In general, a police officer needs to have a legal basis to pull over a car while driving down the road. A mere whim, or hunch, is not a generally acceptable basis to make a traffic stop. When law enforcement pulls a car over, they often use the opportunity to expand the scope of the stop to include a probe into other issues that may be going on.
Profiling in traffic stops has been a hot-button topic in many parts of the country - - well, for years. Louisiana State Police claim that troopers were not engaging in profiling when they decided to conduct what one trooper is calling "proactive traffic stops" along Interstate 10 recently, according to the Advocate.
Authorities say that troopers were looking for minor traffic violations to investigate for potential drug trafficking evidence in a recent spate of I-10 traffic stops. Three people were arrested in recent days in separate incidents related to drug trafficking allegations.
Authorities accuse a 25-year-old Brownsville, Texas, man of possession with the intent to distribute drugs after State Police pulled him over in one proactive stop for alleged improper lane usage in St. Martin Parish. Authorities claim that 586 pounds of marijuana was found somewhere in the car during the minor traffic violation investigation. That arrest occurred on Monday.
Last Friday and the again on Sunday, separate drivers were stopped in West Baton Rouge Parish. One of the drivers is accused of having 100 pounds of pot, as well as a large number of Ecstasy pills and some codeine syrup in the vehicle. In the Sunday incident, a driver is accused of traveling with 244 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle.
Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors pursue drug crime offenses vigorously under Louisiana law. A person suspected of a drug offense should contact a defense lawyer as soon as possible after allegations arise.
Source: The Advocate, " State Police targeting illegal drug hauls along I-10," Charles Lussier, March 26, 2014