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Secret Compartments Could Get Drivers Busted


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#1 LongHairBri

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:56 AM

Secret compartments could get drivers busted
February 25, 2012 - dispatch.com

A hidden compartment in your vehicle, with or without drugs, could mean big trouble as Ohio officials get serious about slowing down drug-smuggling.

A proposed state law, advocated by Gov. John Kasich, would make it a fourth-degree felony to own a vehicle equipped with secret compartments. A conviction would mean up to 18 months in jail and a potential $5,000 fine.

The hidden-compartment law, coupled with nearly 150 new highway signs warning traffickers that they face prison time in Ohio, are part of a stepped-up drug interdiction campaign announced yesterday by Kasich. The governor gave a brief commencement address at graduation ceremonies for the 151st Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy class at the academy, adjacent to the state fairgrounds.

Kasich unveiled a new number for motorists with cellphones — #677 — to alert law enforcement about possible drug activities.

“A lot of the people that are dealing these drugs are after our kids,” Kasich said at a news conference. “When you see something, call this number.”

The governor’s news conference, held in a patrol academy garage, played out against the backdrop of a pickup truck loaded with tens of thousands of dollars of cocaine, heroin and marijuana. The drugs were scooped up in the patrol’s expanding and increasingly successful campaign to slow down drug trafficking by stopping smugglers on the highways.

Last year, troopers seized nearly 6 million grams of illegal drugs valued at $69.5 million, Kasich said. The patrol made more than 6,000 drug arrests, 9 percent more than 2010. So far this year, the patrol has seized more heroin than in all of 2011, officials said.

Part of the new drug-interdiction strategy is legislation to be introduced by Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Columbus, that would make it a fourth-degree felony to own a vehicle that has special hidden compartments — whether or not they are found to hold drugs. Currently, there is no state law prohibiting secret compartments, frequently used for drug smuggling.

A draft of the law describes a hidden compartment as a “space, box, or other closed container” that is added, modified or attached to an existing vehicle.

Hughes’ proposal is aimed at vehicles like one displayed yesterday — a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado stopped by a patrol trooper on I-71 in Medina County last year. The vehicle was equipped with a sophisticated electronic system that opened hidden compartments located behind the rear taillights. A combination of relay signals, activated by having the ignition on, tapping the brake pedal, seat lever and switches on the dashboard, caused the taillight assembly to slide out, exposing the hidden compartments.

When the vehicle was stopped, the compartments contained 6 kilograms of cocaine, apparently destined for Akron. The driver, Stan Hatch, 63, of Fort Wayne, Ind., was charged with possession of drugs and sentenced to eight years in prison.

“This stuff has been moving to and from Ohio, and has been for years,” said Col. John Born, patrol superintendent.

Law-enforcement officials said Ohio is a critical crossroads for interstate trafficking of drugs because of several major interstate highways that pass through the state and the state’s proximity to Canada.

The new road signs, with both white and blue backgrounds, will be erected on numerous highways, particularly interstates just inside Ohio’s state lines. The money for the signs comes from drug-related property forfeitures. The #677 number is being provided at no cost to the state by a consortium of cellular companies.

#2 thanks2

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:09 AM

Another liberty put to death in the drug war. Make sure all your valuables are open in plain view, so the criminals on both sides of the fence are free to take them.

#3 DailyToker

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:13 AM

If they find your secret compartment, it's not really that secret.

#4 Croppled1

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:20 AM

Buy a used car at your own risk .

#5 Green-Nubie

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:39 AM

I can see them taking liberty to call about anything a secret compartment.. like behind the ashtray that pulls out, or the trunk under the spare tire. or how about those lose pieces of interior trim.. "well because it can be removed u must be using it to hide drugs....lol... stay out of ohio for sure..:lol:

#6 Medcnman

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:52 AM

One thing to remember is that Michigan does not have a "Secret compartment law". (yet). If your vehicle is registered in any other state other than Ohio, this law wouldnt pertain to it. Just like when my brother comes up from Florida. His windows are tinted very dark but police in Michigan cant give him a ticket for it because where his truck is registered, dark tinted windows are legal. Medcnman.

#7 mike44

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:34 AM

Hopefully this unconstitutional law will not pass. What is this country turning into?
These politicians are trying to make crimes out of everything. I could see it if the law specified a hidden compartment with drugs in it, but like Green-Nubie said, they could call just about anything a hidden compartment. No spare tires or gas tanks allowed in Ohio anymore.

#8 Hempcheff

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:37 AM

make sure yur taxi's safe is sitting out in the open, cant have you people too safe..... huh huh, i made me a pun


Hey anyone know why the wids blows south in michigan?

cause ohio sucksPosted Image

#9 abe supercro

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:37 PM

Ohio may become a medical state this year (with reciprocity w MI mmm laws?) and nobody should need a special compartment.

This law is rather invasive. Your private property is just that. Politicians can design my automobile, but they also need to insure and make all the payments on that puppy too.

#10 LansingAreaCaregiver

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:18 PM

With the definition of 'secret compartment,' this law would be ripe for abuse. Got a toolbox in the bed of your pickup? You're a felon. Put a hidden key box in your wheel well? You're a felon. Very scary stuff.

#11 amish4ganja

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:06 PM

Yayyy Republicans!! Come on! You can DO IT! Make the United States into a fascist police state with Religious Morals Police like the Middle East! Who amongst us has not dreamed of being able to live in a country where our every act is scrutinized for possible criminal behavior?

One has to admit though that crime would be seriously reduced in a state like that. Look at Singapore. The chewing of gum is forbidden in that country because it makes such a mess when people dispose of it.

With great liberty comes great responsibility. If people act irresponsibly with the freedom they are given, government has to step in to maintain order. How much "stepping in" is needed or desired is (supposedly) determined by the electorate in the USA.

#12 The Digital Nomad

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:44 PM

Michigan does have a 'secret compartment law' - it is illegal to own or sell a vehicle that you know has a compartment made to conceal 'anything' from search by LEO

DN

#13 thanks2

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:19 PM

If any believes it is just republicans making the U.S. a police state, they have not been paying any attention to congress since the 90's. There is not substance difference between the two parties, just style and who they tailor their lies to. Since 2006 democrats have controlled congress and they they have run wild with the republicans killing our rights and expanding big brother.

#14 orion

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:25 PM

If any believes it is just republicans making the U.S. a police state, they have not been paying any attention to congress since the 90's. There is not substance difference between the two parties, just style and who they tailor their lies to. Since 2006 democrats have controlled congress and they they have run wild with the republicans killing our rights and expanding big brother.

So very well said.

#15 Mememe

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:31 PM

Maybe one could put a note in the secret compartment that says - Any alleged secret compartments are to conceal items from thieves only and specifically NOT to conceal from law enforcement. If it ever got to court, the atty. could possibly ask what LEO found in the compartment and the officer would have to say that the note was in there.

#16 amish4ganja

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 05:39 PM

If any believes it is just republicans making the U.S. a police state, they have not been paying any attention to congress since the 90's. There is not substance difference between the two parties, just style and who they tailor their lies to. Since 2006 democrats have controlled congress and they they have run wild with the republicans killing our rights and expanding big brother.


Why is it then that every time I read about a new anti-drug law being introduced it is invariably being introduced by a REPUBLICAN? Why is it that we are only having trouble with REPUBLICAN lawmakers/judges/Attorney Generals?

#17 dragonsprayer

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 11:58 AM

insane

know we need a "no hidden" compartment release when we buy used cars! what if you bought one years ago and did not know it?

what if you sell a used car - you got get certification of no hidden compartments.

we need imprison all these traders for violating the constitution - heck i am a righty

insane

Edited by dragonsprayer, 16 March 2012 - 12:01 PM.


#18 dragonsprayer

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:04 PM

If they find your secret compartment, it's not really that secret.



dude that is really funny best laugh today! nice one - i can see telling the LEO that! "now that you found it is no longer hidden"

i guess they need an xray machine and have to open with subpeon




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