New Book: Criminal Interdiction

Criminal Interdiction BookFedEx just delivered my latests Amazon purchase:  Criminal Interdiction by Steven Varnell.  Having been through a few criminal interdiction classes (commercial vehicle drug interdiction was one of the best), I am eager to read this book and see what tips I can pick up from the author.

According to the book cover, Varnell is a retired trooper from the Florida Highway Patrol and has been involved in criminal interdiction work for 26 years.  With that kind of experience, this book has the potential to being a great police training tool.

I’ll post a review on the book once I have finished reading it.  In the meantime, you can check out the book at Amazon.

Criminal Interdiction- BlueSheepdog Podcast 08

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This week’s police podcast focuses on criminal interdiction.  In the past, many officers and trainers have focused on drug interdiction in rural stretches of highway.  I suggest that criminal interdiction techniques can, and should, be applied in all areas of your jurisdiction.

Among other things, I talk about officer safety, vehicle occupants and vehicle contents.

As mentioned in a previous podcast, the web address for the company making the Cobra Strike Plate is:  ArmorShield USA.  I did not see the plate on the site yet, but I am working on getting more information, including a video of the plate in action.

The podcast runs a little longer, a little shy of an hour, but I hope you get some good information out of it.

[Read more…]

Understanding the Citizens’ Right to Use Force

020114_1259_0018_lsms_aPolice academies are woefully inadequate at teaching criminal law and criminal procedure. Typically, 40 hours or less are devoted to teaching criminal law (I’ve seen some states only require 16 hours). Generally, the teacher is a street cop, who may not spend a lot of time reading the statute books or slip opinions.

The focus of the classes is typically on defining what a “burglary” is, the difference between “assault” and “battery,” and elements of each crime.  Very little time is put on the rights of citizens to use force to defend themselves and their property.  Unfortunately, this means that police officers sometimes arrest the wrong people. [Read more…]

High Times


You can use the magazine “High Times” to make more drug arrests.

New officers don’t always have the “street knowledge” they need to make good drug cases.  Street knowledge is something that often takes years to build before an officer can recognize common drugs and activities surrounding their use and sale.

Training is not a substitute for experience, but it does give the officer additional information to use while on the street to hasten their learning.  However, drug training is often not available to new officers. [Read more…] Training for K9, Criminal Interdiction, and Drug Interdiction Work

I meant to post this a while back, but if you have any need for police K-9 training, or training in drug and criminal interdiction, check our  They list training classes throughout a lot of the US that relate to drug interdiction and canine handlers.

Richard is a police officer with a medium sized, central Florida department, and previously worked for a Metro-Atlanta agency.  He has served as a field training officer, court officer, corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, watch commander, commander of a field training and evaluation program, and general pain in the butt to management-types looking to cut training hours.

Mexican Military Holds Border Patrol Agent at Gunpoint in the USA: Mexican Military Continues to Escort Drug Smugglers

The Mexican military has escorted drug smugglers into United States territory for years. On occasion, our Border Patrol agents are confronted, on US soil, by the Mexican army. In fact, there have been more than 200 confirmed incursions by the Mexican military into the United States since 1996. The latest case was on Sunday, August 3, 2008.

Border PatrolA Border Patrol agent, working south of Ajo, Arizona, encountered Mexican military personnel who had crossed over into the United States. The agent was held at gunpoint for a period of time, presumably while the smugglers they were protecting moved through the area. Thankfully, back-up officers arrived and the troops withdrew without a gun battle.

Unfortunately, not all US law enforcement encounters with the Mexican army have been as “peaceful.” For example, in January 2007, the Mexican army, in the United States, fired on Texas deputies with a .50 caliber machine gun.

[Read more…]

Drug Interdiction: Concealment Locations to Watch for When Police Officers Conduct Criminal Interdiction

Police officers engaged in drug interdiction and criminal interdiction are constantly finding new hiding places that criminals use to hide their drugs, weapons, and other contraband.

drug concealment locationHere are a few locations that I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has found in recent years:

  • Contraband hidden in a womans wig.
  • Bags of heroin hidden in teddy bears.
  • Marijuana concealed in the hollowed out boards of wooden pallets.
  • Cocaine masked in the soles of shoes.
  • Marijuana bundles in man-made landscaping stones.
  • Drugs stashed in the manifold of an engine.
  • Drugs concealed in new furniture.
  • Marijuana hidden in metal cans disguised as food products

In addition, I.C.E. has located a lot of drugs being transported inside living people or animals. While you may not be able to see inside a man’s thigh (yes, they have found cocaine surgically implanted there), do pay attention to the unusual transportation of animals. Often, smugglers will implant large quantities of drugs inside snakes, dogs, or other animals, with the intent to kill the animals and retrieve the dope once they arrive at their destination. PETA and I don’t see eye-to-eye on most things, but this type of drug smuggling is clearly cruel.

One of the best hiding spots I.C.E. officers have discovered was a load of marijuana concealed in the floorboard of a trailer hauling two live bears! Definitely not the day to be the junior officer on scene…

Stay safe!

Vehicle Stop Interdictions – Drug Interdiction for Patrol: Excellent Police Training Course from The Backup Training Corporation

Vehicle Stop Interdictions: Drug Interdiction for Patrol is one of more than 40 police training courses offered to law enforcement officers by The Backup Training Corporation. Focusing on highway drug interdiction, the CD-based course covers all of the bases for an officer who is serious about stopping the flow of drugs on the highways and streets of their communities.

The Backup Training CorporationTopics in the course include: indicators of drug couriers, roadside interviews, search and seizure case law, concealment locations and methods, “source” states and frequent overland routes, the use of K-9s, profiling, documentation, and more.

I have taken a variety of drug interdiction/criminal patrol courses in the past, and felt that this one does a good job of conveying a lot of the important information. If you have never taken a class on criminal interdiction you will get a lot out of this program. For the well-versed drug interdiction officer, this course is a solid refresher in most areas, and you may pick up a few new things also.

The course is rich in multimedia content, but a lot of reading will be required. The course is designed to be completed in 8 hours, and can be stopped and started at any time. To receive course completion credit, you do need to complete the course within 90 days of receiving the course.

I have taken several of the police training courses they offer (see prior post), and I have found there are three great reasons to use the training offered by The Backup Training Corporation:

  1. the content is current, informative, and very relevant to a police officer’s duties,
  2. the training course is FREE ($6 shipping/processing fee only), and
  3. you can receive college credit from an accredited college for taking these courses.

Many states also recognize the training, and credit the classes toward the police officer’s in-service requirements.

The college credit (200-level classes) is awarded by North Idaho College, a fully-accredited college*, when you complete certain groupings of police training courses. A total of 17 semester hours is available. If you wish to obtain the college credit (your option–you don’t have to), simply pay a $25 application fee to the college plus $10 per hour of credit. So, for a grand total of $195, you walk away with 17 hours of college credit. Considering a 12-credit hour semester will set you back $1200+ at most institutions, that is a bargain you simply can’t argue with.

Stay safe!

*(Please note that there are a lot of pseudo-accrediting agencies out there. The real agency for the region, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, accredited North Idaho College, along with the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Utah State University, etc. So the credits do transfer.)

Hidden Marijuana Grow Operations: Another Place to Check in a Drug Search

concealment locations marijuana growDopers hide their stash in all sorts of silly places. As a police officer engaged in criminal interdiction, you have to look beyond the obvious locations if you plan on making a real impact.

Called a PC Micro Grow Center, this commercially available product disguises a small grow operation inside of a home computer tower. This item includes grow lights and ventilation inside of a PC-style computer case. Currently on sale (Christmas holidays coming up, you know), this tower is selling for $650.00.

concealment locations marijuana growThis price probably puts it beyond what the average doper is willing to pay to cultivate a couple of marijuana plants. However, the same type of item should be able to be constructed for a lot less using a regular PC tower case. So, pay attention when conducting your searches. If there is a computer that isn’t hooked up to a monitor and keyboard, that may be a good place to check.

Stay safe!