Deputy Avila in turn was hanging out at the roadblock collecting overtime pay from the Border Patrol under Operation Stonegarden – a federal grant program designed to pay local cops to aid and abet the Border Patrol with their internal enforcement operations nowhere near the border. Despite having no training, certification or authority to participate in federal roadblock operations, Avila was more than happy to merc himself out to the Border Patrol in exchange for the easy money.
After a short interaction with Avila at the roadblock, he waved me through at the insistence of the BP supervisor only to follow me in his patrol car and pull me over several miles down the road. During the ensuing stop, Avila showed me his inventiveness and imagination by citing me for horn honking back at the roadblock since he couldn’t come up with anything more legitimate to charge me with. When I pointed out how ridiculous the citation was, he indicated he’d be more than happy to take it up with me in front of a judge.
I took Avila up on his offer and the case went in front of a hearing officer on July 11, 2014. After everything was said and done and the hearing officer ruled in my favor, it turns out Avila wasn’t so happy to take it up with me in front of a judge after all.
To find out exactly what was said & done, I’ve included audio files of the ~fifty minute court hearing below:
Previous blog entries regarding this case can be found at: