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Calguns LEOs LEOs; chat, kibitz and relax. Non-LEOs; have a questions for a cop? Ask it here, in a CIVIL manner.

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2012, 1:16 PM
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Default Border Patrol Question

Last weekend we headed out to our desert cabin and passed through a Border Patrol Checkpoint on a county highway about 20 miles from the Mexican border.

The young patrolman was very polite and professional, no smiling. He asked where were coming from and where we were headed. I answered, then he asked, "Do you have any weapons"

Since I had a clearly marked ammo can of 22 LR and a box containing 250 rounds of 9mm clearly visible in the back of the pickup, I answered, "Yes, I have legally owned weapons? Why do you ask?

His response was "just checking".

Is this standard procedure?

It makes no sense to me- if I were smuggling guns or drugs would I admit it? Are crooks that dumb?

The next day my wife and I went shooting in a wash past the checkpoint and on our return we stopped at the same checkpoint and were asked by the same patrolman where we were coming from. I told him we were shooting in the wash and heading back to our cabin. He did not ask us if we had any weapons.

By the way I don't think we fit any profile- we are in our 60s, white middle class looking people driving a Dodge pickup. But I suppose these days anyone could be smuggling.

At various times we have seen agents at this checkpoint in full body armor with M-4s or shotguns, even a submachine gun of some kind. I don't think they have made any big busts at this checkpoint and I think they send the starting agents there to learn.
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Old 11-01-2012, 2:02 PM
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You never know what they're looking for on any given day (my guess is they get new intel all the time).
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2012, 6:09 PM
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Basically there is no longer a true "profile". Smugglers are all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. The agent was probably just routinely asking the same set of questions of everyone. No big deal.

You acted properly and were honest.

Don't fall in with the "Am I free to go" group of people. They are just being difficult where a honest answer would serve the same purpose.
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2012, 6:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT-40 View Post
Basically there is no longer a true "profile". Smugglers are all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. The agent was probably just routinely asking the same set of questions of everyone. No big deal.

You acted properly and were honest.

Don't fall in with the "Am I free to go" group of people. They are just being difficult where a honest answer would serve the same purpose.
THIS.

Last edited by retired; 11-07-2012 at 8:02 AM..
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2012, 7:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT-40 View Post
Basically there is no longer a true "profile". Smugglers are all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. The agent was probably just routinely asking the same set of questions of everyone. No big deal.

You acted properly and were honest.

Don't fall in with the "Am I free to go" group of people. They are just being difficult where a honest answer would serve the same purpose.
I concur, great answer to the OP's questions....
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2012, 6:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT-40 View Post
Basically there is no longer a true "profile". Smugglers are all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. The agent was probably just routinely asking the same set of questions of everyone. No big deal.

You acted properly and were honest.

Don't fall in with the "Am I free to go" group of people. They are just being difficult where a honest answer would serve the same purpose.
Yep. What's with all the anti LE stuff here?????

Last edited by retired; 11-07-2012 at 8:03 AM..
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:27 AM
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Thanks for the responses everyone. I am old school enough to believe honesty is the best policy. We go through this checkpoint at least twice a month during the winter, but seldom do we see the same people there so we don't become familiar to them.
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Old 11-05-2012, 2:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powaybob View Post
......I don't think they have made any big busts at this checkpoint and I think they send the starting agents there to learn.
People always assume that checkpoints never catch anything major. To the contrary, if they were not effective they would not be operating. I won't delve too deep into things but millions of dollars per month worth of seizures from the various checkpoints in SoCal alone. If you think that's a small number in street value realize that's bulk, multiply that a few times and you will realize how much stuff these checkpoints are stopping from flowing into the streets.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2012, 4:24 PM
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Just be truthful and as polite as you would to any person you meet. Dont act like that jackass college prof in Arizona that goes out of his way to screw with Border Agents. You'd be surprised what some of the simplest questions or observations produce open Patrol, Line Watch, Check Point. Some may seem trivial or retarded but they are for good reason when you under stand how Checkpoint duties work. Working checkpoint is dependent on what station you are assigned at what types of patrol/duty that a station covers. Seasoned Agents and trainees do it. The public doesn't see the 500lb of dope stuffed in the side panels, seats, wheel hubs, dashes, false beds, tanks, engine, etc or the money, ammo, guns and people. border wars will not and cannot show what Patrol Agents really do for a variety of reasons. As far as profiles go, it's more like "indicators". A mix of things not adding up, intuition and "if it looks, walks and quacks like a duck". . . maybe we should check it out". I am over simplifying this of course and purposely vague for good reason. Bad guys come in all ages, genders, nationalities, etc. The ones that really irk though me are the American citizen bad guys. It's damn near treason what they do to help criminals.
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Old 11-06-2012, 3:24 PM
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exactly
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  #11  
Old 11-06-2012, 3:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal Sin View Post
Just be truthful and as polite as you would to any person you meet. Dont act like that jackass college prof in Arizona that goes out of his way to screw with Border Agents. You'd be surprised what some of the simplest questions or observations produce open Patrol, Line Watch, Check Point. Some may seem trivial or retarded but they are for good reason when you under stand how Checkpoint duties work. Working checkpoint is dependent on what station you are assigned at what types of patrol/duty that a station covers. Seasoned Agents and trainees do it. The public doesn't see the 500lb of dope stuffed in the side panels, seats, wheel hubs, dashes, false beds, tanks, engine, etc or the money, ammo, guns and people. border wars will not and cannot show what Patrol Agents really do for a variety of reasons. As far as profiles go, it's more like "indicators". A mix of things not adding up, intuition and "if it looks, walks and quacks like a duck". . . maybe we should check it out". I am over simplifying this of course and purposely vague for good reason. Bad guys come in all ages, genders, nationalities, etc. The ones that really irk though me are the American citizen bad guys. It's damn near treason what they do to help criminals.
How about this:

You respect my constitutional rights by not forcing me to stop and answer questions when I have done nothing wrong.

Maybe you think being stopped and questioned for no good reason is a good thing, I don't. Nor does it provide any higher level of security or safety.
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  #12  
Old 11-06-2012, 4:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_k_lopez View Post
How about this:

You respect my constitutional rights by not forcing me to stop and answer questions when I have done nothing wrong.

Maybe you think being stopped and questioned for no good reason is a good thing, I don't. Nor does it provide any higher level of security or safety.
Your constitutional right to not be temporarily stopped was denied by the ninth circus. Don't blame the Border patrol. Blame the judiciary. Are you going to cry and whine some more about it here?
Read: Ninth Circuit’s decision in United States v. Martinez-Fuertes, 414 F.2d 305 (9th Cir. 1975)
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Old 11-06-2012, 8:27 PM
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Bill

Your constitutional rights are in no way being violated. Case law has establish the peramiters of what is and is not acceptable. The Patrol enforces Federal law and the Martinez-Fuerte case was found to be constitutional and necessary to establish citizenship. There are countless instances of case law that guide the constitutionality of Federal Law Enforcement. I conceded that it can be inconvenient to have to establish citizenship as is the reality that some people just don't like LEO interaction. All traffic stops are done with reasonal suspicion with articulable reasons. They are not done for no good reason. I understand where you are coming from because it is frustrating however you have to see it from the Agents view point. Benign things for the public are indicators for a Good and attentive Agent.

Good find Vintagearms!. Was just going to cite that case
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT-40 View Post
Basically there is no longer a true "profile". Smugglers are all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. The agent was probably just routinely asking the same set of questions of everyone. No big deal.

You acted properly and were honest.

Don't fall in with the "Am I free to go" group of people. They are just being difficult where a honest answer would serve the same purpose.
Exactly!
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Old 11-08-2012, 7:04 AM
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I would assume youre talking about the imperial county checkpoint. That checkpoint has pulled some huge seizures and the agents out there are anything but dumb rookies.
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  #16  
Old 11-13-2012, 9:43 AM
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I did not say "dumb rookies". I said people starting out. Each of us has been a rookie at one time or another, and you have to start somewhere.

The checkpoint is in Imperial County, barely.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:16 PM
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Bill, I left your post only because it gave the following two members an opportunity to show you that you were incorrect per the courts. Otherwise, it would have been deleted.

This is the leo forum and has rules in addition to the standard rules. Please do not come into this forum and post the type of comments that you did; save that for OT. This forum is for leos and those non leos who wish to ask a question in a civil manner. It is not for a non leo to provide their opinion as to what the law is or should be and what a leo should be doing.

Thank you for your cooperation.
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Old 11-16-2012, 6:40 PM
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I suspect the Agent simply was trying to get you to talk and feel you out. If he obviously saw the ammo he was already expecting a "YES" answer to his question. The way you responded would give him an idea of what to follow up with.

Working at the border, 90% of the questions I ask travelers... I already know what I want to hear (or expect to hear).

Your response to him was perfect.

Just my opinion

EDIT: The checkpoints in fact do catch MANY things that people are just not aware of. I know many of the Agents at the checkpoint of which you are speaking.WHile yes of course some are new... there are many seasoned Agents there as well. Many times we get intel at the Ports of Entry that we pass along to the checkpoints. Or we are looking for this.. looking for that.. and we know what checkpoint a suspect will be hitting. There is a method to the madness of stupid questioning lol

EDIT x2: There is no "profile" of a smuggler.. anyone and EVERYONE is a possible smuggler. I used to see this old lady cross the border every day. she was maybe in her 80's? Nice as can be.. just another grandmother type... long story short we caught her smuggling meth strapped to every limb of her body. Arms, legs, chest, back ... etc. How long had she been fooling us? 5 year old, 8, 10 on way to school with drugs in their backpacks or lunch pails. Of course you do not see yourself as a possible "Target" ..but color of your skin, age, type of car etc is not really a key factor. If you ever ran across me outside of work, you would probably think I were a dirt bag LMAO. I mean I dont dress all ghetto, but im sure I fit into a "Profile" with my shaved head and brown skin. The bulge from my hip is not an illegally carried - or purchased - firearm. Everyone .. unfortunately is a target
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagearms View Post
Your constitutional right to not be temporarily stopped was denied by the ninth circus. Don't blame the Border patrol. Blame the judiciary. Are you going to cry and whine some more about it here?
Read: Ninth Circuit’s decision in United States v. Martinez-Fuertes, 414 F.2d 305 (9th Cir. 1975)
I am extremely pro-LE, moderate Republican, and fully realize they do not create policy, however, I have to ask myself "where does it stop". Is the impediment of the free movement of law abiding people with no probable cause (which is certainly an infringement of freedom, no matter how minor or how you look at it) worth the busts? How about actually doing something on the border and other security arenas instead of all this security theater the people are subjected to whether traveling by road, air and sometimes even rail. You cite the "Ninth Circus" (love that) but I'd remind you our Supreme Court found the imprisoning of many tens of thousands of American citizens simply because of Japanese descent constitutional. In fact, the history of our judiciary is replete with horrid decisions.
Warrantless wiretaps, rampant TSA abuse, the Obama administration favoring indefinite detention of citizens without charges and being stopped without cause is a valid cause of concern to many people. It's a valid concern, and I'm not sure who is right, but I wouldn't categorically slam the poster down by labeling him a whiner.
I would agree that self-promoting, baiting egotist from Arizona is highly annoying and counter-productive to any intelligent debate on the matter.
He's been exposed, btw, for faking some of his stuff.
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