Harford County Citizens Police Academy, Week 12: Traffic Unit, Special Response Team

Driving along Route 1 on his way to the liquor store, the man realized he’d missed the turn into the parking lot.

So, already heavily intoxicated, he did what seemed logical: he stopped in the middle of the road and threw his car into reverse, heading back to the store, located not far from the Conowingo Dam in northern Harford County.

As other drivers frantically swerved around him, the driver turned into the liquor store and provided the punchline to the story, hitting the clutch instead of the brake and plowing into part of the building. When Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived, the man already had a bottle of vodka on the counter.

Even more incredibly, according to DFC Nick McGowan of the agency’s traffic unit, the man was still upright despite blowing a 0.40 on the breathalyzer, an astounding five times the legal limit and plenty high enough to kill the average human being.

Most cases are nowhere near as extreme, but it’s the job of the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit to monitor county roads and write citations, work DUI checkpoints, and use radar and other technologies to catch speeders. The unit also handles traffic control for events such as parades, funeral details, and conducts crash investigations.

Last year, the Sheriff’s Office issued 37,369 citations, which include tickets, warnings and repair orders. Among them were 375 DUIs, and 1,503 radar details, including 173 requests from members of the community—any citizen can ask that the Sheriff’s Office run a radar detail if they notice speeding in their area.

The traffic unit also investigated 1,991 traffic crashes, including three fatal crashes—though several more fatalities were investigated by the Maryland State Police and are not included in those statistics, McGowan said.

Citizen’s Academy members had a chance to try their hand at using radar and LIDAR guns during the class, standing outside the Sheriff’s Office southern precinct on Route 40 Tuesday evening. The readings weren’t used to pull anyone over, and even getting a clear reading wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Deputies receive dozens of hours of training in the use of radar, LIDAR, and the unit’s other tools, including laser mapping systems for crash investigations, and tint meters to determine whether a vehicle’s window tint complies with the law.

The author, right, using a radar gun on Route 40 Tuesday evening. (Photo by Mark Elloff)

–Being a member of the Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team isn’t just about brawn, according to Cpl. Bryan Oleszczuk—it’s mostly about brain.

“SWAT is all about here,” Oleszczuk said, pointing to his forehead. “It’s 90 percent up here. I can give any muscle-bound idiot from any gym a gun and tell him to go clear a house, but I guarantee he can come in here and I can shoot him dead. It’s about knowing how to play the game, bring the situation to an end, and save lives.”

Those last two goals are the mission of the SRT team—once upon a less politically correct time known as the SWAT team. Oleszczuk, team leader for the squad, described the group as “911 for deputies”—SRT serves high-risk warrants and is called out in barricade or hostage situations.

The highly-trained unit currently comprises 17 individuals, including a medic and, rare among such teams, a physician—a medical doctor who is also trained as an SRT operator.

Nationally, special weapons and tactics teams have their roots in the mid- to late-1960s, when officers wielding six-shot revolvers and the occasional rifle began to be overwhelmed by the firepower available to criminals. The Harford County Sheriff’s Office team was established in 1968 as the “tactical section,” Oleszcsuk said, and reorganized into a 20 member squad called the SWAT team in 1975.

For the first 15 years of its existence, the team suffered the same problems found among SWAT teams nationwide. There was little formal training available and no “industry standard,” Oleszczuk said, and the equipment available was often makeshift or military surplus. Worse, he said there was a “lack of administrative understanding” about the role and uses of a SWAT team.

Those trends began to change in the mid- to late-1980s, as Oleszczuk said operators began sharing best practices, better training became available, and police-oriented equipment hit the market. Following the shooting of a suspect in an incident in the late 1980s on Spesutia Road, the Sheriff’s Office squad’s name was changed to the less aggressive “SRT.”

SRT members undergo months of training in more than three dozen training areas, Oleszczuk said. The team is part-time, meaning their weekly training and monthly qualifications for snipers come in additional to their regular duties with other Sheriff’s Office units. Even then, it takes years of experience for a member to become a trusted expert, he said, and all SRT operators are on call 24-7.

The Sheriff’s Office SRT responds to about 50 incidents each year, according to Oleszczuk. Approximately 85 percent are high-risk warrant services, 10 percent are barricade situations, and five percent are other incidents requiring a tactical response.

To handle these calls, SRT members have at their disposal an array of weaponry, from submachine guns to gas launchers to “pepper ball guns” (don’t call them paintball guns), devices which fire a paintball-sized pellet of pepper gas. Deputies can also use remote-control robot and other electronic devices to provide reconnaissance of an area without putting officers at risk.

In addition to a marked utility vehicle to carry supplies and an unmarked van to transport SRT members, the squad also has access to the TRV or Tactical Rescue Vehicle. The angry-looking, 10-ton armored truck was acquired by the Sheriff’s Office through a federal grant in 2005, replacing an ancient Air Force surplus Dodge truck from 1978, according to DFC Brad Crossley, an SRT assistant team leader.

Though he’s intentionally vague on the vehicle’s capabilities to protect the deputies who use it, Crossley said the vehicle can transport 10 to 12 SRT members in full kit, has a turret, spotlights and even an attachable battering ram, and despite its size, “rides like a Cadillac.”

Despite the new tools and training available, Oleszczuk said the agency has seen interest in joining SRT wane among newer deputies, due to the commitment required outside of their regular duties.

But, if those same deputies find themselves in over their heads one day, Oleszczuk’s team will be the ones who get the call.

“When cops call 911, we’re it,” he said. “The buck stops here.”

NEXT WEEK: A tour of the Sheriff’s Office firing range in northern Harford County, a demonstration of the K-9 unit, and a presentation by the dive team.

Comments

  1. Whistle Blower says

    It has come to my attention that Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Tabone has with held evidence that would exhonerate defendants that would have won their cases by illegal search and siezure. In 2009, Tabone with held evidence of an illegal warrantless dog sniff on Jon Adam McCarty’s home address of 900 Swallow Crest Ct. Unit G in Edgewood. The dog sniff was illegal by way of trespass as No Trespassing and Private Property signs were in plain view as well as a secured entrance with a buzzer system to allow entry to authorized visitors. To further complicate matters, a confidential informant, Jeffrey Clayton Lawrence gave the police access to the locked property entrance which is also against the law as it creates a trespass. McCarty wanted a suppression hearing but through means of coercion through McCarty’s attorney E. Thomas Maxwell of Glen Burnie, McCarty took a plea deal as Maxwell claimed, “they are not going to give you a suppression hearing because you have made the Judge mad.” A thorough check of the record shows that even though a request for a suppression hearing was made, no hearing was ever scheduled for Mr. McCarty. This is a Federal Crime known as Deprivation of Rights under the Color of Law as Mr. McCarty was not granted this hearing that would have cleared his name and due to this fiasco, McCarty has lost everything and is on the verge of Bankruptcy. In order for this to happen, members of the Harford County Judiciary have to be involved or had some knowledge of this violation. Once again, more bad news for Tabone, as it looks like he and his raid squad committed the exact same offense against Matthew Buettner in 2010. Looks like someone gots some splainin to do……………………….

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10
    • wow says

      Wow. Both persons have priors for CDS possesion with intent. Guess those past charges/convictions were a sham too.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5
      • AnyWho says

        Past Convictions do not disqualify a defendant from having Constitutional Rights. Constitutional Rights are not a priviledge, but a birth right for citizens of this country. Any other interpretation would be just incorrect.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5
  2. Bob says

    Perhaps they can start pulling over some of the meatballs that are riding around with jeeps and pickups, etc., that have wide tires that extend beyond their fenders. They throw up stones that crack windshields and endanger motorcyclists.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
  3. Paul Mc says

    Hey Whistle,

    “It has come to my attention” – How did this just happen to come to your attention?

    “that Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Tabone has with held evidence that would exhonerate defendants that would have won their cases by illegal search and siezure.” – What specific evidence was withheld?

    “In 2009, Tabone with held evidence of an illegal warrantless dog sniff on Jon Adam McCarty’s home address of 900 Swallow Crest Ct. Unit G in Edgewood. The dog sniff was illegal by way of trespass as No Trespassing and Private Property signs were in plain view as well as a secured entrance with a buzzer system to allow entry to authorized visitors.” – Is this an apartment complex or condo? Did someone allow the police access into common areas? Also, you do realize there was a warrant issued for this, right? Or do you mean prior to the issuing of the warrant? Seems to me this was very legit.

    “To further complicate matters, a confidential informant, Jeffrey Clayton Lawrence gave the police access to the locked property entrance which is also against the law as it creates a trespass.” – Did Mr. Lawrence live at the same apartment complex? If so, wouldn’t he have access into the property area? If so, wouldn’t his allowing the police access really make the search legal?

    “McCarty wanted a suppression hearing but through means of coercion through McCarty’s attorney E. Thomas Maxwell of Glen Burnie, McCarty took a plea deal as Maxwell claimed, “they are not going to give you a suppression hearing because you have made the Judge mad.”” – Oh, I am sure that was the reason. He made the judge mad so no suppression hearing. Also, how do you happen to know what the attorney said? Did you overhear this? Or are you just making this up?

    “A thorough check of the record shows that even though a request for a suppression hearing was made, no hearing was ever scheduled for Mr. McCarty.” – A plea was reached, making the need for a suppression hearing moot.

    “This is a Federal Crime known as Deprivation of Rights under the Color of Law as Mr. McCarty was not granted this hearing that would have cleared his name and due to this fiasco,” – All irrelevant as there was a plea entered, again, making the need for a suppression hearing moot.

    “McCarty has lost everything and is on the verge of Bankruptcy. In order for this to happen, members of the Harford County Judiciary have to be involved or had some knowledge of this violation. Once again, more bad news for Tabone, as it looks like he and his raid squad committed the exact same offense against Matthew Buettner in 2010.” – This search and conviction, as well as the Buettner search and conviction, all appear legit.

    “Looks like someone gots some splainin to do……………………….” – Could that someone be you? Explain why you come up with these far-fetched ideas, please.

    Anyways, have a nice day.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5
  4. Whistle Blower says

    This is from the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE GUIDELINES REGARDING THE USE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS from Title III. RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING REGISTERED CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS, heading C. AUTHORIZATION OF OTHERWISE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, 1. General Provisions, Section B :

    A JLEA is never permitted to authorize a CI to:

    (i) participate in an act of violence;

    (ii) participate in an act that constitutes obstruction of justice (e.g., perjury, witness tampering, witness intimidation, entrapment, or the fabrication, alteration, or destruction of evidence);

    (iii) participate in an act designed to obtain information for the JLEA that would be unlawful if conducted by a law enforcement agent (e.g., breaking and entering, illegal wiretapping, illegal opening or tampering with the mail, or trespass amounting to an illegal search); or

    (iv) initiate or instigate a plan or strategy to commit a federal, state, or local offense.

    Basically, a Confidential Informant is an Agent of the State and any act he may perform as an Agent of the State must be equally allowable by law enforcement or it is a prohibited Act. It doesn’t matter where he resided as long as the location was unavailable to access of law enforcement under circumstances with out the CI’s help. Case law of Federal Court in Massachusetts have upheld this interpretation and set this precedent. I applaud your attempts at trying to make an illegal act legal, but the law has been clearly defined. As always have a nice day Paul…………

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5
    • Paul Mc says

      Hey Whistle Blower/Anywho/whateverothernameyouchoosetopostunder,

      “This is from the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE GUIDELINES REGARDING THE USE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS from Title III. RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING REGISTERED CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS, heading C. AUTHORIZATION OF OTHERWISE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, 1. General Provisions, Section B :” – you do realize that these are guideline, not laws? Correct? And, you do realize that these apply to Department of Justice Law Enforcement Agencies, which are listed in the guidelines (DEA, FBI, INS, US Marshals, and DoJ IG), right? I don’t see Harford County Sheriffs on there.

      Now, lets just pretend that the HCSO did abide by this. Did the HCSO use a confidential informant? If so, why do you know the name of this person? Was this person a CI or was he a citizen informant? Anyways, that really doesn’t matter.

      What matters is, what did the CI do that was: (i) an act of violence; (ii) obstructed justice; (iii) participate in an act designed to obtain information for the JLEA that would be unlawful if conducted by a law enforcement agent; or (iv) initiate or instigate a plan or strategy to commit a federal, state, or local offense?

      (i) – No act of violence was committed by the informant.

      (ii) – He didn’t obstruct justice.

      (iii) – He didn’t participate in an act designed to obtain information for the JLEA (or in this case, the HCSO, if it applies) that would be unlawful

      (iv) – He didn’t initiate or instigate a plan or strategy to commit a federal, state, or local offense.

      “Basically, a Confidential Informant is an Agent of the State” – Yes, an agent of the state.

      “and any act he may perform as an Agent of the State must be equally allowable by law enforcement or it is a prohibited Act.” – True. But, again, he didn’t perform any act that any law enforcement officer couldn’t do.

      “It doesn’t matter where he resided as long as the location was unavailable to access of law enforcement under circumstances with out the CI’s help.” – Wrong. He, as a person with legal access to the location may permit the officers access.

      “Case law of Federal Court in Massachusetts have upheld this interpretation and set this precedent.” – Which case? I have done a brief search and could not locate a case which supports your assertion.

      “I applaud your attempts at trying to make an illegal act legal, but the law has been clearly defined.” – I don’t attempt to make anything legal or illegal. The law is what the law is. You interpret it incorrectly and cite many items that don’t apply. Please, do better research.

      “As always have a nice day Paul…………” – I usually do.

      Anyways, have a nice day.

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      • clarified butter says

        Hey Paul, those guidelines you are talking about are to prevent illegal activity as they state. The guidelines are required to be followed or a department risks decertification. You cops think that because the Supreme Court said a DOG SNIFF is not a search regarding traffic stops and airports that it is OK to use it anywhere, not the case. You can not use a dog sniff in any area that would cause a trespass and a CI can’t grant access to a locked environment. Next time say you responded to a citizen complaint and name the citizen then you have no worries. But, NO a CI can’t grant access to a dog handler in a locked environment, even if it is a common area in a condo, unless the condo association has an agreement in the by-laws of the association agreement that is signed by the association member.

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        • Paul Mc says

          Hey Clarified, Anywho, and anyother name you go by,

          “those guidelines you are talking about are to prevent illegal activity as they state.” – The are for the departments they state they are for.

          “The guidelines are required to be followed or a department risks decertification.” – Decertification from what?

          “You cops” – Im not a cop.

          “think that because the Supreme Court said a DOG SNIFF is not a search regarding traffic stops and airports that it is OK to use it anywhere, not the case.” – Actually, as of right now, it kind of is the case, though, the Supreme Court will be ruling on the issue this term.

          “You can not use a dog sniff in any area that would cause a trespass and a CI can’t grant access to a locked environment.” – If the CI has legal access to the environment, the CI can grant access to it.

          “Next time say you responded to a citizen complaint and name the citizen then you have no worries. But, NO a CI can’t grant access to a dog handler in a locked environment, even if it is a common area in a condo, unless the condo association has an agreement in the by-laws of the association agreement that is signed by the association member.” – Again, if the CI has legal access, he grant access to it.

          Anyways, have a nice day.

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  5. AnyWho says

    This is from the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE GUIDELINES REGARDING THE USE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS from Title III. RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING REGISTERED CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS, heading C. AUTHORIZATION OF OTHERWISE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, 1. General Provisions, Section B :

    A JLEA is never permitted to authorize a CI to:

    (i) participate in an act of violence;

    (ii) participate in an act that constitutes obstruction of justice (e.g., perjury, witness tampering, witness intimidation, entrapment, or the fabrication, alteration, or destruction of evidence);

    (iii) participate in an act designed to obtain information for the JLEA that would be unlawful if conducted by a law enforcement agent (e.g., breaking and entering, illegal wiretapping, illegal opening or tampering with the mail, or trespass amounting to an illegal search); or

    (iv) initiate or instigate a plan or strategy to commit a federal, state, or local offense.

    Basically, a Confidential Informant is an Agent of the State and any act he may perform as an Agent of the State must be equally allowable by law enforcement or it is a prohibited Act. It doesn’t matter where he resided as long as the location was unavailable to access of law enforcement under circumstances with out the CI’s help. Case law of Federal Court in Massachusetts have upheld this interpretation and set this precedent. I applaud your attempts at trying to make an illegal act legal, but the law has been clearly defined. As always have a nice day Paul…………

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6
  6. AnyWho says

    A Plea Bargain that is obtained through a method of Coercion, is invalid. Especially, an Alford Plea with asertion of illegal search, on a drug case, with no suppression hearing…….Very Unusual indeed.

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    • Paul Mc says

      Hey Anywho/Whistle Blower,

      “A Plea Bargain that is obtained through a method of Coercion, is invalid.” – Yes, though in this case there was no coercion.

      “Especially, an Alford Plea with asertion of illegal search, on a drug case, with no suppression hearing…….Very Unusual indeed.” – Why would there be a suppression hearing when he plead guilty?

      Anyways, have a nice day.

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      • clarified butter says

        Dude didn’t plead guilty. An Alford Plea states that a defendant does not acknowledge guilt, just the state. Normally, a defendant has reason to take the alford plea, but if this guy took an alford plea insisting an illegal search and seizure, you would think there was a suppression hearing involved. Total attorney incompetence would allow for this to happen, Dude’s attorney should be disbarred………

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        • Paul Mc says

          Hey Clarified,

          “Dude didn’t plead guilty.” – Yes, he did.

          “An Alford Plea states that a defendant does not acknowledge guilt, just the state.” – An Alford guilty plea is a legal admission of guilt and can be used in subsequent legal proceedings as an admission of guilt.

          “Normally, a defendant has reason to take the alford plea,” – Pretty much the sole purpose of an Alford plea is to take advantage of a plea deal. Basically, an Alford plea is when you say they state (or feds) have enough evidence to convict me so what deal you gonna offer me if I plead guilty?

          “but if this guy took an alford plea insisting an illegal search and seizure, you would think there was a suppression hearing involved.” – No, if he took the deal, he obviously thought they had enough evidence to convict, no matter what.

          “Total attorney incompetence would allow for this to happen, Dude’s attorney should be disbarred………” – Ok, so it is the cop’s fault, or, if not the cops, the attorney…but not the actual person that broke the law? Interesting way you think.

          Anyways, have a nice day.

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          • The Reckoning says

            The HCSO broke the law when they trespassed upon private property, trespassed upon the curtilage of a private residence and by using a Confidential Informant to open otherwise locked doors of a locked vestibule that had a buzzer system to open the door. Yes, the defendant was breaking the law, but law enforcement utilized illegal methods to gather the probable cause for the search warrant. Please don’t forget that this method of investigation techniques has been illegal since 1985. There is nothing new here, just law enforcement using illegal methods to jail someone who should have been found innocent, due to an illegal search and seizure. The Judge who presided over this case should not have allowed this to happen………..

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          • Paul Mc says

            Hey Reckoning,

            “The HCSO broke the law when they trespassed upon private property, trespassed upon the curtilage of a private residence and by using a Confidential Informant to open otherwise locked doors of a locked vestibule that had a buzzer system to open the door.” – I have already explained how it is not illegal. Please read above.

            “Yes, the defendant was breaking the law, but law enforcement utilized illegal methods to gather the probable cause for the search warrant. Please don’t forget that this method of investigation techniques has been illegal since 1985.” – They did not utilize any illegal methods, they had permission to enter from a resident.

            “There is nothing new here,” – No, nothing new at all.

            “just law enforcement using illegal methods to jail someone who should have been found innocent, due to an illegal search and seizure.” – Nothing illegal.

            “The Judge who presided over this case should not have allowed this to happen………..” – The judge allowed legal activity to happen. Good for the judge.

            Anyways, have a nice day.

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  7. AnyWho says

    For clarification…………..it is a condo…………….and the probable cause for the warrant was gathered through means of a trespass.

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    • Paul Mc says

      Hey Anywho/Whistle,

      “For clarification…………..it is a condo…………….and the probable cause for the warrant was gathered through means of a trespass.” – How was there trespass? If the officers had a warrant, which Maryland Judiciary shows they did have, then they had the right to go onto the property. If, prior to obtaining the warrant, another resident of the condo permitted the officers into the common area with a drug sniffing dog, again, they had the right to be there. Where was the trespass?

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      • AnyWho says

        It is a trespass, a CI cannot give access to secure areas as defined by these guidelines. The confidential informant has admitted to opening the door for the dog sniff and the search. Tabone knew this as did everyone involved in the case. In the Buettner case, an unwarranted dog sniff on a private residence was used as probable cause. Tabone knew this as did everyone involved in this case as well.

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        • Paul Mc says

          Hey Anywho,

          “It is a trespass, a CI cannot give access to secure areas as defined by these guidelines.” – Ok, they are guidelines, for the Department of Justice, not the HCSO. As they are guidelines, they are not law. Furthermore, as the person, who you are calling a CI, lives there, they have legal access and may grant legal access to others, thereby not violating the DoJ guidelines. (And, to be honest, having read the guidelines, if the alleged CI did not break the law, there is no violation of any guideline).

          “The confidential informant has admitted to opening the door for the dog sniff and the search.” – There is NOTHING illegal about this.

          “Tabone knew this as did everyone involved in the case.” – Good.

          “In the Buettner case, an unwarranted dog sniff on a private residence was used as probable cause.” – In the Buettner case, the dog sniff was permitted.

          “Tabone knew this as did everyone involved in this case as well.” – Good, get the criminals off the street.

          Anyways, have a nice day.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
          • Anywho says

            This is highly illegal and goes on in Harford County all the time. Other counties in Maryland do not allow this technique to establish probable cause, but Harford does, why do you think that is Paul?

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          • Anywho says

            All local power of law enforcement is possible by powers handed down by the US Constitution that trickles down through the State Constitutions. In order for a law enforcement agency to by legitimate, it must abide by the constraints of Federal Guidelines as this is where their power is derived.

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          • Paul Mc says

            Hey Anywho/Whistleblower/Left/Whatever,

            “This is highly illegal and goes on in Harford County all the time. Other counties in Maryland do not allow this technique to establish probable cause, but Harford does, why do you think that is Paul?” – It is not illegal and goes on all throughout not only all the counties in Maryland, but throughout the United States.

            “All local power of law enforcement is possible by powers handed down by the US Constitution that trickles down through the State Constitutions.” – No.

            “In order for a law enforcement agency to by legitimate, it must abide by the constraints of Federal Guidelines as this is where their power is derived.” – No. Federal guidelines are just that, guidelines. They are not laws unless they are enacted by a legislative authority or regulations put into place by an executive authority. Furthermore, the specific guidelines you quoted specifically states they are for specific agencies.

            “The CI cannot give permission to search or access to the curtilage of another resident, that is where the trespass took place. When the dog approached the door, the trespass occurred and is illegal, that is why the guidelines exist, to prevent trespassing. Probable Cause as a result of a trespass makes the warrant invalid, but a coverup of evidence is where the real crime occurred.” – The informant lived there and had every right to grant access to anyone where he had legal access to be. It doesn’t matter if he was a CI or not. He lived there.

            Anyways, have a nice day.

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          • The Reckoning says

            The information you are posting here on this website is totally false. Are you a lawyer? You seem to have alot of information about these cases mentioned! Since you knowit all, Did the confidential Informant receive a lighter sentence for another crime or was his crime wiped out totally? Was he forced by police to open the door? This is why CI’s can’t open locked doors, they have an agenda that is detrimental to the administration of justice and quite frankly, are acting as an agent of the state making the granting of access illegal as a trespass has occurred……….

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          • Paul Mc says

            Hey Reckoning,

            “The information you are posting here on this website is totally false.” – No, it isn’t.

            “Are you a lawyer?” – Are you?

            “You seem to have alot of information about these cases mentioned!” – All public information.

            “Since you knowit all, Did the confidential Informant receive a lighter sentence for another crime or was his crime wiped out totally?” – Haven’t looked into it. No need to either, as it is irrelevant.

            “Was he forced by police to open the door?” – Haven’t seen any evidence of that.

            “This is why CI’s can’t open locked doors, they have an agenda that is detrimental to the administration of justice and quite frankly, are acting as an agent of the state making the granting of access illegal as a trespass has occurred……….” – The CI, if it was a CI, lives there, he has just as much right to allow entry into a common area as anyone else that lives there.

            Anyways, have a nice day.

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  8. Dog Lover says

    People should plant violets in their front yards. The violets temporarily render a dogs smeller for about 5 minutes. Also the use of clove oil on a door mat will render a dogs smeller useless for about 3 days, pretty incredible. Neither of these deterents cause any damage to the canine, just renders them useless for law enforcement for a while…………

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
  9. RandomPoster1 says

    What does any of this have to do with the article? Why are people allowed to openly how to conceal crimes? Hey dagger, instead of being at the citizens academy why don’t you do some policing on here?

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    • Fed up says

      I want to know why non-police citizens are being enlisted to “police??” Sounds an awful lot like obama’s civilian forces plan – as he said, it will be as well funded and equipped as our military. Really – this is what we want to see? This is how we combat a failed judicial system, a revolving door for the criminal element? And who’s brilliant idea is this? From this thread I’m seeing lots of opinions and suspicions but “policing???” No thanks.

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  10. Anywho says

    The CI cannot give permission to search or access to the curtilage of another resident, that is where the trespass took place. When the dog approached the door, the trespass occurred and is illegal, that is why the guidelines exist, to prevent trespassing. Probable Cause as a result of a trespass makes the warrant invalid, but a coverup of evidence is where the real crime occurred.

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  11. Anywho says

    The Constitutional rights of another victim of the Harford County State’s Attorney Office will be my next subject. Next week, the inhumane treatment of Valerie Carlton and how Harford County Agencies have deprived her rights under color of law, and all because she is JEWISH.

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    • Right... says

      Good to know. Is the week after that when you’re going to tell us all how Tabone and the HCSO Task Force gave that nut in Joppa a recipe for fried brains?

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      • left... says

        No, that is the week I give you the recipe for some shut your mouth and it doesn’t matter what you say because police doing the wrong thing seems to be the thing to do in Harford County, Maryland………..

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  12. left... says

    To make fun of this woman’s plight is seriously wrong, if you know this story then you know how serious it is. Honestly, I don’t know how the law enforcement of Harford County can even claim to be lawful after this incident, It truly is a hate crime…………

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  13. wondering says

    I could never see how a dog sniff on a residence is legal to begin with! Dogs are not trained to detect the presence of only one contraband, normally they can detect the presence of numerous drugs, gun residue and explosives. Unless the dog turned around to the handler and said,”I smell Marijuana”, which I seriously doubt, then it is illegal! A search warrant is supposed to be specific and a canine sniff is not specific enough to create probable cause to justify the intrusion of a search warrant, period! That is more than likely how the Supreme Court is going to rule against dog sniffs in the coming months. Not Specific Enough!

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  14. The Reckoning says

    The use of canine sniffs has been illegal all the way back to 1985. Please view United States v. Thomas, 757 F.2d 1359, 1366-67 (2d Cir.1985) (canine sniff of doorway outside defendant’s apartment was a search because it impermissibly intruded on defendant’s legitimate expectation that the contents of his closed apartment would not be sensed from outside his door). In this case McCarty had an even heightened expectancy of privacy of his condominium because it is considered a permanent residence as he was the owner of this condominum. The use of this technique is illegal and has always been………….

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    • Paul Mc says

      Hey Reckoning,

      “The use of canine sniffs has been illegal all the way back to 1985. Please view United States v. Thomas, 757 F.2d 1359, 1366-67 (2d Cir.1985) (canine sniff of doorway outside defendant’s apartment was a search because it impermissibly intruded on defendant’s legitimate expectation that the contents of his closed apartment would not be sensed from outside his door).” – That is the controlling law, for the time being, in the 2nd Circuit. Maryland is in the 4th Circuit. Although, the Supreme Court of the U.S. is hearing a case on this issue today.

      “In this case McCarty had an even heightened expectancy of privacy of his condominium because it is considered a permanent residence as he was the owner of this condominum.” – Depends. In the common areas, with permission from other owners, not necessarily. In his unit, then yes.

      “The use of this technique is illegal and has always been………….” – With a warrant, not illegal. In common area, not illegal. Hasn’t always been, either.

      Anyways, have a nice day.

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  15. The Reckoning says

    To law enforcement afficianados that contend that a dog sniff is not a search under 4th Amendment protections, the decisions made in the Supreme Court only affect 4th Amendment protections in public places such as airports, hotels and highways. The incorrect interpretation that a search has not taken place during a warrantless dog sniff investigation on a residence of any type is just ludicrous as the 4th Amendment provides its ultimate protection to the sanctity of the home. Any decision otherwise would be a denial or suppression of rights under color of law and any coverup of the ruling or the events leading up to the ruling is obstruction of justice. Furthermore, every law enforcement agent has taken an oath to uphold the constitution, frequent violations of this type shows a total disregard for the 4th Amendment and the Bill of Rights. Law enforcement agents conducting themselves in this manner should not be considered reliable witnesses or agents of law as they have engaged in conduct detrimental to the administration of justice and since this has been illegal since 1985, have commited a criminal act.

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    • Paul Mc says

      Hey Reckoning,

      “To law enforcement afficianados that contend that a dog sniff is not a search under 4th Amendment protections, the decisions made in the Supreme Court only affect 4th Amendment protections in public places such as airports, hotels and highways. The incorrect interpretation that a search has not taken place during a warrantless dog sniff investigation on a residence of any type is just ludicrous as the 4th Amendment provides its ultimate protection to the sanctity of the home.” – In the case in which all this is being talked about, the search was in a common area and there was a warrant to search.

      “Any decision otherwise would be a denial or suppression of rights under color of law and any coverup of the ruling or the events leading up to the ruling is obstruction of justice.” – Umm, ok.

      “Furthermore, every law enforcement agent has taken an oath to uphold the constitution, frequent violations of this type shows a total disregard for the 4th Amendment and the Bill of Rights.” – Ok.

      “Law enforcement agents conducting themselves in this manner should not be considered reliable witnesses or agents of law as they have engaged in conduct detrimental to the administration of justice and since this has been illegal since 1985, have commited a criminal act.” – Not illegal in Maryland. They had a warrant, didn’t they?

      Anyways, have a nice day.

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  16. The Reckoning says

    The 2nd Circuit Federal Court consists of all New York state, Connecticut and Vermont. How can a county Judge override a decision made by this honorable Court? This is distasteful and disgraceful, yet alone illegal! I could understand if this was a lone decision in California or something, but its not. I don’t think public opinion in New York is much different than public opinion in Maryland where the law is concerned. A coverup and an illegal sentence has occurred……

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    • Paul Mc says

      Hey Reckoning,

      “The 2nd Circuit Federal Court consists of all New York state, Connecticut and Vermont. How can a county Judge override a decision made by this honorable Court?” – Maryland is in the 4th Circuit. Rulings of the 2nd are not controlling authority here. Therefore, the county judge is not overriding anything.

      “This is distasteful and disgraceful, yet alone illegal!” – Distasteful and disgraceful, maybe, depending on your P.O.V. As for illegal, no. Different jurisdiction.

      “I could understand if this was a lone decision in California or something, but its not.” – It is still a different jurisdiction.

      “I don’t think public opinion in New York is much different than public opinion in Maryland where the law is concerned. A coverup and an illegal sentence has occurred……” – Public opinion, for the most part, is irrelevant. The law is the law.

      Anyways, have a nice day.

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      • The Reckoning says

        You are right Paul, the law is the law, I guess we’ll all see who eats crow real soon…………..

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        • Paul Mc says

          Hey Reckoning,

          “You are right Paul, the law is the law, I guess we’ll all see who eats crow real soon…………..” – When the Supreme Court rules, that will be the law. In the case at hand, however, there was a warrant issued. The Supreme Court case deals with unwarranted dog searches. Also, as there was a plea deal, it is doubtful that no matter how the SC rules, the outcome of this case is settled. Whatever the SC rules, so be it. I am fine with either.

          Anyways, have a nice day.

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          • The Reckoning says

            Once again Paul, This was an unwarranted dog search. Just to make that plain for you becase you seem to think that there was a warrant for the dog sniff. It was unwarranted and illegal, period………

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          • Paul Mc says

            Hey Rackoning,

            “Once again Paul, This was an unwarranted dog search. Just to make that plain for you becase you seem to think that there was a warrant for the dog sniff. It was unwarranted and illegal, period………” – Even without a warrant, it is not illegal. The SC will rule on that. Though, with the specifics of the case, it may still be irrelevant. The “CI” allowed access into the common area. As such, it wasn’t illegal.

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          • The Reckoning says

            On March 26th, 2013, the US Supreme Court issued the following as they affirmed the decision of the Florida Supreme Court, “The government’s use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a“search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is therefore affirmed.” Any unwarranted dog sniff searches are considered an Unconstitutional Search.

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          • Kharn says

            The Reckoning:
            Not quite, the Court ruled that entering Mr Jardines’s porch for the purpose of gathering evidence constituted a 4th Amendment search, the police could have used a dog, an electronic detector, etc, and the result would have been the same due to the trespass aspect.

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          • The Reckoning says

            The quote comes directly from the affirmed order, it is on page 10 and is the final paragraph of the affirming opinion. They put this in so there would no longer be any disention in the courts of the legality of dog sniffs on home, condos, apartments, etc. The act of a trespass is also a consideration, but the government’s use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a“search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. End of the story……..the trespass factor isn’t even worth mentioning a this point.

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          • Paul Mc says

            Reckoning,
            “On March 26th, 2013, the US Supreme Court issued the following as they affirmed the decision of the Florida Supreme Court, “The government’s use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a“search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is therefore affirmed.”” – Yes, the SC ruled that way.

            “Any unwarranted dog sniff searches are considered an Unconstitutional Search.” – No, that is not what they said. They said a dog sniff is a search. You can have a search without a search warrant, depending on the circumstances.

            This decision did not address “common areas” such as ones found inside condos. Nor did it address searches in which the dog was permitted via a Confidential Informant.

            Also, this has no effect on the Harford County case as there was a warrant, a CI, and a common area. In the Jardines case, there was an “unverified tip”, which is typically an anonymous phone call. In the Harford case, there was a CI. Big differences.

            Also, like I said earlier, I am fine no matter how the SC rules.

            Anyways, have a nice day.

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          • Another Opinion says

            In Fitzgerald vs. State of Maryland, this case raises the issue of whether a canine sniff of an apartment door is a search under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The United States Supreme Court and this Court have held that canine sniffs are non-searches for Fourth Amendment purposes. As the canine sniff doctrine does not depend upon the sniff’s location, we shall hold that a sniff of an apartment door from a common area is a permissible non-search under the Fourth Amendment. BUT, now that a dog sniff is considered a search when used on a dwelling and the canine sniff doctrine does not depend upon location, I would have to say that a dog sniff on an apartment or condo is illegal.

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          • Correction of Paul Mc says

            As ANOTHER OPINION has enlightened, the dog sniff doctrine does not depend on location. In MD vs. Fitzgerald the whole issue was whether or not the dog sniff of an apartment is a search. They said it wasn’t a search because of past caselaw saying a dog sniff is not a search (Even tho the dog sniffs didn’t involve a dwelling). Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that a search of a dwelling is a search, all that past caselaw is defunct. aka old news…………..

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          • Kharn says

            The Supreme Court did not rule that a dog sniff is a search in Jardines. They avoided the issue entirely and ruled that encroaching the private areas around a home for the purpose of determining its contents is a search.

            You really need to do more research on 4th Amendment cases; Jardines is not the earth-shattering opinion you think it is.

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          • Correction of Paul Mc says

            When the Supreme Court made the rulings, years ago, that a Dog Sniff is not a search for fourth amendment purposes involving traffic stops and luggage, Law Enforcement and the courts took a very wide view as to saying that a Dog Sniff is not a search in virtually every situation. The court has proclaimed that a search of a dwelling and its immediate surroundings is a search. That is the end result of the case, very simple and easy as stated in the syllabus. Since the Dog Sniff’s location is not a factor, as according to the Dog Sniff Doctrine, its reasonable to conclude a sniff on any dwelling is not permisable. Very simple, if its a residence, a dog sniff to establish probable cause is no longer legal.

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          • Kharn says

            Correction of Paul Mc:
            The syllabus is not binding case law, it is the summary, prepared by the Clerk of the Court to assist the general public and the media with understanding the ruling in a page or two instead of 20+ pages of legal speak and citations to cases most people have never heard of. The nuances of the majority opinion are what set the national judicial position. Read the opinion in its entirety, not just the summary or holding.

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        • The Reckoning says

          You can read the decision any way you want to, but “The government’s use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a“search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is therefore affirmed.”” If you don’t call the common area of a condo an immediate surrounding I have to question your use of the english language. A confidential informant is an agent of the state and cannot allow a dog sniffer to legally sniff any residence, period. If the CI’s tip was considered verified information, then why did they get a dog to sniff the residence in the first place. And, just to be clear, there was no warrant until 9 days after the dog sniff on the condo door. And yes, when they said “is a“search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.” that makes it an unconstitutional search. Since you can’t seem to grasp reality I just want the CITIZENS of HARFORD COUNTY to know that a dog sniff on any residence without a warrant is a search under the FOURTH AMENDMENT and is an UNCONSTITUTIONAL SEARCH unless a warrant has been issued. I will not comment on this subject or website ever again……………………………..

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          • Paul Mc says

            Hey Reckoning,
            “You can read the decision any way you want to, but “The government’s use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a“search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is therefore affirmed.” – Yea, I read the same thing you did.

            “If you don’t call the common area of a condo an immediate surrounding I have to question your use of the english language.” – There is a difference, in the eyes of the law, between a common area and the curtilage of an individual home.

            “A confidential informant is an agent of the state and cannot allow a dog sniffer to legally sniff any residence, period.” – In the case in Harford, the CI lived in the condo and, as any resident of the condo may do, granted access to someone.

            “If the CI’s tip was considered verified information, then why did they get a dog to sniff the residence in the first place.” – To find the drugs.

            “And, just to be clear, there was no warrant until 9 days after the dog sniff on the condo door.” – Ok.

            “And yes, when they said “is a“search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.” that makes it an unconstitutional search.” – There is a difference between a search and an unconstitutional search.

            “Since you can’t seem to grasp reality I just want the CITIZENS of HARFORD COUNTY to know that a dog sniff on any residence without a warrant is a search under the FOURTH AMENDMENT and is an UNCONSTITUTIONAL SEARCH unless a warrant has been issued.” – No, it is not. If a person allows a police dog to come into the home, it is still a search and it is constitutional. You do not always need a search; there are numerous exceptions, such as permission, incident to arrest, plain view, etc. The incident in Harford County was simply consent.

            “I will not comment on this subject or website ever again……………………………..” – Aww. Bye-bye.

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          • Kharn says

            Maybe try reading the entire opinion of the Court, not just the syllabus (which is prepared by the Clerk of the Court and is non-binding), not just the final paragraph (as that is only how the opinion affects the immediate case), and not the hastily-written news articles trying to beat each other to the story (very few lawyers are civil rights scholars, and even fewer members of the public). The issue Justice Scalia hinged the majority opinion on was not the dog’s nose, it was approaching the house.

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          • Paul Mc says

            Hey Reckoning, and whatever other names you decide to use,

            None of these articles you cited contradict anything I wrote. They all simply state the same thing, which does not address the issue we were discussing.
            The courts in numerous other cases have found that common areas not to be curtilage and as such, they Jardines case does not apply to them. Multi-unit dwellings do not have the same boundaries and privacy expectations as single family homes.
            Furthermore, as I have stated before, it really doesn’t matter as an occupant of one of the homes permitted the dog to sniff the common area.

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          • Correction of PAUL MC says

            The officers search of a constitutionally protected area is already declared illegal in Kyllo v. United States, the only question was whether or not a dog sniff is considered a search under the fourth amendment when used on a home and it was declared a search. It doesn’t matter if it occurs on single family homes or multi-unit dwellings as the sniff reveals intimate details of the dwelling, using a device not generally available to the public, to explore details of the home that would be previously unknowable without physical intrusion. This is all in the syllabus regarding this dog sniffing case. As for a CI allowing entry into a locked common area, that is a technical trespass of an officer and a dog, whose size and weight was banned by the condo association, who still committed an unconstitutional search via dog sniff on a door, without a warrant or a license by the owner to do so. No Trespassing and No Solicitation signs were visible, rendering any implied license extended by the CI useless as the CI cannot imply a license for another resident. In such a situation, it would even be illegal for a girl scout, who lived in the building, to knock on the door and try to sell her cookies to other residents, why would it be legal for a resident to allow a government agent whose sole purpose was to intrude on a constitutionally protected area anyway? Furthermore, the dog sniff was used as a means of probable cause, to apply for a warrant, that would not have been granted by information supplied by a tip from a CI alone, evident by its inclusion in the statement of probable cause in the warrants application. No exigent circumstances were present. This would in turn render the warrant invalid, as an uncostitutional search took place.

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          • Kharn says

            In a condo, your ownership begins with the paint on the walls inside your dwelling. You do not own the common areas, even the area 1′ outside your door, but every resident is able to invite people into those common areas, including CIs inviting police officers.

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          • Kharn Off says

            You are correct about the ownership of a condo, but that doesn’t mean that a dog sniff on a door of a residence isn’t considered a search under the fourth amendment. It would fall under Kyllo vs United States as the sniff reveals intimate details of the dwelling, using a device not generally available to the public, to explore details of the home that would be previously unknowable without physical intrusion. I really don’t think the participation of a CI is a relevant fact now that a dog sniff on a dwelling is considered a search.

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          • Paul Mc says

            Hey Correction (Interesting name considering how wrong you are),

            “The officers search of a constitutionally protected area is already declared illegal in Kyllo v. United States, the only question was whether or not a dog sniff is considered a search under the fourth amendment when used on a home and it was declared a search.” – Actually, if the officers have permission to search, it is not illegal.

            “It doesn’t matter if it occurs on single family homes or multi-unit dwellings as the sniff reveals intimate details of the dwelling,” – Actually, it does matter.

            “using a device not generally available to the public, to explore details of the home that would be previously unknowable without physical intrusion.” – This is irrelevant here.

            “This is all in the syllabus regarding this dog sniffing case.” – Again, irrelevant.

            “As for a CI allowing entry into a locked common area, that is a technical trespass of an officer and a dog,” – No. The CI lived there and as such, has a right to allow entry.

            “whose size and weight was banned by the condo association, ” – The rules of the condo association are irrelevant.

            “who still committed an unconstitutional search via dog sniff on a door, without a warrant or a license by the owner to do so.” – Actually, the search was permitted as permission was granted.

            “No Trespassing and No Solicitation signs were visible, rendering any implied license extended by the CI useless as the CI cannot imply a license for another resident.” – Again, irrelevant.

            “In such a situation, it would even be illegal for a girl scout, who lived in the building, to knock on the door and try to sell her cookies to other residents, why would it be legal for a resident to allow a government agent whose sole purpose was to intrude on a constitutionally protected area anyway?” – An resident has permission to allow visitors.

            “Furthermore, the dog sniff was used as a means of probable cause, to apply for a warrant, that would not have been granted by information supplied by a tip from a CI alone, evident by its inclusion in the statement of probable cause in the warrants application. ” – I haven’t read the warrant application.

            “No exigent circumstances were present.” – Why would there need to be exigent circumstances?

            “This would in turn render the warrant invalid, as an uncostitutional search took place.” – No.

            Anyways, have a nice day.

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          • Correction of Paul Mc says

            We agree to disagree, but I cannot for any reason agree with what you are saying. The Supreme Court has declared that the use of Drug Sniffing dogs on dwellings is a search under the Fourth Amendment. No one can legally allow a Law Enforcement Agent inside a condominium’s secure entrance for the specific purpose of allowing the Agent to perform an unconstitutional search, period. If my daughter can get fined for selling her Girl Scout Cookies to other residents that complain, I can’t see the use of a drug sniffing dog being a legal search under the Fourth Amendment. The effect of the decision of Kyllo vs. United States already declares this an unconstitutional search as it allows discovery beyond the enclosed confine of a constitutionally protected area, now that dog sniffs are searches under the Fourth Amendment. Think again Paul and go back to law school, SCOTUS has spoken……..

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          • Correction of Paul Mc says

            And Paul, don’t forget about United States v. Carriger that states, “Whether the officer entered forcibly through a landlady’s window or by guile through a normally locked entrance door, there can be no difference in the tenant’s subjective expectation of privacy, and no difference in the degree of privacy that the Fourth Amendment protects. A tenant expects other tenants and invited guests to enter in the common areas
            of the building, but he does not expect trespassers …. Under the circumstances, we believe that the government agent violated the Fourth Amendment by entering an apartment building, and that entry was not legally permissible because probable cause
            did not exist for the arrest of [the defendant].

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          • Kharn says

            Carriger (6th Circuit, 1965) focused on the uninvited entry of the officer into the common area, he defeated a lock by waiting for someone to leave. Instead of Carriger, Illinois v Rodriguez (US Supreme Court 1990) is controlling as it involves a resident allowing the police access. (And interestingly enough, Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinions in both Rodriguez and Jardines)

            Relevant point in Rodriguez:
            “A warrantless entry is valid when based upon the consent of a third party whom the police, at the time of the entry, reasonably believe to possess common authority over the premises, but who in fact does not.” (which also means that warrantless entry is valid when consent is given by those who have common authority)

            In this case, the CI was able to give consent for the police to enter the common areas of the building as the CI was a resident of the building and thus entitled to the use of the common area. The Jardines equivalent would be if Mr Jardines had a roommate who invited the police to visit him for purposes of the investigation, even if the roommate solely lived in the basement, his invitation would grant them the ability to enter the curtilage, at which time the dog’s alerting to the door would be PC to get a warrant and return the following day for an invasive search.

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          • Paul Mc says

            Hey Correction,

            “We agree to disagree, but I cannot for any reason agree with what you are saying.” – Not my problem you don’t agree with what is correct.

            “The Supreme Court has declared that the use of Drug Sniffing dogs on dwellings is a search under the Fourth Amendment.” – Yes.

            “No one can legally allow a Law Enforcement Agent inside a condominium’s secure entrance for the specific purpose of allowing the Agent to perform an unconstitutional search, period.” – Wrong.

            “If my daughter can get fined for selling her Girl Scout Cookies to other residents that complain, I can’t see the use of a drug sniffing dog being a legal search under the Fourth Amendment.” – However, you, or any other resident of the condo, could invite her, or any other guest, into the condo.

            “The effect of the decision of Kyllo vs. United States already declares this an unconstitutional search as it allows discovery beyond the enclosed confine of a constitutionally protected area,” – The common area of a condo has much less protection.

            “Think again Paul and go back to law school, SCOTUS has spoken……..” – Maybe you should actually go to law school.

            “And Paul, don’t forget about United States v. Carriger that states, “Whether the officer entered forcibly through a landlady’s window or by guile through a normally locked entrance door, there can be no difference in the tenant’s subjective expectation of privacy, and no difference in the degree of privacy that the Fourth Amendment protects. A tenant expects other tenants and invited guests to enter in the common areas of the building, but he does not expect trespassers …. Under the circumstances, we believe that the government agent violated the Fourth Amendment by entering an apartment building, and that entry was not legally permissible because probable cause did not exist for the arrest of [the defendant].” – Please see what Kharn said.

            BTW, thank you, Kharn.

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          • Grimace says

            The decisions you guys keep eluding to allowing entry given by a CI being allowable were made before the Jardines case. You could easily say that the Jardines case was an allowable search because of the sidewalk leading to the front door on the porch, implies a license or invitation. The whole meaning of the Jardines case was whether or not a Dog Sniff is a search on a home. They said it was. How can you say its lawful to carry out an Unconstitutional Search of a person’s residence just because of entry being allowed by another person in a different residence? Its still an Unconstitutional Search, that scanned beyond the walls of the castle, which is the boundary I think we all can agree is Taboo..

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          • Kharn says

            Have you even read Florida v Jardines? Your idea of the walkway being an invitation to search is echoed in the dissent, aka, the losing side.

            Jardines clearly states the walkway is an invitation limited to normal interactions such as selling Girl Scout cookies, trick-or-treaters or a knock-and-talk by a police officer. That same walkway is not an invitation to bring a trained dog, metal detector, binoculars or other device capable of determining the contents or activities going on beyond the plain sight of the front door, as those would be outside the norm for everyday social interations.

            The entire opinion of the Supreme Court in Jardines focuses on the physical entry of the police officer onto the private grounds (curtilage) of the home, regardless of the technology or animal brought with him as a means to intrude into the home. (as compared to Kyllo, where they considered a stand-off device operated from outside the curtilage) In a condo, your curtilage and your property line are the threshold to your individual unit, not the entry to the common area.

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    • Cdev says

      And as evident by recent events if you are dealing drugs get out of Harford COunty…..WE DON”T WANT YOUR KIND!

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    • PB says

      Hey, I behave myself, and I still want my privacy and my rights to be respected at all times, without any excuses. The “only people who have something to hide…” defense is starting to wear thin when privacy, rights, and freedoms of good citizens are eroded every day.

      I’m not interested in this article or bickering about HCSO, but I did want to speak out on this particular point.

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  17. DILDO BAGGINS says

    Wow, what a thread. Crime is crime and if you commit it you do the time. But, police committing illegal searches leaves the county vulnerable to lawsuit. If a police officer knowingly commits an illegal search I think the settlement should come out of his 401k or something. Our county gets sued way too much for matters involving the police, new methods should be persued……

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  18. THANKFUL says

    WoW, THANKS EVERYONE, YOU JUST GAVE ME WHAT I NEEDED FOR A POST CONVICTION. THAT CASE FITZGERALD V MARYLAND WAS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR. ONCE AGAIN THANX

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