“Kop Buster” Claims to Nail Texas Police in Private Sting

cooper200It is unconstitutional for police to use use the heat signatures of homes to detect and raid houses suspected of growing marijuana. Ex-cop and now “Kop Buster” Barry Cooper believed that officers were still using the technology and lying on affidavits to secure search warrants. To test the theory, he rented a house in Odessa, Texas and set up some heat lights to grow Christmas trees. Sure enough, he claims, the cops showed up shortly after they threw the switch on the lamps with a warrant that he claims must have been the result of false sources (used to disguise the use of the cameras).

It is hard to determine the validity of these claims, but (if true) this would be sheer genius. Cooper is a bit controversial. He has a series of tapes called Never Get Busted Again and he has been the bane of the existence of police.

The police were met in the house by cameras streaming the entire thing on to the web. For raw video of the raid, click here.

For a video interview and story, click here.

In Kyllo v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the use of thermal imagery devices violated the fourth amendment. The decision was written Justice Scalia.

Defense attorneys have long complained that officers routinely hide illegal conduct by falsifying affidavits. More importantly, some judges often do little to question the basis (or even read) the affidavits. I had a case out of New York where the affidavit actually included material cut and pasted from another case. The language made no sense in the case but the judge never even noticed (or presumably read) the affidavit. Obviously, if Cooper is proven correct, the responsible officers signed a false sworn statement and should be prosecuted.

Police are increasingly purchasing binoculars with Thermal FLIR capabilities — making it very easy to conduct unlawful surveillance and then finding a later excuse of isolating the home.

For discussion of the story, click here and here and here.

19 thoughts on ““Kop Buster” Claims to Nail Texas Police in Private Sting

  1. I am not surprised that this “sting” happened in Texas. It is a very interesting process to attempt to “weed” out bad cops. Since I have had very little criminal law experience, I was curious to know if the search warrant affidavit is public information? I would assume that it should be available under FOIA regs, but this is Texas that we are talking about. I agree with Prof. Turley that this was an ingenius method of “smoking” out the alleged illegal acts by the police department.

  2. Louisiana delivers GOP 2 seats in Congress

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Louisiana delivered the GOP two seats in Congress in what many believe is a watershed election for the direction of the economy and politics in America and signaling what could be a disaster for Democrats in 2010.

    Democratic U.S. Rep. William Jefferson was ousted Saturday from his New Orleans area district, while Republicans easily held on to the seat vacated by a retiring incumbent.

    The wins followed Republicans’ reconquest of another House seat earlier this fall that had been lost to Democrats.

    In the 2nd Congressional District, which includes most of New Orleans, Republican attorney Anh “Joseph” Cao won 58 percent of the vote to Jefferson’s 40 percent and will become the first Vietnamese-American in Congress.

    His only previous political experience was an unsuccessful 2007 bid for a seat in the state legislature.

  3. There are zero liberal ethical lawyers in this country. Most of them hang around powerbrokers in Washington DC now watching Democrats bankrupt America.

  4. cole:

    “There are zero liberal ethical lawyers in this country.”
    ***************

    Like most people who deal in absolutes you are most probably wrong.

  5. The problem is that courts routinely seal affidavits for search warrants. The typical justification is to protect the identity of the confidential informant and the procedures used. In reality, sealing the affidavit is to prevent the defendant from finding out that there was no CI and that the “investigation” was nonexistent.

    I’m sure the Odessa PD is scrambling to find a criminal charge to hang on everyone involved. This is why police routinely beat the snot out of anyone with a video camera at an incident.

  6. Barry Cooper has been doing this for some time. A Former LEO himself (no relation to Former Federal LEO I presume) he now gives tips to people who are ‘dangerous pot users’ on how to avoid capture. Funny that pot is still demonized as a ‘narcotic’.

    More cops breaking the law to enforce ‘the law’. Imaginary threats call for desperate measures …

  7. Frank,

    To add to what you said, I heard a FISA judge speak. He said he was quite concerned with the bleeding over of evidence gathered during intelligence operations which was showing up as “anonymous” to circumvent the more stict standards for law enforcemnt warrants. With the ever more relaxed standards now used by the FBI I’m guessing we’re going to see a lot more of Mr. Anon’s confidential information.

    Mojo,

    Your “imaginary threats call for desperate measures” is genius!!!

  8. While on the subject of reefer madness et al. Terry Gross’ program today, Dec. 8, is on cheap and good wines:

    Worse yet THC may be good for the brain: This is a story I found on Alternet: “Two new studies suggest that substances usually associated with dulling the mind — marijuana and red wine — may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of age-related memory loss. Their addition comes as another study dethrones folk remedy ginkgo biloba as proof against the disease.

    At a November meeting of the Society of Neuroscience in Washington, D.C., researchers from Ohio State University reported that THC, the main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, may reduce inflammation in the brain and even stimulate the formation of new brain cells.

    Meanwhile, in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, neurologist David Teplow of the University of California, Los Angeles reported that polyphenols — naturally occurring components of red wine — block the formation of proteins that build the toxic plaques thought to destroy brain cells. In addition, these substances can reduce the toxicity of existing plaques, thus reducing cognitive deterioration.”

    OMG!!!

  9. I’d love to see the affidavit for the warrant in this case. No doubt confidential informant, “Fuzzy Dunlop”, bought what appeared to be cannabis from said non-existent pot house, felt stoned when smoking it, has been trustworthy in numerous previous cases to the investigating officers, blah blah blah.

    Every time I’ve brought a FRANKS motion the reviewing judges have acted personally offended that we would ever suggest a cop would manafacture a bogus confidential informant/c.w. etc.

    It’s telling on the video that one of the cops says,”We’ve been set up”. It’s not possible for the cops to be “set up” in this instance.Unfortunately they’ll probably try to charge these people with obstruction for wasting the cops time by forcing the cops to comit perjury in obtaining their warrant.

  10. Jill –

    “… these substances can reduce the toxicity of existing plaques, thus reducing cognitive deterioration.”

    Thank you for validating my love of red wine. Some may call it ‘a drinking problem’ but I prefer to call it ‘preventative measures’ …

    I’ll drink to that!

    I kid, I kid …

  11. In my personal opinion the use of heat cameras in order to determine the homes likely to be growing marijuana to be perfectly fine. Albeit unconstitutional, they are catching people growing an illegal substance using this method. America needs to realize that in order to truly protect citizens, there must be a willful suspension of ‘liberties’ to catch wrongdoers. ‘Liberties’ referring the the ‘right’ of not having heat camera results used to determine whether or not you are growing pot in your house.

  12. to Al Kretoj

    Personally I believe that those willing to suspend their rights for protection don’t deserve to be protected or have rights in the first place. The whole system is a form of intimidation and extortion.

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