nightfighter

Disarming boater by USCG?????

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Fraternity brother was telling me of an incident on Boston Harbor recently, on a night when the Celtics were playing a home playoff game. Up harbor, I believe near the Garden, they were approached and boarded by USCG for red nav light not working/violation. You know the first question always is; Do you have any weapons onboard? He advised them he was LEGALLY carrying a Sig 365 in his waistband. Minutes later, after they have been going through every compartment and saw liquor bottles stored below, the 20 yo coastie informs the operator that he is going to disarm him, right then and there.....

 

What is your take on this?

 

In the example above, it worked out without an incident, however he was able to record five minutes of dialog and it was forwarded to USCG Commander. (they did take the gun and ended up leaving it on an aft seat when they got off his boat. He is still pissed. But it is worth a discussion here.....

Edited by nightfighter

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I'm not a cop but common sense tells me the first thing a cop, Coastie, or other law enforcement person needs to do is control the situation. In the example, the guy was stopped for having a light violation at night. You don't say if he was moving or anchored. Knowing there was a playoff game going on, which can def be emotional for some people, there was liquor on board, and the operator declared he had a gun (locked and loaded?) on his person, I think the 20 year old was wise beyond his years. Plus he left the gun when they disembarked. It's not like it was confiscated. Happy to hear we have such sensible young people out there enforcing the law. I vote for the USCG on this one. 

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If I was him I would have never gave them consent to search. I do the same with environmental  police. If they ask me if I have fish I tell them yes or no. I do not allow them to search. If they play the " If you are doing nothing wrong why can't I search?", game. I tell them I honestly answered your question and this is my privacy. 

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15 mins ago, The Riddler said:

If I was him I would have never gave them consent to search. I do the same with environmental  police. If they ask me if I have fish I tell them yes or no. I do not allow them to search. If they play the " If you are doing nothing wrong why can't I search?", game. I tell them I honestly answered your question and this is my privacy. 

CG doesn’t need permission, consent or probably cause to search your boat. Cops and environmental police do. 

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49 mins ago, The Riddler said:

If I was him I would have never gave them consent to search. I do the same with environmental  police. If they ask me if I have fish I tell them yes or no. I do not allow them to search. If they play the " If you are doing nothing wrong why can't I search?", game. I tell them I honestly answered your question and this is my privacy. 

How many times have you done that and how has it worked out?

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14 mins ago, mako capt said:

How many times have you done that and how has it worked out?

I have told the Police and Environmental Police that my entire life. If the USCG does not need consent to search that is news to me. 

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10 mins ago, The Riddler said:

I have told the Police and Environmental Police that my entire life. If the USCG does not need consent to search that is news to me. 

The USCG will ask for your permission but they don’t need it. Unlike the police, they don’t have to have a good reason.

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You can give them a problem but if something comes up like you accidently grab the trailer registration instead of the boat reg, dont expect them to be too forgiving.

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MA EPO's do not need consent to search.

 

Section 9: Searches, seizures and arrests without warrant

 

Section 9. The director, the deputy directors of enforcement, chiefs of enforcement, deputy chiefs of enforcement and all environmental police officers and deputy environmental police officers or a member of the state police may, without a warrant, search any boat, vessel, fish car, bag, box, locker, package, crate, any building other than a dwelling house, any motor vehicle as defined in section one of chapter ninety, or other vehicle, or any other personal property in which he has reasonable cause to believe, and does believe, that fish taken, held, kept, possessed, transported or held for transportation or sale in violation of law, may be found, and may seize any such fish there found, and may seize any boat, vessel, fish car, bag, box, locker, package, crate, any motor vehicle as defined in section one of chapter ninety, or other vehicle, or any other personal property used in a violation of the laws relative to marine fisheries and hold the same for forfeiture.

Any such person or officer may arrest without a warrant any person found violating any provision of this chapter or of any ordinance, rule or regulation made under authority thereof, or any other provision of law relative to marine fisheries.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

They secured his gun and gave it back…..no harm no foul.  Consent to search was probably the reason they didn’t give him a hard time……

Edited by aae0130

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Can the Coast Guard Board Your Vessel Without Probable Cause?

On Behalf of Blake Jones Law Firm, L.L.C. | May 15, 2020 | Maritime Law |

 

In the United States, the entity that enforces laws under maritime law is the U.S. Coast Guard or USCG. If you find yourself boarded by the Coast Guard, you probably will have questions as to what their rights are. 

Does the Coast Guard have to have reasonable or probable cause to board your vessel? The U.S. Coast Guard has an explanation of what they can do under the law. 

What Are the Coast Guard’s Rights? 

The Coast Guard has jurisdiction when it comes to maritime law enforcement in the United States. For any ships or vessels under the U.S. jurisdiction, they are responsible. The USCG can board any vessel under the U.S. jurisdiction. Once aboard the ship, the service members can inspect and search the vessel. They can also make arrests and ask for information about the ship, the workers, the homeport and the destination of the vessel. The Coast Guard does not need to suspect any wrongdoing or have probable cause to board the ship. The USCG has authority to promote security, marine safety and environmental protection. 

Is This Against the Fourth Amendment? 

Charged parties normally file claims with the Hearing Office and demand dismissal of their cases because there was no probable cause. After all, the Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. There has to be probable cause or a warrant to search property. However, this does not apply to the Coast Guard and vessels. 

In fact, the courts hold that it is not unreasonable for the USCG to board ships in U.S. jurisdiction without reasonable suspicion. The Coast Guard may board to conduct safety and documentation inspections. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I have been stopped in my vehicle several times when I was carrying.  My routine is this.  Pull over with flashers on, if its dark - turn on the dome light.  Wind down the front windows,  keep my hands on the top of the wheel.  When the officer approaches, I inform him I am licensed and carrying, and ask him "What would you like me to do?"

 

I then follow his directions.    I have never been written in these situations.

 

I would follow a similar protocol on a boat.

 

For me, it comes down to common sense.

Edited by Jeff270

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1 hour ago, DAQ said:

... or any other personal property in which he has reasonable cause to believe, and does believe, that fish taken, held, kept, possessed, transported or held for transportation or sale in violation of law, may be found, ...

The burden is, reasonable cause to believe a violation occurred.  Yes, a mere technicality.

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4 hours ago, DAQ said:

MA EPO's do not need consent to search.

 

Section 9: Searches, seizures and arrests without warrant

 

Section 9. The director, the deputy directors of enforcement, chiefs of enforcement, deputy chiefs of enforcement and all environmental police officers and deputy environmental police officers or a member of the state police may, without a warrant, search any boat, vessel, fish car, bag, box, locker, package, crate, any building other than a dwelling house, any motor vehicle as defined in section one of chapter ninety, or other vehicle, or any other personal property in which he has reasonable cause to believe, and does believe, that fish taken, held, kept, possessed, transported or held for transportation or sale in violation of law, may be found, and may seize any such fish there found, and may seize any boat, vessel, fish car, bag, box, locker, package, crate, any motor vehicle as defined in section one of chapter ninety, or other vehicle, or any other personal property used in a violation of the laws relative to marine fisheries and hold the same for forfeiture.

Any such person or officer may arrest without a warrant any person found violating any provision of this chapter or of any ordinance, rule or regulation made under authority thereof, or any other provision of law relative to marine fisheries.

 

 

NO officer, who has probable cause a law is being broken, needs to ask for consent.

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1 hour ago, MdCrappie said:

 

 

NO officer, who has probable cause a law is being broken, needs to ask for consent.

Not quite. It depends on the type of search being conduct. If it’s an incident to lawful apprehension then no-ish, but Depending in the PC it may require a warrant or permission, unless there are exigent or emergency circumstances. The law isn’t black and white on this topic, it’s a 64 count crayola box and varies state to state. 

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