Singer Fiona Apple arrested in Texas

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  • #3
SW VandeCarr
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Damn. I love her voice, especially in this

Be careful Ryan. Don't be seduced by this dangerous woman. Thank heaven the authorities stopped her before she got to Austin, the very Capital of the Great State of Texas. I can't imagine what depredations she might have wrought there. Yes, they let her go after holding her overnight. I'm sure they know what they're doing. They want her to lead them to her fellow evil-doers so they can nab them all.
 
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  • #5
George Jones
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A little off-topic, but this reminded me of something that happened to me at 6:30 am yesterday. I was walking down the sidewalk on my way to Tim Hortons (Canadian coffee shop), when a guy walking the other way stopped me and asked "Do you know where I can get some pot?"

I am not a young guy any more, e.g, my avatar picture was taken four years ago, and I was old when my daughter was born, so I found the situation to be somewhat bemusing. Maybe the guy confused me with a singer.
 
  • #6
SW VandeCarr
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A little off-topic, but this reminded me of something that happened to me at 6:30 am yesterday. I was walking down the sidewalk on my way to Tim Hortons (Canadian coffee shop), when a guy walking the other way stopped me and asked "Do you know where I can get some pot?"

I am not a young guy any more, e.g, my avatar picture was taken four years ago, and I was old when my daughter was born, so I found the situation to be somewhat bemusing. Maybe the guy confused me with a singer.

In Canada, I don't imagine they would stop you on a highway, search your vehicle, and if they found 4oz (~113.4 gm) of cannabis, they would jail you and charge you with a felony. ("You" in the general sense)

EDIT: Apparently Apple's tourbus was stopped at an interior Federal checkpoint (Sierra Blanca). It's not on the border. It's about 90 mi (145 km) SE of El Paso on Interstate 10. A drug sniffing dog picked up the scent. The case was turned over to the local Sheriff who described the find as a "small amount" of marijuana and hashish. Possession of hashish in any amount is a felony in Texas.
 
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  • #7
Rooted
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A felony? Does that mean she's likely to serve time?
 
  • #8
jtbell
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Apparently Apple's tourbus was stopped at an interior Federal checkpoint (Sierra Blanca). It's not on the border. It's about 90 mi (145 km) SE of El Paso on Interstate 10.

My wife and I have been through that checkpoint a few times on our way between South Carolina and Arizona, most recently two years ago when I was on a solo trip. I don't think they ever asked us anything, just looked at us (a couple of non-Hispanic 50-60 year old geezers in a small sedan) and waved us on. I wonder what it takes to bring out the drug-sniffing dogs.
 
  • #9
I like Serena
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My wife and I have been through that checkpoint a few times on our way between South Carolina and Arizona, most recently two years ago when I was on a solo trip. I don't think they ever asked us anything, just looked at us (a couple of non-Hispanic 50-60 year old geezers in a small sedan) and waved us on. I wonder what it takes to bring out the drug-sniffing dogs.

Likely a celebrity.
At least that will bring them front page news. ;)
 
  • #10
SW VandeCarr
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A felony? Does that mean she's likely to serve time?

I don't know how likely it is, but under Texas law she could get 10 years. I suspect the prosecutor may decide not to prosecute or, more likely, accept a fine under a reduced charge if that's possible. I certainly hope so. She's a highly original and compelling figure in a music scene that is otherwise all too bland and uninspiring. As far as the law goes, it's pretty ridiculous to make simple possession of any amount of hashish, no matter how small, a felony. I've seen people beaten to an inch of the their lives where the perpetrator was only charged with a misdemeanor. I'm not a consumer of cannabis products but I have supported medical use with reasonable guidelines.

There's also the issue of the way she was stopped and arrested. The news media keeps on calling the location a "border check point". It's not. It's over 90mi (145km) from the El Paso border crossing. I question the legality of interior checkpoints where citizens can be stopped and searched with no probable cause. I lived for a short time in the old USSR (as part of my job) and never encountered an interior check point. Police could stop you at any time, but only to check your documentation.

One silver lining is that the publicity from this might prove helpful to Fiona's career. She recently released a new album after a 7 year hiatus. It debuted at Billboard's #3 position. Hopefully more people will discover her talent. Personally, I love contraltos.
 
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  • #11
SW VandeCarr
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Likely a celebrity.
At least that will bring them front page news. ;)

Yeah, but only if her tour bus was clearly identifiable as hers from the outside. I don't think celebs travel like that. It would be pretty dumb.

My wife and I have been through that checkpoint a few times on our way between South Carolina and Arizona, most recently two years ago when I was on a solo trip. I don't think they ever asked us anything, just looked at us (a couple of non-Hispanic 50-60 year old geezers in a small sedan) and waved us on. I wonder what it takes to bring out the drug-sniffing dogs.

I really wonder too. Someone must have recognized her and thought we have a chicken ready to be plucked here. As I said above, I seriously doubt she had her name plastered on the bus. Maybe they run the dogs on all tour buses.

EDIT: She may also have been identified by the Federal Border Patrol when the bus was first stopped. Since this is not an actual border crossing point, I don't see how this is justified without probable cause.
 
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  • #12
Rooted
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I don't know how likely it is, but under Texas law she could get 10 years.

Wowser, that's a more significant problem than I'd thought, thanks.

As you say it may well boost sales. She's in the news locally which I don't think I've seen before.
 
  • #13
Hurkyl
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I suspect the prosecutor may decide not to prosecute or, more likely, accept a fine under a reduced charge if that's possible. I certainly hope so. She's a highly original and compelling figure in a music scene that is otherwise all too bland and uninspiring.
You like her music, and therefore the law shouldn't apply to her?
 
  • #14
ChiralWaltz
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Sierra Blanca, TX is where Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Armie Hammer have all been arrested for drugs in the past.
 
  • #15
Astronuc
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There's also the issue of the way she was stopped and arrested. The news media keeps on calling the location a "border check point". It's not. It's over 90mi (145km) from the El Paso border crossing. I question the legality of interior checkpoints where citizens can be stopped and searched with no probable cause. I lived for a short time in the old USSR (as part of my job) and never encountered an interior check point. Police could stop you at any time, but only to check your documentation.
It is an interior 'border check point', and one will enounter them in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. They check for illegal aliens, smugglers and drug traffickers. I've had experience with them in the past.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Border_Patrol_Interior_Checkpoints

On I-10, there is a check point somewhere near the New Mexico - Arizona border. They check for uncontrolled produce going between Texas and California. The goal is to prevent pests from being transported from one agricultural region to another. At least it was there in the 1970s.

A friend and I were traveling from Texas to Arizona. We had a bag of grapefruit from Texas. We were given the choice of eating them or handing them over for disposal. We ate them and went on our way.

Along I-10 and interstates from the border with Mexico, one will routinely see border patrol agents doing patrol, much the same way state and local authorities do patrol for traffic violations.
 
  • #16
chemisttree
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My wife and I have been through that checkpoint a few times on our way between South Carolina and Arizona, most recently two years ago when I was on a solo trip. I don't think they ever asked us anything, just looked at us (a couple of non-Hispanic 50-60 year old geezers in a small sedan) and waved us on. I wonder what it takes to bring out the drug-sniffing dogs.

Tour bus.
 
  • #17
chemisttree
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I really wonder too. Someone must have recognized her and thought we have a chicken ready to be plucked here. As I said above, I seriously doubt she had her name plastered on the bus. Maybe they run the dogs on all tour buses.

EDIT: She may also have been identified by the Federal Border Patrol when the bus was first stopped. Since this is not an actual border crossing point, I don't see how this is justified without probable cause.

Drug sniffing dog gave the officers probable cause. Police and Border Patrol have a right to stop anyone on the interstate.

The title of the thread is misleading. Clearly it should be, "Drug User Fiona Apple Arrested in Texas." :biggrin:
 
  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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Drug sniffing dog gave the officers probable cause. Police and Border Patrol have a right to stop anyone on the interstate.

Wow! Random searches. It figures. :frown: Forget the Constitution where drugs are involved cause the war on drugs is more important. :rolleyes:
 
  • #19
chemisttree
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Unfortunately drug smugglers, gun runners and human smugglers have stopped flying flags identifying themselves.
 
  • #20
SW VandeCarr
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Drug sniffing dog gave the officers probable cause. Police and Border Patrol have a right to stop anyone on the interstate.

The title of the thread is misleading. Clearly it should be, "Drug User Fiona Apple Arrested in Texas." :biggrin:

As with a lot of people if you include marijuana. How many adults alive today are criminals in fact given the use of any cannabis product is illegal? This case is complicated by the apparent fact that Apple was caught with hashish. I'm not saying she hasn't violated the law, but it's still a victimless crime. She's only potentially damaging her own health by using concentrated cannabis. So to save her from herself, we should imprison her? As for supporting organized crime, cannabis use supports organized crime because it is illegal.

I don't agree with your comment that federal agents or state police can stop and search anyone (including the deployment of drug sniffing dogs) without probable cause. The US Supreme Court seems to have ruled otherwise,

http://www.shouselaw.com/terry.html

BTW if you are giving Apple the drug user ID, add just about everyone else since you didn't specify illegal drugs.
 
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  • #21
rootX
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As with a lot of people if you include marijuana. How many adults alive today are criminals in fact given the use of any cannabis product is illegal? This case in complicated by the apparent fact that Apple was caught with hashish. I'm not saying she hasn't violated the law, but it's still a victimless crime. She's only potentially damaging her own health by using concentrated cannabis. So to save her from herself, we should imprison her? As for supporting organized crime, cannabis use supports organized crime because it is illegal.

"victimless crime" is still a crime.

When she or anyone who has heard about this story considers buying marijuna next time, they will well remember this incident quite well. Imprisoning her deter her and many others from buying illegal drugs.

As for US general stance on drugs like marijuana, I think it's stupid to let the illegal markets flourish, cost of keeping these drugs illegal is way up the sky. I would rather prefer well regulated legal drug markets.
 
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  • #22
Astronuc
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It may be a matter of course to check ALL commercial vehicles, e.g., buses and trucks because smugglers have used such vehicles in the past. It maybe that all vehicles are subject to sniffer dogs, and in the particular case, there were drugs on the bus.

If one transports illegal drugs, then one is accepting the risk and consequences of committing a crime - and getting caught.
 
  • #23
SW VandeCarr
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Unfortunately drug smugglers, gun runners and human smugglers have stopped flying flags identifying themselves.

Which one of these categories describes Ms Apple?
 
  • #24
Astronuc
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Which one of these categories describes Ms Apple?
None. She just happened to be in possession. They were doing a random check - and she just happened to be transporting a substance that falls under the jurisdiction of the state of Texas.
 
  • #25
SW VandeCarr
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None. She just happened to be in possession. They were doing a random check - and she just happened to be transporting a substance that falls under the jurisdiction of the state of Texas.

I know this is done. For instance random breathalyzer tests for DUI, but I think these actions could be challenged under the 4th Amendment and the SCOTUS decision referred to in post 20. In any case, these activities have not been particularly effective in reducing DUI or illegal drug use .
 
  • #26
Astronuc
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I know this is done. For instance random breathalyzer tests for DUI, but I think these actions could be challenged under the 4th Amendment and the SCOTUS decision referred to in post 20. In any case, these activities have not been particularly effective in reducing DUI or illegal drug use .
The acceptance of alcohol and the rejection of marijuana for ostensibly the same purpose is somewhat of a contradiction - in the US. However, there are commercial and regulatory interests involved.
 
  • #27
chemisttree
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I don't agree with your comment that federal agents or state police can stop and search anyone (including the deployment of drug sniffing dogs) without probable cause. The US Supreme Court seems to have ruled otherwise,

http://www.shouselaw.com/terry.html

You're just plain wrong about that. It's settled law. I said nothing about searching without probable cause.

Searching the exterior of a car at a checkpoint with drug sniffing dogs is not a violation of the 4th amendment.

For example, the Court has ruled that it is not a “search” under the Fourth Amendment if police use a dog to sniff the exterior of luggage that police have temporarily seized in an airport terminal, believing that it is likely to contain something illegal. It also has allowed police to check the outside of a vehicle that police have legitimately stopped at a highway checkpoint set up to search for illegal drugs, or to check the outside of a vehicle that police have legally stopped for a suspected traffic violation. In each of those situations, the impact on privacy was considered to be very slight, because the intrusion was minimal, so the use of the dog did not violate the Fourth Amendment.

Reality.

...if you are giving Apple the drug user ID, add just about everyone else since you didn't specify illegal drugs.

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
 
  • #28
Ivan Seeking
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Unfortunately drug smugglers, gun runners and human smugglers have stopped flying flags identifying themselves.

They never did. There is nothing new under the sun. During the cold war we had far more at stake but we didn't randomly search busses for Russian spies. Course we had a form of this back in the 1950s, and it was called McCarthyism

Interesting that armed robbery is no worse than having some pot, in Texas. Certainly not a case of the punishment fitting the crime. This is just archaic!

Drug laws
http://www.mytexasdefenselawyer.com/texas-criminal-laws-penalties/drug-possession/

Armed robbery laws
http://statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-robbery-laws.html

I'm sure this will get moved to P&WA so this will have to be my last post. :biggrin:
 
  • #29
Astronuc
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  • #30
russ_watters
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Interesting that armed robbery is no worse than having some pot, in Texas.
From your links:

Armed Robbery: "...two to twenty years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000. If the crime is elevated to that of aggravated robbery, the charge will be first degree felony. This carries a more serious penalty of five to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000."

Having some pot: "180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000" (4oz - 5lb)

The armed robbery penalty seems worse to me, though this of course depends on what you define as "some pot"

...though according to this, she was found with .01 lb of pot: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/20/showbiz/fiona-apple-arrested/index.html

....which actually falls here: "Class B misdemeanor
Not more than 180 days in a county jail and/or a fine of not more than $2,000"
 
  • #31
russ_watters
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It's Texas. :tongue2:
It's wrong!

I guess this is how Texas gets such a bad rap. :rolleyes:
 
  • #32
jgens
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It's wrong!

She was also in possession of 0.01lbs (4 grams - 5 grams) of hashish, which carries the following penalty according to Ivan's links: "2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000"

That sounds suspiciously like the armed robbery penalty ...

Edit: To be clear, I realize you were reacting to Ivan's comment about having "some pot" as opposed to hashish, but I also think it's probably safe to assume that he meant to refer to the hashish charge.
 
  • #33
rootX
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From your links:

Armed Robbery: "...two to twenty years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000. If the crime is elevated to that of aggravated robbery, the charge will be first degree felony. This carries a more serious penalty of five to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000."

Having some pot: "180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000" (4oz - 5lb)
It's all about adding spins as you said in PW&A once. It appears you purposely highlighted comparison between getting charged for "Less than one gram" and robbery. While, I thought this could also be a good comparison:
4 grams or more, but less than 200 grams Second-degree felony 2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
Robbery is charged as a second degree felony in Texas. This carries a penalty of two to twenty years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.

though this of course depends on what you define as "some pot"
Yes that's correct.
 
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  • #34
russ_watters
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It's all about adding spins as you said in PW&A once. It appears you purposely highlighted comparison between getting charged for "Less than one gram" and robbery.
No, I didn't. You're reading the wrong page (perhaps Ivan made the same mistake?). The pot penalties are linked from the page Ivan posted, but they aren't on that page, they are on this one: http://www.mytexasdefenselawyer.com/texas-criminal-laws-penalties/drug-possession-marijuana/

"less than 1 gram" of pot wouldn't even be enough for one joint!
 
  • #35
rootX
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No, I didn't. You're reading the wrong page (perhaps Ivan made the same mistake?). The pot penalties are linked from the page Ivan posted, but they aren't on that page, they are on this one: http://www.mytexasdefenselawyer.com/texas-criminal-laws-penalties/drug-possession-marijuana/

"less than 1 gram" of pot wouldn't even be enough for one joint!

For clarification purpose:

Fiona was found with 0.010 pounds of hashish which is 4 grams. Hashish falls under group "2 Ecstasy (MMDA), PCP, mescaline, (resinous extractives of Cannabis that aren’t marihuana, e.g. hashish)" [see http://www.mytexasdefenselawyer.com/texas-criminal-laws-penalties/drug-possession/]

For group 2 drugs, four grams carry Second-degree felony.

What I believe is that you are using different link which is different from the one Ivan posted. However, I noticed that Ivan referred to pot (which you assumed to be marijuana) not hashish. Now I understand jgens comment in edit: "I also think it's probably safe to assume that he meant to refer to the hashish charge".

I also assumed that Ivan was talking about what Fiona charged for not marijuana. Further notice that Ivan only mentioned pot not marijuana in specific. pot can be referred to hashish as well (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pot).
 
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