartment with knowledge that the hidden compartment is used or intended to be used to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance, and prohibit a person who has committed a first or second degree felony violation of aggravated trafficking in drugs from operating, possessing, or using a vehicle with a hidden compartment."

              Not wishing to inconvenience Fëanor, the legislature tacked on "(I) This section does not apply to a box, safe, container, or other item added to a vehicle for the purpose of securing valuables, electronics, or firearms provided that at the time of discovery the box, safe, container, or other item added to the vehicle does not contain a controlled substance or visible residue of a controlled substance."

              If we go to the original story we're told " Troopers noticed an overwhelming smell of raw marijuana which gave them probable cause to search the car." Somehow that got left out of the story CQB_0316 quoted.

              Seems somewhat analogous to statutes that ban possession of burglar tools. It's not unlawful to possess bolt cutters, hacksaws, or crowbars. If someone's hanging around the back door of a jewelry store at zero dark thirty, however, with a one or all of those, reasonable cops, and juries, can figure out what's going on.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Seventy2002 View Post

                If we go to the original story we're told " Troopers noticed an overwhelming smell of raw marijuana which gave them probable cause to search the car." Somehow that got left out of the story CQB_0316 quoted.
                Ya don't say? Go figure. That's what I get for quoting an article from "the blaze.com" I guess.
                USMC 2006-2011

                3rd Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team 2006-2009
                2/7 Fox Raiders 2009-2010
                Provost Marshall's Office 2010-2011

                CA POST Academy 2011-2012

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pittguy1984 View Post
                  Didn't you have a glove compartment or center console in the car?
                  I had my vehicle broken into, window smashed and contents of the glove box were all over the floor). They stole my previous GPS out of the glove box and a very expensive 35mm camera. I put in a hidden box behind the lower dash panel and changed one side of push on clips to hinges after that.
                  The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think the state is going to lose when they get sued over this, and believe me, they will get sued over this.

                    I understand the sentiment behind it, but it seems to me that it would have been smarter to make the law so that if you use a hidden compartment to move contraband/drugs, it is an enhancement to the existing law. That keeps the law abiding out of trouble and hammers the real offenders.

                    Just my opinion.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sooner or later someone is going to buy one of these cars with a very well hidden secret compartment and get charged with a felony.

                      Hypothetically speaking, wouldn't it be better to let the guy go and find out where he's going to. That could possibly lead you to his supplier and a bigger source of drugs instead of locking him up under this questionable law at best?

                      I trust LE to do their jobs without bs feel good laws from out of touch politicians who have never had a real job in their lives.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kermit315 View Post
                        I think the state is going to lose when they get sued over this, and believe me, they will get sued over this.

                        I understand the sentiment behind it, but it seems to me that it would have been smarter to make the law so that if you use a hidden compartment to move contraband/drugs, it is an enhancement to the existing law. That keeps the law abiding out of trouble and hammers the real offenders.

                        Just my opinion.
                        Based on the additional information in the thread on the actual law, it will stick and the state will win any civil litigation. The previous statement is based on the assumption that it can be proven that at one point illegal contraband was in that compartment. Possession of burglary tools is a felony in most states and nothing has ever been appealed successfully on those laws or we wouldn't have them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rofl, you guys act like you charge for criminal tools every time you see someone with a screw driver...

                          While it's certainly possible (along with everything else), I HIGHLY doubt this law will be abused to the point that "innocent" people are being charged with this. Obviously the intention IMHO is good, and obviously cops will have to use judgement on their end. Hidden compartment from a soccer mom with 3 traffic citations vs. a known criminal with previous drug trafficking history leaving a well known drug area? Yea...

                          Now, I don't agree with arresting solely on this law, unless they are carrying contraband. I personally think that should be amended as an escalation under the trafficking section.

                          Was the guy trafficking? Probably...but so was the guy I take money off of that has no drugs on them, you can't prove either! How are you going to arrest based on assumption?

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            This is like assuming that the guy with the Mustang with the 5.4L supercharged V8 engine MUST have bought the car because he likes to speed or drive very fast. It's a safe bet, but you cannot be one hundred percent sure until you actually catch him in the act.

                            The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

                            The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

                            ------------------------------------------------

                            "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cannady View Post
                              Based on the additional information in the thread on the actual law, it will stick and the state will win any civil litigation. The previous statement is based on the assumption that it can be proven that at one point illegal contraband was in that compartment. Possession of burglary tools is a felony in most states and nothing has ever been appealed successfully on those laws or we wouldn't have them.
                              Several cases have shown there has be intent to use them, intent to tresspass, and/or certain proximity to the tools.

                              Hierro v. State
                              People v. Marcelina Diaz
                              Carbone v. Florida
                              Calliar v. Florida

                              Those are just a very small sampling of the cases. "Burglary" tools are often common tools used for legitimate purposes.
                              The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

                              Comment

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