April 10, 2009 (quick update):
Checkpoint USA won in Pima County Justice Court this afternoon without uttering a word. The judge dismissed the single charge of impeding traffic directly after the tribal police officer made his statement and before I could respond to the allegations made.
Special thanks to Powell Gammill and 4409 for driving down from Phoenix to attend today's festivities. I'm sure Powell will have a few things to say about today's events and I'll be providing greater detail regarding the initial incident and the defense I prepared for as time permits.
Thanks to all those who provided support!
April 9, 2009:
This is a quick update regarding the December 20, 2008 U.S. Border Patrol/tribal police encounter previously discussed here and here.
To recap, tribal police Officer Robert Carrasco, Badge #166, with the Tohono O'odham Police Department worked closely with U.S. Border Patrol Agents to maliciously cite me for impeding traffic while I was being seized by armed federal agents in front of two stop signs at a Homeland Security checkpoint located off the reservation along SR-86 in Southern Arizona.
In my last update, I indicated I submitted a motion for pre-hearing discovery. That motion has been denied by the court on the basis that I didn't submit a copy to the citing officer. This despite the fact I called the court prior to submitting the motion requesting to know whether or not I needed to provide a copy to the officer. I was told no I didn't need to and took the court at its word only to be denied access to documentation that would have assisted with my defense.
Additionally, the three Notice's To Appear I've received from the court include my name and contact information but don't include the name and contact information of the citing officer. This of course makes it difficult to know where to send legal documentation regarding the case (or any other for that matter). In fact, if I hadn't made it a point to demand and record the name of the officer who stopped me (he initially refused to identify himself), I wouldn't know who he was other than a badge number.
Why the name and contact information of the citing officer isn't made available in the same way a defendant's information is remains unclear but my educated guess indicates it has something to do with HB 2380 and the underlying statute ARS 13-2401. These provide for special privileges and immunities to certain individuals in society at the expense of everyone else.
I'll be in Pima County Justice Court located in downtown Tucson Friday afternoon, April 10, 2009, at 1:30 pm defending myself against the civil charge of impeding traffic. An update regarding the hearing's outcome will be posted as time permits.