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View Full Version : Pictures on cell phone yield stolen guns, drugs in Soledad


rp55
04-27-2010, 9:24 AM
My local news paper (http://www.montereyherald.com/ci_14961691?source=most_viewed) had this tidbit in it this morning that got me thinking.

Pictures on cell phone yield stolen guns, drugs in Soledad

Soledad police said photographs of several firearms were found on the cell phone of a 21-year-old man after a traffic stop Friday, prompting a search of the suspect's residence.

Fabian Galvan was carrying a bindle of methamphetamine and about four additional grams of methamphetamine. A bindle of cocaine and drug packaging items were found at his home in the 600 block of Andalucia Drive, police said.

A handgun and a .22 -caliber rifle, which were reported stolen from a Soledad residence after a burglary, also were in Galvan's home, police said.

Officers booked Galvan into County Jail on suspicion of seven felony charges including possession of a controlled substance and possession of a stolen firearm.

On the one hand this guy is a bad actor and his being taken off the streets is a good thing. The recovery of stolen guns is always a good thing. On the other hand, having pictures of guns on a cell phone providing probable cause to search a residence? That is troubling. Even more so because I had pictures on my cell phone, gone now thanks to this article. I had photos of a friends KelTec SU16 with one of my legal pre-ban 30 round AR15 mags in it. Suppose a LEO saw those pictures on my cell phone and sought a warrant because of the magazine in the photos? Thankfully I never throw gun paperwork out and still have the receipt for the AR15's and magazines from 1978 along with the original Hawaii registration for the rifle. But if they come in with a warrant they're going to find lots of guns and ammunition and we know how that gets spun in the news regardless of legality.

Fjold
04-27-2010, 9:26 AM
The probable cause was probably due to the drugs found in his car/person but the guns were just an added bonus. The cops were probably looking for a gun enhancement on the drug charges.

Someguy925
04-27-2010, 9:39 AM
my first thought was.... who would think to look on a cell phone for pictures during a traffic stop?

SteveH
04-27-2010, 10:58 AM
I teach Narcotics investigation. Yes if you find someone with more than four grams of meth you are going to ask permission to look at thier cell phone. Many purchasers contact their connect via text message. Hopefully on the phone you'll find evidence of sales and turn the 11377 into an 11379.

The article doesnt say they searched his home due to the photos. For all we know this was a frequent flier already on probation or parole, or gave consent. Again, he's got 4 grams + on him. If you can get consent you want to roll back to the pad and look for scales and packaging.

Ron-Solo
04-27-2010, 11:41 AM
The probable cause was probably due to the drugs found in his car/person but the guns were just an added bonus. The cops were probably looking for a gun enhancement on the drug charges.

This is the most accurate statement. Just photos of guns on your cell phone would not be sufficient for a warrant. Anytime you catch someone with a decent quantity of drugs (more than for personal use) you can get a warrant for their house without too much difficulty. Just photos of guns won't do it.

Spaceghost
04-27-2010, 12:28 PM
Never under estimate a bad guys stupidity. He could of said he owned them, and when asked details of the purchase be found full of crap. He may also be a felon and not allowed to have any guns. Who knows?

turbosbox
04-27-2010, 1:11 PM
I teach Narcotics investigation. Yes if you find someone with more than four grams of meth you are going to ask permission to look at thier cell phone. Many purchasers contact their connect via text message. Hopefully on the phone you'll find evidence of sales and turn the 11377 into an 11379.

The article doesnt say they searched his home due to the photos. For all we know this was a frequent flier already on probation or parole, or gave consent. Again, he's got 4 grams + on him. If you can get consent you want to roll back to the pad and look for scales and packaging.

Good thinking. We probably aren't too far off from e.g. having them download gps information. Would make sense if having a few meth users GPS data from the same area overlaid and see where they all spent about 5min intersect on a map. If it's not the liquor store it's probably the location of interest.

BigDogatPlay
04-27-2010, 1:17 PM
Never under estimate a bad guys stupidity.

^^^ This ^^^

If a lot of bad hombres were any smarter, being a LEO would be a lot tougher than it already is.

:)

1911su16b870
04-27-2010, 1:43 PM
I would bet that after finding 4-grams of meth on him they pulled and executed warrants for the phone and home.

bulgron
04-27-2010, 2:11 PM
You know, most smart cellphones offer image viewing software that will encrypt your pictures. If you do have pictures of guns on your cellphone (and why not?) you might want to look into software like that for your phone.

Merc1138
04-27-2010, 2:34 PM
You know, most smart cellphones offer image viewing software that will encrypt your pictures. If you do have pictures of guns on your cellphone (and why not?) you might want to look into software like that for your phone.

It's not an issue if the guns are yours and you aren't being busted for carrying around 4 grams of meth.

Untamed1972
04-27-2010, 3:02 PM
Dont forget though......it was something as simple as you tube videos of a Calgunner with his guns that brought the LEOs to his door to serve a no knock warrant at 5am one morning.\ because the "weapons expert" at the PD said his guns were illegal...even though they all turned out not to be.

Better safe then sorry. Why keep pix (possible RS/PC for an over-zealous LEO) on your phone?

Call me overly cautious.....but with the current vilification of guns and gun owners in the PRK....why risk it.

Merc1138
04-27-2010, 3:06 PM
No, not forgotten, but there's still a little bit of difference between some pictures on your cellphone and having them seen during a stop after the cops find a bunch of meth(seriously, you're probably screwed by that point anyway), and posting videos on youtube and having some overzealous LEO with nothing better to do than trolling the internet to come kick your door in(in which case they've got a problem).

Spaceghost
04-27-2010, 3:26 PM
I think you are unfamiliar with the incident involving one of our members in 2007. His user name was Blackwater ops. Do some research and get back to us.

No, not forgotten, but there's still a little bit of difference between some pictures on your cellphone and having them seen during a stop after the cops find a bunch of meth(seriously, you're probably screwed by that point anyway), and posting videos on youtube and having some overzealous LEO with nothing better to do than trolling the internet to come kick your door in(in which case they've got a problem).

Barkoff
04-27-2010, 3:54 PM
Sounds like good police work paid off...somebody is getting their guns back.

Merc1138
04-27-2010, 3:54 PM
I think you are unfamiliar with the incident involving one of our members in 2007. His user name was Blackwater ops. Do some research and get back to us.

Get back to us when it has a relevance to someone getting nailed for carrying a bunch of meth :rolleyes:

Spaceghost
04-27-2010, 4:21 PM
Sure, I'll get right on that. Starting holding your breath.

Get back to us when it has a relevance to someone getting nailed for carrying a bunch of meth :rolleyes:

stormy_clothing
04-27-2010, 4:23 PM
http://creativegreenius.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/i-am-the-law.jpg

Merc1138
04-27-2010, 4:30 PM
Starting holding your breath.

English much? And thanks for proving my point, what happened to blackwater ops, has nothing to do with someone getting nailed with a pocketful of meth.

Ron-Solo
04-27-2010, 5:13 PM
I think you are unfamiliar with the incident involving one of our members in 2007. His user name was Blackwater ops. Do some research and get back to us.

His case came to light based on allegations of threatening behavior at a school and is completely different than this case. BWO made some mistakes and isn't the "Robin Hood" type folk hero that many make him out to be.

Ron-Solo
04-27-2010, 5:17 PM
It baffles me that some CalGunners are standing up for someone carrying illegal drugs just because the cops found guns, which weren't his since they were STOLEN!

Merc1138
04-27-2010, 5:43 PM
It baffles me that some CalGunners are standing up for someone carrying illegal drugs just because the cops found guns, which weren't his since they were STOLEN!

It happens over and over again because some people(not all, and not all the time) seem to just read "cops.... took guns.... more at 11" and just glance over the parts about walking around with a handful of meth, or anything else that the person might have actually been stopped for first. Or, that perhaps they'll get their guns taken aware in a similar manner to the meth dealer(of course that's easily preventable by not carrying around a bunch of meth...).

Untamed1972
04-27-2010, 5:49 PM
Never ceases to amaze me how people can twist people's statement.

The OP cited an example of how pix on someone cell phone of guns lead to those guns being recovered

AND THEN

He asked a hypothetical question about having gun pix on his own phone during a hypothetical stop.

No one was defending the methhead. He got what he deserved. My point in referencing BWO was to provide another example of how pix of guns and/or there use could lead to getting your house tossed.

So in answer to the OPs hypothetical question about could having pix on your phone lead to other things....my answer is YES.....it could happen. Perhaps unlikely w/o other circumstances involved, but it could happen. so if it's something that concerns you....dont have those kinda pix on your phone.

Merc1138
04-27-2010, 5:55 PM
Never ceases to amaze me how people can twist people's statement.

The OP cited an example of how pix on someone cell phone of guns lead to those guns being recovered

AND THEN

He asked a hypothetical question about having gun pix on his own phone during a hypothetical stop.

No one was defending the methhead. He got what he deserved. My point in referencing BWO was to provide another example of how pix of guns and/or there use could lead to getting your house tossed.

So in answer to the OPs hypothetical question about could having pix on your phone lead to other things....my answer is YES.....it could happen. Perhaps unlikely w/o other circumstances involved, but it could happen. so if it's something that concerns you....dont have those kinda pix on your phone.

And I said there's a difference between having pictures on your phone, and broadcasting them to the world. If you don't get nailed for something like having a bunch of meth on you during a stop, and the cops don't have a reason to go digging through your phone, then it's not an issue.

Untamed1972
04-27-2010, 6:26 PM
And I said there's a difference between having pictures on your phone, and broadcasting them to the world. If you don't get nailed for something like having a bunch of meth on you during a stop, and the cops don't have a reason to go digging through your phone, then it's not an issue.


And there is 1000 different reasons why someone might find themselves being searched and questioned even though they've actually done nothing wrong. Given the current environment in CA especially when it comes to guns then I wouldn't blame someone for being cautious about such a thing.

CCWFacts
04-27-2010, 6:28 PM
Never under estimate a bad guys stupidity.

Absolutely. Many people think, "no one would ever do ____ because they would obviously get caught". That logic doesn't work.

I took a seminar where they were discussing gov't contracting and told the story of a contractor whose invoice was paid twice.

The invoice was in the $1mil range.

The contractor thought, "I have an extra million bucks!"

Ok, a double-payment of $10, or $100, or maybe even $1000 probably wouldn't be found out wouldn't be prosecuted. But any person with a brain would know, $1mil is going to be found out, and it's a crime, and the guy won't keep the money and will go to prison. Part of what keeps contractors from doubling-billing is that everyone knows, it will be caught.

Why would someone do something which anyone can see is going to be caught, which you could never get away with? It's what Spaceghost said, "Never under estimate a bad guys stupidity.".

artherd
04-27-2010, 7:11 PM
The (apparently really) bad guy going to jail is not the problem here.

The mechanism by which liberty of good people can be violated is what is causing concern.

GrizzlyGuy
04-27-2010, 7:33 PM
I think you are unfamiliar with the incident involving one of our members in 2007. His user name was Blackwater ops. Do some research and get back to us.

I'm not familiar with that story but it sounds interesting. Does anyone have a link or some keywords that would let me find it via Google?

Merc1138
04-27-2010, 10:09 PM
The (apparently really) bad guy going to jail is not the problem here.

The mechanism by which liberty of good people can be violated is what is causing concern.

What, the warrant the cops probably got after finding a bunch of meth on the guy? Yes, there are situations where someone can inadvertently find themselves in a heap of trouble, having a bunch of meth on your person is not one of those inadvertent situations.

Sinixstar
04-27-2010, 10:57 PM
The devil is always in the details. Something sorely lacking in this story.

Things we know.
a) a guy was caught with meth.
b) said guy had pictures on his cellphone that allegedly contained firearms.
c) said guy's house got tossed and the guns confiscated.
d) said guy is going to be feeling some hurt in the near future. Possibly in his rear end, and likely at the hands of a very large cell mate.

things we don't know:
a) Does this man have a previous felony record?
b) What were those pictures exactly?
c) What was the conversation between the officers and the suspect?
d) What if anything did this person admit to, or give permission for?
e) What were the circumstances surrounding the search? Was it under 'probable cause' or was there a warrant?


An entirely legal, and plausible, scenario that could lead police to this guy's house and to the guns:

Guy gets stopped. Cops find drugs. Cops look at cellphone - ask him if those are his guns. Tell him they're going to search his house anyways, and if he just comes clean, it might help him later. Suspect looking for any way to save his rear end admits the guns in the picture are his, gives permission for police to go get them. Unknowingly tacks on additional felonies. Sucks for the guy, but honestly I can't really see any wrongdoing here.

another possible scenario:
Cops stop the guy, he keeps his mouth shut. They find pictures of guns on his cellphone, and use that to justify going into his house.
This is a little sketchy in my opinion.

Bottom line is - we can only assume based on personal opinions which is the reality (or if the reality is somewhere in between). We don't know if they had a warrant, we don't know what the basis for that possible warrant would be/is, we don't know what the primary focus of the search was, we don't know a LOT of things about the situation. However, from where I'm sitting, the police would have to bend over backwards going out of their way to do everything WRONG to really screw this one up. It seems like corners get cut when making a charge stick is a stretch. This doesn't appear to be a case where there's much stretching involved. It's pretty much a slam-dunk case doing everything by the book. Why cut corners and possibly risk it?

The laws are set up to give police a pretty wide range of latitude in investigations like this. The thing that sucks is when that latitude gets turned on innocent people for sketchy political reasons. This however, does not appear at first glance to likely be one of those situations.

Time will tell I suppose - if we get more information about it.

JDay
04-28-2010, 3:59 AM
You know, most smart cellphones offer image viewing software that will encrypt your pictures. If you do have pictures of guns on your cellphone (and why not?) you might want to look into software like that for your phone.

My Windows Mobile device is fully encrypted.

turbosbox
04-28-2010, 6:59 PM
and I would like to thank the police for recovering someone's stolen guns :95:

Matt C
06-08-2010, 11:48 PM
His case came to light based on allegations of threatening behavior at a school and is completely different than this case. BWO made some mistakes and isn't the "Robin Hood" type folk hero that many make him out to be.

Sorry for the necro-post, but I haven't been around and I just came across this. A "robin hood" I certainly am not, nor would I want to be (I take Ayn Rand's position on that) however no one ever alleged any threatening behavior on my part before my arrest. They alleged that they saw pictures of me with my with guns and thought the pictures, and presumably the guns, were scary. The search warrant affidavit was obtained entirely based on the pictures I posted of legal guns, and posting them was the only "mistake" I made. If you have information to the contrary, please enlighten us, otherwise please don't make false (and potentially damaging to me) statements about my case.