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Talking to Cops
in the United States
by Lamont Granquist
Its time to talk about cops again.

Currently, a friend of mine is in work release for 6 months for selling 500 hits of E in a controlled buy. It turns out that Washington state is a very good state to be in to get busted with E or other hallucinogens -- they have their own sentencing guidelines seperate from the other schedules. If he had been busted with a similar amount of methamphetamine he would currently be doing a minimum of 18 months in real prison, and not in work-release.

There is, of course, a story behind all of that, but what I wanted to write about was the fact that due to the nature of his experiences we had discussed what do to about cops a lot. There was always the very real possibility that cops could get involved, and eventually they did get involved. He wanted to be ready to deal with them and know what to say to them which pretty much amounts to one word: nothing.

And I expect that this is harder than you might think, because cops are masters of trying to get you to cave in and spill shit. For example, the cops could have taken his friends in for questioning and starting hammering them on the fact that they were accusing him of having been bringing million of dollars of heroin into the country or something, or accusing him of doing something much, much worse until they broke them down the point where they just said "no, he never does stuff like that, all he did was sell pot and a little bit of E."

Oops. Of course the cops in this scenario would have been lying through their asses trying to work an angle on his friends until they got them to confess to precisely what they were trying to make them confess to. The cops will then, of course, also say to the person under arrest that their friends spilled everything in order to try to get the suspect to confess. And they'll claim that they're trying to "help you."

Never, ever trust the cops.

If you have any kind of ongoing 'relationship' where thing could get legally ugly, you must arrange ahead of time the fact that neither one of you will ever, under any circumstances talk to a cop and establish the groundwork of trust so that when the cop tells you that your friend has spilled everything that you *know* that the cop is lying. If a cop says something to you which makes your stomach turn and makes you think "everything is up" and lose hope you have to realize that the cop is saying that *precisely* to get that reaction out of you. Cops are *trained* to do that.

A really good article to read is Its the story of an alt.drugs.chemistry'er from way back who eventually wound up getting busted. A good excersise is to go through and spot all the mistakes that Eleusis made in talking to the cops, because he made a bunch.


They didn't like that one bit. No sirree. Not one bit. That's when they pulled out the big guns (metaphorically) and asked if I knew anyone in Houston. The sweat started to pour. I knew what they were after. I said "yes, I have a friend out there". They asked what I thought happened when the box I shipped never made it and I said "I figured UPS confiscated it for improper packaging but when I called about it they said they had no record of the shipment so then I figured it was just lost." Then they asked the killer question, the one that made me give up because I knew I was busted.

"Do you know [blank]?"

I said, "yes, she's an ex-girlfriend of mine."

"Well we have [blank] in custody right now."


"So I'll repeat my earlier question, did you ever use this to make crystal, crank, meth, whatever?"

"No, I never made crystal meth, I think it's a horrible drug."

"Then what did you make with it, [blank] said ' ---- ' "

"Alright, alright. I made MDMA."

Two mistakes were made here and the first comes from the second. The first is that he let the fact that the cops new some information get to him. You can't ever do that. The cops can spell out in detail every damn second of your life for the past 3 years and show you videotape and you *have* to believe that some procedural fuck up will get you off and cling to that and just say "i want to talk to a lawyer." You can't let them get to you. And Eleusis should never have admitted to making MDMA. Let the cops do the work, never do anything to help them out, particularly confessing to a crime. Cops are not there to help you, they're there to bust you.

Also, a third mistake is that Eleusis should never have been as co-operative with the cops. He should have refused to answer *any* questions, he should have asked the cops if he was being arrested and if he could speak to a lawyer and be completely un-cooperative. He didn't have to tell them that he made photographic chemicals, or offered any information about the UPS package. When questioned about the UPS package he should have taken the Ronald Reagan defense "I don't recall." Not remembering something -- even when it's painful obvious to everyone around that you're lying -- is great, because later you can suddenly "remember" it when it comes time to talk to the judge if your *lawyer* indicates that it might be in your best interests to remember it.

"I don't recall"
"I don't know what you're talking about"
"Am I being arrested?"
"Can I talk to a lawyer?"

In some states, i believe if you ask to talk to a lawyer, the cops are legally obliged to stop questioning you. This can be a good tactic if there are non-cop witnesses around.

Then he goes on:

Consent was then asked for to search my apartment, under the threat that I would be arrested if I said no and they would get a warrant anyway. I knew this would happen because of what POP-I had told me so I signed my life away. Agents were standing by at my apartment and busted in the door as soon as my pen hit the paper. I was cuffed and taken to my apartment to identify the contents as mine (a formality) and then I was taken to DEA Holding. Apparently seconds after I was taken away the reporters arrived. My driver's license picture was on the 6:00 news. The entire block I lived on was evacuated. Rumors started flying and all of my friends, of which only a very few knew what I did, started calling each other.
Always make them get the warrant. If they asked him for consent, they probably couldn't have gotten a warrant to search it. In the case of my friend that was busted, since the drugs were acquired en route to the controlled buy they could *not* get a warrant to search my friend's apartment. Even though you'd think a judge would go "well, duh, he probably has evidence there" they still couldn't get a warrant for his apartment. We're talking the law here, and common sense rarely has anything to do with it.

Then they took Eleusis to the holding cell:

At DEA Holding I received the good cop/bad cop treatment. It's just like the movies, kids. Just like it. One was threatening to kick in my balls if I didn't tell the truth, the other was saying "there, there, he's *trying* to tell the truth, give him a chance." It was sickening (apparently, [blank] actually did get sick because they asked "you're not going to puke all over the floor like [blank], are you?")
Okay, a healthy reaction here is to realize that the officer is trying to get a reaction out of you by telling you about [blank] puking. Ideally you should distrust everything that the officer is saying. Maybe [blank] really did puke all over the floor in interrogation. It doesn't matter. The reaction that will likely save you is to think to yourself that the cop is making it up. If you believe the cop is making it up, then it only follows logically that the cop is trying to get a reaction out of you, and that can give you the ability to resist.

Down the page a bit Elusis writes:

I later received the background documentation on the DEA's "setup" of the sting against my co-conspirators and me. What was extremely interesting to note from this was that the DEA conducted "three trash pickups at [my parent's] residence and 1 trash pickup at [blank]' s. "Of course they didn't find anything because I didn't live with my parents, but I always assumed that they would be able to tell that I didn't live there. Funny thing is, they were limited to investigating *where the chemicals were actually sent*.
Pair this statement with the statement about the warrant, and I bet you that Eleusis signed about 5 years of his life away (i think that's what he got) when he signed the consent form for them to go into his lab. If "they were limited to investigating *where the chemicals were actually sent*" then they couldn't have gotten a warrant and they would have had almost nothing to go on. If "[blank]" had kept her mounth shut, then she probably would have gotten a few months for whatever they had on her and Eleusis would have gotten off.

Down at the bottom of this page Eleusis gives some advice that I completely disagree with:

Fourth, if you are caught, try to find out what the agents know/don't know before you start spilling the beans. In my case I played very innocent with them until I found out that [blank] was arrested with 50 capsules of my product (they told her that they already had me in custody and that I said blah-blah-blah, they do that sort of thing, btw). If it does seem like they've got a pretty solid lock on you, *be cooperative* - tell them the truth but don\rquote t get too detailed, all of the details will be debated during sentencing anyway, but being consistent from the moment you are arrested to the moment you are sentenced looks very good, indeed. As well, plead guilty but don't sign the plea agreement unless you are getting a good deal out of it (and you'll only be getting something good if you turn in other people, in which case you deserve to spend eternity in Cocytus (c.f. -Dante's Inferno)).
If you play this game, you lose and the cops win. Don't worry about what the cops do and don't know. And don't "spill the beans." It wins you precisely *zero*. Really, my friend said *nothing* to the cops and was entirely unco-operative right up until the point where he had to accept that the cops had a rock solid case and was forced to plead guilty -- about a year after he was busted. The system did not "punish" him for being unco-operative -- instead he still got the absolute lowest sentence the judge could give him. The cops will, of course, tell you differently and tell you to save yourself. They, of course, lie.

Just to reiterate you should never, ever talk to the cops if they take you in for interrogation. This goes for all circumstances and not just drug cases. If your friend might have _killed someone_, the appropriate time to notify the police is after you've sat down and thought about it and arrived at your own conclusions and when you come under your own power to the cop shop and tell them. The same thing goes for your kids. Talking to the cops will not help your kids if they're getting busted for something. I don't know how I would deal with cops as a parent, but I know that I would never trust that a cop is empathizing with me as a parent and trying to work with me to help my kids -- I would always assume that they are trying to *work me* and screw my kids. At least not until after they've left or let me go would I sit down (preferably with a lawyer) and decide what to tell them. Making decisions that can affect other people lives should not be made, ever, under the conditions that cops place on someone when they are interrogating or questioning them.

Anyway, I hope that everyone realizes that this shit is real and stops and takes a few moments to think about how much risk they are in and how much risk the people around them are in, and figure out what they would do if the roof caved in. A cop could knock on your door tomorrow asking you "do you know XXX?" "have you had correspondence with XXX?" "have you ever received any drugs from XXX?" "were you at location YYY on X/Y/Z?" "are you on ?", etc. I think it's probably fine to admit that you know someone, but if they start asking about specific dates you should always say "i don't remember" even if it was last week. If someone asks you about your involvement with online groups just say "i don't know what you are talking about." Be really fucking unco-operative, you have *nothing* to lose. Don't help the cops in putting together times, dates, places, locations, etc. It goes without saying that you should never, ever admit to any illegal activities with a cop. Don't even admit to something minor like smoking pot to try to cover up something more major. Even in the face of evidence to the contrary, you should take the position that you are an upstanding member of the community who doesn't even jaywalk -- don't pull a "well, sometimes I..." to try to gain "credibility" -- it won't and you'll risk opening doors that the cops want opened: warrants, etc. Also, you should realize that you may not know how much risk someone else is at, and that your statement that you've gotten stoned with them on occasion could wind up with them getting busted for the meth lab in their basement that you didn't know about. *Always* operate under the assumption that your friends have much more to lose than you know about and that you're going to protect them from that.

Anyway, that's my rant on the cops. And I'm just ranting. Nothing in here is anything other than general, aimed at everyone. Its just that there will always be people who have cats and other pets that occasionally smoke some pot and do a little E on occasion, and those people need to recognize the risks that their pets are in and how to deal with damage control. Even the people at negligible risk need to realize how to deal with damage control to keep our pets safe. Got it?