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George "geohot" Hotz Arrested In Texas For Posession of Marijuana 578

Posted by timothy
from the such-a-nice-drug-war-you've-got-going dept.
n1ywb writes "Goerge 'geohot' Hotz, famous for being the first to jailbreak an iPhone and for his spat with Sony over PS3 jailbreaking, was busted for possession of a small amount of marijuana at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Texas on his way to SXSW. The shakedown goes like this: drug dogs are run around vehicles; when they signal, DHS searches the car and finds the contraband; DHS then turns evidence and suspects over to the local sheriff. Willie Nelson, actor Armie Hammer (who played the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network), and Snoop Dogg have all gotten in trouble at the same checkpoint under similar circumstances."
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George "geohot" Hotz Arrested In Texas For Posession of Marijuana

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2012 @01:48PM (#39367211)

    It is very key that the poster used the word "when" when referring to the drug dogs, rather than saying "if they signal". Multiple studies have shown that drug dogs are essentially a fraudulent way to get around probable cause during a vehicle stop.

  • by ehiris (214677) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @01:49PM (#39367217) Homepage

    These checkpoints are not for those who cross the border. They are unconstitutional search and seizure checkpoints within the US. The pretense is that they are close to borders.

    If the borders are so well protected, why do they need these checkpoints? There is no warrant.

  • by tiptone (729456) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @01:52PM (#39367289)
    I would not be surprised to find out, because there are many of them, that this "border" checkpoint was nowhere near a border. Most people not aware of its location would not be expecting a border checkpoint since there is no border in the vicinity. Surprise!
  • Shop local! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Matt_Bennett (79107) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @01:56PM (#39367377) Homepage Journal
    Austin is proud of its local businesses- 'Keep Austin Weird" is an advertising slogan of the Austin Business Alliance- Surely, he could have supported one of our local entrepreneurs and looked for a local source.
  • by rwade (131726) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:02PM (#39367483)

    Okay -- I wasn't aware that this was one of those internal "border patrol" checkpoints. Should have RTFA.

  • Re:Meh (Score:5, Informative)

    by eratosthene (605331) <eratosthene&gmail,com> on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:04PM (#39367525) Homepage Journal

    Clearly you don't know very much about how many counties in Texas operate. Sure, in Travis county (where Austin is located), it would be a minor offense. Right next door in Williamson county? Any contraband, including just a pipe, will guarantee an overnight stay in jail. Paraphernalia is a minimum of $500 fine. An oz of weed could net you a year's probation. Anything over a gram of any other illegal substance will be a felony, with 4-10 years probation if you take the plea bargain. It's fucking sickening.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:04PM (#39367537)

    This is nothing new.

    Any location within 100 miles of a US federal border is an officially Constitution-free zone. This neatly covers the homes of roughly 2/3 of all Americans.

    You have no rights, so stop deluding yourself and do something about it.

    From the ACLU:
    Are You Living in a Constitution-free Zone? [aclu.org]
    Constitution-free Zone Fact Sheet [aclu.org]
    Constitution-free Zone Interactive Map [aclu.org]

  • by Isaac-1 (233099) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:05PM (#39367559)

    The reality is the west Texas I-10 check point outside El Paso may be 30-40 miles from the city, but that stretch of I-10 closely (within 2-5 miles) parallel's the border for about 50-60 miles, and the checkpoint is located where the highway/border start to diverege.

  • Re:You don't say (Score:4, Informative)

    by m.ducharme (1082683) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:12PM (#39367685)

    Yep, there is. Kinda. Called the "hearsay rule". Doesn't block all anecdotes, but at least tries to keep them first-hand only.

  • by tylersoze (789256) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:13PM (#39367719)

    Fair enough, but some of them are at least 75 miles from the border it looks like.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Border_Patrol_Interior_Checkpoints [wikipedia.org]

    It's still ridiculous being subjected to this nonsense without probable cause. Of course, I also think sobriety check points are unconstitutional too. Even though I would never run afoul of either since I don't smoke or drink, I still care about our actual freedoms.

  • by dd1968 (1174479) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:15PM (#39367737)
    I've been through these checkpoints in New Mexico and Texas many times but I was never curious about their history until I read the "flushing the entire constitution down the toilet these days" comment. Got me to wondering how long the checkpoints have been around and who got them started. Best I can tell, they started in the early 90's (1993 is the earliest mention I can find).

    Interesting GAO report on the Border Patrol from 2005, if anyone is interested:
    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05435.pdf [gao.gov]

    So the checkpoints are nothing new but certainly they were expanded and additionally empowered after 9/11 to (on paper anyway) act as a deterrent to terrorism. My only addition to the "flushing" comment is that it is nothing recent -- it started long ago. The Man just uses every excuse to flush more of our rights farther down the pipe. Galling.
  • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:16PM (#39367767)

    Being a citizen on US soil is irrelevant if a border crossing is involved, because everyone is subject to search at the border.

    http://search.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2727991&cid=39367407 [slashdot.org]

  • by m.ducharme (1082683) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:17PM (#39367781)

    Well, to add a counterpoint to your valid concern about over-use of acronyms, I'm from a small town in Ontario, Canada, and I knew what SXSW was, and that it was located in Austin, and that one would expect there to be some friction between Texas' notoriously conservative law enforcement and the much more liberal crowd that SXSW would attract. I also know that SXSW is one of the biggest, most popular festivals of its kind in North America, that people I know have been talking about it for weeks, and that half my Twitter feed is chatter about how Bruce Springsteen is giving the Keynote and how awesome it is to be there to see it (or how much it sucks to not be there to see it).

    So while I agree that the editors shouldn't assume that we all know what SXSW means, I can understand why they might.

  • by ewieling (90662) <[ten.llunved] [ta] [resu]> on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:20PM (#39367829)
    That depends on the state. In Texas " The possession of two ounces or less of marijuana is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000."
  • by n1ywb (555767) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:24PM (#39367913) Homepage Journal
    According to OTHER SCOTUS rulings the cops can legally detain you for a LONG time (hours) and then walk a drug dog AROUND you car and if the dog signals (or if the cop SAYS the dog signals) they have probable cause to search. E.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_v._Caballes [wikipedia.org] Also the definition of a "reasonable amount of time" to detain somebody while waiting for a drug dog is very ambiguous; courts have found hours long detentions while waiting for drug dogs are legal.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:27PM (#39367961)

    Uh you do understand this "border" checkpoint is nowhere near the actual border, right? It's just some random spot on I-10 like a 100 miles from the border. Completely ridiculous.

    That said, you'd think people would have heard about this and avoid I-10 like the plague in that part of the state.

    First, the checkpoint was in the vicinity of Sierra Blanca, TX, which is about 15 miles from the border (as the crow flies), not "like 100 miles from the border".
    Second, check a map. Avoiding I-10 in that area isn't practical if you want to get anywhere in a reasonable timeframe.
    Third (and most importantly), there's no reason for anyone to bring marijuana to to SXSW. Last time I checked, marijuana is plentiful in Austin.

  • Re:You don't say (Score:5, Informative)

    by datavirtue (1104259) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:38PM (#39368101)

    Goddamn that article was lame. Yes, I read the article and I am now sorry I did. Well, you live and learn.

  • by Anrego (830717) * on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:48PM (#39368287)

    I imagine all the stuff that would come up for him on google is going to trump a minor possession charge.

    Anyone hiring him is probably hiring him specifically because of his legal history.

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @02:51PM (#39368325)

    Every drug dog has a different signal.Their handler is trained to recognize it. Some dogs dig at the location, some sit, some look at the handler. There is no uniform signal because dogs can't talk so the dogs are often trained to react the same way they did the first time they found something which could be almost anything.

  • by snowgirl (978879) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @03:02PM (#39368507) Journal

    If you're sending a dog around to sniff a vehicle you've randomly chosen, you're *already* performing the search before the dog alerts. The use of the dog is *part* of the search process.

    Wrong. Police officers can react to anything that is in "plain sight", meaning anything that escapes from your car, be it photons or small particles which we refer to as "scent".

    They already stop EVERYONE (when they're open) and ask you a few simple questions. If they see a kilo of coke sitting in the passenger seat, then that gives them reasonable cause for a search. If they smell pot, then that gives them reasonable cause for a search. If a dog alerts to pot, then that gives them reasonable cause for a search.

    At no point are they actually searching you in the legal sense, you were just retarded enough to let your crime become evident outside of your car. (They do not need a warrant to look at your car, or smell your car.)

    So, either basic logic escapes you, or you're simply unaware that they don't just have random dogs wandering around the checkpoint aimlessly. I'm betting it's the prior.

    I've been through these checkpoints a lot. They don't normally have random dogs wandering around, but it wouldn't surprise me that for SXSW, they would bring dogs out and have them just hanging out near where the cars stop. (They stop one at a time.)

  • by Gutboy (587531) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @04:47PM (#39369965)

    Wrong. Police officers can react to anything that is in "plain sight", meaning anything that escapes from your car, be it photons or small particles which we refer to as "scent"

    Not true. The U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in U.S. v. Kyllo (2001) that the police can not use infrared cameras to locate "suspicious" concentrations of heat in private places and then get warrants to search. So anything that escapes is not "in plain sight".

  • by snowgirl (978879) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @04:59PM (#39370093) Journal

    Wrong. Police officers can react to anything that is in "plain sight", meaning anything that escapes from your car, be it photons or small particles which we refer to as "scent"

    Not true. The U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in U.S. v. Kyllo (2001) that the police can not use infrared cameras to locate "suspicious" concentrations of heat in private places and then get warrants to search. So anything that escapes is not "in plain sight".

    The ruling in U.S. v. Kyllo (2001) held that the police cannot use equipment not available to the general public to perform searches of a person's home. The home has always had a very strong 4th amendment protection, while cars have less so. Namely, you almost always need a warrant to search a person's house, rather than just reasonable cause for suspicion. (If you see a kilo of coke brought into a house, you need a warrant. If you see a kilo of coke placed into a car, you can stop and search on reasonable suspicion after it leaves the person's property.)

    The SCOTUS also held in Illinois v. Caballes that the Fourth Amendment is not violated when the use of a drug-sniffing dog during a routine traffic stop does not unreasonably prolong the length of the stop.

  • Re:Yes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Local ID10T (790134) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Thursday March 15, 2012 @06:21PM (#39371069) Homepage

    I take it you are doing better than those people, because they are stupid and you are not?

    For at least one day, he is in fact doing much better than any of them were on the other respective days they stupidly tried to cross with drugs.

    Sadly, U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints [wikipedia.org] and crossing the border are not necessarily related...

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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