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Sunday, January 14, 2018

 

New Hampshire police officers colluded with federal officers to circumvent state law

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/new-hampshire-police-officers-colluded-with-federal-officers-to-circumvent-state-law.html


Comments:
The word "colluded" or ("collusion") as used in the above headline is totally misleading as it denotes intentional wrong-doing between local officers of the Woodstock (NH) Police Department and Federal Agents from US Customs and Border Protection. The word "colluded" was used here for no other purpose than for shock effect to raise eyebrows in creating a sensational headline. Inter-agency cooperation to arrest criminals and seize contraband is always a good thing! But in this particular case, given the known conflicts arising between State and Federal search and seizure law, there appears to have been an unfortunate (and rather egregious) procedural mistake made in the decision to turn the recovered contraband over to local police for prosecution in State Court. If it had been such a pressing concern to file criminal charges in the matter, the CBP, having initiated and coordinated the entire operation, should have stepped up to the plate and assumed the responsibility of being the Prosecuting Agency. That would have kept the State removed from the matter. Federal law supersedes State law, and the State cannot prevent Federal law enforcement officers from enforcing Federal law. Simple possession of marijuana, not being a felony charge under Federal statute, the Feds typically don't want to bother with it. Unless, as may transpire in certain cases, other aggravating or extenuating circumstances exist to warrant going forward with a formal arraignment and prosecution. Another option that would have precluded all the legal bickering and wrangling, would have been for the CBP to have simply confiscated the recovered contraband. It would have to be properly documented and logged into evidence at a secure location until such time that it could be disposed of in accordance mandated agency protocol and procedure.
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