Patterico's Pontifications

8/6/2012

Drugs Found After Possible SWATting Call?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:38 am

It sounds that way, doesn’t it?

What started out as a potential hostage situation ended with three people being taken into custody and officers finding drugs in a home in south Houston on Sunday afternoon, KTRK-Channel 13 reports.

Police responded to calls from a home in the 5600 block of Belarbor about 1:30 p.m., after being told there was a hostage in the home.

Police told KTRK the homeowner refused to come out after officers made contact with him. A SWAT team then came to the scene. It was later determined there were no hostages after all, and people in the residence exited peacefully.

But officers did find something in the home: marijuana, KTRK says.

Side benefit of SWATting people: maybe the cops will find something illegal inside! In my case, all they found was a messy home (I was in trial at the time). But I guess a SWATter can dream . . .

39 Responses to “Drugs Found After Possible SWATting Call?”

  1. Question for the lawyers here: would the drugs found at the scene be admissible in a court of law?

    Even assuming that the SWAT call was fraudulent, officers almost certainly had reasonable suspicion to investigate. But once they ascertained that the situation was not violent, wouldn’t they be under an obligation to leave the scene without any further investigation?

    Publius (d23a8a)

  2. I assume the drugs were in “plain view” — or at least that officers said they were.

    Patterico (8b87cf)

  3. “It was later determined there were no hostages after all, and people in the residence exited peacefully.”

    Prolly had the munchies.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  4. Just wait until cops start SWATting people on purpose to get around warrant requirements.

    Bye-bye Fourth Amendment.

    They won’t need any real evidence to kick down your door and shoot your dog. Just an anonymous, spoofed call from the internet.

    We don’t have any credible evidence, but we have to investigate because the accusations are so serious!

    On a completely unrelated note, Harry Reid might be a pederast. Maybe a SWAT team should investigate his home and office.

    Daryl Herbert (6317a3)

  5. No and no. No warrantless entry into the home unless supported by exigent circustances and probable cause and anonymous phone calls are not probable cause. An no rumaging — just what’s it’s in plain view.

    nk (875f57)

  6. Daryl,

    You think you’re kidding but I think it’s for real — cops looking to loot and pillage.

    nk (875f57)

  7. “…all they found was a messy home…”

    Isn’t that cause to report you to Children’s Services for endangerment (Heh!)?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  8. Don’t these guys carry a throw-down bag, just in case?

    Richard Aubrey (0aac79)

  9. Publius,

    How could the police be sure there wasn’t a hostage situation without going into the home?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  10. Sounds like the 9-11 call here in Dallas a few weeks back. Ended up with one suspect dead after a long foot race and a fight between him and the cop, not to mention a stand off with about 100 neighbors who heard the suspect got shot in the back. ME proved otherwise, but it was pretty tense for quite a while.

    Last I heard, they figured it was a rival drug gang that called in the fake 9-11 call about three guys dragging a bound guy into a house. They did end up catching the caller. I’ll see if I can find a link.

    Em (0af170)

  11. This should have been a dog whistle for the Balkobotz

    JD (75bed3)

  12. Ok, I’m too comment slow to get link to work. Curious? Google South Dallas fake 911 call – June 26, 2012

    Em (0af170)

  13. Not the same but similar, a while ago my police officer son responded to a call about an armed robbery with description of suspect- he and partner saw person matching the description, got out of car with guns aimed and told the fellow to put his hands up. Hands stayed in pockets- this a few weeks after Philly cop shot dead through a person jacket pocket. Again ordered to take hands out of pockets and put them up, which he then did.

    Turns out there was no robbery buy somebody mad at the guy pulled the prank. His sister is a cop and once everything was figured out he realized how close he came to being shot with no clue what was going on.

    Lots of angles from stupid prank to purposeful intimidation to letting the police bust your drug dealing competition.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  14. I assume the drugs were in “plain view” — or at least that officers said they were.

    Comment by Patterico — 8/6/2012 @ 7:51 am

    Of course, the cops get to lie.

    I read a news article about a judge who was after my own heart.

    A cop testified he lied to a suspect’s elderly mother about a 9-11 call to get into the apartment. He told her he had to make sure everyone was OK. Then he testified that she gave him permission to search the suspects room, where he found drugs.

    The mom said she gave no such permission.

    The judge threw out the evidence and told the cop not to come into his courtroom, tell him to his face about how he lies on the job all the time, then expect him to take the cop’s word over some citizen who isn’t an admitted liar.

    I believe that ruling was appealed and overturned, though. By a court that ruled that, yes, cops get to lie.

    I don’t know about the whether or not this evidence would be admitted, but if I were on the jury in a case where the cops raided a house based upon a fake 9-11 call and found evidence of some other crime, then told me the evidence was in plain view, I’m not buying it.

    Steve57 (5797fd)

  15. If the “calls” (plural — or maybe just shoddy journalism) came “from” the home, then WHERE is the SWATting?

    Maybe someone inside the house (a child, perhaps?) didn’t want to be around the drugs — and/or the people doing them — anymore.

    Icy (4d7b3f)

  16. In most cases, I think SWATting calls are spoofed so it appears they came from the location where the police responded.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. Maybe someone inside the house (a child, perhaps?) didn’t want to be around the drugs — and/or the people doing them — anymore.

    That’s kind of ridiculous. The call numbers are spoofed; they didn’t come from inside the home. That’s what’s so insidious about it.

    My question is why don’t law enforcement have a means to detect spoofed / non-spoofed numbers, especially a land line?

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  18. carlitos, after some of the decisions that have/have not been made by 911 operators, expecting them to have the expertise to unwind spoofs would probably require a soft-ware design that would be too expensive to install. After all, cities and counties have more important things to spend money on, like the retirement benefits of those cops and 911 operators. Plus, if they get it wrong, they have Sovereign Immunity, courtesy of SCOTUS.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  19. In most cases, I think SWATting calls are spoofed so it appears they came from the location where the police responded.
    Comment by DRJ — 8/6/2012 @ 12:29 pm

    — With all due respect, DRJ, I do not think that is the case.

    Icy (4d7b3f)

  20. Confiscate the weed, guns, cash, scales etc and let the guy sue to get it back… if he’s smart he lets it go, blows out of town with his bug out bag and goes dark.
    OK one in a billion… odds are that he sells weed to a narc within two months

    SteveG (831214)

  21. Meaning one in a billion blow town with cash and a plan… the others sell weed to a narc within two months; of course after not dealing for a whole weekend so as to divert the police attention.

    SteveG (831214)

  22. With all due respect, DRJ, I do not think that is the case.

    I think it is.

    Patterico (8b87cf)

  23. Just wait until cops start SWATting people on purpose to get around warrant requirements.

    It’s plausible in extreme cases, but SWATting is extremely dangerous for cops and target alike. No one likes to put themselves in a situation like that for anything but huge reasons.

    I think it should be prosecuted and enforced as attempted murder. And if a police officer were to use this as a way around a warrant, I think they would soon be caught, and hopefully prosecuted for attempted murder the same as any other swatter should be.

    Dustin (73fead)

  24. Dustin, there’s a dead ex-Marine formerly living in Sherrif Dupnik’s (of Giffords/Laughner fame) Pima county, AZ, who might disagree with about how seriously the police take this.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/jose-guerena-arizona-_n_867020.html

    Steve57 (5797fd)

  25. You don’t need to say something about everything, Dustin. Unless you can relate that you know what you’re talking about.

    nk (875f57)

  26. I recall that case, Steve. Maddening.

    Though there are some categorical differences between that sad story and ‘swatting’ hoax attacks, I do not think police always take these cases as seriously as they are obligated to.

    I wish there was something more constructive I could do about it.

    Dustin (73fead)

  27. You don’t need to say something about everything, Dustin. Unless you can relate that you know what you’re talking about.

    Comment by nk — 8/6/2012

    It’s a topic of great interest to me that I believe I am fairly well versed in. I realize that legally the ‘attempted murder’ charge is unlikely, but that’s what the crime is in my book anyway.

    Dustin (73fead)

  28. Attempted murder is a failed overt act that can kill or cause great bodily harm with intent to kill, both act and intent by the actor.

    nk (875f57)

  29. Dustin,

    Sometimes, if you have nothing to say, don’t say it.

    nk (875f57)

  30. Attempted murder is a failed overt act that can kill or cause great bodily harm with intent to kill, both act and intent by the actor.

    Comment by nk — 8/6/2012

    A swatting is an overt act that can kill. The swatting of Erickson in particular included a promise to ‘kill again’, I believe intended specifically with the intent of making the police response accordingly aggressive.

    That’s my take on it.

    Sometimes, if you have nothing to say, don’t say it.

    Comment by nk

    Nah.

    Dustin (73fead)

  31. Smirnoff

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  32. Not that there’s anything wrong with that

    I miss the days where people blasting eachother on the internet was bad enough to be to even rate as bad.

    Dustin (73fead)

  33. We are probably not talking about a small amount of pot. Most cops aren’t interested in making a case about a few grams of weed.

    A _very_ long time ago, my apartment was burglarized while I was at work. The manager noticed the broken window and called the cops. And then let them in to investigate. They noted the missing stereo, TV, etc, but oddly not the bag of weed and bong on the coffee table.

    I guess the burglars might have left it.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  34. I never really thought about this until now, but the 1998 arrest of John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner in Houston, Texas — which became the landmark 2003 Lawrence v. Texas SCOTUS case that voted anti-sodomy laws — could be described as resulting from a “SWATting.”

    From Dahlia Lithwick’s New Yorker article about a new book with new revelations about the Lawrence case:

    That night in 1998, Lawrence, Garner, [Robert] Eubanks, and probably a fourth man were all in Lawrence’s apartment. Lawrence and Eubanks were very drunk. Eubanks seems to have thought that Garner was being flirtatious with Lawrence, and fell into a jealous rage. He left the apartment, supposedly to get some soda, and called the police with a false story about his lover, Garner, brandishing a gun. There was never any dispute that the four policemen who responded to that call were entitled to enter the apartment to investigate, or that Lawrence began screaming furiously at the intruding officers, demanding to see a warrant and threatening to call his lawyer. There was sexually explicit art on the walls, notably a pencil drawing of a naked James Dean with oversized genitals. Eventually, Lawrence and Garner were charged with the crime of “deviate sexual intercourse, namely anal sex, with a member of the same sex (man).”

    The kicker: According to the author of the new book, it is sincerely in doubt whether or not Lawrence and Garner were engaging in a sex act at the time police entered his apartment. Lithwick, again:

    Lawrence and Garner may have been reluctant to talk to civil-rights lawyers from the outset, and reluctant to become the face of gay sodomy in Texas, and yet this imperfect test case could be made over into something more than serviceable. Lambda Legal, a national gay-rights advocacy group, agreed to represent them as a means both of directly challenging Bowers v. Hardwick [which affirmed the right of the state of Georgia to outlaw sodomy] and of highlighting the consequences of criminalizing consensual gay sex. Sodomy laws were almost never enforced, but their very existence legitimatized a culture of homophobia, and as long as Bowers was still on the books gay-rights arguments would be stymied in the courts.

    The legal opportunity depended, however, upon persuading the defendants to go along with an unusual strategy. High-powered lawyers would represent Lawrence and Garner, as long as they agreed to stop saying they weren’t guilty and instead entered a “no contest” plea. By doing so, the two were promised relative personal privacy, and given a chance to become a part of gay-civil-rights history. The cause was greater than the facts themselves. Lawrence and Garner understood that they were being asked to keep the dirty secret that there was no dirty secret.

    That’s the punch line: the case that affirmed the right of gay couples to have consensual sex in private spaces seems to have involved two men who were neither a couple nor having sex. In order to appeal to the conservative Justices on the high court, the story of a booze-soaked quarrel was repackaged as a love story. Nobody had to know that the gay-rights case of the century was actually about three or four men getting drunk in front of a television in a Harris County apartment decorated with bad James Dean erotica.

    For what it’s worth.

    L.N. Smithee (fa0e44)

  35. Thanks, LN. I never knew that.

    JD (f677fe)

  36. In California, they call it medication.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  37. Long story short:

    My take is that a competitor in the compassionate marijuana cultivation business decided to thin the competitive herd via non compassionate Swatting

    SteveG (831214)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 1.4209 secs.