Illegal Stop: (For alleged "Tinted windows" violation), unlawful detention, harassment by U.S. Customs Internal Affairs Agents, unlawful seizure of handgun, California State Private Investigator Permits, Currently on call for a Felony extortion case for female client and her family in La Jolla.
Regarding U.S. Customs Service Internal Affairs and the La Mesa Police Department. (Detective David Bond who refused to identify himself as a Police officer, he refused to show any identification, badge or credential associating himself with the La Mesa Police Department.) Other Uniformed officers T. Burgess, B. Stoney, M. Chambers, numbering approximately 4 or 5 and two Customs Internal Affairs Agents, identified to me as Jeanne Daumen and Alicia Fuentes. One other plainclothes detective was at the scene and not identified(WMA brown hair, mustache/goatee,5'9", medium build, 150lbs.) One other uniformed officer was at the scene and not identified.
My 13-year-old daughter accompanied me to the La Mesa U.S. Post Office at 8100 Allison Street to check on any mail I might have received. I returned to my vehicle and got ready to exit the Post Office parking lot.
After exiting the parking lot, I made a right turn onto 8100 Allison to go westbound and to stop at a four way stop at 4100 Date street, which was adjacent to the La Mesa Police Department. After I stopped I had noticed two or three La Mesa Police cars in the immediate area. I thought this was unusual since I had never noticed such a display of so many at this location unless there was a shift change or an incident.
Before approaching the four way stop at 8100 Allison and Date Street, I signaled a right turn with my tun indicator and made a right hand turn to go north bound through Date Street which is directly behind the La Mesa Post office and proceeded north to the controlled intersection at University Ave. at Spring Street where the Trolley tracks intersect. I then waited to exit the controlled intersection at a stop light at the railroad/trolley tracks at University at Spring Street.
It was prior to this time that I noticed that I was being followed by two, or maybe even three, La Mesa Police marked units in the area. I thought this was very strange and I became very concerned with my status as a Customs Whistle-blower and having received death threats. I previously informed my daughter that we were going to Grossmont shopping Mall Radio Shack to pick up some recording device attachment and electronic information for a new client that was being extorted money that involved a Felony theft/burglary of over $8000,000 worth of bonds. The suspects are actively involved in making threatening phone calls and trying to extort over $1,000.00 for the return of the Bonds belonging to [name(s) omitted].
As I proceeded northbound onto Spring Street towards Interstate 8 to the off ramp, I obeyed all of the traffic laws and was very careful to observe that two marked La Mesa Police units proceeded to follow me continually onto Interstate 8 east bound until I exited the off ramp for Grossmont Center Drive. I became very concerned as I have not violated any laws and I had no reason to be followed unless U.S. Customs was involved. I noticed at least two marked La Mesa Police sedans and a Motorcycle unit in the area.
As I signaled to enter the off ramp from Spring Street, I proceeded east bound until I was in proper distance of the Grossmont Center Drive exit. I signaled again each time I made a lane change and came to a complete stop at the controlled intersection off of the I-8 off ramp and Grossmont Center Drive. I signaled again with my left turn indicator as I moved into the far "left turn only" traffic lane which is marked with a large white left turn arrow indicating a "left turn only" as I waited for the traffic light to turn green. As the light turned green, I then completed my left turn and proceeded driving northbound onto Grossmont Center Drive from the I-8 off ramp.
As I entered the private property of the shopping mall of the east entrance from Grossmont Center Drive, I then noticed that the La Mesa Police Officer had lit up a single red amber light "after" I first entered the private parking lot of the Grossmont Mall by about 15 yards. I then proceeded to the three way stop in front of the movie theatre and came to a complete stop. I then made a left hand turn and proceeded past the Barnes and Nobles and a delicatessen on the corner where I was going to park. Since it was very crowded, and I noticed there were no parking stalls available, I then pulled over to yield to see if the officer was lighting me up. I yielded and came to a complete stop next to an open area in the parking lot south of the corner delicatessen and Barnes & Nobles bookstore.
I was approached on the driver's side by Officer T. Burgess who then asked for my driver's license, registration and proof of insurance. Since I knew I had not broken and traffic laws, I first asked if Officer Burgess lit me up and I was asked to provide my driver's license. I then asked him why he pulled me over and he stated that my window tinting was in question. I responded to him that it was legal and that I had been pulled over by CHP before and it was already cleared by them. The driver side window and passenger side windows had no tinting whatsoever. Officer Burgess then claimed that the rear window tinting has to have over 35% lumens. I said I didn't know about that, but I asked him if he had a machine to measure the tinting and Burgess said he did not. All I know is that my car was previously checked by CHP within the last six to nine months and they had no problem with the rear three window tinting.(see recent photos of my vehicle)
Since there was a serious question about the legality of the stop, I further asked why I was being stopped. Then Officer T. Burgess wanted to know if I was with U.S.Customs since the license plate showed "confidentiality" on the registered owner which was me. Burgess later claimed that he saw my old Customs I.D. card that was given to me with a perforation stamp. I was very careful in retrieving my California driver's license so as not to show any other identification. I do not see how he could claim seeing anything from where he was standing. I was a police officer before and I am fully aware of the positioning of the officer and the angle of my wallet on this traffic stop. I believe T. Burgess was then lying and trying to "set me up".
At this point Officer Burgess had me exit the vehicle and step to the rear of my car, leaving my 13 year old daughter by herself.
When Officer T. Burgess questioned me further about the confidentiality of the license plate, I told him I was a licensed Private Investigator working on some cases and that I was recently fighting a whistle-blower claim against Customs. I further stated to him that I was terminated and then resigned while I was fighting this case against local Customs officials through the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals out of Washington, D.C. case # 99-3244.
Officer T. Burgess "suggested to me" if I was on "administrative leave" pending the outcome. I responded that it was "like administrative leave". (Because of the sensitivity of my case and the complicated legal issues dealing with U.S. Customs and the resignation/settlement agreement, I tried to explain to Officer Burgess my status in terms that he might understand.) However, Burgess was very aggressive with his questions regarding my personal case with Customs, but I insisted that I was a "Licensed Private Investigator" and that I was under an administrative appeal for Customs. At one point he even asked if I might go back to Customs, and I explained that I could, but it would not be in my best interests to do so because of the Death Threats. Therefore, I tried to explain that I was in limbo and in unpaid leave status with Customs. (Not working for Customs) I believe that Burgess and Bond were trying to twist my words and try to get a different meaning. By this time I was getting very frustrated.
Officer Burgess kept digging further and even asked if it was "paid" or "unpaid administrative leave". I explained that it was "unpaid" pending the legal issues as I understood them to be. However, I qualified my response with the fact that this was really a technical question between my attorneys and the Federal Circuit Court. I found line of questioning to be very invasive and having nothing to do with the "alleged" traffic stop for "tinted windows". I further explained that Customs violated a settlement agreement and that I was a government witness in a corruption case against local U.S. Customs officials and that I had fairly recent "death threats" which were being made against me for my whistle-blowing activities against these local Customs officials.(Reference: Audio tape of death threat of 7-14-98)
Officer Burgess then asked if I had a firearms. I admitted that I had one in the vehicle but not on my person. Officer T. Burgess insisted on pursuing this line of questioning about the gun and I told him it was under the driver's seat in a small zippered gun case with a lock on it. (special note: I inadvertently forgot to lock the gun case lock as I was in a hurry to leave my residence. It is usually loaded while at my residence depending on the circumstances. However, I was in a hurry while leaving my residence with my daughter and still preoccupied with the "new " client and her Felony extortion problem. I was going to have to drop off my daughter prior to going to see the client unannounced so that I could explain the electronics to [name omitted]. That's why I was going to Grossmont Radio Shack. I was then going to drop off my daughter shortly thereafter so I could further interview the new client.) In my opinion, I was conducting business as a licensed private investigator and I was still considering the death threats I had in the past and the current developing hang up calls I have been receiving at home where my 13 year old daughter lives.
Prior to this point that I was asked to exit the vehicle while my daughter was still in the car. Officer Burgess asked about the confidential license plate. I explained that I was "previously" with Customs. This was when I noticed more La Mesa Police Officers showed up in marked sedans and one motorcycle Officer named M. Chambers. As I further explained my case to Burgess regarding corruption within U.S. Customs, I finally challenged the officer named Burgess and asked if I was being stopped at the request of U.S. Customs. I told him I thought the traffic stop was bogus and invalid. At this time a La Mesa Police "Agent" B. Stoney (Balding) with two rank bars on his shirt sleeve would intervene and consult with the other Officer(s) Burgess and others not identified to me as La Mesa Police, while I was being watched by the Motorcycle officer M. Chambers who appeared to be of Latin or Islander descent.
I was told that two U.S. Customs Agents wanted to talk to me and that is when I knew why I was really stopped. I was approached by Special Agents Alicia Fuentes and Jeanne M. Daumen. Alicia Fuentes did not show me a business card but S/A Daumen gave me one with her name on it and Fuentes's name and contact numbers. I asked why I was being detained and they wanted me to accompany or follow them to the La Mesa Police Department so they could ask some questions. I asked what it was pertaining to and they refused to state a reason why. I could see that S/A Fuentes was holding a manila folder with "Customs Badges" in her arms while she held a purse as well. I also noticed that Fuentes was holding her purse in an unusual manner as if she were recording my conversation as their conversation with me was very "restrictive" and cautious so as not to say anything to loud.
I was very uneasy for the fact that the La Mesa Police had stopped me in the first place and now for the U.S. Customs Service Internal Affairs Unit out of San Diego. When I explained that I was a whistle-blower that I had "Death Threats" that probably came from Customs employees, Agents Daumen and Fuentes denied knowing this verbally. I continued to inform them that I had received death threats from Customs Officials on the same date as the death of Customs Inspector Mike Bishop, which was approximately July 14, 1998. I had also received annoying phone calls as well. I also explained that I had a history of receiving death threats associated with my work at Customs. I also informed them of a previous attempt on my life.(Car crash)
I also stated and explained that I had other harassing and threatening calls and activities against me as a result of my whistle-blowing against hi ranking Customs officials here in Southern California. The San Diego Police Department and FBI as well as U.S. Customs Agents Dave Wales and Russel Hixon were all aware of these threats. (SDPD case Number 98-047757) The sheriff's licensing division was fully aware of my activities as I kept them informed so that my CCW permit would not lapse. I have held a CCW permit for over 15 years prior to now. I have been in a law enforcement position for approximately twenty five years since 1974 and continually since 1982. I have held a CCW permit since then without any problems. (See attached resume of Law Enforcement History)
A La Mesa Police Detective who was in civilian clothes and his shirt tail outside his pants approached me and claimed he was a Police Officer only after I asked who he was. This person was later identified as detective David Bond. Bond refused to show me his badge or credentials or photo identification or even a business card. I stated to him, in front of other officers present, Stoney, Burgess, and Chambers, that I just wanted to make sure that it wasn't another Customs Official asking me questions. I believed that Customs would do anything to set me up to retaliate for what I have exposed publicly.
I was fully co-operative and I even offered "extra information" to detective Bond regarding the current death threats and the extortion case I was working on. He called the client [name omitted] "twice" and asked if I had a signed retainer and violated what I believe was a privileged client relationship whether I had a signed retainer or not. I had already provided valuable consultation of at least four or five hours.
Only after I refused to go with Customs Internal Affairs did the La Mesa Police notify an "unidentified" police detective, later identified as David Bond, to come over and start asking me questions about my handgun. It was at this point that my car was being searched by Detective David Bond without my permission. I tried to ask him twice to identify himself to me and he refused to show any identification, badge, or business card. He was looking for the hand gun I kept in the zippered gun case with the lock still intact on the outside ring and Zipper which I had forgot to lock. I would also like to point out that I also had the gun inside a "Horse Hide" holster which is very difficult to pull the weapon out of. As I remember, the single action semi-automatic that I had, could not be fired until the hammer was pulled back. It was not ready to fire. Had I been allowed to park my vehicle, I always lock the gun case prior to exiting my vehicle. Upon returning, I usually unlock it for safety reasons. I am somewhat familiar with carrying my gun openly on my person or ion the vehicle and I have read where Licensed private investigators may carry openly in the vehicle while working or on call. I also understand that I may carry the gun fully loaded on the seat next to me, but it was not practical since my daughter was with me. I have carried a firearm all of my career as a law enforcement officer, on duty as well as off duty without any problems.
I usually carry the gun "unloaded" under the seat in the gun case, but inadvertently missed the loop when I tucked it away under the seat. It was also pinned between the seat framing and hard to access it easily. Therefore, the gun was not "readily available" The gun is usually locked unless I am working on something that requires it immediately, like a surveillance, or I feel that it would be reasonable to have it handy on the seat next to me or on a waist band holster because of the present "death threats", or unusual circumstances in my immediate surroundings. i.e. suspicious criminal activity, suspicious persons lurking about, immediate or anticipated threat of great bodily injury or death associated with my previous death threats and attacks on myself or family. It is all a matter of record that I have received death threats and had attacks on me for no explainable or apparent reason other than my connection to my law enforcement career and my whistle-blowing activities. I have had unknown persons try an break into my apartment, set of wheel lug nuts removed prior to the attack against me on November 25, 1995. I also have a tape recorded death threat which was left on my private voice mail/pager. These are all documented and reported to Customs Internal Affairs, San Diego Police, Local FBI offices as well as the Office of the Treasury Inspector General.
I have been told by many personal friends, who are current local and federal law enforcement officers to carry my handgun anyway, as I have received verified death threats. I refrained from doing this as I wanted to obtain my renewed CCW permit from the San Diego Sheriff's office. I also knew, that under the law Penal Code section 12025.5, I could openly carry my firearm in case there was reason to believe there was any threat of great bodily harm or death to me or my family. I believe I have full filled those requirements based on the past death threats I have received and other assaults on me as well.
My CCW permit is still under review by the SDSO licensing division pending legal action to reveal the information, which Customs Officials have refused to release. This is in direct violation of a settlement agreement with Customs and is a legal issue before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. ( case # 99-3244 CARMAN V. TREASURY 05-19-99) and M.S.P.B. Case number SF-0752-97-0644-C-1 of the Merit Systems Protection Board.) Further litigation is now being filed on behalf of myself and Current and former Customs officials against U.S. Customs for retaliation for whistle-blowing.
At one point my 13 year old daughter was allegedly asked by detective David Bond if I was working on a case. I later found out that Bond then asked her name and date of birth, what school what went to, if I was her Father, and if I was working. Not only did one officer from La Mesa P.D., (T. Burgess and B. Stoney) ask my daughter questions, but approximately two uniformed officers and one unidentified Detective later identified as David Bond, asked my daughter various other questions to see if I was actively doing something on the extortion case. Even though I had informed my 13 year old daughter of what I was doing, it is reprehensible to understand how these trained and sworn police officers would try and gather some evidence or statement from a 13 year old who has no real understanding of the laws, rules or regulations that govern my current position as a Licensed Private Investigator. There are police officers that don't understand what a state issued private Investigators license looks like. This is easily demonstrated because my state issued license and gun permits were seized by Detective David Bond. He could have easily have taken the information off of the licenses or taken a photo copy which was in the zippered gun bag. Instead, Bond seized my state issued licenses and prevented me from conducting any business at all until the next day or so when I had to retrieve them at the La Mesa Police station. I did not give my permission to the La Mesa Police Department or U.S. Customs to interview my 13 year old daughter. All of the Police and Customs officials present were so advised of her age to the best of my knowledge by me. (Bond, Burgess, Stoney, Chambers, unknown La Mesa P.D./Customs, Customs agents Fuentes, Daumen, etc…
My daughter has now informed me that she "over heard the statements by detective (Bond) in the Hawaiian shirt" when he approached me while I was standing next to the curb. Bond further refused to identify himself to Mr. Carman. When Mr. Carman asked who the plainclothes person was, the detective(Bond) said, "Don't' worry about that, I'm with "these guys" (the La Mesa Police). He acted rude and unprofessional and had a bad attitude and further stated, "Don't worry who I am" and "I don't have to show you any I.D." (Unquote) Reference Ashley Carman(Age 13, and witness to illegal stop) There was no badge visible, Identification shown, or business card provided and he refused upon a lawful request to show identification. Ashley will state that she knew that I was working on something, but didn't know about the details of the case.
SPECIAL NOTE: At one point I advised Detective David Bond of the Penal Code statute 12025.5 that authorizes me to carry a firearm if I "reasonably believe" that I or my Family might be in grave danger because of the death threats I have received in connection with my work and whistle-blowing at U.S. Customs, and David Bond said, "That sounds like a good defense". According to the audio tape provided by La Mesa Police Department under a discovery request, Detective Bond also made a statement as follows: " My thinking on this is that no matter what we do, we're probably in a world of shit on this……"( the rest was unintelligible) and later covered with radio traffic and background noise. (Conversation with Bond and Burgess or Stoney)
I also tried to inform the first officer T. Burgess of my whistle-blowing activities and the death threats I received by possible Customs Officials. I then gave him the related web sites that dealt with the exposure of corruption that I have exposed at great risk. (www.amerikanexpose.com/customs1.html)
At one point Officer T. Burgess stated: "I'll bet you have all kinds of guns". It was as if Burgess was trying to elicit a certain response from me or to get me to admit how many other guns I may have at my residence or other location. I responded, "What's that suppose to mean?" I didn't trust his comment and I refrained from answering. Burgess saw that he wasn't going to get a response so he kept trying to elicit another response.
The first officer T. Burgess actually asked me, "if it was worth it? When I clarified that I had to report the various illegal activities by Customs Managers through the chain of command and through Internal Affairs, he acted surprised. I further responded that if we didn't expose the corruption, then we should not be wearing a badge. I directed this to all the officers present. I was very proud of my profession and career and I would have done it again if necessary.
My car was then searched without my permission initially and then my daughter was asked to step out of the car. There was an enormous amount of passersby and I felt it was very embarrassing to me and my daughter of only 13 years. When the detective couldn't open the locked glove box he came out and approached and asked for the keys, I reluctantly gave him my keys so that he would not break anything. I later discovered that Bond caused a breaking of the dashboard covering under the steering column. Bond continued his search further with negative results. I assumed he was looking for another weapon. I had already told the officers present, several times in response to their questions, that there was no other firearms.
It should be noted that I had important confidential client information in several folders in my vehicle in the back seat on at least 4-5 pending cases that I am currently involved in investigating as a Licensed Private Investigator. Some are assisting other Police Departments and certain Federal law Enforcement Agencies with regards to narco-related homicides, Felony fraud cases, civil and criminal cases, as well as the current pending Felony extortion case for [name(s) omitted].
At one point I asked the internal affairs agents Daumen and Fuentes who their supervisor was and Fuentes stated it was Special Agent Ribsyk. I had reported Special Agent Ribsyk to the Office of The Treasury Inspector General for allowing two of his Internal Affairs Special Agents named Russel Hixon and David Wales to get me to illegally record conversations without a court order signed by a Federal Judge against a former Customs employee. Special Agent Ribsyk yelled at me over the telephone and stated," I can't talk to you, you have to talk to Dave Wales!" I explained that I merely wanted to verify that Special Agent Dave Wales was acting legally under the direction of the Customs Internal Affairs special Agent in Charge or with the direct approval of a Federal Judge or U.S. Attorney. There have been lots of illegal activity by Customs Internal affairs as they have continually violated my Civil Rights and freedom of movement.
Subsequently, I was finally told after about an hour and a half or so, that I was only being detained and I was not arrested for anything. I was told by Detective Bond that he would be submitting a misdemeanor complaint for carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle. This is all based on an illegal traffic stop for alleged "illegally tinted windows" which was initiated by the Customs Service Internal Affairs Unit agents with the aid of the La Mesa Police Department.
Based on this illegal stop, I and my 13 year old daughter were illegally stopped, detained, interviewed, searched and I had personal property seized by La Mesa Police and Customs Internal Affairs because representatives of the U.S. Customs Service Internal Affairs Unit, named Alicia Fuentes and Jeanne M. Daumen wanted to talk to me but could not phone me otherwise. This is a continued course of retaliation by the U.S. Customs Service because of my whistle-blowing activities. I have never violated any laws nor have I ever been arrested for anything. I have received numerous commendations for my work in law enforcement and Customs awards from the Commissioner of U.S. Customs as well as many others in my career.
My 45 caliber Para-ordnance handgun was illegally seized by La Mesa Police Department and I was not given a receipt for my property the same day. It was contained within a black zippered gun case, lock and three magazines of ammo and personal papers and a copy of my California Private Investigator's license No. AQ-008686, an unused $10.00 telephone calling card. I was told by David Bond of the La Mesa Police Department that a summons to appear will be forthcoming for a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealable loaded firearm in a vehicle. (12031 P.C. )
It is my belief that in addition to the pending death threats by Customs officials, I was actively involved in a portion of a "new" Felony extortion case for a client I just met with the night before. I was enroute to Radio Shack to obtain a device and additional information for recording these extortionists for the new client. I believe that Detective David Bond violated a client privilege by calling the "prospective" client to ascertain if I had a "signed retainer". I explained that she was waiting for her husband to come home later in the afternoon. (He was on a business trip in Hawaii) It was my belief that I was actively helping her as she confirmed with Detective Bond. Bond stated to me that he also made at least two calls to the client ([name omitted]).
I also know of other U.S. Customs Agents who will testify as to their own death threats which were directed against them by U.S. Customs officials. (Reference ACEC Class action lawsuit by current and former Customs agents/employees against U.S. Customs for retaliation and reprisal)
California Penal Code section 12025.5 P.C. States, "Justifiable Possession of a Firearm". (a) A violation of Section 12025 is justifiable when a person who possesses firearm reasonably believes that he or she is in grave danger because of circumstances forming the basis of a current restraining order issued by a court against another person or persons who has or have been found to pose a threat to his or her life or safety. This section may not apply when circumstances involve a mutual restraining order issued pursuant to Division 1 (commencing with section 6200 of the Family Code absent a factual finding of a specific threat to the person's life or safety. It is not the intent of the Legislature to limit, restrict, or narrow the application of current statutory or judicial authority to apply this or other justifications to defendants charged with violating Section 12025 or of committing other similar offenses. (b) Upon trial for violating Section 12025, the trier of fact shall determine whether the defendant was acting out of a reasonable belief that he or she was in grave danger.( see also 12026 P.C.,)
Further, the San Diego Sheriff's Department Licensing Division has agreed that I have established the residency requirements of a CCW and have "Good Cause" to have one issued based on the death threats, however the U.S. Customs Service has failed to provide background information repeatedly over the last two years which is in violation of a settlement agreement and in violation of retaliation statutes for whistle-blowing claims against the Customs Service Managers here in Southern California. U.S. Customs officials and Internal affairs have been the focal point of a lot of my allegations regarding corruption within the Customs Service.
This Police action will affect my ability to earn a living and support my 13 year old daughter as well as any future plans I had to get married and establish a family. I have been blacklisted by U.S. Customs and I am unable to obtain any type of legitimate work.
(I was awaiting a call from a client that was presently in a very sensitive safety issue with felony extortionists, [name(s) omitted] of La Jolla)
Special Note: It is strongly believed that the two telephone calls by detective David Bond to these clients has greatly hampered my ability assist them and may have put me in a negative light. The client never called me back after the contacts by Detective David Bond.
6-24-99 Thursday I am now receiving an unusual amount of hang up telephone calls. Report made to "Kathy" of the La Mesa Police Department at (619)667-1400. I was told an Officer would call back. I had to give my physical street address in La Mesa as well as my unlisted phone number. Officer Osmers called with a case number and filed a report by me. (Case #99-03099 La Mesa Police) Annoyance call bureau notified at (800)310-2355.
I notified my attorney and U.S. Customs S/A Catalan of this activity.
CC: G. Anthony Gilham
Attorney At Law
El Cajon, Ca.
CC: Michael Taggart
Attorney At law
La Mesa, Ca.