Don't Travel in Utah with California License Plates

Steve KinsmanStarred Page By Steve Kinsman, 20th Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Utah

While on a twenty-day motor trip to Chicago and back we encountered the heavy hand of the law in Utah, where we were treated as if we were common criminals, simply because our rental car had California license plates.

It was a great trip until we got pulled over by a Utah state cop

After driving about seven hundred miles a day for three days, we arrived in Chicago, where we attended a going-away party for our friend Joe, who was moving to Paris. None of his many friends was likely to see him again any time soon, and there were perhaps as many as a hundred guests present to wish him well in his new life in France.

After a great send-off party, we left the Windy City and got back on the road for our return trip, which would take a much more leisurely pace. We headed for South Dakota's Black Hills, rich in Native American History and lore. After exploring the old mining town of Deadwood, now a gambling mecca, we headed for our time share in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for a two-night stay. Then it was back on the road again for the trek through Utah and Nevada before arriving back home in Northern California.

Confronted by the Man in Utah

We ran into a mild snow storm as we came down out of the Rocky Mountains, but it was enough to cover our vehicle with a lot of road grime and make it extremely dirty. Twenty miles west of Salt Lake City we entered Utah's salt flats, where I set the cruise control on seventy-three miles an hour, two under the speed limit of seventy-five. Traffic was very light, with a few trucks and even fewer cars on the road. Within minutes of hitting the salt flats, a Utah Highway Patrol vehicle parked at the side of the road pulled out and began to follow us. Soon he came up not quite alongside of our car and remained there for two or three miles. Then he slowed down and dropped back about a quarter mile, before speeding to again catch up with us. That's when his lights began flashing and we slowed down, pulled off the road and stopped.

"May I see your license and registration, please?" His badge said his name was Randy Riches.

"Certainly, officer" I replied, "but I'm trying to figure out why you stopped us."

"We have a law in Utah that a license plate needs to be readable from a hundred feet away, and yours is too dirty to read."

I told him we had come out of a snow storm in the mountains, and that I had been keeping an eye out for a drive-through car wash but hadn't seen any. With that, he began to eye us with suspicion and commenced to ask us what seemed like a string of unending questions. Where had we been, how long had we stayed there, what was the purpose of our trip, who did we visit, and on and on. "Why did you rent this car in Reno instead of in California where you live?" he wanted to know. "Because," I replied, "that's where we got the best deal and the town we live in is as close to Reno as it is to Sacramento, which was our only other option." He asked if we had made any money in Chicago, and I answered that "No, I spent money there."

After 15 or twenty minutes of this grilling, Carol asked "Is there something wrong here, because if there is, I'd like to know what it is?"

His reply: "You tell me what's wrong here, lady. You tell me."

He then told me to come back and get in his cruiser so that he and I could "have a little chat."

After we got there I inquired of him "Why are you asking us all these questions? You stopped us for having a dirty license plate and then you put us through the third degree. We're good people. We obey the laws. I don't understand why you're doing this."

Then he dropped his hammer: "I have to tell you. I can smell marijuana on you right now. I'm considering searching your car. I have that right, you know. People from California are always coming through this corridor carrying marijuana to the east. I'm thinking you took marijuana to Chicago and sold it there."

"Well, that's really amazing that you smell it on me, because the last time I was in possession of any marijuana was in 1976." Now I knew that he had been engaging in a monumental fishing expedition, and I thought to myself - certainly Carol and I did not fit the profile of drug runners, but to this guy everyone was a suspect, no one was to be trusted, and I wondered also what it must be like to live every moment of your entire life like that - doubting, suspecting, and not trusting a single soul you encounter out in the world.

Then he said "Here's your license back," as he handed me a warning ticket for not having a license plate that was visible at 100 feet. "Drive safe out there," he said as I exited his cruiser. "Have a good evening," I said.

If you drive on Interstate 80 through Utah and you have California license plates on your car you will almost certainly be stopped, and it is highly possible your car will be searched as well. As for us, if we ever make this trip again in a rented vehicle, we will insist they give us one with Nevada plates.

The sign at the state line should more accurately proclaim "Welcome to the Police State of Utah."

Tags

Automobile Travel, Police State, Steve Kinsman, Utah, Utah Highway Patrol

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Kinsman
I live in California with my wife Carol, where I have been practicing professional astrology for 35 years. I write articles on astrology, but I enjoy writing on a variety of other subjects as well..

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Comments

author avatar joyalariwo
21st Nov 2013 (#)

Its a pity you had to go through all that after an enjoyable day but with law enforcement, expect to be stunned with whatever they can charge you with.
He was probably too embarassed to apologise and preferred to breathe down on you. But how can you get a ticket for dirty license plates?

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
21st Nov 2013 (#)

In America you can get a ticket - and worse - for lots of things. Thanks for commenting joyalariwo.

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author avatar Brandie
9th Nov 2015 (#)

Omg!!!
I just came across this.

This trooper did the Exact same thing to me in 2011.
he followed me in the salt flats, told me I crossed the white fog line, said he smelt weed, searched my truck, let me go with a verbal warning.
I'm from California......

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author avatar Mariah
21st Nov 2013 (#)

Unbelievable that people are subjected to this, and quite an alarming experience.... possible drug runners because the plates were dirty from a storm, what the hell next Steve..bloody disgraceful
Glad you had a nice time before this idiot was let loose on you.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
21st Nov 2013 (#)

We had a great time and we didn't let this episode spoil it. Thanks for your comment Mariah.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
21st Nov 2013 (#)

In life we do not know what is in store for us - anything can happen anytime but there are still good souls who come looking for us and I have a suspicion there is some prompting by an unseen force. But nasty experiences like you encountered leave a bad taste in the mouth. Hope you had an otherwise enjoyable time, Steve - siva

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
21st Nov 2013 (#)

We had a great time. Thank you Siva.

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author avatar Seriously
21st Nov 2013 (#)

They pull you over without of state plates period. This is what happens when it all about the dollar. The state police there are horrible and violate the constitution like they didn't take an oath to it. Wake up! The war on drugs is a war on the people. You might have this state trooper next time.
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52577019-78/topham-jail-sentenced-officer.html.csp
Look at the sentence for ARMED ROBBERY! It's all about the dollar not about HELPING people.That state has to be one of the most corrupt ever. Hope you never have to go through that again.

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author avatar Seriously
21st Nov 2013 (#)

They're on the I-15 as well. They lie to search your vehicle. Never go back to there cruiser.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
21st Nov 2013 (#)

You're right, Seriously. I have a friend who made the trek through Utah on I80 four times last year, and he was stopped and his car searched all four times. It's truly incredible that they can do this and get away with it.

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author avatar M G Singh
22nd Nov 2013 (#)

This is very surprising. Maybe chap wanting to show his authority. Such people are destroying the charm of America

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
22nd Nov 2013 (#)

This happens all the time in Utah these days. Thanks for commenting Madan.

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author avatar Ptrikha
11th Dec 2013 (#)

A show of over-suspicion by this cop!

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
22nd Nov 2013 (#)

Here in the UK it is against the law to drive with dirty number plates Steve , as the cars cannot be detected on the many hundreds of speed cameras that are everywhere .
I guess there are those who do traffic drugs etc through the States as everywhere else they can , so I expect the cop was only doing his job .. Take it as one of life's little ups and downs , and be glad you had nothing to 'Declare !.. Glad you are back in one piece.
God bless you and yours
Stella ><

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
22nd Nov 2013 (#)

He grossly overstepped his authority. A dirty license plate does not give him cause to search a car. I'm sorry, but he was not "doing his job." He was on a fishing expedition and harassing law-abiding citizens.

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author avatar Seriously
22nd Nov 2013 (#)

anyone who takes an oath to the constitution and violates the bill of RIGHTS is not doing their job! Violating rights in this country should be a prison sentence so they will stay in line. This is The United States not nazi germany. The law enforcement agent or anyone else who has taken an oath to the constitution is lying about the smell it's the same as falsifying a warrant because that is what they are doing. It's amazing to me how many people will talk about the rights we have when very few no what they actually are. You're kids listen to propaganda about canabis before they know their rights. The war on drugs is unconstitutional and needs to end! Having canabis as a schedule 1 drug is a joke. If you look at the history of cannabis it's been demonized for racial and political reasons not because of health reasons.
Cocaine, opium, amphetamine are schedule 2. Ok? So a schedule 1 drug leads to a schedule 2? I'm calling B.S. On the whole thing. The people in power are all about causing problems and offering solutions to make cash off the public.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
22nd Nov 2013 (#)

I agree with everything you say Seriously. You are right on.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Nov 2013 (#)

Nice post and excellent writing as well!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
25th Nov 2013 (#)

Thank you Fern.

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author avatar Seriously
26th Nov 2013 (#)

Everyone should also realize that law enforcement doesn't really have any accountability which they should have the most. It's all about cash so they pull people over for everything they can even if they do it unethically like driving in your rear at over 100mph+ acting like you're speeding when you're not. I've heard they will shine laser pointers with the red laser diode at you at night to get you to swerve so they act like you're drunk. They will fake DUIs and violate rights (Lisa steed) to put people in jail. She got trooper of the year so that shows they are only there to help you... Go to jail.
They get federal cash for that so it only makes sense that they will falsify everything they can. I've read arrest reports that are complete lies and the arresting officer will put a South American cartel sounding name that had nothing to do with it. The law enforcement have become the criminals and they should be in jail. Just look at their A.G. Swallows. They're all going to hell if there is one. I'd say there are some that are good but they back the trash so it makes them all bad. Anybody going there I'd put a back dash cam in and also one in your own car with audio so you catch them lying.

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author avatar Seriously
26th Nov 2013 (#)

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_perjury
I hope who ever reads this has a great life. I used to like law enforcement some what now I loathe them. Have a great day.

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author avatar Mariah
26th Nov 2013 (#)

Hi seriously, read my page 'Educating Cops..The Law Of The Scottish Sovereign'...
I think you might find it gratifying.
Cheers.
Mariah

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author avatar Seriously
26th Nov 2013 (#)

Look up testilying for police.

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author avatar Seriously
27th Nov 2013 (#)

I liked it Maria. Thank you.
This is why Utah is bad. They made it legal for police to pull you over even if they are the ones causing your violation. I don't care what he was carrying. They have some of the worst kangaroo courts in this country.
http://www.copblock.org/25439/traffic-stop-valid-even-when-police-caused-a-driver-to-commit-a-violation/

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author avatar Seriously
27th Nov 2013 (#)

The arresting officer in the link above is the same one that pulled you over.

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author avatar Seriously
27th Nov 2013 (#)

The constitution of the United States is the law of the land. These utah pigs should be charged with treason and being terrorists.
Supreme Court Decisions which pertain to the Right to Travel

The Passenger Cases (7 Howard) 7 How. 283 (1849)
“We are all citizens of the United States; and, as members of the same community, must have the right to pass and repass through every part of it without interruption.”
Murdock v. Pennsylvania 319 US 105 (1943)
“A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the Federal Constitution. Freedom of press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion are in a preferred position…the privilege in question exists apart from state authority. It is guaranteed the people by the Federal Constitution.”
Kent v. Dulles 357 US 116 (1958)
“The right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without the due process of law under the fifth amendment.”
NAACP vs. Alabama 357 US 449 (1958)
“Like the right of association is a virtually unconditional personal right guaranteed by the constitution to us all.”
Aphtheker v. Sec. Of State 378 US 500 (1964)
“…a personal liberty protected by the Bill of Rights…Freedom of travel is a constitutional liberty closely related to the rights of free speech and association…the constitutional right to travel has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized…that a right so elementary was conceived from the beginning…In any event, freedom to travel throughout the United States has long been recognized as a basic right under the constitution.”
United States v. Guest 383 US 745 (1966)
“The constitutional right to travel…is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized…a right so elementary was conceived from the beginning…In any event, freedom to travel throughout the United States has long been recognized as a basic right under the constitution”
Shapiro v. Thompson 394 US 618 (1969)
“…freedom to travel is an element of the “liberty” secured by
Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham 394 US 147 (1969)
“…our decisions have made clear that a person faced with…an unconstitutional licensing law may ignore it and engage with impunity in the exercise of the right…for which the law purports to require a license.”
Post borrowed from: http://www.titanians.org/right-to-travel-is-guaranteed/

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author avatar Seriously
27th Nov 2013 (#)

By what the patriot act says UHP is a domestic terrorist group.
Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. No. 107-52) expanded the definition of terrorism to cover ""domestic,"" as opposed to international, terrorism. A person engages in domestic terrorism if they do an act ""dangerous to human life"" that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States, if the act appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping. Additionally, the acts have to occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and if they do not, may be regarded as international terrorism.

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author avatar Seriously
29th Nov 2013 (#)

ATTENTION

all state and local law enforcement personnel

You took an oath

"... to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic."

But what does that oath really mean in your personal and professional life? More than you may realize. And that oath may, in the months and years ahead, be put to a test that you neither expect or want. This paper is to help you prepare for that test.

Who are the enemies?

Foreign enemies are easy to understand, and require little discussion. What about domestic? Spies? Terrorists? Criminals? How about corrupt officials? Or overzealous officials who ride roughshod over the Constitution and the rights of citizens in pursuit of a mission they think outweighs all other concerns? What about corrupt or overzealous officials in your chain of command, who may try to use you for their criminal purposes? What about top civilian leaders, who may decide to overthrow the Constitution and establish a new regime in which there are no limits on governmental powers or guaranteed rights, and use you to carry out their plans?

At this point you may be thinking "Nonsense. Nothing like that will ever happen in the United States of America. The people running our government are nice guys who can be trusted to try to do the right thing. They would never try to do anything like that. This is just some kind of paranoid anti-government propaganda."

Don't be too sure. A lot of people thought the same thing a few years ago who became aware of evidence that is extremely alarming, evidence that would be incredible if it didn't come from people inside government who are extremely troubled by what they are seeing or being asked to do.

One of those things is making preparations for a general warrantless search of every site in the United States, using military and law enforcement personnel, to confiscate all firearms and shoot anyone who resists. A clear violation of almost all of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. Don't rely on this flyer. Check it out for yourself through channels. Then think about what it means.

No more elections. Not for some time. The people would be outraged. They'd vote all the incumbents out if elections were held. The government might offer some justification for their action, something that might seem convincing to many, but not to everyone.

In the meantime citizens throughout the country are organizing independent local militias, to resist assaults on the Constitution. At some point, you may be called upon to choose sides.

Assaults on the Constitution

The Framers of the Constitution made it very clear: Government was not to exercise any power not delegated to it by the Constitution. But for many decades now, it has been assuming more and more powers for which there is no constitutional basis, often in response to demands from the public to "do something" about some problem or another, without bothering to adopt amendments that would make such powers legitimate. Courts have, for the most part, gone along with this, often resorting to imaginative sophistry to try to make it seem legitimate.

If this weren't bad enough, these new powers are increasingly being abused to serve purposes and interests that were never intended by the original legislation. The result is an increasing crisis of legitimacy, and increasing alienation from government on the part of an ever growing part of the population.

Illegal Orders

Any order which you may receive that is contrary to the Constitution of the U.S. or of your State, or to a constitutional law, is illegal. Compliance with such an order is not only not required of you, but may be and probably is illegal, and the issuance of such an order may be a crime, which obligates you to make an arrest of the person issuing it.

Under federal law, 18 USC 242, it is illegal for anyone under the color of law to deprive any person of the rights, privileges or immunities secured by the U.S. Constitution, and under 18 USC 241 it is illegal to conspire to violate such rights.

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author avatar Seriously
29th Nov 2013 (#)

Some law enforcement officers say that if they are put in the position of having to obey an illegal order or law, they will resign. That is wrong. Once you take an oath to uphold the law, you are obligated to resist all efforts to turn law enforcement organizations into criminal enterprises. Don't resign. Arrest the offender, just as you would arrest any other offender. Make him resign.

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author avatar writestuff
5th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you for this post. To be certain motoring in U.S.A. can be life threatening. B&D (black and driving) still remains perilous from state to state. Be careful, be safe and keep your mp3 voice recorder ready!!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
11th Dec 2013 (#)

Yep.

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author avatar Seriously
23rd Dec 2013 (#)

I've heard the state police are using a stingray to go through your phone data before or after you enter the state. Texts, emails, and everything that should require a warrant. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/09/meet-the-machines-that-steal-your-phones-data/ that set people up and act like it was just a pullover. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE97409R20130805?irpc=932
Where is the life sentences for these people violating their oath to the constitution . This a complete violation of our rights. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/08/cellphone-data-spying-nsa-police/3902809/

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author avatar Seriously
23rd Dec 2013 (#)

They are keeping that device very secretive. They have gone way to far! This is treason which should equal life sentences. We are Americans and this unconstitutional war on drugs and unconstitutional secretive spying on People should be met with punishment (life sentences for treason) and dismantling of these corrupt cartel creating government agencies along with law enforcement who are abusing their power.

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author avatar Seriously
23rd Dec 2013 (#)

Also the war on terrorism is a fraud it was created by CIA just like the war on drugs. If we want to find the WMDs just check bush's and obamas receipts and closets. Watch zeitgeist the movie on YouTube. It will explain what I'm saying.

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author avatar Seriously
30th Dec 2013 (#)

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.- Benjamin Franklin
If the NSA isn't violating rights why is general Alexander and clapper lying to congress and getting away with it? The spying had foiled 50 plots? Maybe 1 or 2? Does That mean zero? The stingray and all the other UNCONSTITUTIONAL IMSI spy devices should be looked at to see if they are violating rights! If you got nothing to hide what's the big deal? That's what the cops always say when they want to violate people's liberties so why don't we say that to them?

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author avatar Seriously
30th Dec 2013 (#)

Also if you pay in cash, are a returning veteran, have hair dye in your house, complain about your tap water and or etc. you maybe considered a terrorist. So while youre watching the big football game or celebrating a holiday the government is passing laws secretively to erode our bill of rights. So if you want to change the channel from watching guys tackling other guys and flip it to c-span when they're talking about terrorists know that they are talking about the American people too. Please vote third party (Ron Paul looks great. Hopefully he runs) next election and get these clown shoe politicians out of Washington. I'm going to move out of this country if this country votes in another pink elephant or jackass!

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author avatar Ray
1st Apr 2014 (#)

Same cop, similar scenario. I was travelling down 80 to visit my dying mother in California, with Wisconsin plates. This same Jackbooted thug pulled me over for going over the white line when I did no such thing. Asked me to get into his car as well and treated me like he was the Gestapo and I was to prove my citizenship. It ruined my trip from Salt Lake to Pioneer and I just can't believe that I was treated this way by this sorry excuse for a man. I can only imagine the number of people he treats this way... Someone needs to investigate this guy.

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author avatar Seriously
23rd Apr 2014 (#)

Check out
US v. McCoy
You'll see why he's able to get away with it. That judge made it legal for him to be little Adolf. They lie about how people are driving and UHP get away with being criminals. people need to understand that just because there are drugs in the car it doesn't make it alright for law enforcement to violate guaranteed rights. All of our rights are eroding away because of this. They can just violate at will and lie about it. It's a matter of taste when it comes to drugs. If it wasn't considered a crime and regulated you wouldn't see all the violence. Make whatever the sales tax of the state is when bought. Everybody pays a tax one way or another. You tell me who's gaining 6-10% on every transaction in these times. The bank only gives 1-2% which with inflation you're loosing 5% a year. Have fun in a decade when your 100,000 only buys 50,000 worth of today's products. Quit throwing people in jail for non violent crimes. Wasting our tax dollars. McCoy allegedly had a gun but didn't use it= non violent.

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author avatar Seriously
23rd Apr 2014 (#)

I totally agree they need to be investigated and also thrown in jail.
In us v. McCoy -"I was trying to catch him speeding." Well he wasn't and he doesn't know what you're doing. Your speeding and you causing the problems randy riches. You should be in jail with most if not all your gang of thieves.

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author avatar Seriously
23rd Apr 2014 (#)

Check out Lars Gardner having time for a snack before he kills 2 women and gets off Scott free. That'll be my excuse from now on.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/professional-courtesy-and-negligent-homicide/
Check out Lisa steed for fake DUIs and she still isn't in prison! Check Chris terry. It's ok for him to act like he smells cannabis and go into cars without a warrant. Utah has flipped upside down.

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author avatar Seriously
29th Apr 2014 (#)

It blows my mind law enforcement doesn't take in consideration about their impaired driving. Looking at laptops doing double the speed limit. All jacked up on adrenalin and possibly steroids. Which are both drugs by the way so it should be DUI for them. If they want "action" so bad they should jump out of airplanes without a parachute. The impaired driving is just so they can mess with you just like cannabis smell. I can understand if someone is so messed up on a substance but this is getting out of control. In US v. McCoy randy acts like he already knows what's in the car which there isn't anyway he would of known. That's the problem the end justifies the means which isn't LAW. It's just a robbery. When they violate rights it's no different than if they had a ski mask on knocking over gas stations.
It's all bullshit.

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author avatar Seriously
29th Aug 2014 (#)

Homeland Security Set to Deploy “Molecular Strip-Search” Devices at Airports and Roadside Checkpoints

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author avatar Seriously
29th Aug 2014 (#)

Watch out for this. They have them in their cars and on the side of the road.
http://gizmodo.com/5923980/the-secret-government-laser-that-instantly-knows-everything-about-you

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