Borders Wars - all seasons and eps

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by cwerdna, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA


    Anyone watching this show on NGC?

    I've seen a few eps but one that stood out for me so far is "Seize and Destroy". Those people tearing up the cars to search for hidden drugs sure don't care about not totaling it vs. keeping it in decent enough shape to sell it. They did mention and show that some seized vehicles are later sold at auction.

    One woman was using a huge crowbar to tear the bumper off a Camry. From me having properly partly remove the front bumper of my Toyota to replace a bad HID headlight (long story), it can be done w/o damaging anything. They showed an 02 or newer Altima with its bumper all mangled and tires shredded (because they searched inside). If they cared about semi-preserving the car, they could've properly removed the bumper and unmounted the tires. What a waste given that it seems like many (most?) of those seized vehicles end up being shredded.

    With all the cash that they seize, one does wonder how good their checks and balances are to keep officers from pocketing some of the money they find.
  2. rahnbo

    rahnbo Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    I haven't seen the show since last year but I do recall them mentioning corrupt officers being arrested. As for tearing up the cars it really sucks if they do it for nothing. But from what I have seen they usually have either the driver give permission (which I would legally refuse under any condition) find proof positive enough for a warrant such as a drug dog hit or voids out of spec found with giant x-ray machines. I used to have to go through those check points from San Diego to LA and they almost always asked to search. I always politely said no thanks and it was never an issue. It's a numbers game I guess. So many dumb crooks give permission to search when they don't have to. Better for the rest of us I guess.
  3. snowjay

    snowjay 40mph couch potato

    Mar 26, 2007
    Almost in...
    As mentioned they don't auction off a lot of those cars just in case they missed something. Plus if they had started modifying the structure of the car to hide things it's structural integrity could be compromised.

    It seems like a waste but how would you like to buy a car that's structurally unsafe causing you to get into an accident or one that a K9 hits on because they missed something and now you get to spend some time in the pokey.
  4. FireMen2003

    FireMen2003 Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2004
    From what I've watched, they only tear up the car when they find something until then, they just keep digging and take everything out.

    I was wondering why they destroyed the pretty new Tundra but I see with snowjay explanation the reasoning for it.

    Way too many cameras and one person is never alone with the money at any time.
  5. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006


    There's a big difference between checkpoints that are set up well within the US that the Border Patrol uses, and the ones right at the border that Customs uses.

    At the BP checkpoints like the one in Camp Pendleton (the one you're referring to), standard 4th Amendment rules apply. They can ask for permission, or they have to have probable cause. That is why you were allowed to proceed after denying permission to search. Note they don't need a warrant to search a car if they have probable cause that it contains contraband (including illegal aliens) or evidence of a crime; this is known as the "Automobile Exception" and actually goes back to 1925 and Carroll vs. US.

    However if you are at a port of entry, whether at a physical border crossing, or a port including the first airport you arrive on US soil after coming from a foreign country, CBP has the right to conduct pat-down searches of persons and physical searches of their belongings, including automobiles and boats that were used as the form of transport back into the US.

    The required level of reasonable suspicion in such circumstances is much less than at any other time, and depending on who you talk to and what court case you cite can be as little as none at all. However due to the sheer numbers of people involved, the CBP will generally limit these to folks that fit a certain set of criteria. Only with physical body cavity searches do border agents need a fairly high level of reasonable cause.

    BTW I have gone through the I-5/Camp Pendleton checkpoint many times, and the I-15/Temecula, CA-86/Salton Sea, and I-8/Yuma Border Patrol checkpoints a few times, and I am almost never detained or questioned beyond where I was coming from, nor asked to submit to a search. That includes the time I was helping my brother move back to LA from San Diego, and we were driving a U-Haul through the Camp Pendleton checkpoint in the very early hours. If you are being detained and asked to submit to a search as often as you say, clearly there's something about you and/or your vehicle that is setting off their radar.
  6. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Note that these vehicles have already been shown to contain contraband. Based upon a K-9 hit or some type of x-ray scan, they took a closer look at the car. From the episodes I've seen, the agents were pretty careful about dismantling the car until contraband was found, but once found they went all-out including destroying parts of the car if they have to. As those vehicles are going to be seized anyway, and often destroyed afterward, they're not going to care about being careful.

    I saw one episode in which a woman in an early 00's Chevy Trailblazer was detained for secondary inspection. I saw the agent carefully remove parts and lift up carpeting and sound deadening until he found a modified panel that upon further inspection revealed the presence of a package of drugs. Once that happened, that was reasonable cause to dismantle the vehicle even further. If you saw that episode, you'll see that the vehicle had an entire fake floorpan welded in. They literally had to tear it apart to get all of the drugs out.

    That's the thing with these heavily modified vehicles. The cartels across the border modify them, fill them with drugs, sneak them across, and then dismantle them over here. Did you honestly think they're going to care about carefully dismantling a car when its hidden cargo is worth 6 or even 7 digits? Most if not all of the vehicles that are being destroyed were bought or stolen by the cartels, heavily modified with hidden compartments, and stuffed with drugs. These are not vehicles that some guy decided to stash a bit of MJ in the spare tire well.

    You may remember in that episode that one of the reasons they destroy the cars is in case they fail to find all of the hidden stash. There was an episode in which the driver of a late 80's or early 90's GM pickup that was headed TO Mexico was detained. Based upon their investigation they felt the truck had a hidden compartment full of cash headed for the cartels, and as it is against Federal law to export more than $10k without declaring it they had a right to check out the truck further. But when they dismantled the truck they realized the hidden contraband was not cash, but old marijuana. Basically, the truck had been seized for drug running, and subsequently sold at a CBP auction, but the agents had not retrieved all of the MJ before selling off the truck.

    Another reason they destroy these vehicles, but was not mentioned, is so others don't get a hold of them and re-use the hidden compartment features.

    Potential corruption is indeed a concern at CBP, and it would be a cartel head's wet dream to have a CBP agent in his pocket. But as you rarely hear of scandals at either Customs or BP, it shows that whatever they are doing to head off corruption is working well.

    Of course they are not going to discuss all the anti-corruption measures publicly, but besides stringent background checks and lots of checks and balances, for Customs agents working the ports of entry they are constantly and randomly rotating them through various assignments.

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