Comments for: Officer was wrong to search Maine residents suspected of carrying drugs in car, Mass. court rules

Posted Dec. 29, 2012, at 10:07 p.m.

SALEM, Mass. — A veteran Amesbury police officer’s hunch — accurate, as it turns out — was far from an adequate basis to search a car where police found a bag of unlicensed, high-powered handguns earlier this year, a Salem Superior Court judge has ruled. Police also found approximately $30,000 …

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  • Anonymous

    sucks for that officer.

    • Anonymous

      But not for the 4th Amendment

      • weezy

        hopefully ….. you won’t be the next victim of those thugs, thieves, and guns

        • maineiac123

          better to be a victim of “those thugs” then to ignore the constitution. I wonder if you’d feel the same if you were stopped for a tail-light out and the cop decided to search your car, perhaps frisk your wife, and your 14 year old daughter. Is that ok?

          • Anonymous

            you can’t explain this to a sheep who would welcome a police state on the false hope of “security”.

          • Anonymous

            Sheep need shepherds. Wolves and tigers do not. That means 99% of the time the sheep is the victim.

            Lucky us… soon no more sheep.

        • Anonymous

          Victims don’t often carry handguns !

        • Anonymous

          I presume you’re talking about the Amesbury police dept.

        • Anonymous

          Why don’t you call them child moesters while you’re at it.

        • Anonymous

          Hopefully I will, and hopefully they arrive here at night. We might have to lose, or reassign the word “victim” however.

    • Anonymous

      sucks for the taxpayers that they had to waste all this money on a trial because that officer does not know how to do his job

  • Scott Harriman

    Hurrah for the United States Constitution!

    • weezy

      yes, we all need to be glad there are more guns, thieves, and crooks on the loose….pray they don’t want anything that belongs to you

      • Anonymous

        Ok a cop stop you an he tells you he thinks you have drugs an guns in your car an searches it .. Is that ok ?

        • Anonymous

          How many unregistered EBT cards did they find??

          • Anonymous

            Why missing yours?

          • Anonymous

            Yes ,actually.
            I am missing three of them.

          • Anonymous

            It said nothing about those cards ?

        • Anonymous

          Not my car. He must describe the place to be searched, and the items to be seized. Failure to do either of those steps renders him ball-less.

      • Anonymous

        Why do you hate Freedom?

        • weezy

          ask the town of Newton CT….they are the only ones entitled to answer that…..I could care less who searches my car, as does any law abiding citizen…..you only care if you know there are illegal items in your car….. the freedom to keep your family alive and not be shot by crazies with guns is the only freedom law abiding citizens want to see before more innocents are killed by thugs and thieves

          • Anonymous

            Total Complete bull.
            Just because I don’t want someone searching my things without the legal paperwork to do so does not mean I am some kind of law breaker.
            Matter of fact I am going one step further and say that people who break the law and search without the proper paperwork need to earn a trip to court. I mean He did break the law right?

          • Anonymous

            Actually I do care who searches my car.

          • Anonymous

            What? Newtown? Spoken like a true slave! Demand a police state? not here slave!

            Why don’t you research the newtown shooting on your own? Because the mainstream press did nothing but bungle the story.
            Do you know what actually happened there? Really? How so?

          • Guest

            I’m a law abiding citizen. No one is searching my home or my person without a search warrant or unless I’m arrested.

          • Anonymous

            I’m a law abiding citizen born with the inalienable right to conceal my papers property and affairs from unwarranted searches.under the fourth amendment. You are damn straight I will stop a cop or anyone else who attempts to trample that RIGHT.

            Screw Newton Connecticut, and all of you people who use the tragedy there to push your fascist agenda. That’s right fascist… look it up.

      • Anonymous

        These people are drug dealers, not thieves. There is a big difference. These people actually earn their money. Right, wrong, or indifferant, drug dealers are not the ones kicking doors in and stealing from inocent people.

        • Anonymous

          Unless they want drugs held by other criminals then they do invade and take drugs.

        • Anonymous

          The CIA Iis the biggest drug dealin institution on the planet.

      • Anonymous

        Between the Judge and the Cop one did their job properly and the other failed miserably. One protected citizens and the other endangered them. If you want criminals to go to jail, make sure cops do their jobs right.

      • Scott Harriman

        Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

        -Benjamin Franklin

    • Anonymous

      I’m still in shock that a judge would have the kahunas to uphold the US Constitution. This ain’t nazi germany and every car does not need to be searched.

  • Anonymous

    The cop should have known well enough to have just done what any cop in this situation does when needing a little justification for a search and just said that he smelled a dead body, or heard a muffled cry. When none is found then no matter, but the drugs & guns would still be kosher finds.

    • Anonymous

      You watch too many movies, apparently. If the officer had claimed to have smelled a dead body or heard a muffled cry, he would need to produce whatever it was he “smelled” or “heard,” because no defense lawyer would ever let him get away with such an absurd excuse.

      • Anonymous

        The “dead body” is only slightly less believable than “plate light out” excuse. Maybe this judge “had a hunch” that the cop was not being truthful, or this cop is known for being inventive, and decided to “pull him over” for a search. Or, being Massachusetts, somebody paid the right people the right amount to get these young entrepreneurs a “get out of jail free” card. Either way If they have a brain cell left, they will stop playing in the “snow” now.

    • Anonymous

      Ridiculous.

    • Anonymous

      MA won’t allow the “smell” of Pot as evidence for a search anymore….Im not sure about dead bodies…

    • Anonymous

      Nope if you are looking for a DB in Massachusetts, and do not find it, anything else that you DO find is inadmissible In court. Secondly this is an equipment stop which is (according to the first District Court of Appeals) is not a license to fish for evidence of a crime.

  • Ben Hutchins

    I didn’t think it was legal to engage in a consensual encounter with a vehicle in Massachusetts.

    • Anonymous

      Tell that to Clint Eastwood, who carries on his most intelligent coversations with empty chairs.

  • I agree with the judge but I highly doubt the three people in question will become highly productive citizens in the near future.

    • Anonymous

      same here. but i am glad for the rest of us and our freedom.

    • Anonymous

      Right now they are just happy not to go to prison for 25 years. They won’t be smart enough to quit, though. They owe the suppliers for 3 oz of coke which has to be a bundle.

  • Anonymous

    Police are trained to profile.

    • Rocky4

      No….it comes naturally to some of us. AND, it works too!

      • Anonymous

        Are you implying that you’re a cop?

        Well, are you … punk?

      • Anonymous

        Awww aren’t you a special snowflake.

    • Henderson bobby

      Also to twist facts . IE say they do not recall when they really do.

    • Anonymous

      It apparently works well considering what was found. It is just to bad that the officer did not question them more to give them an opportunity to hang themselves, instead they get to walk.

  • Anonymous

    Never consent to any search. let them get a warrant.. Then I suggest every one for every crime get a jury trial.. threating people durning plea bargins should put the DA’s in prison

    • Ben Hutchins

      “I suggest every one for every crime get a jury trial.” And we wonder why everything takes 45 years in the criminal justice system these days…

  • County Escapee

    He said to ‘go ahead and search’! What more permission did he need for christo’s sake? It was a damned good bust!.
    My adopted State and its judges are a constant source of head shaking embarrassment!

    • Anonymous

      It’s kind of like if you were mugged and told the mugger “go ahead, take my wallet”. Not true consent.

      • County Escapee

        Comparing a cop to a mugger is more than cynical.
        Cops can be told to get a warrant plus don’t usually threaten bodily harm.

    • Tyke

      If he had not been told that he would not be allowed back into his car until a search was completed, then that statement might have been sufficient. However he only made the statement under duress after the police officer declared that he was going to be illegally detained if he did not waive his rights.

      • County Escapee

        All he had to say was we’ll all just stay here ’till a warrant is issued , if you can get one.

        • Tyke

          It was not his responsibility to correct the officer’s blatant error.

          • Anonymous

            It was the defense attorney’s and judge’s job to make that correction.

    • Anonymous

      Did they really say go ahead and search? Or is that just what the cop said to protect his bust? Betcha the judge thinks its the second choice. . . .

  • Anonymous

    Why do comments have to wait for moderation? Don’t we flag inappropriate comments around here? This must be a very touchy subject. At least the Constitution won this round but free speech is still monitored and moderated.

    • Anonymous

      only comments with certain naughty words wait for moderation.

      • Anonymous

        Actually the words do not have to be “naughty” the word that describes the German Socialist movement of the 1930’s is not permitted in any context.

        • Ben Hutchins

          Can’t imagine why. I mean, there are so many legitimate uses for that word in online news-comment conversations. The odds of it being misused for offensive rhetorical purposes are vanishingly small!

    • Anonymous

      You have no right to free speech in some one else’s publication. If you feel that you have a right to free speech buy your own publication and publish / broadcast your opinions. The BDN does not have to supply you with a platform to air your views.

      • Anonymous

        I realize that 100% but it still seems childish. We are all adults here and can handle a little provocative thinking.

        • Anonymous

          Few are not. Unfortunately to rest of us.

  • DavidinMaine

    I happen to agree with the judge. The cop was wrong and the judge said so. If it was such a strong hunch he should have followed the law and got a search warrant. Citizens have to obey the law…so do the police. But I’m glad they got some guns off the streets. We all have to play by the same rules.

    • Anonymous

      A search Warrant would have to describe the place to be searched and the items to be seized. Since the cop had no idea what these bozos were doing, he had no direct knowledge to describe what he was looking for.

      He should have asked for permission to search. He didn’t

      • Anonymous

        the police officer could have asked directly for permission to search the vehicle.if he was denied,he could simply have called in a canine unit,who would have immediately found the drugs,no warrant needed.the guns would have been found during the subsequent search.the police officer did not follow the rules,the criminals win. no donut for him.

        • Anonymous

          Nope. no canine unit without a warrant during an equipment stop violation in Massachusetts. The canine can’t search without a warrant anymore than the officer can.

  • Anonymous

    Newcomb gave him permission to seargh the car when asked.

    Did the judge miss that part?

    Here, again, the criminals were the ones with the guns in a highly restricted Mass., gun controlled environment, and the p-head judge rules for them.
    Unbelievable !

    • Anonymous

      What’s ‘unbelievable’ is that you are so clueless about your own Constitutional rights, that you would so willing give away somebody else’s!

      How old are you? Did they even teach you how to read, much less Civics, or American History in grade school? Junior high?

      That ‘p-head judge’ graduated from college AND law school and most certainly did address the ‘non-consent’ issue. There was no consent!

      It’s people like you who are the danger, here.

      • Anonymous

        At that point, Newcomb told the officer, “go ahead and search.”

        Pretty simple english.

        Enough so that even you could understand.

        • Anonymous

          Reading for comprehension isn’t your strong suit.

        • Anonymous

          Or: the cop said Newcomb told him to go ahead but newcomb never said it.

    • Anonymous

      The judge missed nothing. You however …

    • Anonymous

      The cop declared he was going to search. He was not asking permission as the law demands. Ever try to stop a cop from doing something he was intent on doing…. not a good place to be.

  • Anonymous

    ” unlicensed, high-powered handguns” … “illegal possession of a large-capacity firearm”

    wow, big words from the media. trying to scare people i think.

    high powered handguns? like what? most handguns are “high powered”

    large capacity firearm?
    never heard of such a thing.

    liberal b.s. more of the “assault weapon” crowd.

    • Tyke

      Printing the exact words used in the written judgement is not inappropriate. Your silliness however …

  • Anonymous

    so, what I really want to know is this; since it was an illegal search, did the cops return their guns and coke?

    • Anonymous

      LOL

    • Anonymous

      Under the law it would be mandatory. If I were the defendant, I’d get the hell outta there and let my lawyer argue the finer points.

  • Anonymous

    The Judge must be a drug dealer or user, besides being a looser! There are times when police officers need to rely on there instincts and in this case the Judge and the law is wrong and the officer was right!

    • Anonymous

      Why do you hate America and our rights?

      • Anonymous

        I guess you didn’t read what I wrote! I don’t always agree with the police and I don’t want them harassing decent people but there are too many laws that protect criminals rights! Police officers are trained to use there instincts and there are times they should act on those instincts. As far as I am concerned when you decide to become a criminal and break the law, you give up all your rights under the law! In most cases, police officers are decent people and are trying to do a good job.

        • Anonymous

          Really? What’s your level of education?

          • Anonymous

            Enough is enough, this is not a debate, it is people expressing there feelings and opinions about a specific event. You don’t give a damn about what happened, you just want to get your kicks provoking someone! The end

          • Anonymous

            A dropout. No surprise there.

        • Anonymous

          But the thing is we can not make legal protections which don’t include EVERYONE. When cops ask me where I am going, I don’t tell them. My interaction with law enforcement includes giving them my license and sitting silently waiting for my ticket. I am absolutely sure that some tickets would not be issued, or would turn to warnings if I engaged in a little gentile prater with cops. I don’t.

          I don’t have to. this is the USA (for a little longer anyway.)

    • Anonymous

      Like it or not the officer was not “right”.
      Because this officer did not follow the law these “thugs” will go free.
      Do I want these guys running around free? Not really – so frankly I wish the police would have followed the simple law that would have made this a legal bust.
      They didn’t.

    • Anonymous

      No, the 4th amendment says that the cop was wrong. I wish he would have waited to get the probable cause he needed, I am sure it was lurking close by.

  • We wonder how horrible things keep happening in our country? Criminals can do as they please, and nothing can be done to stop them. It’s funny how many people are so well versed on the fourth amendment. Miss the old days when people committing crimes got in trouble. Now they’re all VICTIMS of police officers violating their 4th amendment rights.

    • Anonymous

      Generalize much?

  • Anonymous

    Those that give up their freedom for fear will loose their freedom but not there fear.

  • Anonymous

    Anthony Jones, 25, of Portland, Andrew Palmer, 27, of Waterville, and
    Annissia Newcomb, 24, of Saco

    They may get off this time, but I still wouldn’t hang around them.

  • Anonymous

    even judges in Mass are crooked, just like Maine ones…….

    • Anonymous

      You know how it goes: If the judges can be bought so can the cops and the prosecutors . . .

  • Anonymous

    Never talk to the police.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you judge! The constitution actually honored in a court? What?

    Look for this judge to be either “fired” or disappeared soon. Can’t tolerate actually enforcing the constitution and bill of rights!

  • Anonymous

    the government has been playing fast and loose with the 4th amendment. it’s too bad these guys weren’t put away but 4th amendment rights cannot be violated. it’s a slippery slope if that happens.

  • Anonymous

    Two mistakes the initial officer made:
    1. He should have asked for consent to search, verbal or written, and/or…
    2. He should have called for a drug K-9. A K-9 “hit” is probable cause to search, and that has been upheld by the courts.
    And I disagree with the judge that the suspect’s comment “Go ahead and search” is not consent. It is a declaration allowing the officer(s) to proceed.

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