Texas Heroes Arrest & Jail Man For 19 Days For Declining to Answer Questions

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(Image: Scott Olson / Getty Images)

LAREDO, TX — A long-haul truck driver was arrested and detained for 19 days after invoking his rights at an internal federal checkpoint on a highway in Texas.

The incident occurred at approximately midnight on September 26th, 2014. According to Reason TV, a semi-truck hauling Xerox copier machines was stopped at the Laredo North Border Patrol Station, which is miles away from the border on I-35 North inside Texas.

The driver and his passenger were questioned by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents while stopped at the checkpoint. The men — fed up with the routine harassment from federal agents while crisscrossing the United States — were exercising their rights to not answer questions.

Greg Rosenberg explains his 19-day detention after exercising his rights at a checkpoint. (Image: Zach Weissmueller / Reason TV)

Greg Rosenberg, the passenger, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who grew up in Soviet-ruled Armenia. He speaks with an accent and is passionate about keeping this country free. He recalled his version of events in an interview with Reason TV.

Border Patrol became increasingly hostile as the driver politely refused to participate in the roadside interrogation. Mr. Rosenberg sat in the passenger seat recording the incident.

“You have a legal right to ask me a question. I have a legal right not to answer your question,” the driver said in a cell-phone recording.

The CBP officer requested that the truck move to the “secondary checkpoint area” for further questioning. The request was refused, Rosenberg said, because there was “no probable cause to do so.”

Shortly thereafter, the two men were yanked from the truck and put into handcuffs. Only the final 2 minutes of the video were salvaged because CBP officers later confiscated Mr. Rosenberg’s cell and tried to delete the evidence.

Despite verifying his American citizenship, Mr. Rosenberg was detained and interrogated. He said that agents laughed at him as he talked about the constitution and took joy in the situation.

Both the driver and passenger were booked for “impeding border patrol duties,” Reason reported, which is a felony. The men were locked in a South Texas jail without access to legal counsel.

“I saw my lawyer after two weeks,” Rosenberg recalled. It wasn’t until October 10th, 2014 — nineteen days after the incident — that he was released. The government ultimately dropped the charges, avoiding the tenuous legal questions about the legality of the arrest.

“I didn’t get it, because I could never imagine [that] challenging government’s actions, talking about your rights, could get you arrested,” Rosenberg told Reason TV. See the interview below:

There are approximately 170 permanent federal checkpoints erected on highways inside the United States, legally supported by the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Martinez-Fuerte. Mr. Rosenberg says that internal checkpoints do not make sense and are reminiscent of the behavior of the former Soviet Union.

“I see a lot of similarities [to] the stories my parents were telling me about the past. If you complained about the government, back then [in Soviet-controlled Armenia], they took you to Siberia,” said Rosenberg. “You don’t have a right to legally challenge the government.”

“It completely doesn’t make any sense to have these interior checkpoints,” he said. “If they are saying they want to protect the border, they should be on the border — not inside America, violating our rights; freedom of movement.”

Attorney Prerna Lal is representing Rosenberg. She intents to file federal lawsuit against the agency alleging false imprisonment and violation of her client’s rights.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Customs Border Patrol interior checkpoints

    The United States Border Patrol operates 71 traffic checkpoints, including 33 permanent traffic checkpoints, and 38 tactical checkpoints near the southern border of the United States.

    These checkpoints are located between 25 and 75 miles of the Mexico – United States border along major U.S. highways. The permanent ones don’t need suspicion to inspect relevant vehicles. Tactical checkpoints need probable cause.

    There are also CBP checkpoints in the northern border states within 100 miles (160 km) from the Canadian border. All this is part of Homeland Security’s $60 Billion budget and 1/4 million bureaucrats.
    – –

    <a href="http://www.yourstrawman.com/ Strawman info. Might be useful as an alternate narrative on the nature of government. Don't see any real world uses for my situation.The other Know Your RIghts Info from Australia was interesting. Not sure that a top-level decree on it is needed, it's just info you might want if you're importing things into the country or something like that. It's kind of like learning a strategy for blackjack. It won't eliminate the house edge, but it will help you lessen the government edge if you use adapt the strategy to circumstances and use them properly.
    – –

    AMSOIL: For Any Engine
    – –

    Libertarian Adam Kokesh has 141,055 YouTube Subscribers. I never come across him tho.

    It’s Important to Have a Sense of Humor in a Fighting Hole

    • What are they looking for from Canada? Smuggled in working five gallon toliets? Yes, illegal toliets! Illegal here for “green” reasons, though most legal low flow toliets don’t work right and you waste more water flushing them three times. Or maybe smuggled in incandescent light bulbs? Yes, the ones you could once buy for 45 cents a piece, the ones that don’t buzz and flicker and give your living room the ambiance of a low end bus station.

  2. Interior “border” roadblocks are even more constitutionally dubious then the drunk driving roadblocks. (Yes, I know the constitution was thrown in the woods long ago).

  3. These truckers did what they had to do – speak up for their rights and shine a light on the situation. We need everyone doing the same or the USSA becomes Siberia itself.

  4. You won’t believe the size and scope of the CBP, they’re the largest law enforcement agency in the United States

    The CBP puts the KGB and whatever other famous oppressive agents of the past to shame. They are largest most power gang ever assembled.

    The end result is its every bit as hard to get in and out of the US as it is in North Korea. They control the vertical and the horizontal and close the gates or open them as they see fit. They take what they want. Keep out what they want. They grow in infamy every day.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Customs_and_Border_Protection

    With annual budget of 13 billion and

    Employees 63,560+ (2014)
    Federal Law Enforcement Sworn Officers 45,741

    More than 21,180 CBP Officers inspect and examine passengers and cargo at over 300 ports of entry.

    Over 2,200 CBP Agriculture Specialists work to curtail the spread of harmful pests and plant and animal diseases that may harm America’s farms and food supply or cause bio- and agro-terrorism.

    Over 21,370 Border Patrol Agents protect and patrol 1,900 miles (3,100 km) of border with Mexico and 5,000 miles (8,000 km) of border with Canada.

    Nearly 1,050 Air and Marine Interdiction Agents prevent people, weapons, narcotics, and conveyances from illegal entry by air and water.

    Nearly 2,500 employees in CBP revenue positions collect over $30 billion annually in entry duties and taxes through the enforcement of trade and tariff laws. These collections provide the second largest revenue for the U.S. Government. In addition, these employees fulfill the agency’s trade mission by appraising and classifying imported merchandise.

    The CBP Canine Enforcement Program conducts the largest number of working dogs of any U.S. federal law enforcement agency. K-9 teams are assigned to 73 commercial ports and 74 Border Patrol stations throughout the nation.

    Weapons

    CBP Officers primary sidearm is the H&K P2000 double action LEM (Law Enforcement Modification) pistol in .40 S&W caliber. It can contain as many as 13 rounds of ammunition (12 in the magazine and one in the chamber).

    Like many other law enforcement agencies, the 12 gauge Remington Model 870 is the standard pump-action shotgun. The CBP issue Model 870 has been modified by Scattergun Technologies to CBP specifications including: an 14-inch barrel, a five-shot capacity magazine, a composite stock with pistol grip, and night sights with a tactical “ghost-ring” rear sight. CBP uses the .223 caliber Colt M4 Carbine (M4A1) as the standard long gun for CBP officers assigned to its aviation and maritime interdiction units, the CBP Border Patrol, the CBP Special Response Teams.

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