Drug Busts On SWC

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Pastor_Mac, Aug 31, 2019.

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  1. Sep 4, 2019 #26

    crescent-zephyr

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    Surprised that you haven't seen them... it's pretty much a regular thing in Albuquerque and Reno. Watch for them platform side as the train arrives.

    I was also woken up one time by Border Patrol on the Lake Shore Limited... that was many many years ago and like Willbridge mentions in the post above... everyone was woken up and the Border Patrol asked "are you an American Citizen." I mean technically the Lake Shore Limited travels along the Great Lakes that border Canada... but are there Canadians swimming across and then hopping on Amtrak trains!? ha.
     
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  2. Sep 4, 2019 #27

    justinslot

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    Oh! This happened to me! I mean, not the drug bust thing or having my money legally confiscated thing, but I have encountered the DEA on Amtrak. If you go back to my posts you'll see the exact day it happened, lemme find it...oh yes, on 11/13/18--the day the Southwest Chief was held so passengers could transfer from an extremely late Capitol Limited. Two DEA agents came to my room right after I got there, they asked to search my luggage, I complied, no big deal...I was too elated and relieved that Amtrak had actually held one train to meet another late train I didn't even care. They were plainclothes offices so that's perhaps why people don't notice them.

    Also this thing where the DEA bribes an Amtrak employee seems really weird to me??? Like it should be illegal, even if it isn't?

    Never noticed any police in Albuquerque, though perhaps that's because I'm laser focused on getting to that grocery store that's a block from the station and back when we stop there.
     
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  3. Sep 8, 2019 #28

    Barb Stout

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    When they searched your luggage, did they place items on the floor or just rummage through the suitcase leaving things in approximately the same order?
     
  4. Sep 8, 2019 #29

    Barb Stout

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    A slightly different story, but I'll share it here anyway because I can. I just returned to ABQ from a 3 week trip using Amtrak and while waiting for the huz to pick me up, I noticed a uniformed policeman inside the station. I don't remember seeing one when I left, but maybe there was. Anyway, apparently it is now against the rules to proceed to the benches or cafe without evidence of a ticket. The officer stopped a man and asked to see his ticket. The man explained that he wanted to buy something to drink before purchasing his Greyhound ticket. There was no one at the Greyhound ticket at that time and it was indeed 96 F outside. But the cop didn't let him get his drink. This policy did not seem to be in place when we left ABQ in mid-August.
     
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  5. Sep 8, 2019 #30

    VentureForth

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    Hmmm.... Just about every time I've flown since 9/11, it's been about the same experience. Laptop taken out and in it's own bin. Now, other electronics ie phones etc have been all over the place policy wise. Just my experiences...
     
  6. Sep 8, 2019 #31

    crescent-zephyr

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    All luggage has to go in bin... don’t put anything in bins except electronics... keep your shoes on because we have dogs out.... I’ve heard it all. Ha
     
  7. Sep 8, 2019 #32

    chakk

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    No longer the case if you have purchased TSA-Pre. Laptop stays in case; shoes stay on; sometimes they ask for coat to come off.
     
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  8. Sep 10, 2019 #33

    VentureForth

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    That's a change in a specific service. If you're not Pre Check, same rules still apply. So, new rules for new service.
     
  9. Sep 10, 2019 #34

    crescent-zephyr

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    I realize my original post singled out the laptop policy... the only variation on that is sometimes the laptop has to go in it's own bin with nothing else, and other times I've been told to place other items in the bin with the laptop so I'm not using too many bins.

    Other policies change from airport to airport and from day to day. As a non pre-check passenger I've been told to keep my shoes on "because we have dogs out today" for example. Some airports want you put your suitcase itself in a bin, some airports want you to take all food items out, etc.

    That's what annoys me about TSA... actually the changes themselves don't bother me as much as the employees who act like you're an idiot since you don't know exactly how they want you to bin your items that day. ha.

    Other than that... I've had good experiences with TSA and don't understand all the complaints. I've been stopped to have my bag searched... was like a 5 minute process? And sometimes they ask to pat down parts of my body that were flagged I guess? They are usually really nice about it and again it's like a 30 second process.

    On principal I'm against having to go through that much screening in order to travel in my own country... but in reality it's a pretty simple process. ha.
     
  10. Sep 10, 2019 #35

    Qapla

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    My brother has a titanium rod in his lower leg. He will set the metal detector off at the airport. He tells them about the metal rod and they use the wand. The wand only goes off when they pass it down his calf (lower leg) and nowhere else. However, even though the wand varifies exactly what he tells them about the rod in his leg, they still insist on "frisking" him - which generally always includes grabbing his "privates" - even though the wand clearly showed the metal was in his leg, NOT his crotch.

    This has never happened on the train!
     
  11. Sep 10, 2019 #36

    crescent-zephyr

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    Yeah that’s a shame.... oddly enough I’ve never gotten the “full pat down” but they have asked to check certain parts of my body that showed up on the scanner... usually around my shoulders / arms where my shirt bunches up. It’s always been quick and easy.

    Getting The full pat down every time you fly would make anyone want to avoid it!
     
  12. Sep 11, 2019 #37

    SarahZ

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    If they are, indeed, actually "grabbing" him, they need to be reported immediately. When frisking a woman's chest or the groin area of either gender, you are supposed to use the back of your hand.

    Fingers and palms may only be used on the arms, back, legs below the thigh, and abdomen.

    For some reason, one of my knees tends to trigger the scanner. After a quick frisk of my legs, I am always told, "I need to actually feel your knee." Then they squeeze my knee a bit and I get a free knee massage.
     
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  13. Sep 11, 2019 #38

    Rail Freak

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    Now, back to the SWC!
     
  14. Sep 11, 2019 #39

    crescent-zephyr

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    What about it? Ha!
     
  15. Sep 11, 2019 #40

    Rail Freak

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    I was told by a SCA on the#3 SWC that he regularly contacts security while in route if there are any suspicious passengers in his car! I couldnt figure out if he was giving me a "HINT" or what!LOL
     
  16. Sep 11, 2019 #41

    MARC Rider

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    If you're in TSA PreCheck and they have a pre-check line open.
     
  17. Sep 11, 2019 #42

    crescent-zephyr

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    It’s amtrak staff members like him that give you the warm and fuzzy feelings and make you feel like a valued customer isn’t it? Ha.

    One of my trips on the zephyr I was scolded like a kid in school for walking into the empty (meaning no passenger was assigned to it) roomette across from me to take some photos of Donner Lake. Gotta love it.
     
  18. Sep 11, 2019 #43

    Sauve850

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    I think you are worrying way too much about an unlikely event. $500 is nothing. Take your trip
     
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  19. Sep 11, 2019 #44

    chakk

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    And when they don't have a TSA PreCheck line open (happens some evenings at SAN), the employee who checks my ID gives me an orange card to hand to the next person by the X-ray machine. Seeing the orange card, that person then tells me to leave laptop in its bag, don't take off my shoes, etc. Just like a TSA-pre security check.
     
  20. Sep 11, 2019 #45

    jis

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    That does not happen everywhere all the time when Pre-Check is closed. I have even had to go through regular check with no special Pre-Check treatment at Washington Dulles after 10pm.
     
  21. Sep 11, 2019 #46

    Devil's Advocate

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    Even though they are both called "pat downs" there is a massive difference between a post-scan pat and the full-on (SSSS) frisking treatment. In my experience the real hands-on body check is extremely aggressive and invasive. Focusing on which side of the hand or which gender did the groping is a pointless and irrelevant factor to me. It's not about tactile gratification so much as demonstrating power over your subjects. A massage is something you personally elect to receive and can choose to end at any time for any reason. Aggressive frisking is almost universally unwanted and in many cases cannot be stopped once you've started without risking arrest or detainment. If you've never had the full treatment then consider yourself lucky, but do not consider yourself an expert on screening protocol. Yes we are free to report what we experience in the hope that maybe other people will report the same thing and something positive will eventually happen years later, but the honest truth is that the TSA enjoys very limited oversight, and since passenger-operated cameras and phones are banned from use in and around the inspection area it can be extremely difficult to corroborate your side of the story.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  22. Sep 11, 2019 #47

    crescent-zephyr

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    I agree and I'm one of the lucky ones who hasn't gotten the full treatment... yet.

    As I mentioned even the body scan machines I disagree with on principal.
     
  23. Sep 11, 2019 #48

    anumberone

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    I've never created much activity going through the TSA check area except one time forgetting my watch. The guy looked it over for about 4 minutes, I felt like telling him to keep it. My wife on the other hand is always getting her bag, purse scrutinized, or she's getting the wand treatment.
     
  24. Sep 11, 2019 #49

    pennyk

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    MODERATOR NOTE:
    Please attempt to keep your comments on the topic of "Drug Busts on the SWC." Discussion about the TSA are more appropriate in the Non-Rail Transportation Forum.
    Thanks.
     
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  25. Sep 12, 2019 #50

    SarahZ

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    When did I say I was an expert? I simply offered up what knowledge I have, based on various training manuals I've read. I never discounted their experience and said to report anything that seemed hinky.

    My massage comment was tongue-in-cheek. I should have used an emoji to indicate tone.

    Back to the SWC, the update about the waiting room in ABQ is news to me. It's kind of unfortunate. It doesn't leave many options for people who want to wait for passengers to arrive. You can either sit in your car in the heat/cold or sit on the platform in the heat/cold.

    I can understand not wanting the homeless to basically live in the station, but I don't see a problem with allowing someone to hang out for 15-20 minutes while waiting for the train to arrive.
     
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