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Old 06-06-2014   #1
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 70
License Plate Profiling

Headed up from CO to run the MFS in early July, and have heard some rumblings about green and white plates getting some extra attention in some neighboring states. I probably won't be holding but might be driving a van full of rafters and kayakers and don't want to have an epic before we get to the river.

So I have 2 questions:
1- for the general buzz populace:
What's the word? Are folks getting hassled? Been pulled over and searched? Know someone directly who has? How aggressively?

2- for any lawyers or LEOs out there:
What are the consequences if I'm driving my van and a passenger has a pocket full of contraband? If it's on their person am I good to go, or am I responsible/ is my van subject to seizure?

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Old 06-06-2014   #2
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
I have heard of friends being pulled over and searched for no good reason other than their plates in Kansas and right at the NM state line on 285. Also had several friends harassed, searched and taken to jail while parked at trailheads in Utah...

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Old 06-06-2014   #3
El Chupanibre
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 128
I read an article where neighboring states, especially in border areas been targeting the green and white plates. Crossing state lines with contraband is never a good idea. It's even a worse idea if you are rockin the pot plates because we know we are being targeted. I'd put my potheads in a vehicle with plates from some other state.
If I were buckin for the Ojo Caliente, NM officer of the month, I'd probably try to pad my stats with a few arrests for marijuana possession, and what easier way than pulling over a few kayakers or rafters because they probably going to need to supplement their fun with chemicals. The nervous driver is holding and the relaxed driver is stoned, that's reasonable suspicion in some of these backwater law enforcement agencies with very shallow gene pools.
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Old 06-06-2014   #4
El Chupanibre
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 128
The above link gives actual numbers. I expected that behavior from Kansas and Nebraska, but Wyoming? Come on you're better than that.

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Old 06-06-2014   #5
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 30
It's happened to me. Crossing through Monticello on the way back from Moab... That place is home to "Little Rock". Got profiled stopping for gas, pulled over right away for not using my turn signal at 10 pm. Then immediately asked to search the vehicle. Had about 7 bikes and a whole truck full of gear and simply told him that if he pulled everything out he'd have to put it back in. Him and another guy searched the cab until they got fed up and let us go. Other vehicle had all the stones in it.

Anyways, it happens. Be careful in UT border towns.
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Old 06-06-2014   #6
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 30
And yes, if it's in your vehicle, your liable. Doesn't matter whose bag it is.
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Old 06-06-2014   #7
swimteam101's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 329

We always drive to Jackson on the way to the MFS takes an additional 45 min and you never drive in Utah. Don't smoke in van and put the weed in a locked pelican case deep in the gear pile. If the drugs are in someones personal locked box you will not held accountable they will. It was a 50 spilf trip this May no problems at all.
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Old 06-06-2014   #8
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Burl Haggard's Avatar
Bayfield, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 15
I've been hassled in both Monticello and Blanding , UT. Having green plates is suspicious enough... Pulling a trailer with a raft too is an immediate red flag.
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Old 06-06-2014   #9
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 111
just keister it and you will have zero problems. Don't even think the drug dogs want to smell that area. definatly not after a 5 day raft trip.
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Old 06-06-2014   #10
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BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Yes. WY and ID can be problematic. Follow the traffic laws and make sure your car/trailer are up to snuff with plates, tags and lights etc. Don't give them a reason to pull you over and you should be gravy.

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