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NPR - After Private Pilots Complain, Customs Rethinks Intercept Policy

Federal border security agents have sharply reduced intercepts of general aviation aircraft, following complaints by pilots that excessive police action at small airports is restricting the freedom to fly. ( More...

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sparkie624 9
When you intercept someone, you should have proof.... If you don't you should be held liable... If no legal reason to stop them, then don't. As much as I hate drug runners and want to see them stop, that does not mean you stop just anyone that you want.
ken young 2
In law enforcement, profiling is an invaluable tool in the profession.
It is what it is.
Criminals often mimic the actions of innocents in order to evade detection.
sparkie624 4
If a cop comes to search me or my vehicle, the answer is no... If they have probable cause they will search anyway... If they don't I will have them in court later. I never have anything illegal to hide, but I am not going to let the search either.
sparkie624 0
Also, what is to prevent the cops from planting the evidence... It happened a number of years to an American Mechanic... Cops accidentally searched the wrong house, then planted drugs.. He searched many years in prison, until it was proven the stuff was planted by the cops. They did a movie about it "An Innocent Man" based on the true story. (

I work as a mechanic and I have many tools... Some tools I cannot use.. Same here. The profiling is a tool for the police, but they need to be careful how they use it. If they are not sure, they better not do it.
smoki 0
Profiling? Really? Woe be unto those states who dare to invoke profiling of illegal aliens. Nor do we dare to invoke its use in airport security rather instead let's make sure that grandma from podunk NE is forced to undergo a strip search whilst a middle eastern complexioned young man is waved on through for boarding. And lets make sure that no one has to to be forced to get a photo ID for positive identification for voting in this country but absolutely must present one to buy alcoholic beverage at their local Walmart. Your notion of profiling is that which is politically correct and nothing more.
iflyfsx -1
Explain that to the tsa.
matt jensen 6
I guess when the feds confronted granny - they felt pretty stupid!
ken young 1
How do the feds know that the people featured in the story were not coerced into carrying drugs. Perhaps they were threatened..."take this suitcase or we'll....."
jet4ang 1
I'd dump the suitcase
ken young 1
That's HILARIOUS!!!!!
blueashflyer 5
What I read: They are going to try to infringe on our rights a little less.
sparkie624 -1
They are going to "TRY"... Yeah.. Right! Enjoy the coolaid
...As the should!
Joe Morrison 4
"25 police vehicles containing 40 officers"

Good god. Just for one guy...
If they're going to follow planes out of Texas along "known drug routes," then why aren't they following every car that drives along I-45 or I-10 out of Houston - surely drug smugglers use major highways to move product as well!
BaronG58 2
They do. Drug Task Force has worked I-45 Between Madisonville and Fairfield for years. It's unbelievable how many drug arrest are made.
honza nl 1
and since the price of drugs isn't rising the uselessness is obvious for that war on drugs
ps: drugs don't kill people, people kill :)
Chris B 2
What gets me is that Police, anywhere but an airfield, have to get search warrants etc, yet the moment you are on an airfield, it seems as if all due process requirements are thrown out of the window.
BigTuna 1
Sadly that's true everywhere now, not just airfields. Due process has by and large been eliminated and the 4th Amendment has been rendered moot. The government collects and stores information about what you say and do online without probably cause. Civil forfeiture laws allow enforcement agencies to permanently take your property without a court order. Your license is suspended for a DUI arrest without any finding of guilt. Your cell phone can be searched without a warrant. There are many more examples of the erosion of the rights that our ancestors felt strongly enough about to give their lives for. These are truly sad times for America.
ken young 2
Please keep in mind folks, that I do not necessarily agree with these policies. I am pointing out that I understand why they exist.
bbabis 2
The real problem is that they did not think anything was wrong with their policies until pilots complained. The 7 criminal violations mentioned are dubious and probably very minor. As with most things nowadays money is what made the call and not some benevolent decision by an arm of our government. CBP is operating under sequestration rules and monkeying with GA drains their restricted budget needlessly. They get much better bang for the buck stopping tunnels, semis, freighters, and other large scale contraband movers.
"A 32-percent success rate is not bad in the law enforcement community". I wish my parents agreed with this philosophy when I was in school...
BigFED 1
Here are the real problems:

1) "Their explanation: Homeland Security flagged his plane as suspicious." Who has the authority to do this without the proper probable cause???

2) "When we do make a mistake..." - One of those "MISTAKES" may well result in an innocent person getting fatally shot by one of those overzealous "geared up", Schwarzenegger wannabe commandos!!!

3) What happens when/if, during one of those warrantless searches, the LEOs find something ELSE, not drug related, like a personally owned firearm, legal in the owners home and destination states, but NOT in the state where they are refueling? It has happened!!!

WHO IS IN CONTROL??? Obviously not anyone that understands the US Constitution! And, PLEASE do not cite that "we give up some of our rights" when we accepts the "privilege" of being allowed to have a pilots license. We don't give up any rights for the privilege of having a drivers license and driving on surface roads!!! What is next, a "Walking License" for the privilege of walking anywhere? This STILL isn't New York City where you can be stopped and questioned for "suspicious walking", yet!!!
smoki 1
Key to all of this illegal activity is "Warrantless" searches and seizures. Anyone has the right to refuse such a search under the law whence the jack booted thugs will no doubt handcuff them or worse and proceed to rip their plane apart. This is symptomatic of a federal government that is totally out of control and far outside the bounds of the constitutional rule of law and doesn't care in the least. And why not? They're attitude seems clearly to be that they are the feds and they can do whatever, whenever they like. Nothing it seems will be done about it. Consider the young woman who was gunned down by these "law enforcement" officers in our nation's capitol with her infant child aboard, and for doing what? Panicking and trying desperately to vacate the area after making a wrong turn and stumbling accidentally into a WH security checkpoint? Has anyone been held accountable for that gross "miscarriage of justice?" Of course not. Members of Congress behaved like clapping seals when the news was first broke to them.
ken young 0
Let us keep in mind that operating an aircraft is not a right.
Upon taking to the skies over the US, there are certain terms and conditions under which the privilege to fly is granted. Private pilots upon accepting their license acknowledge those terms and conditions.
Yes, some rights afforded to ordinary citizens are not necessarily available to aircraft operators.
BigFED 2
General Aviation pilots ARE "ordinary citizens"!!! NO ONE cedes ANY rights when they are granted a license for a "privilege"!!! People with ordinary drivers licenses are STILL protected by the US Constitution and cannot be randomly stopped and searched without VERIFIABLE probable cause!!!


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