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Tracking system nabbing drug dealers and law-abiding pilots

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"Ken Dobson, a retired police officer, was detained and his plane searched by federal agents -- without legal justification -- after he landed at a small airport in Detroit. Instead of uncovering a drug cache, the officials found luggage, golf clubs and an empty Thermos." (www.latimes.com) Mais...

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zcolescott
Zachary Colescott 18
At least this story has now been picked up by media other than the AOPA. This story needs to get out, otherwise it will continue to be swept under the rug.
nasdisco
Chris B 8
Troubling.
yr2012
matt jensen 1
Really glad I don't fly down there to often.
dg1941
dg1941 7
One of their justifications for searching was that pilots have flown into buildings w/ small aircraft since 9/11. Shall we point out that people have used automobiles and vans for the same purpose, shall we pull all of them over and search them?
joelwiley
joel wiley 7
The DEA with their focus on drug interception and asset seizure don't look for terrorists, they are terrorists. Those weren't bomb sniffing dogs. Their reasons incorporate 'any one we can think of' and 'any one we can get away with'. Just wait until the disappearances start.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Every pilot should start filing to one airport and then (weather permitting) land at another. When not on a flight plan fake to one and low level to another. That ought to mess their mind when everyone does what a runner would do.
propilotant
Anthony Smith 5
I'm going to start loading my plane up with duffle bags of dead grass and fly around with it lmao, while using your plan.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
LOL... That is funny... You would probably get arrested for something... They would make up some story...
propilotant
Anthony Smith 5
Then I'll have a good case against them. If they learn to drink beer and chase women instead of pilots I'd have more respect for them. Don't infringe on my pursuit of happiness or you'll get a bag full of dead grass.
joelwiley
joel wiley 3
Interstate transportation of seed material unapproved by USDA may well be a chargeable offense.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
No kidding! This hassling innocent citizens is illegal and expensive and non-productive. Maybe they should try accomplishing the job they are supposed to be doing, like protecting the border!
yr2012
matt jensen 3
They need the practice. My brother once drove an empty flatbed trailer in the USA. The US border agents asked to inspect the load. Remember I said it was an EMPTY flatbed!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Agent probably thought he was hauling sailboat fuel.
egad
James Hodges 1
Don't try the duffle bag bit if U need your airplane. I heard a horror story about a respected Botany Professor who spent a few days summer vacation collecting plant specimens at a small grass strip airport in the wilderness. It took him months and large legal fees to get his Cessna back. They actually confiscated it. "We are here to help you"
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
That is one way to work on what I call 'reducing the signal to noise ratio'.
Overload their sensors with spurious false positives.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Since this profiling and searching of private planes originating in the US came to light have you ever heard of them actually catching anyone hauling drugs or bombs? I think just like the TSA it is 90% a jobs program justifying more taxation.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
A web search on government asset sales websites found a number of a/c for sale, including 3 CH-47s. The bulk of sales are on the IRS website. New stories on drugs and aircraft seizures focused on continuing investigations and not interdicting a particular flight. Asset seizure is less about deterrence than bounty-hunting. The war on drugs cannot and cynically never was intended to be won. As a self perpetuating process eroding our liberties it is much worse than a 'jobs program'. Aviation is affected just one tentacle.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Agree. To me war means you are out to kill your adversaries if necessary. What we have is a bunch of pussy politicians talking tough about war but doing nothing because it might cost them an election. The border war or drug war could be won very quickly but apparently you are right in saying that is not the goal. So the bureaus set up to win those wars have had to branch out to justify their existence since the original mission is a failure.
yr2012
matt jensen 0
Make sure you put some dog crap in those bags too
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Don't say that too soon... Yes that is already being done... http://www.storyleak.com/dhs-constitution-free-zones-us/
CloudSurfer89
CloudSurfer89 0
Scary..
DSchultz101
Dustin Schultz 13
"and questionable profiles such as flying east from California"............Well, I don't tend to fly west very often when I am leaving California!
sparkie624
sparkie624 12
These agencies need to be held accountable.... We have laws for 2 reasons.
1.) To protect us from bad people
2.) To protect us from the government
btweston
btweston -3
While I agree that hassling people for hypothetical drugs is ridiculous, the fact is that drugs are illegal and "these agencies" are trying to stop the trafficking of drugs by bad people.

So let's quit fucking around and let adults do with their bodies as they wish.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
Language please... Young eyes lurk around here...

The fact that innocent people are being hassled with our rights given to us by the constitution is just not tolerable. If their system is giving that many false indications... then they need another system.
n7224e
BC Hadley 1
I don't think the problem is with the system, but the users. Perhaps this is another opportunity to harass citizens they perceive as having too much money and independence.
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 14
Law enforcement has been chopping off the tentacles of freedom since they were permitted to feather their own bed with income from fines and asset forfeitures. They use pretext creating exceptions to the law of the land with a blind eye from the Supreme Court and the Congress.

They have also granted themselves the ability to abuse the civil rights of anyone who states they are not willing to allow a search of their person or property.

Protecting the Constitution is as simple as removing the incentive to destroy it. Reward police for protecting civil rights, and when they tell the truth and a person accused of a crime is found innocent.
awesam
Sam Andrews 7
"Customs and Border Protection officials defend their tracking operation, saying it plays an important role in the war on drugs and protecting national security, especially since 9/11"
This is a tired excuse and not sufficient to deprive people (American Citizens) of their rights. This kind of stuff really needs to be much front and center in the American Media. I applaud the New York Times.
awesam
Sam Andrews 2
There is a Government mentality that says we've got to show results. Often the result is depriving people of their rights. the principle of unintended consequences.
joelwiley
joel wiley 3
I wonder what effect migration to ADS-B by 2020 will have? Just because an aircraft is well identified does not mean the DEA will bother checking on it before pulling their guns.
CaptainFreedom
CaptainFreedom 3
Sheriff's Roscoe's in hot pursuit!
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Sounds like it.
CoastalJet
Jeff Pinder 2
CBP needs to quit harassing honest people and get back to the borders and do their jobs. Opening panels on aircraft is wrong. Illegal searches of aircraft is wrong as well. Maybe they should check the manifest on AF1 and note the fraudulent listings of some people as officials for taxpayer funding.
gumby6
Dave H 2
So what's new? Now funding for law enforcement was increased? Why? So they can waste it on this type of nonsense? Figures!
k1mgy
Mark Richards 2
Someone might ask if the customs service has any authority/jurisdiction n number of miles from a border. In their name "border protection" might be found a clue.

Likely they have been given legislative sanction by an ignorant, citizen-hateful congress, but the question is still worth posing.

This is good educational material for pilots. Force them to get a legitimate search warrant. Acquiescence just racks up more instances where the enforcers will argue for a further loosening of their 4th Amendment obligations. That is, if they follow these at all.
tpmorrow
tpmorrow 3
But this is precisely what Americans want! It's precisely what they cheer about! It's precisely the reason why small towns, virtually the size of hamlets, have SWAT teams fitted out with the latest gear, trying their darndest to look like Navy SEALs so that so many policemen, unable to find employment elsewhere, can have their Walty Mitty moment.
We've lost the thread. With so many people addicted to the vitriol of Fox News (and who think it's actually news), to name just one example of the kind of conservative nut-case chest-thumping that has infected political discourse, it's no wonder we praise hard-handedness - until it happens to us, of course.
We see this at airports. As anyone who has ever flown internationally knows, there used to be a day when you'd return home from overseas and be greeted with a friendly, possibly indifferent smile at Immigration. No more. The long lines I can stand - unpleasant, but I get it. But what has become intolerable is the ego inflation that started at 9/11. Anyone with even the tiniest amount of authority knows it, is all too happy to show it, is all too happy to use it, and by God will abuse it even if it flies in the face of common sense - all because we, and by extension they specifically, are "fighting a war on terror". That justifies everything.
The fact that the gentleman in this story is a former policeman and is so outraged says a lot. The fact that the DEA and other authorities don't really care says a lot too.
Stories like these will continue. The only way to decrease their incidence is for people generally to get a grip and grow up.
As an American who happens to live overseas (Europe), I can tell anyone reading this that though stories like this can and do happen here, neither politicians nor your average citizen long put up with this kind over-arching authoritarian crap. But it's apparently just what pleases us in the US.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 4
Is every government bureau now run by jackoffs????
yr2012
matt jensen 1
No, just some of them. I feel sorry for you fellows down there.
rw812
Michael Smith 1
SpaceRanger
Welcome to the National Security State that the right-wingers say we need.
JetChaser
JetChaser 1
The last paragraph sums it up
zennermd
zennermd 1
My question to everyone is... what are we (the pilots) going to do about this?
btweston
btweston 1
Legalize.
RECOR10
RECOR10 -2
Constitution? Who needs a Constitution? We need more folks like our friendly ranchers - time to send the cops running. They should fear us, not the other way around.
yr2012
matt jensen -2
Good luck with that. Your Constitutional rights ended with the Civil War.
ADXbear
ADXbear -1
Seems like another over reach by the Obama Administrations overly funded and board qusi Military-esk Boarder patrol.. I understand their mission.. But out rights are being severely eroded.. especially in the very regulated world of FAA flight rules.

As see more and more of this civilian rights violations brought to light, I worry more about what we don't know about or see...
dg1941
dg1941 3
There's the old FAA motto... We're not happy until you're not happy.. Seems to be extending to other branches of government does it not?
tpmorrow
tpmorrow 1
It's overreach but it has nothing to do with Obama. This is what I referred to in my comments regarding vitriol and Fox News. The mind-set of overreach was clearly started and perfected by George W, perfectly illustrated by the wholesale swallowing of the necessity of the Iraq war. People swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. Even many many Democrats, disappointingly. And it took off from there.
I hardly see how anything in the Obama administration can be referred to as overreach - and please don't mention the Affordable Health Care act.
Government overreach started an administration - at least - before Obama was wisely voted into office.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
We are probably at opposite ends of the political spectrum (but don't count me as a staunch republican because they are just as corrupt as the dems) but we agree on at least part of the Iraq war. I had no problem going and kicking their ass. Same with Afghanistan. But when you have killed who you want to kill pick up and come home. No policing, rebuilding, or nation building. BTW, seems I remember Mr. O saying that if elected he would end those actions immediately. Well here we are 5 years later. So Don't be the pot calling the kettle black. As far as the news if you think one channel is better just because they spin it your way then you swallowed the hook too; just different bait.
egad
James Hodges -1
I would put that incident in the same category as Osama, oops, Obamacare except that it has been going on for longer than HE has, just worse now!!!
tpmorrow
tpmorrow 0
What? You're against having people pull their own weight by having to pay for their own healthcare? Or you'd prefer that the US government still pick up the tab for those who can't - or more importantly won't - pay for it?
Sounds like you need to get out into the world a bit more, and educate yourself, just a bit.
egad
James Hodges -1
Osamacare will only make the taxpayers burden for medical care worse also. U are the one who needs to pay attention to facts. Dr. Jim. Great Depression Baby, Korea and Nam Vet.
tpmorrow
tpmorrow 1
The fact that you write "Osamacare" says just about everything we need to know about you. I'm grateful that I have access, and actually use that access, to other sources of news than Fox. And that I have a brain and mindset capable of critical reasoning. I'm out of this discussion. Peace.
egad
James Hodges 1
Thank you, Friend, we need more people who stay well informed by using different sources of news. They all have their own agenda. A real name adds credibility to posts!!!
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 0
Could you possibly explain this? http://cns.miis.edu/stories/100304_iraq_cw_legacy.htm
distar97
Dennis Harper 3
It was 1988, when I got a sales order for farm ag chemicals from an Iraqi State owned farm chemical company. I had seen the horrific footage on TV with kids lying dead in the streets, killed by Saddams' CW squad. US State gave a green light to ship even though I explained the sale is basically precursor material for CW. Still State gives a green light. Quandry: If I ship, I kill kids. If I don't ship I miss out on a good sale and some other supplier will ship it.

The Answer: Do a full chemical study of chemicals and come up with a plan, consult with chemical experts, make a custom formulation that never become CW and better yet will ruin any Iraqi chems combined with my stuff in a way so the CW production reaction never happens and it's impossible for them to figure out just what happened to their lovely facility.
We faked all the labels and packaging. Now, no CW is produced, other cursors are ruined, the plant manager probably gets shot, the money and effort put into my material never goes to buying true CW precursors.
Decades later I contact an investigator assigned by the UN and world court. They confirmed the idea worked well. It's one of the best things I ever did.

Please forgive the diversion, the link on CW (above) triggered me off. I never discussed the story openly. I still have the original paperwork. I should frame the Letter of Credit.
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 1
Sorry, wasn't trying to get ya to go off like that. It is irritating to hear people state that going into Iraq was a ruse. The above link shows that due to a technicality, Hussein still had chemical weapons, even if buried under some rubble. Worse is the fact that what is in those bunkers are now probably leaching into the soil where it can enter the groundwater and into streams, rivers or lakes. Unstable chemicals are nothing to mess around with much less be allowed to fester unattended.

Even our most illustrious House Speaker (at that time) Nancy Pelosi was privy to information about weapons, that were found after the invasion, yet still complained about it.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
That's an awesome example of a human being in touch with his humanity. Thanks for that effort.
egad
James Hodges 1
Thank you for the good deed. Dr. Jim. Korea and Nam vet.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
rw812
Michael Smith 0
It would be great to see the new posts on this topic (or any other topic in the squawks). But, it's such a pain in the place where I sit to try to find them because they aren't highlighted, placed at the top, or anything else that would make it easy to find the new postings.
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 1
Right below the box with the squawk there are two links to sort your posts, Top and Newest. Click the Newest and new posts will be at the top. Other than that, Joel is right. There is a blue box with new as well as a blue vertical bar next to new posts, at least for me.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Try searching for 'new' or if you check frequently for 'hours' or 'minutes'.
New posts usually go at the top, but replies are nested under the prior comment.
Those usually work for me. 'new' only lasts until you close the thread.
egad
James Hodges 1
My dinky little iPad has a "button" at the top of most, including this one, to let you have several choices in the order of presentation such as newest first , oldest first, most responder to first, etc. Still far far from perfect.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Haven't tried that. How well does to work on when there are 150+ comments with multiple sub threads, each with new comments?
rw812
Michael Smith 1
Good suggestion but it really doesn't work. As an example, I get notification on my phone through email. I read it on my computer which I may not be able to access until 7-8 hours later.

My personal feeling is that FlightAware is trying to do too much and, as a result, isn't doing a lot of things very well. Take a look at all of the complaints about the photo section. Take a look at my complain regarding trying to find a reply to a message here in squawks.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
You could ask for a refund.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Life just sucks sometimes! Lol
rw812
Michael Smith 0
This is pure crap. Out of 1375 flights, 39 flights actually had drugs. That's about 2% of the flights.

That's not unlike the drunk driving check points. Thousands are inconvenienced so that a small percentage (less than 1%) are arrested for drunk driving.

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