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Careful driving toward and away from Vedauwoo/ BS traffic stops
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By TBlom
Aug 4, 2014
Got pulled over driving home from Vedauwoo for no reason except for having Colorado plates. Wyoming cops are definitely stopping Colorado vehicles looking for pot, even on the way back home.

We were driving home over Hermosa rd. to highway 287, and passed a K9 unit going the other direction, then got stopped head on by another sheriff. The two boxed us in and had a story about a report of a pickup matching our description sitting on the railroad tracks, and told us that because our description was the same they should stop us. They also gave us some BS about the fact that "barely anyone drives that road, so we figured we should stop you and run your tags".

These assholes are clearly profiling and conducting illegal stops with made up stories for probable cause. Seems like they really just wanted to have a chat with us, and get a glance in the back of the truck, maybe sniff around a bit for real probable cause to search the vehicle. After running a few id's and having a good look at us they let us go, apparently we don't stink like weed.


Absolutely no probable cause.
What are they doing with a K9 unit back on that rarely traveled road?
Made up some stupid story to stop us.
Ran 3 of 4 id's, apparently forgot to run mine, but they ran my plates.
Never once asked for registration or proof of insurance.
If a road is rarely traveled that is an excuse to pull someone over?

We saw the same sheriff on the way there cruising that same rarely traveled connector road between 287 and I-25. So, no one travels that road, but they are clearly poaching it with a K9 unit to look for Colorado climbers carrying weed.
Be careful out there, although their stop and story were most likely complete BS, it would be pretty hard to prove. Those boys were fishin' pretty hard...
Too bad they couldn't catch shit!

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By Mark Derham
From Lakewood, CO
Aug 4, 2014
It wouldn't be too hard to prove if you really wanted to pursue it. All calls to the police department should be recorded by that agency and have to be released under open record acts (at least in Colorado, not sure of specific Wyoming laws). All you would have to do is request the tape of the call about this so called truck on the tracks. They would of course charge you for the recording and any other paper trail they kept of the call.

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By RobC2
Aug 4, 2014
This..
They are like keds on a sheep up there, state patrol, Albany County sheriff, Laramie police, UW police. Driving an F350 with WY tags with an AR15 on the rack? No problem... You are a law abiding citizen despite the "TAKE IT" sticker on your rig. Subaru with CO tags and a pack of climbing gear? A threat to society...

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By Scheid
From Vail, CO
Aug 4, 2014
You let them run everyone's IDs? Maybe with their BS story they could get away with running your ID, but the passengers do not have to give IDs. Without probable cause, they only are required to tell them their names.

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By Mike Jones!
From Fort Collins, CO
Aug 4, 2014
pic
Thanks for the heads up. I drove home that way yesterday. Cheers

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Aug 4, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.
I don't smoke weed, I'm not even interested. Been there, done that, got better things to do with my time since it does nothing good for me. YMMV.
But this kind of thing makes me pretty nervous anyway.
Some of the cops that want to find it THAT BAD might not have a problem planting it on you. It happens.

I am not a lawyer. I do keep en eye on a lot of things and one of them is this sort of thing. Here is my limited understanding on how this can play out:

Last I heard, a cop had to have cause to require ID from a passenger. They can ask, but that is not the same as requiring. This *IS* different from state to state. In some states, a cop can demand ID from even a pedestrian. It does nto appear that WY is one of those states though: Stop and Identify Laws

Regardless, I don't believe that it can be interpreted as any sort of offense to ask an officer "Is that a request or an order?"

If the officer replies that it is a request you are entitled to respond:
"I choose not to comply with that request."

If the officer replies that it is an order, I suggest responding:
"I will comply with that order, but would like to know the legal basis for it." and can even add: "If you need to speak to your supervisor first, I will wait here until you have."

In other words - 'Yeah, OK, if you can cite the law' It also provides you an 'out' if you end up being charged with something and there was an illegal/extra-legal search.

Whatever you do, don't exit the vehicle unless you are ordered to. If they "ask" if you will, decline politely and cite your feelings about personal safety as your reason unless ordered, then be specific that you are exiting under duress. Don't give them an excuse to man-handle you, if there is a door between you, they can't claim that you initiated contact or violence.

You are also free to ask the officer if his dash-cam and recorder are on. If you are innocent, this might not be a bad idea. It lets the cop know you are savy to the game.

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By Tom Sherman
From Bristol, RI
Aug 4, 2014
John Sherman
Scheid wrote:
You let them run everyone's IDs? Maybe with their BS story they could get away with running your ID, but the passengers do not have to give IDs. Without probable cause, they only are required to tell them their names.


Everyone in the country, including 20kn, is going to let them run ID's if they're "not doing anything wrong". Civil liberties get violated every second in this country and putting up a fight to it comes with consequences. They should consider themselves lucky for not being harassed further for doing nothing wrong.

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By RobC2
Aug 4, 2014
This..
I would be very cautious, unarmed citizens are shot by the police or beaten by police in this country on a regular basis. They know they can get away with this. At most they will get administrative leave if they taze you or even grease you, "we thought he had a gun", after all you might...

Don't drive weed through Wyoming.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 4, 2014
Bocan
RobC2 wrote:
Don't drive weed through Wyoming.


Or Nebraska, or Utah, or Kansas, or Texas.......

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Aug 4, 2014
Heard indirectly from someone in Wyoming law enforcement.(Sort of, Game Warden = enforcement, but was relating what he's heard from more traditional enforcement types).

Also, it's not just green plates. They are also aggressively targeting Wyoming plates travelling back into the state.

If you look the part whatsoever, expect to be pulled over.

This includes stickers, roof boxes, subaru's, tacoma's, being under 50, and not having kids in the car.

Stickers have always been a quick invitation to break ins, it blows my mind that people still use them. Mine stay on the stove and propane tank.

Also, heard from my uncle who is a DA in Emory County Utah (San Rafael Swell), most I70 drug traffic is a single person driving a late model SUV. So if you're driving your newish SUV across I70 to meet friends, don't be surprised when you get pulled over. This is a major drug highway.

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Aug 4, 2014
Max Supertramp wrote:
"most I70 drug traffic is a single person driving a late model SUV" i kinda doubt this.


True or not, it is who is getting pulled over. Why would they profile this if it wasn't effective for them though?

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By Josh Kornish
From Missoula, MT
Aug 4, 2014
Humboldt Bouldering
This is pretty disturbing. Thanks for the heads up. They were doing the same stuff up here in Montana not long back. Supposedly checking for proper insurance.

If you do get stopped know your rights.

memorize your rights

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Aug 4, 2014
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
That is why you lock your doors as you get out "by habit" (take your key with you, lol) and you don't answer questions beyond your name and address. Don't consent to interrogation or searches. They don't help you at all, despite what they may pressure you into thinking, and only increase the chance that you will make an innocent mistake that bags you, especially if you actually have something. It is important to protect your rights though, even if you think you are doing nothing wrong. You have no obligation to chat politely with a cop or respond to everything they ask as you would in normal polite social interaction. Keep your mouth shut!

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 4, 2014
Bocan
nicelegs wrote:
Stickers have always been a quick invitation to break ins, it blows my mind that people still use them. Mine stay on the stove and propane tank.


I have so many stickers and not a single one is on my truck for that very reason. Pull me over I'm drunk / stoned, I have a lot of climbing gear / snowboards etc etc.

You can tell a lot about someone by their stickers and what they "might" have or be doing.

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By Craig Childre
From Lubbock, Texas
Aug 4, 2014
Potrero Mexico, Sport Climbing Mecca.
First thing, ask if you are being arrested or detained? If they answer no... then you are free to leave. You do not have to answer any of their questions. You are under no obligation to show your ID, this includes your passengers.

If you are being cited, produce your ID, registration, and insurance if asked. They have no right to know what you are doing or who you are going to see. It's none of their business. If you are being cited, they can hold you till the citation process is over. A traffic citation does not give them the right to run your passengers ID's. They need probable cause to demand your passengers ID.

Stay in the car, leaving it makes it available for the officer to search. Be nice, but when asked for information they cannot demand, a polite "I don't know why you would need to know that?" will put them on their back foot. Remember you have the right to remain silent, even if they aren't arresting you. Use it.

I would have suggested to the officer, if a truck had been parked on these tracks, and was moved before the cops arrived, what could they do? They can't write tickets or arrest people for crimes that lack witnesses and evidence.

Everyone should be empowered, know your rights.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Aug 4, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.
Craig Childre wrote:
First thing, ask if you are being arrested or detained? If they answer no... then you are free to leave. You do not have to answer any of their questions. You are under no obligation to show your ID, this includes your passengers.

You better double check that, because the courts have said otherwise, and it is at least state-dependent.

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By Tom Sherman
From Bristol, RI
Aug 4, 2014
John Sherman
Was pulled over w/ my gf around February, officer asked for me ID and I complied. Told her I didn't know it was legal for an officer to ask for a passenger's ID. She did not respond to the remark. Anyway this is called Stop & Identify Laws. And as it appears, since I just now looked it up. In RI if you fail to identify, the officer has the right to detain you for up to two hours before releasing you. Check your state folks.

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By mark felber
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Aug 4, 2014
Mike Morin wrote:
A once over that was very likely a search without consent as he opened my drivers side door to presumably get my VIN and took a very long look inside. Definitely an intense experience that was a result of some pretty serious profiling by an over zealous officer.


The VIN on any modern vehicle is on the dashboard, where it can be seen through the windshield. The officer should have known this. So yes, opening the driver's door probably was a search.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Aug 4, 2014
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
Yeah, I would identify myself if asked and hand over license, registration and insurance card . That is about it. You do have to act on an officers order though, for instance if they order you out of the car. There is a difference between a request and an order. Ask concisely which it is. "Is that a request or an order?" They will probably give you shit over it, but that is their problem.

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By teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Aug 4, 2014
Aiding. Photo by Locker.
I'm pretty sure we had a Supreme Court case (from WY, iirc) that decided it was legal and constitutional for an officer to request ID and/or request that you identify yourself, and that you are obligated to respond. Maybe this varies from state to state, I dunno. But I seem to remember some WY libertarian type losing his appeal when he refused to ID himself just because he didn't think he had to. Maybe it was MT, I'm not sure.

But I'd be extremely careful refusing to identify yourself. The things expressed in this thread sound so certain, but unless you're hearing from a lawyer with specific knowledge, I'd be damn cautious about sticking to your guns and ending up in jail because of it.

WY cops are behaving in a really sleezy way. But you weren't dumb enough to take pot on your climbing trip to the Woo, were you? Don't give them a reason to screw with you by refusing to ID yourself. Don't consent to a search or offer more detail than needed, but tell them who you are. I'm pretty sure you are required to do so.

It sucks, but getting arrested will suck more.

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By Josh Kornish
From Missoula, MT
Aug 4, 2014
Humboldt Bouldering
I would imagine that giving any hassle in terms of an ID won't do you any favors. Bump to the top!

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By Eric Chabot
From Thetford Ctr, VT
Aug 4, 2014
nicelegs wrote:
If you look the part whatsoever, expect to be pulled over. This includes stickers, roof boxes, subaru's, tacoma's, being under 50, and not having kids in the car.



Gotta love living in a police state with the highest level of incarceration per capita in the world.

Shitty as criminalization of weed and dirtbaggery/homelessness are, at least most climbers are white so we will not know true discrimination at the hands of the police.

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By TylerPhillips
Aug 4, 2014
Wasatch goodness
copblock.org/28042/let-me-see-...

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By Kyle Blase
From Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 4, 2014
hardcore unicycle!
Same exact thing happening on the UT/Colorado border.

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By Max Supertramp
Aug 4, 2014
^not that I saw in the last year or two

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By Sauce
From Golden, CO.
Aug 4, 2014
slackline at the AAC Climber's Ranch
My tacoma with Colorado plates broke down in Casper this weekend. The statey who stopped to help didnt hesitate to ask if there was weed in the truck. He was helpful and kind, but the question was quite annoying in light of my situation. Ironically, my license plate is two digits from being "420 urb." Definitely became aware that I look like a target rolling through Wyoming with Colorado plates. Sucks because driving through Wyoming with the windows down and a foot out was a favorite passtime of mine. Dont roll dirty in Wyoming.

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