Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Woman forced to become drug snitch in aftermath of petty traffic stop

How can a traffic stop for failing to signal a lane change result in an otherwise law abiding becoming a confidential informant doing controlled drug buys for police? Here's how it happened in Friendswood, according to a remarkable story from KTRK-TV:
During the traffic stop, Friendswood police officers found a brand new glass pipe in her car with a price tag attached and they returned it to her. They also found a bottle of her prescription medication Suboxone, an anti-addiction medication. She was prescribed Suboxone after getting off Vicodin for dental pain.
After the stop, officers took the woman to a Friendswood police station, put her in a holding cell and strip searched her.

"She made me bend over, she looked everywhere, she didn't find anything," the woman said.
It'd been four hours since she left her son without adequate supervision while she went to get dinner. She was only supposed to be gone 15 minutes.

"I actually begged and begged and begged and begged for them to let me call my mom to go get my son," the woman said.

Police offered her a deal.

"I had two choices, that they were going to either arrest me, or I could agree to do some controlled buys for him," the woman said.

From single mom without a stain on her record to drug snitch in just a few hours. The next day she made that undercover buy alone, nervous, scared for her safety, and, she says, without any way to communicate with a police officer outside in case something went bad.

"I was scared for my safety," the woman said.

She got $100 worth of meth, turned it in to cops and then called a lawyer to get her out of a deal she now knows she never should have made in the first place.

But when the lawyer started pushing to get that woman out of the undercover deal, the Friendswood Police Department pushed back, essentially threatening to give her name to the drug dealer.

"He would make sure to get an affidavit and the warrant to arrest the girl. He would try to bust her and he would make sure to tell her that I was the one who ratted her out," the woman said.

It's hard to believe, but a text message from the Friendswood detective says it would be up to the Brazoria County DA if they would have to name their source. He said it on the phone with the woman's defense attorney as well. The lawyer recorded that call and gave it to us.

"We can go ahead and just file a warrant, based on the one controlled buy that she did and name her in the warrant," said Friendswood Police Chief Bob Wieners on the recording.

Police officers haven't yet and now say they won't. But they do say this is a common practice in Friendswood, turning traffic tickets into drug informant deals.

"We work plenty of Class C contracts," Wieners said.

They do about one a month, the chief told us on the phone, deals his city prosecutor knows nothing about. Chief Weiners confirmed the deal he made with this woman but said we don't know the whole story.

"But please don't think that you telling me you have a side of the story without divulging any of it is somehow clearing the air," we told Weiners.
Good heavens! That's one of the ugliest snitching stories Grits has ever heard, and I've heard a few. Takeaway lessons: This is why drivers should refuse to grant consent to search their vehicles, even when they think they have nothing to hide, and why Rick Perry was wrong to veto legislation in 2001 disallowing police from making arrests for Class C traffic tickets.

Florida in 2009 passed legislation dubbed "Rachel's Law" which required law enforcement to "Provide a person who is requested to serve as a confidential informant with an opportunity to consult with legal counsel upon request before the person agrees to perform any activities as a confidential informant." That sort of protection would almost certainly have prevented this situation from ever happening.


FleaStiff said...

You seem to forget that she did in fact have drug paraphernalia in her car, so the arrest, search and "Snitch or Do Time" deal are risks she assumed.

Lee said...

Why do cops have to arrest every time there is a crime? Cant they just issue a summons and the defendant deal with it later in court?

Cops think that regardless of your personal life (be it an autistic 6year old or an 80 year old grandparent on their deathbed) the world must stop and this crime becomes more important than anything in your life. Is an arrest the primary solution for every cops problem.

Also, when they ask to search it means that they do not see any crime immedately in front of them. That should be the end of the story as they do not need to go through someones busness looking for something that the legislature was prevailed upon by a interest group not to like.

Anonymous said...

The woman probably submitted to a car search because she was afraid that if she didn't go along with it,
they would arrest (or beat) her.

bub bub bubling said...

Could have been a bubble pipe for her kid!

Anonymous said...

This is what comes from an "over-policed" community. It's the full-employment -for-cops policy and practice...pure nonsense, bothering people who are minding their own business and ruining lives. This sort of thing is commonplace in my hometown and absolutely no good comes from it. But the cops can go to the newspaper with all the "major drug rings" they bust. Silly...and expensive.

ur joseph said...

It's not paraphernalia without drug residue, FleaStiff. Stop being a jerk.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Hey Grits, while this is one hellofa WFT? Story, folks should know by now (2012) that this tactic is nothing new. It's been around for ever and will always be part of their bag of tricks, until Texans' stop voting for Bush's boy - Perry. Why? because he's bought and paid for as the police unions / associations & arrest em' all crowd of good ol church going folks own his ass.

There are countless humans (did the race baiters get that part?, it means poeple of all shades) that have been utilized in this same exact manner that won't , don't and never will share it with the public at large. If you've seen at least 3 or more COPS episodes, you've witnessed it being done as they get their man / woman in the end & no one dies. But how many of you have done something about it? Zero. As Grits pointed out, it took a killing in Florida for them to throw another law at the wall.

As for the legally sold water- pipe, it's simply an object with a price tag. It's "drug paraphernalia" when it's used to smoke drugs. It's a weapon if I stick it in your ear. It's a but plug or dildo if you are a freak. So get off the high horse and call it what it is or you'll just end up looking and sounding stupid like the Friendswood Barney Fife's. *Lesson: Check the car you are operating prior to driving it, and don't leave any coke cans because they can be used to smoke dope & labled as "drug paraphernalia".

*Another lesson to consider is to: Un-Occupy Friendswood, TX. Tweet, Facebook and send up smoke signals alerting everyone to avoid the place and don't buy anything or do business with anyone there (even over the net). Their bad reputation goes way back. Screw em'. Thanks.

Note: this VOTS will sue their ass and settel out of court for an undisclosed amount of TAXPAYERS' funds. Silly rats' aka: TAXPAYERS'.

rodsmith said...

well ll:36 you were doing good till you got here

" *Lesson: Check the car you are operating prior to driving it, and don't leave any coke cans because they can be used to smoke dope & labled as "drug paraphernalia"

this type of arrest is total bullshit. Recent numbers i've seen say 80% of all US money in circulation will trigger a drug dog. It's ALL contaminated.

What she should have done was said sure i'll be your snitch!

Then went home and got ready and once set called them and said she had some important information and arranged a meet on HER terms.

Then met them and said she had info someone thought they were a couple of two-faced criminal asswhipes and was gonna beat the shit out of them! and she though they might want to know who!

Then whipped out a collapsle steel baton and hit them both across the throat! and said


Anonymous said...

rodsmith said...

... usually something violent and obscene. Amped up?