Cops Raid a House to Find Christmas Trees Under a Grow Light: Where's the Probable Cause Now?

Barry Cooper is a former policeman who now sells DVDs on how not to get busted on drug charges. While I find this approach sort of dubious, his latest "cop-baiting" stunt is quite intriguing: did he show that the police in Odessa, Texas were using illegal means to raid homes?

KopBusters rented a house in Odessa, Texas and began growing two small Christmas trees under a grow light similar to those used for growing marijuana. When faced with a suspected marijuana grow, the police usually use illegal FLIR cameras and/or lie on the search warrant affidavit claiming they have probable cause to raid the house. Instead of conducting a proper investigation which usually leads to no probable cause, the Kops lie on the affidavit claiming a confidential informant saw the plants and/or the police could smell marijuana coming from the suspected house.

The trap was set and less than 24 hours later, the Odessa narcotics unit raided the house only to find KopBuster's attorney waiting under a system of complex gadgetry and spy cameras that streamed online to the KopBuster's secret mobile office nearby.

The attorney was handcuffed and later released when eleven KopBuster detectives arrived with the media in tow to question the illegal raid. The police refused to give KopBusters the search warrant affidavit which is suspected to contain the lies regarding the probable cause.

Link - via reddit


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This sorta happened to a good friend of mine. He had his door kicked in by SWAT looking for a Meth lab. Turns out the guy he had install his water heater noticed a bathroom in his house with "tubes and a weird smell". Sounds bad until you realize that he has about 10 reef tanks in his house and uses that bathroom for chemical storage and mixing for them. Here's a link to the news story:

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=509182

This is very scary indeed!
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The simple fact of the matter is this: Grow lamp are not illegal and have legitimate uses. How about growing orchids in winter?

If you can legally go to a store and buy something, and use it in it's intended legal manner, then there is no crime. It's only baiting the cops if the cops are using illegal tactics to location growers.

The only thing that separate the cops from the criminal are the rules. Cops follow then, criminals do not. When cops break the rules, they become the criminals. It's that simple.
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Kinda reminds me of the story of the kid picked up carrying a bag filled with parsley who said he was going to trick a friend in to thinking it was pot to see him smoke it. Turns out carrying a substance that you are going to pretend are real drugs is Illegal.. better keep your mints in proper tins or the cops might "think" it is Drugs.
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