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Old 11-04-2006   #1
bowen's Avatar
Asheville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 211
oklahoma cops profile kayakers

Today I got an email from a friend who was pulled over on I-40, near a little town called Roland, Oklahoma. Its about 3 miles away from the Arkansas border. The Roland City Police patrol 3 miles of I-40, and they like to harass kayakers passing through.

I know this place because I was pulled over 2 years ago on the way to Atlanta with 5 boats because the cop thought "they weren't tied on good." Anyways in both cases the cops insisted to search the vehicle w/o probable cause (except for the boats and kayak stickers they found suspicious).

I know of 2 other separate instances for a total of 4 unlawful searches and intimidation of kayakers that have gone down here. Bottom line, if you don't want to be pulled over and intimidated and searched then avoid this town if you have boats. And if they "find" anything that is illegal you will be shown the Roland jail. I-70 is way better.

I'd be curios to know if anyone else has heard of this???

Witness Buoyancy News as it Develops:
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Old 11-04-2006   #2
Nederland, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
bowen, oh I know the OK problem. a few years ago Ty and I were on a good trip back from Tenn. We had a great trip to Tenn. As we drove into OK we got pulled over. We were in the bad I did have one last hit in the pipe and they got us 1200.00 later they let us walk. After we got home they took our licences away from both of us. After a lawer 1000.00 each everything was droped. but we were both out around 2200.00. OK's prob. is not with Kayakers/Rafters it's a drug thing. They have a big prob. with trafficting and hard drugs. + imange you are a cop in OK what else do you have better to do?? Tip that same cow you have tipped for the last 10 years. Love it when they say moooooooo PS everyone they have put a sick wave in tulsa so dodge the cops and hit it. good times.

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Old 11-07-2006   #3
Nathrop, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 24
Tennessee Redneck Trooper

On my way out to West Virginia for Gauley season,got pulled over on I-40 as soon as I entered Tennessee. My truck was searched for no reason other than kayaks on top. I'll definitely avoid Tennessee next time.
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Old 11-07-2006   #4
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Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 794
An unfortunate fact of the matter is.....they can pull you over anytime anywhere. The law says "probable cause".......which lends itself pretty well to opinion and loose interpretation. Your word against theirs.....if they find something, fuhgettabowdit. I was pulled over for a "cracked plastic license plate frame" that the cop saw from the opposite side of I-80 while doing 70mph. Searched entirely.

You could be driving Miss Daisy and they'll pull you over if they want to.
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Old 11-07-2006   #5
ActionJackson's Avatar
Edge o' the Dust Bowl, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 195
Roland, OK is a known speedtrap - known around here, anyway. Tulsa paper ran an article on this in March '03. A few excerpts:
  • Police patrol just 3 miles of I-40, but they wrote more tickets in '02 (3,099) than they have residents (2842).

    75% of these tickets are written on I-40.

    Ticket revenue was $1.04 million. Total town budget is $1.4 million.

    Several hundred of the tickets were for $930, which included fines for transporting marijuana and/or other pariphernalia in the vehicle.

    The town began patrolling I-40 in the late nineties "because of the perceived drug problem."

    The town has 15 police officers. One of them wrote 900 of the 3100 tickets in '02. "My thing is getting as much dope off of the interstate as I can."

More than you wanted to know, but pretty amazing.

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Old 11-08-2006   #6
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The Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,134
So if you enjoy fine herbs, I guess you just leave them at home? I always wondered if I put them in the boat if the nastyness of the inside of a kayak would throw a dog off.
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Old 11-08-2006   #7
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I don't smoke, and I actually used to be in law enforcement (probation officer, which still cracks my friends up), but I believe in exercising your personal property rights. Check this link, and take a look at the video on the top right:

I had a climber buddy of mine in college that spent 1 1/2 hours being searched on C-470 for no reason (not a herb user, just a dirtbag climber) after coming back from Joshua Tree. He had to spend another 45 minutes re-packing his car after they left without finding anything. I'll never let that happen to me, because 99% it's a bored cop with a power trip that wants to prove a point.
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Old 11-08-2006   #8
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17
Great Info El Flaco, its a shame that these cops have nothing better to do other than harass people.. When I go on a road trip, I just send my goodies UPS ground! Arrives on time every time and is at the hotel when I check in!
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Old 11-08-2006   #9
Short Bus Driver, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2000
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I was on a road trip with a friend in northern Alabama, we stopped to meet some buddies from Florida who we were going camping with. We stopped in a parking lot that we had pre-coordinated to meet at. With-in 10 minutes some cops stopped by to "welcome" us to the area. We had a car loaded with tons of stuff, 4 kayaks and a mtn bike on top. The first thing the cops said was that they thought they smelled the mary-jane. I know the stereo-type of smoking boaters, but we are both in the good 'ol Air Force and subject to random urinalysis, so we don't risk our careers. We didn't share that info, and they proceeded to ask to search the car. We told them no, and they started trying to go on a power trip. They were using their lights to look inside and being hostile. Eventually when they were about to force us to unload all of our gear, we broke out the military ID's and told them we would like to speak with their supervisor. This didn't make them very happy, but they did finally leave us alone. It is really frustrating how the police abuse their powers and stereo-type certain groups. I would highly recommend being polite but saying no when a cop requests to search your car. They very rarely have the required "probable cause" to search. Most people think that you appear guilty by saying no, but if a stranger walked up to you and wanted to go through all your stuff in your car you would say no, and this isn't any different.
The cynic knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing!
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Old 11-08-2006   #10
Self-Aggrandizing jackass
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The Ranch, Colorado
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Posts: 1,134
Indeed, when asked if you'll allow a search of any variety


The ACLU makes a nice little cheat sheet of things you must do, things you should do (so as not to make matters worse), and things you definitely should not do. Pick them up from your local defense attorneys - I have a friend who's one, and I keep mine in my wallet (it's conveniently wallet sized).


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