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Old 05-05-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
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10 Common Indicators for Highway Drug Interdiction

In today’s drug smuggling world, highway drug traffickers are constantly attempting to think of new an innovative ways to conceal their contraband from law enforcement. Little do they realize that the same methods they come up with have been being used for decades by their predecessors. Through thousands of narcotic interdiction arrests by skilled interdiction officers all over the country, we have learned many of these traits and characteristics. Below, I have outlined ten popular techniques that highway drug traffickers attempt to use in hopes that they will successfully get their dope to their destination. By familiarizing yourself with some of these tips, you too can increase your interdiction success. Keep in mind you must always have probable cause to stop a vehicle.

MASKING ODORS
We have all heard of highway drug smugglers attempting to use large amounts of air fresheners in their vehicles. Not only can you look at for the famous “Christmas Tree” air fresheners hanging from the rear view mirror and other places in the vehicle, but you can also be aware of several other tactics that you may not have picked up on in the past. For example, do you notice several bottles of cologne or perfume in the car, and have they recently been sprayed prior or during your traffic stop of the vehicle? Is there a large bag of scented pipe tobacco, opened, laying in the vehicle but you notice the driver is smoking a cigarette? Or maybe you find it odd that as soon as you stop the car, the driver lights up a cigarette immediately, filling the car with smoke, but has no desire to roll down the windows? These are all examples of masking the odor on the surface of the stop. Masking odors placed directly onto packages of contraband can include animal urine, cayenne pepper, mustard, animal blood, oil and just about anything they feel may frighten off a drug canine or further mask the odor of contraband.

LAW ENFORCEMENT STICKERS AND SLOGANS
Most officers know that the “State troopers association” stickers you see on vehicle are mailed to random people and solicit money that often are not associated with any law enforcement entity. Most experienced officer’s will also come to determine that most cars they stop with these stickers do not belong to anyone in law enforcement. When you stop or see vehicle traveling across many states with an abundance of these stickers, be aware that they will often put these stickers all over their vehicles, thinking that we as officer’s will think they are “Officer Friendly”.

RELIGIOUS PARAPHERNALIA
The same goes for religious bumper stickers, symbols and bibles strategically placed throughout the vehicle. I once recovered 80 pounds of vacuum-sealed marijuana placed under the carpet of the vehicle. The driver was traveling down the interstate with the biggest bible I have ever seen, lying open on the front dashboard of his rental car.

RENTAL CAR AGREEMENTS/PAPERWORK
It has been known for years that drug smugglers like to rent vehicles to transport drugs. There are many reasons for this. Often the simple fact is that there personal cars are old and not as dependable as a new rental car. Other reasons include avoiding seizure of their personal vehicles in the event they are caught and arrested. Whatever the reason, the rental agreement paper work can offer several indicators to the investigating officer that could end up instrumental in establishing reasonable suspicion. Questions to ask yourself when inspecting this paperwork are:

Is the driver of the car listed on the rental agreement?

If not, is the person listed on the rental agreement even in the vehicle?

Can the driver give you specific details as to who is on the rental agreement and his
relationship to this person?

Does the name listed on the rental agreement show to have a criminal history?

What city and state was the rental car rented in and what distance is that from where you have the vehicle stopped?

What day and time was the rental car rented and how much time has lapsed since then?

What was the mileage listed when the car was rented and how far has it traveled since then? Is the mileage traveled consistent with the occupants’ story as to where they have traveled?

Another great tool to use with rental cars can be to contact the rental agency, identify yourself and explain to them that you have one of their vehicle pulled over, several states away from where it was rented, explain that the renter of the car is not in the vehicle and possible that the people in the vehicle may not even know the person that rented the car. Often times they will ask you to impound the car for them so they can pick it up. This gives you, the officer the opportunity to inventory the contents of the vehicle, thus discovering any contraband.

SPECIFIC TOOLS USED TO ACCESS WHERE THE DOPE IS HIDDEN
Many dope smugglers will go to great lengths to conceal their contraband. What is so funny to the experienced interdiction officer is that they leave obvious tools needed to retrieve the contraband in the silliest of places. I can’t recall the last time I stopped an honest citizen carrying a brand new floor jack and a special tire tool in the front seat of a new Lincoln town car. I can however, recall stopping a drug smuggler, with those tools on the front seat of a new Lincoln that had 160 pounds of marijuana concealed in all four tires of the vehicle! Look for out of place items that don’t fit the rest of the surroundings.

MORE THAN ONE CELL PHONE
Often a drug smuggler will carry multiple cell phones, that all seem to be ringing at once. The smuggler may have a personal cell phone, as well as a cell phone given to him from the origin of the load, a cell phone from the contact near the destination and numerous other middlemen involved in the drug transaction so that they can all keep tabs on the location. Look for this as a possible indicator and question the suspect in detail as to why he has all these phones and use their answers to build reasonable suspicion.

CONFLICTING STORIES
A popular subject to that has been taught in interdiction is the “conflicting stories” that passengers give as to the purpose and destination of their interstate travel. Developing these conflicting stories is paramount in your investigation. By getting the suspect’s to give your intricate details that totally contradict each other not only is an indicator, but a great tool in reasonable suspicion.

THE DRIVER IMMEDIATELY GETS OUT OF THE VEHICLE
This is another post stop indicator that can be a sign of dope trafficking. In this case, the subject is trying to distance himself from something he wants to hide from you. Keep in mind, this indicator can be a sign of something less sinister than drug trafficking, e.g. the subject might be have a weapon in the car, an open beer, etc.. Either way, there is something in the car he is hiding. Just as a side note, if you ask the subject if you can search the car, and he consents but tries to draw you away from where he doesn’t want you to look, then you know the contraband is in a different location than the one they want you to look in. Dead giveaway indicator.

CARS THAT DRIVE UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT
Here is a very easy pre-stop indicator you can start using immediately. Drug traffickers are naturally paranoid and their paranoia will make them do stupid things like drive 10 – 15 miles under the speed limit. drug haulers generally will stay in the “slow lane” as well.

OLDER MODEL CARS THAT ARE IN UNUSUALLY GOOD CONDITION
Often older cars will be used to transport drug loads, however, what sets them apart is that they have been very well maintained mechanically, often have new tires on them and have been washed and cleaned to help blend in with the average citizen’s vehicle.

Keep in mind as you go through this list, an indicator by itself is not enough to be a sign of drug trafficking. However, by observing multiple indicators then you can greatly increase your chances of finding the mother load. I talk more about indicators and reasonable suspicion in my book, Secrets of Successful Highway Drug Interdiction. As always, stay safe and happy hunting.

About the Author
Sergeant Andrew G. Hawkes has over 17 years of law enforcement experience. He has a BA in Criminal Justice and is currently completing his master’s degree in Public


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Old 05-05-2010, 03:00 PM   #2
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Here are some qoutes from some LEO on this article/

NARC_STRIKE_TEAM

26 days ago

82 Comments
This should be removed from the public access area

Talon

5 months ago

524 Comments
This is really good information! But I also agree that this should not be posted in public access and should be restricted to LEO only access.

trooperman911

6 months ago

1892 Comments
BUMP: ccrisler...Great information for LEO's only. Should be restricted information.

ccrisler

about 1 year ago

14 Comments
Criminal Interdiction is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of the law enforcement PROFESSION. However, PROPER PROFESSIONAL TRAINING, administrative support and the PROPER TOOLS should be provided to law enforcement officers who endeavor to practice this "art". I say "art" because law enforcement, in general, is a science. Criminal Interdiction is absolutely an "art".
1. The above information is EXCELLENT for LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS to have!
2. This is, however, (in my opinion) information that should not be available for public consumption.
3. We (the professional criminal interdiction community) are educating the criminal element every day IN COURTS across this nation. That's bad enough.
These comments are, obviously, my opinion---but based on almost twenty-seven years' hands-on experience
Just an Old Road Dawg's 2-cents' worth.

OfficerV

about 1 year ago

2 Comments
Great information. I will, without a doubt, begin to employ some of these indicators that I have previously overlooked. I actually have overlooked the "religious fanatic" in the past on several occasions.


My favorite one from one of these assholes is: "3. We (the professional criminal interdiction community) are educating the criminal element every day IN COURTS across this nation. That's bad enough. "

Remember when you are stopped by a LEO "YOU HAVE RIGHTS, SO USE THEM!
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:28 PM   #3
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Cool

western, out of state, plates, is all they need on eastbound Interstate 40.....(it fits the profile)

...you in a heap of trouble, boy...if they find weed
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:06 PM   #4
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Angry

a local judge tossed a search a while back. the two arresting asswipes were interviewed (independently) by the judge & defense attys. between them they claimed that the following were "near-certain" indicators of a drug trafficker" 1- driving on/under the speed limit 2-speeding 3- fast food wrappers/bags in floor (?) 4-kleenex boxes in vehicle (?) 5-driving in left lane 6-driving in right lane 6-out of state tags 7- driver alone 8-multiple men in car/truck 9-coming FROM "known drug source state" 10-going TO a known drug source state. see any way around this bullshit? one of them had the gall to tell the judge that he thought "excessive adherence to the law" was suspicion enough to search. break the law, we gotcha. obey the law-see above. one local county calls in a drug dog for EVERY SINGLE STOP performed by LEO there. turn signal not working (LEO claims) drug dog. speeding-drug dog. "look suspicious"-drug dog. act nervous (who wouldn't, when stopped by fascists that will CREATE a violation in order to arrest/confiscate ?) -drug dog. and they wonder why no one goes there anymore...
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:01 PM   #5
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Anybody know where i can go buy this book w/out having law credentials
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:29 PM   #6
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http://druginterdictiontraining.com/

Edit: Just noticed that you need credentials to order. Damn.

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Anybody know where i can go buy this book w/out having law credentials
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:35 PM   #7
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If you do just a little poking around you will find a large volume of his works available online.

Lets make this LEO famous, help him sell some books. Please don't hate on LEO's, hate on the Congress of the United States of America, who passed and continues to uphold these racist, pro-DuPont laws. To disrespect a LEO over cannabis is to direct the anger where it is not justified. Even if the officer in question is a total D-bag. LAW ENFORCMENT, Not LAW MAKER.

Call your congress person, even if they are Republicans. It will be faster than posting here. Be quick and polite. Tell them you are tired of Cannabis being used to incarcerate, tell them its tyranny, and will not stand. If enough people do this once a week.... Eventually the laws will change and police will be able to use their talents else where. Like tracking down child rapist, murders, ect. Crime will go down, the GDP will go up.

We need to turn the heat up on the GOP. This is a liberty issue and should be presented that way. If the GOP starts to sound like they are interested at even looking at the law the democrats will be forced to act, or potentially loose allot of voters.

Remember 215, it was not a walk in the park.

Do not give up.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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Torrent.
Looking into that, but I haven't found anything of interest yet.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:43 PM   #9
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All of that shit is predicated upon a driver NOt knowing his rights. i would never answer ANY questions by a pig...never. I rent a car several times a year to visit my disabled son in another state...and if a pig ever started asking me detailed questions I would clam up and demand he follow the law and observe my rights.

People make big mistakes all the time when they agree to speak to the cops. Simply give them the paperwork, and tell them that your ATTORNEY told you NEVER to answer any questions. If the cop starts the old ' Why is that?" bullshit, just remain silent. The cops KNOW that if they cross the line you will have a case on them, and so will usually back off.

People who forget their balls when pulled over get screwed....people who regard the cops as scumbags that are dealt with as inferiors to us get away....all you have to do is NOT participate in their games..

Most busts are made because someone gave up their rights....never do it, and never play the game.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyMtnToker View Post
All of that shit is predicated upon a driver NOt knowing his rights. i would never answer ANY questions by a pig...never. I rent a car several times a year to visit my disabled son in another state...and if a pig ever started asking me detailed questions I would clam up and demand he follow the law and observe my rights.

People make big mistakes all the time when they agree to speak to the cops. Simply give them the paperwork, and tell them that your ATTORNEY told you NEVER to answer any questions. If the cop starts the old ' Why is that?" bullshit, just remain silent. The cops KNOW that if they cross the line you will have a case on them, and so will usually back off.

People who forget their balls when pulled over get screwed....people who regard the cops as scumbags that are dealt with as inferiors to us get away....all you have to do is NOT participate in their games..

Most busts are made because someone gave up their rights....never do it, and never play the game.
God Damn right.
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:23 PM   #11
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Great info man. IMO if you were to transport any large amount, you'd need to make sure that you fit a different profile than what they are looking for. "Support our troops" and one of those Jesus fish stickers don't seem to be overboard but I think will subconsciously affect the officer that pulls you over. After all if he is religious or overly patriotic, stickers like that would create a sense of camaraderie between the cop and you and hopefully help you out.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:00 PM   #12
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Oh yea- rule #1 if you have drugs in the car or are under the influence is to always drive a few mph over.

Personally, i wouldnt have the balls to ever carry weight across the country. Just dont trust myself not to act skittish if i were pulled over.

I think taking a greyhound or church charter would be the way to go if you could contain smell.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:06 PM   #13
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Some of the 'underground' book sellers/publishers have law enforcement text books that are used at the academy's. For security reasons I won't divulge who they are and please don't PM me either. Do a search, you'll find them.
Remember @ 60-70% of police work is nothing more than psychological head games, the other 30-40% is actual law. Once you know this it's easy to deal with them if stopped.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:15 PM   #14
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Should be restricted for LEOs only...LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoPaid View Post
Here are some qoutes from some LEO on this article/

NARC_STRIKE_TEAM

26 days ago

82 Comments
This should be removed from the public access area

Talon

5 months ago

524 Comments
This is really good information! But I also agree that this should not be posted in public access and should be restricted to LEO only access.

trooperman911

6 months ago

1892 Comments
BUMP: ccrisler...Great information for LEO's only. Should be restricted information.

ccrisler

about 1 year ago

14 Comments
Criminal Interdiction is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of the law enforcement PROFESSION. However, PROPER PROFESSIONAL TRAINING, administrative support and the PROPER TOOLS should be provided to law enforcement officers who endeavor to practice this "art". I say "art" because law enforcement, in general, is a science. Criminal Interdiction is absolutely an "art".
1. The above information is EXCELLENT for LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS to have!
2. This is, however, (in my opinion) information that should not be available for public consumption.
3. We (the professional criminal interdiction community) are educating the criminal element every day IN COURTS across this nation. That's bad enough.
These comments are, obviously, my opinion---but based on almost twenty-seven years' hands-on experience
Just an Old Road Dawg's 2-cents' worth.

OfficerV

about 1 year ago

2 Comments
Great information. I will, without a doubt, begin to employ some of these indicators that I have previously overlooked. I actually have overlooked the "religious fanatic" in the past on several occasions.


My favorite one from one of these assholes is: "3. We (the professional criminal interdiction community) are educating the criminal element every day IN COURTS across this nation. That's bad enough. "

Remember when you are stopped by a LEO "YOU HAVE RIGHTS, SO USE THEM!


FUCKING DOUCHE BAGS.....They sure do take themselves serious...LOL...talking about not letting the public see this bullshit... Should be restricted for LEo use only....pieces of shit..and they are inferior to us U.S CITIZENS....fucking nazis.
I have someone close to me that works for the D.E.A. ...lol..pretty crazy...but this dude is not a fuck head...he knows how i feel about MJ, and he knows I puff the hell out of it...shit Ive tried to get him high off some dank from my garden.....He wouldn't...lol...BUT... I have, and know i can, at any time talk logical to him about why mary should be legal, and he does not disagree....He says he would rather deal with stoned people than drunks or base heads, all that shit...i just wish some LEO's would come out and stand up against the bullshit laws against a fucking plant...Im so tired of fucking reading shit like this and wondering is my fucking door going to be kicked in and my 2 year old son taken from me, and ofcourse my freedom, all because I have a couple of PLANTS...seriously, what the fuck is going on..this is past rediculous....ITS A GOD DAMN PLANT.....Shit has got to change..its past time. Either way....im moving as fast as I can to a pot friendly state....i cant do this shit anymore...being a "CRIMINAL" in VA is to much stress..I need to move out west and be a normal citizen again...a "criminal"...LOL...unbelievabl e.
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyMtnToker View Post
All of that shit is predicated upon a driver NOt knowing his rights. i would never answer ANY questions by a pig...never.
Bingo!
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