21 minutes ago
Friday, June 19, 2009
So....we just got screwed by the good folks in North Carolina. No offense to any officers up that way, but seriously, we just got screwed.
We have a guy on the run. We issue a warrant, and place it out on NCIC. Subject gets picked up, in NC, based on the NCIC hit for our warrant. We get the hit returned to us, and promptly contact the arresting agency to find out exactly where they are, and what their fax number is so that we can fax a copy of the warrant to act as a detainer, until we can get there and extradite him back south. We get the info, fax the copy, and try to arrange for extradition. We get the message that the subject in question is not yet ready for pick-up.
This is where it gets screwy. How can he not be ready for pick-up? The only thing he's arrested on is our warrant. No new charges pending, or disposed requiring him to serve a sentence, however, he's not ready for pick-up.
Turns out that there is some screwy loophole in North Carolina law. I won't go into the details of the loophole itself, but once knucklehead gets through the loophole, this is what happens. It allows a local officer, to take our faxed detainer, and serve it on the subject, as if it were an actual, notorized warrant. Which in turn, allows a local magistrate, not even a circuit court level judge, but a local magistrate, to set a bond on an out of state warrant.
First off, they don't even haev a valid warrant!! It's an electronically transmitted fascimile. It can be used as a detainer, but it's not valid for service in any state of the Union, except apparently, for North Carolina. Secondly, even if it were a valid warrant, a local, municipal officer doesn't have the authority to serve an out of state warrant, unless specifically empowered to do so by the issuing state, that's why the first thing we have to do when we pick someone up on an extradition, is serve teh warrant on them!! Thirdly, a local magistrate has no jurisdiction to set bond on a state level charge from another state, even if it were a valid warrant, which it's not.
Lastly, thanks to this bit of chicanery, they have released this guy, the one we've been looking for for a year and a half or more, because he was able to post the $1,000.00 bond the local set for him.[mind-boggle] What do you think the likelihood is of him toddling on down here to turn himself in to the proper authorities? I believe I have a better chance of seeing unicorns fart rainbows and crap pots of gold, to steal a turn of phrase from Tam.
I really don't get it. We generally extradite from NC with no problem. Get the call, fax the detainer, hop on over the border, and bring them back. This time though, we're screwed.
To be honest, I really hope this knucklehead doesn't go an a spree, or frenzy, or anything of the sort, because if he does, it's going to come back and bite that agency and that magistrate right on the keester. Our warrant is still active, and after this fiasco, will most likely be placed right back on NCIC, and we'll just have to hope he gets pulled over in another jurisdiction next time.
Hope your Friday is going better than mine today.
PS- looks like another of our agents is going to get released from the hospital today to recuperate at home. That will leave just one in ICU, and we got the word that she is more stable and comfortable today.