Motorist files claim against Mono County, Sheriff

boulaalamgunIn a claim filed against Mono County, attorney Allen Berrey says in July his client was “unconstitutionally and unlawfully seized, searched, arrested and jailed by two Mono County Sheriff’s officers – a sergeant and a deputy – in a way that made him feel as if he had been baited, hunted and trapped for no legitimate reason.” The claim alleges violations of civil rights, fabrication of evidence, false arrest and imprisonment and violation of Fourth and Second Amendment rights. Sheriff Ralph Obenberger has declined to comment. The District Attorney did file a misdemeanor allegation of carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

Attorney Berrey filed a Statement of Facts supporting the claim for Youssef Boulaalam, a US citizen and resident of Cardiff By The Sea, who was on a hiking, camping, fishing and target-shooting trip through several states. The statement says the dash-cam DVD from the Sheriff’s car revealed much, but not all, of what happened to his client in the Bridgeport area. The claim alleges that Sheriff Sergeant Rick Hahn and Deputy Art Torres followed Mr. Boulaalam from Travertine Hot Springs, a popular camping and sightseeing spot south of Bridgeport.

The claim says the Mono Sheriff’s patrol car passed him, did a U-turn and “began tailgating him.” According to the claim, Mr. Boulaalam was scared by the patrol car which followed him onto Highway 395. Boulaalam was uncertain of the speed limit so continued at 45 miles per hour until he saw a speed sign. Finally the patrol car’s overhead lights went on and the man was pulled over.

According to the claim, when Boulaalam was stopped he explained to the deputy that the way the officers had tailgated him and then followed him onto the highway had “made him scared and nervous, that he was distracted and didn’t want to exceed the speed limit for fear of being pulled over for something he had not done.” The claim says the deputy conducted virtually no investigation of sobriety.

The claim alleges the officers stopped the man on a sobriety issue but really wanted to search his car for guns. The crime report quotes one of the officers as saying, “While speaking with Boulaalam I determined he was not under the influence.” But the incident did not stop there. When asked if he had any firearms, Boulaalam told the officer about a rifle under a seat. The claim says the DVD recorded the officer saying, “Here’s my thing: all these guys that camp, you know they’ve got guns or something on ’em.”

Attorney Berrey said after his client told them about it, the officers also found a hand gun with a loaded clip. The claim says Boulaalam told the Sergeant the gun was in a back pack. They arrested Boulaalam for possession of a loaded firearm in public, a misdemeanor. The claim alleges the officers lied about several details in the chain of events.

Mr. Boulaalam said he told the officers the gun belonged to his boss who had accompanied him on part of the trip. The claim says the deputies staged the location of the evidence in the car and took pictures of it – with the handgun sticking out in plain sight instead of in a back pack.

The District Attorney later filed a misdemeanor complaint against Mr. Boulaalam, alleging he unlawfully carried a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Attorney Berrey filed motions to suppress what he says is unconstitutionally obtained evidence. That motion is scheduled to be heard February 24th.

Sheriff Obenberger said he would not make any comment.

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81 Responses to Motorist files claim against Mono County, Sheriff

  1. Trouble January 15, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    I sure hope you report the out come of this case.

  2. wilderbeast January 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    “its not illegal to carry a gun. ever heard of the 2nd amendment?”

    I beg to differ with you. You can only a loaded and concealed weapon with a Concealed Weapons Permit and then only the weapon listed on the permit. All other weapons must be unloaded and locked in a hard sided case and away from the driver’s compartment. That one took place last year. The good folks in Sacramento have a long list of other gun restrictions they are planning for 2014. It is also illegal to open carry any kind of weapon….loaded or unloaded.

  3. PHARMAVITE January 15, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Anyone that has read the Sierra wave for the last few years is well aware there’s something wrong within the Mono County Sheriff Department.

    I have no doubt Ingrid will turn the department around if elected

  4. Reality Check January 15, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Misty, you are right. They don’t care about any citizen’s opinion! That is the problem

    As far as your “what ifs”……Well there are many answers to that, most of them not printable!

  5. Carlos The Jackal January 15, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Cops have gone from needing “probable cause” to even initiate contact to “pulling suspicion out of their collective asses.”
    Half of you idiots here don’t seem to even KNOW we have a 4th amendment in the Constitution, let alone know what it says.
    I grew up in CA, left 15 years ago when morons elected an actor whose movies were large on action and small on dialogue, for a reason.
    Best thing I’ve ever done, all I miss is a few people and the Sierras.
    Guess I won’t be visiting them anymore, and that’s more income the state won’t get.

  6. Carlos The Jackal January 15, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Ken Warner – bad laws SHOULD be broken.
    Or are you just another liberal man in sheep’s clothing?

  7. bossmanham January 15, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    How the hell is having a loaded firearm a crime in these United States?

    Must be one of the slave states that has nullified the constitution.

  8. misty owens January 15, 2014 at 2:30 am #

    Wow..everyone sure thinks they know everything! None of you were there, therefore just let this play out in court and stop acting like you know the thoughts of the deputies and the “motorist” I bet if the deputies would not have removed his weapons and let him go about his business and he later committed a crime with those weapons you all would be here bad mouthing them for not “doing their jobs!” Its a lose- lose for the deputies! I promise they dont care about your negative opinions!

    • Ken Warner January 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

      Exactly. All these instant experts who read an article where a lawyer for the guy who broke the law creates a fantasy world for the courts.

      Nothing like sound evidence and analysis —-

  9. getreal January 15, 2014 at 2:04 am #

    I dont know why this is news? Complaints against Officers are common occurances. Lets not forget that the readers are only geting one side (the “victim”) and please also remember that Law Enforcement too, are “innocent unitl proven guilty”.

  10. Carter January 14, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    Legal Eagle, thank you for the response. I’m just wondering how probable cause was established prior to an officer making any contact with the driver. As I sat on the curb watching the checkpoint I watched an officer approach the car and another officer immediately begin walking walking the dog around the car. I would think if there was probable cause to walk the dog around the car they would have either conducted field sobriety test, searched the vehicle and possibly made an arrest. None of that happened when the dog walked around the car, they just let the driver go.

    • Casper Tidwell January 15, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      Walking the dog around the car is within the law.

      Having to wait at a traffic stop until the K9 arrives is not within the law unless the LEO has reasonable suspicion.

      I will deal with that as someone else said by staying out of Mono County.

  11. Carter January 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    I believe I understand what you are saying about probable cause. I was just concerned that while I sat on the curb watching the checkpoint, I watched cars approach the checkpoint, get approached by an officer and then another officer would walk the dog around the vehicle. During this time I did not see any field sobriety test being given nor any vehicles being searched. I just find it hard to believe the officer had probable cause before even contacting the driver. If the probable cause was so obvious I would have thought there would have been more arrest.

  12. Legal Eagle January 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    Carter, yes it is legally OK to have a drug dog at a DUI check point. You have no expectation of privacy regarding odors coming out of your vehicle. An alert on the exterior of your vehicle by a trained and certified drug dog, is probable cause to search your vehicle without a warrant.

    That is the law.

    • BDGP January 14, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

      It goes to show another poor example of our local and State LE. Checking ID’s is fine, perfectly legal, no argument. If the CHP officer observed an odor, by all means call for a drug dog or just do a search based on the PC. Running the dog up and down and around the vehicle and asking the dog to check the vehicle is not. And the dog doesn’t have the ability to check ID’s.

      Poor judgment and poor example doing this check on the weekend of Burning Man.

      Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t do drugs and I don’t condone the use of drugs. I also don’t condone doing things that are questionable or unethical.

      LE doing things the right way and using good judgment have my undying support and loyalty

  13. Carter January 14, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    In regards to being searched and amendment rights. Was it alright for CHP and the Sheriff department to have a drug dog at a DUI check point?

    • Mark January 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

      That was infact legal.

      The CHP demanding ID of the good folks looking at the gylphs was not.

      They should have said no

  14. BDGP January 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    I have been waiting for this and fully expect the ACLU to come in here sooner rather than later.

    Right or wrong, how the search and the subsequent arrest was made is the issue. One of these days they are going to mess with the wrong person and they will be in big trouble. Mono County shouldn’t be like LA County, even with LE that laterals from the bigger crime areas and folks that travel from that area.

    I hope that things start improving around here with the SO and CHP isn’t innocent either.

  15. Charles O. Jones January 13, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    If I was dumb enough to carry a loaded weapon in my vehicle I would expect to be arrested when pulled over.

    • Mark January 14, 2014 at 9:23 am #

      Police State!

      Charles O. Jones – Would you also expect to have your vehicle searched without cause?

      To hell with Mono County

      • Charles O. Jones January 14, 2014 at 10:35 am #

        The dude was breaking the law by traveling with loaded weapons. He admitted to the officers that he had a weapon under his seat – so yes, under those circumstances I would expect to have my vehicle searched.

        And “without cause” is what his attorney is claiming. That claim has not been upheld in court yet. I will wait for the court to make that determination. Do you automatically believe everything an arrestee’s lawyer claims? Or is this just your “police state” paranoia shining through.

        • BDGP January 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

          I’ve been asked over the years if I have any firearms and/or if they were loaded. I’ve yet to be removed from the vehicle and have them checked or my vehicle searched. The question should arise from officer safety. The firearm(s) were not in reach, (at least as described) and didn’t pose a threat.

          Yes, a good many of us have firearms (loaded or not) in our vehicles in this part of the country, but becasue we are from around here we are less apt to get shaken down than an out of towner enjoying our back yard.

          • Charles O. Jones January 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

            With all due respect, being from “around here” has nothing to do with the law. If you or anyone else is illegally carrying loaded firearms in your vehicle, you deserve to be held accountable for it under the law.

          • BDGP January 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

            Charles, you may not have stopped folks for that reason, but that doesn’t mean that’s not what’s happening. There have been at least 4 separate reports to me by motorist that have been stopped for not being recognized, they were not the right color, or their vehicle looking sub par.

            An unloaded firearm is of no use to any of us..

            He never said he had a loaded rifle under the seat.

          • Charles O. Jones January 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm #


            “Charles, you may not have stopped folks for that reason, but that doesn’t mean that’s not what’s happening.”

            I’m not sure what you mean with this comment. I don’t work in law enforcement and I don’t stop folks.

            I have been stopped a few times one the years by CHP and local cops. I have always found them polite and respectful. But then again, I don’t have the irrational fears of law enforcement officers that some do.

    • BDGP January 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      Why? Do you expect that anytime you get pulled over that your 4th ammendment right will be violated? Granted, he wasn’t supposed to have a loaded firearm (PC12031), no arguement there. He declared his rifle. It could have been checked, and returned and away everyone goes The deputies went out side of the scope by searching the back pack, The long gun wasn’t in the back pack.

    • Pedro January 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

      Arrested, agreed. Evidence tampering I shouldn’t have to expect.

  16. Wayne Deja January 13, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Funny how the people that LIVE in the Bridgeport area support the LE up there,and how they do their job keeping the area safe for the residents and visitors to the area….and it’s the Southern Mono County (Mammoth ?) that does all the complaining how things are being done…if the guy was carrying a CONCEALED loaded weapon in his vehicle,try doing that in So Cal….or in Oregon,and see how things could have turned out….if he had the weapon with a loaded clip in the back of his truck….or obeyed the law and kept the loaded clip seperate from the handgun,this guy would have walked away with a warning…..he’s lucky he wasn’t charged with a felony,which he would have if there was a bullet in the chamber of his pistol…..moral to this story…..if you don’t like the way LE does their job in the Lee Vining -Bridgeport area,and if you feel it should be OK to carry a concealed loaded pistol in the cab of your truck or car,either apply,and obtain a CCW……or stay south of the area that they find unlawful to do so….

    • Big Rick OBrien January 14, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

      Wayne, I don’t know where you get your info., but having a round in the chamber does NOT equate to a felony.(not in Kalifornia) You can legally have a handgun in a locked container in your vehicle OTHER than the glove box or center console AND have a magazine in the same locked container, but it cannot be attached to the weapon, 12031 cpc. loaded gun in public, or 12025 cpc., carrying a concealed weapon are both misdemeanors…a weapon does not need to be loaded to be guilty of CCW. Funny how the lines on a map can so drastically change things…20 miles down the pole-line road,over the Nevada line, this is not illegal, and being a “shall issue” state, anyone with a clean slate can GET a ccw permit. (unlike Kalifornia)

  17. Trouble January 13, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    I actually believe this guys story. Twice in the past 3 years I have had local police zoom up on me and tail gate me for Zero reason. I have know idea why, but I had done nothing to provoke such actions. They never pulled me over , but I still wonder what they thought they were doing.

    • Mongo The Idiot January 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      Yep, they know Trouble when they see it.

  18. mono county local January 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    travertine – there has been a guy hiding in the bushes with binoculars along with the occasional LEO stopping in – the place is over and done thanks to the freaks and the perverts

  19. Shaun January 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    I support the deputies, department, and the sheriff. They are doing their job enforcing state law and he was in the wrong by having a loaded gun. Good job deps, keep the stories comming in about these good arrests in my town!

    • JeremiahJoseph January 14, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      Atta boy Shaun, now that’s how you bow your head in obedience.

      I don’t mean to shatter your glorified perception of the criminal justice system, but this is my opinion.. and if you can, try and shake off the shackles of common perception and hear what I am saying..

      I see this incident as proof we live in a police state, and how we are in a time of mega incarceration of our own people, like how we look back and wonder how man could be so brutal in the days of slavery, people will look back and wonder how we could waste so many lives in the name of punishment, something is really wrong when you find punishments that are worse then the original crime/violation of law.

      Lets here you say “Good Job” to these reality’s;
      -United States Land of the free? now has the highest inmate population in the world.
      -The US has locked up more people then any other country on the planet.
      -Housing 25% of the worlds entire prison population.
      -With a 800% increase in the last 30 years alone!
      -US has the largest income gap, most violence and worse public health in the world.

      If the justice system is really about justice then why doesn’t the justice system focus on poverty? since poverty is the leading cause of child abuse.
      Or why doesn’t the justice system realize most people committing crimes are doing so out of deprivation (relative or absolute deprivation), combine poverty and emotional deprivation and you have a recipe for social disaster.

      Why leave out relevant social science? like how after segregation was over the housing projects were formed that become ghettos which systematically robs them of economic opportunity.

      Lets just keep locking them up and throwing away the key, because everybody has all the life choices in the world to make ends meet.

    • Only one? January 14, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      You also work for them Shaun! Or should I say Shaun M. You better support them or you’ ll be fired! Bet your enjoying that promotion too! AB 109 money gave you that! Talk about misuse of funds!

    • Reality Check January 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

      Shaun, I am sure that you would have marched right into the showers like a good little sheeple in 1939.

  20. Dave Markley January 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    This gentleman didn’t know the speed limit? And he apparently didn’t know that transporting loaded firearms is illegal.

    Responsible firearm ownership in California requires an understanding of the often changing California Penal Code. There are numerous resources available:

  21. Welcome to Mono County January 13, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    The claims of Mr. Boulaalam ring true. The Sheriff Department’s motto should read:
    “Welcome to Mono County. Please step out of your car.”

    We are locals who go to Travertine. We have been there (in bathing suits) on more than one occasion when a Sheriff’s SUV drove through and shone spotlights in the tubs. One of our friends, a young woman who was not wearing a suit, was ordered out of the tub by an officer who was shining a light on her. We find this behaviour by the department harrassing and unnecessary.

    Mr. Boulaalam’s claims seem right in line with what we see on the highways.

    • sugar magnolia January 14, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

      Did they think she had a concealed weapon?! lol….

      but seriously, it’s not illegal to soak naked is it?

      • Pedro January 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

        Probably wanted dashcam photo to share with coworkers. If someone did that to his daughter, he’d rightfully beat the crap out of them.

  22. Tinner January 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    I am only guessing but from what I’ve seen on reality television shows about police on patrol (shows like COPS) but 99% of the individuals that the cops question who say “I was scared” usually seem pretty dang shady if not obviously guilty as hell.
    It sounds like Boulaalam is not contesting the misdemeanor charge of possession of a loaded firearm in public but is claiming his civil rights were violated.
    I could be wrong but I’m betting Boulaalam just got his feelings hurt.
    I know just because MY boss is an idiot or crooked or worthless or just plain under qualified for the position he or she is in doesn’t mean all of us who work for him are idiots.

    Now I shall go buy Girl Scout cookies

  23. John January 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Sounds like the guy was carrying a loaded gun. It also sounds like the guy was pulled over for speeding then told the officers he had a loaded gun in the car. Then the DA filed the case thinking there’s enough proof to win. OK so where is the misconduct. I’m from Bridgeport and am tired of hearing all this crap. I know Hahn and think highly of him and I Google searched Torres and he has been awarded by mothers against drunk driving more than once and was in an outreach program for minorities. Remember there are two sides to every story. Bennett for once report the whole story and reach out to the Sheriff or DAs Office.

    • Benett Kessler January 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

      I did reach out. The Sheriff chose not to comment. Neither did the DA.

      • Big Rick OBrien January 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

        Did you really think that he WOULD comment ? That way, if it’s proven that the deputies WERE in the wrong, he doesn’t end up with egg on his face.

    • Pedro January 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

      Uh…, the alleged misconduct would be the staging or mishandling of evidence. “Remember these words. If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

    • Mark January 14, 2014 at 11:57 am #

      The key is don’t give then any reason t search your vehicle. Hand them your dirvers lic. Registration, and proof of insurance. Then exercise your 5th amendment rights. If they ask to search your car exercise your 4th ammendment rights and say no.

      of course if you’re alone and don’t have a video camera there going to violate your rights anyway.

      Better to just stay out of Mono County.

    • rich January 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

      loaded guns are not illegal. and he was not pulled over for speeding. he was pulled over cause the cop wanted to check his sobriety. once that was done, he continued to harass the man until he found something to charge him over. there is no plausible way a person can be arrested for exercising their natural rights as an american citizen. to do so is illegal in itself. the problem is we look to the legal system to keep the legal system honest. it doesn’t work and there will always be illegal arrests like this until we the people stand up and refuse to take anymore. unfortunately most americans are too buy watching jersey shore or msnbc to know or care what’s going on in the world.

      • Wayne Deja January 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

        rich….Your saying and telling people having a loaded weapon in a vehicle is not against the law ?….only if you have a CCW…..if you don’t think so,tell you what…..load your pistol or rifle….set it on your front seat of your car or truck…and then do something stupid and get pulled over by LE…..and see if it’s not illegal…..unless you got a CCW.

  24. JeremiahJoseph January 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Can you say “police state”?
    This is what happens when one’s fear overrules one’s liberty..

    It’s a sad fact when teachers are given a tax write off for having to cover the essentials in a class room, and at the same time we have over 2,000 people CURRENTLY serving a life sentence for non-violent crime. Why should anybody be okay with a system that spends more on housing individual criminals then they do on a individual’s education.

    And law enforcement are supposed to be Public Servants? Right? so then they should be protecting our rights as citizens rather then SEEK and DIG to find any justification within their current protocol to take the peoples rights away.. Right?

    On another note I went to Bishop last Friday evening, (drove from Lone Pine to Bishop and back) and in between the time of driving I saw the red and blue lights pulling somebody over or had somebody pulled over on 4 different occasions…just saying, you would think we were in a police state or something…

    • Desert Tortoise January 14, 2014 at 8:19 am #

      Or maybe you are just on a major highway with a lot of drunk drivers and speeders. Just saying.

      • JeremiahJoseph January 14, 2014 at 9:36 am #

        Or maybe they just need new equipment next year so they are taking more off the backs of the tax payer…
        Or maybe the idea of protection or security is ever pervasive, Prisons, Police, Insurance, Warranties, Protection agencies, Military and domestic armament, airport groping, government surveillance and alike is proof of a culture in fear!
        Or maybe there is a lot one should fear out there, and we should relinquish all of our human rights to feel safe about a unsecured world.

        • Desert Tortoise January 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

          Routine traffic stops conflated into a police state. What nonsense. You know nothing. China is a police state. You cannot access sites like this from the internet in China, and you can be tossed in jail for saying things against Chinese officials like we talk about the Sheriff or County Supes here with out fear. The old USSR was a police state. Possessing a copier or fax machine was prohibited by law, as was circumcisn (because it was seen as an outward display of being Jewish and all religion there was illegal). Those are police state’s.

          We elect our representatives and they vote on our laws. Policy is pulled in many directions by competing demands of multiple constituencies. Don’t confuse not getting your way with living in a police state. I get tired of right wing gas bags calling everyone who they disagree with a “communist” or “socialis” and any government policy they dislike for whatever reason is inflated into “proof” we live in a “police state”..

          • Benett Kessler January 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

            Your comment is a tad self-righteous and name-calling does not mean you are right. Please refrain. The good thing about our country is we can have a civil debate about what violates our rights. You suggest that is a bad thing to do. Couldn’t disagree more. China is hardly the standard for going too far. Violation of rights, to be determined by the courts and the people, is the standard in USA.
            Benett Kessler

          • Ken Warner January 14, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

            Benett — I don’t read DT’s comment as self righteous at all. And I think his characterization of Right Wing Extremists as dead center. And I don’t see what many people are complaining about. The guy broke the law. He wasn’t tortured to gain a confession. He was asked and he admitted. His civil rights were not abused. His civil responsibilities were ignored by him.

            The complaints about the Sheriff’s Dept. are just silly and immature.

          • Benett Kessler January 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

            You are, of course, entitled to your opinion.

          • Pedro January 14, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

            DT, seems JJ would be stereotyped left wing by most. Maybe he’s individual gas bag with own opinion like me and you. You sure like to complain when your rights are trampled, but call others confused.

          • Observer January 14, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

            I think that Ken Warner and Desert Tortoise are the same guy.

          • JeremiahJoseph January 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

            I know nothing? Ouch DT, Why resort to juvenile attacks?
            Prove to me my stats and ideas are out of touch, or prove your case! other then that I am just wasting my time replying to some troll, it seems..

            I don’t see DT’s comment worth anybody’s time. You know what else was against the law, all kinds of immoral things, and how racist and how far we have come as a nation, with much more work to be done if we really want “Liberty and Justice for all!”
            I don’t see complaints towards the sheriff dept/law enforcement that resonate with more then just myself as silly.
            …and you know what, this country has merged for the better because of those who didn’t fear speaking truth to power!

            No! lets end this pathetic “war on drugs” because it is a utter failure, that alone would save the nation billions annually. Or maybe tax the mega rich to the rate before they bought the whole political system (60’s tax bracket) and then we would have the revenue rejuvenation to get to kids education and other vital services we need to have good public health.
            Just my opinion, but wait we have top deal with everyone that fears change because of their own narrow self preservation interest’s.

            We live in a culture of fear! My fear has trumped your liberty and your fear has trumped my liberty….

    • Seriously? January 14, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      Little JJ…..I so agree with you….(a first in all your posts) we shouldn’t spend more on the criminals of this state than our education system. So if what you say is true, lets provide our criminals with tents, fences, crappy (hand-me-downs from the military) cots, and make them farm to earn their keep and not be such a passive society and cater to their every miserable need. That would save millions if not billions.

      On your 2nd note……really??? 4 times you saw red and blue lights? What’s your point? One, it was probably the same one or two cops doing the traffic stops. And four stops in a 100 mile round trip? And there is supposed to be something crazy about that?

    • Wayne Deja January 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      Jeremiah…I ,too,drove from Lone Pine to Bishop and back this week….twice….and saw about 4 drivers pulled over by LE…..thing is,I saw about 75 that SHOULD have been pulled over for either speeding or doing some other stupid thing putting others on the highway at risk.

      • Local January 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

        Key word… SPEEDING!! That’s what cops should be looking for….

  25. Mark January 13, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Everyone here that reads the Sierra wave expected this sooner or later.

    Youssef Boulaalam you have my support.

    • Ken Warner January 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

      Break a law — hire a lawyer and play the victim.

      • Reality Check January 13, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

        Ken, do you think the Deputies would arrest a local rancher who carries a loaded gun to deal with coyotes attacking his flock or herd? Is everything black and white to you Ken?

        This is about enforcing Spirit of the Law vs Letter of the Law. They could have checked the guy out, found he was not a criminal, unloaded his guns, given him a warning and sent him on his way. Mono County is not South Central Los Angeles. These deputies have no common sense. If the average armed citizen saw one of these same deputies fighting for his life on the side of the road, they would stop and help.

        Under the Obenberger admistration, the citizens are the enemy along with the criminals. Justice = Just Us.

        Hopefully Tim Kendall will give the man a second chance with DA probation and no conviction.

        • Ken Warner January 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

          Unlike you, who appear to be an expert on law enforcement, I won’t try to speak for the Sheriff’s Dept.

          You do that quite well. You should run for office. We could use your wise and just viewpoint.

          • Reality Check January 13, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

            Thank you Ken! I do know a lot about law enforcement. I have watched every police show that has ever been on TV since I was a kid. I learned to most from Dragnet, Barney Miller and Hill Street Blues.

            I must say that I really appreciate your posts on politics and environmental issues. I have really learned a lot from your well thought out lessons. Keep up the great work Ken!

        • Big Rick OBrien January 13, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

          The “us vs. them” mentality is alive and well in Mono County. The sad thing is that the Sheriff, on his VERY OWN website, states that everyone will be equally treated with dignity and respect…AND, take into account the “spirit” of the law. I don’t care WHO you are… NOBODY likes to be tail-gated by a marked patrol car and the reason that some cops do it, is because they KNOW you’re gonna be looking in the mirror, and you’re gonna screw up & do something wrong so they have an REASON to stop you.(creating probable cause). And as far as the Deputy saying “Here’s my thing…these guys that camp…you KNOW they’ve got guns or SOMETHING “. What in the hell is THAT supposed to be ? Anyone driving down 395 with a sleeping bag on the roof should be stopped and searched for GUNS ? That must be Mono Sheriff’s definition of dignity and respect.

          • Reality Check January 13, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

            Big Rick, you are very wise and totally in tune to what is really going on. Hopefully it can change in the future with a new sheriff.

          • sugar magnolia January 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

            True, but in reality they don’t need a reason to pull you over, they make one up. They are profiling people and pulling them over when they expect to find something. That, people, is illegal and wrong.

            I still think we’ll see a lawsuit stemming from the ‘saturation’ they ran during BM. I doubt anyone involved with the Sheriff’s Dept. can feel good about themselves and their work. and that’s sad.

        • Wayne Deja January 14, 2014 at 8:27 am #

          Reality Check…You stated “Mono County is not South Central Los Angeles”….true,but when LE is dealing with loaded weapons in a vehicle,still a dangerous and unlawful thing to be doing….now I’ll go back to my “google” search and try to find the last time they had a man(allegedly) swinging a hand-axe in a tavern at bouncers and bar patrons…. in South Central Los Angeles…

          • Reality Check January 15, 2014 at 9:50 am #

            Wayne they use AK-47s in South Central not axes. There is no firewood down there.

          • rich January 15, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

            you said it is dangerous and unlawful to have a loaded firearm. that is false. we have a natural right to bear arms. no statutory regulation can trump the constitution. any law stating other wise is illegal and void. period.

      • Pedro January 14, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

        Doubt an established local attorney would make frivolous claims if he planned to stay in Mono County. Seems he thinks officers may have committed felony in order to make misdemeanor arrest stick. Election time going to be interesting.

        CA PC
        141. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), any person who
        knowingly, willfully, and intentionally alters, modifies, plants,
        places, manufactures, conceals, or moves any physical matter, with
        specific intent that the action will result in a person being charged
        with a crime or with the specific intent that the physical matter
        will be wrongfully produced as genuine or true upon any trial,
        proceeding, or inquiry whatever, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
        (b) Any peace officer who knowingly, willfully, and intentionally
        alters, modifies, plants, places, manufactures, conceals, or moves
        any physical matter, with specific intent that the action will result
        in a person being charged with a crime or with the specific intent
        that the physical matter will be wrongfully produced as genuine or
        true upon any trial, proceeding, or inquiry whatever, is guilty of a
        felony punishable by two, three, or five years in the state prison.
        (c) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under both
        this section and any other provision of law.

        • Charles O. Jones January 15, 2014 at 10:51 am #

          Johnnie Cochran was established local attorney in the LA area.

          I’ll gladly wait for the courts opinion on the matter rather than relying on the opinion of an arrestee’s attorney.

          • Pedro January 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

            Cochran could have been disbarred and still made big money as consultant in LA. Can’t see that happening here. Don’t hold your breath for a trial, probably a plea deal that protects everyone and leaves us all still speculating.

          • Mark January 16, 2014 at 9:15 am #

            Just remember a decission by the court has nothing to do with the truth.

      • REALAMERICANPATRIOT January 15, 2014 at 11:09 am #

        Hope you never end up on jury duty. You can not pull someone over and go “fishing” for a law that was broken.

      • rich January 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

        first of all. its not illegal to carry a gun. ever heard of the 2nd amendment? 2nd, any law stating otherwise is illegal. again-refer to the 2nd amendment, especially the part about “shall not be infringed”. 3rd. the police have become a violent gang that uses arrests and ticketing to generate income, not to protect the public, which was the original intent of creating a police force in the first place. we all need to stand up to these bullies all across the nation and fire/jail them all. seriously.

        • Ken Warner January 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

          You should join a militia in Montana and secede from the U.S.

        • Charles O. Jones January 15, 2014 at 9:26 pm #


          There are limits to how and where we can legally carry a firearm, the SCOTUS has ruled on this and it IS the law of the land – even though you may disagree. Our right to bear arms, like our right to free speech in not absolute.

          And equating local law enforcement to violent gangs would be laughable if it weren’t so disturbing and misguided.

    • Wayne Deja January 14, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      Mark….your right on that one….what suprises me is it wasn’t someone that was (allegedly) speeding,driving without a license,DUI,no insurance,no registration on vehicle,in possession of pills,coke,meth,needles,pot,drug paraphanalia along with having a loaded pistol in the vehicle that is the one that is crying foul and hiring a “defense lawyer” and saying his rights were violated…..hoping for a big pay-day.


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