Fort Pierce, Florida Money Maker

Deanna submitted her recount of a sub-par interaction she had with Yulieth Ortiz and a colleague from the St. Lucie County Office in Florida. Yet another story of harassment that hinges on claimed prohibition of certain substances (aka the war on some drugs). It sure is strange that police dash cams seem to malfunction when their operators are said to have acted in the wrong… -Pete

Cop enforcement in Fort Pierce, Florida is HIGHLY profitable (this can be seen with our excessive amount of police force, overcrowded courts and brand, shiny new million dollar courthouse located in downtown), so it was no shock to me that officer Yulieth Ortiz, badge #370 of the St. Lucie County police division, pulled me over one afternoon.

After waiting at a red light with officer Ortiz directly to my left in the other lane, I was greeted with blue and red lights immediately after the green light. Upon inquiry, the officer stated I “looked disoriented” and then called for backup. A second officer arrived. I immediately phoned my father of which he is the paying party of the car I was driving, the phone was swatted from my hand with officer #2 stating that he didn’t know if I “could be calling someone to gun us down.” it was then that I realized both my phone and trust were in jeopardy.

Officer Ortiz asked if she could search my car, to which I responded with a stern ‘no.’ officer Ortiz then ordered I step out of my vehicle. I was firmly gripped by officer #2 an told to sit on the hood of his police vehicle–my car was then searched against my verbal no. The officer came back with a small pill–THIS WAS NOT IN MY POSSESSION AT ANY TIME. Upon testing the pill, she informed me it was an amphetamine (a highly common charge for St. Lucie County). I was arrested, put in the back of the police vehicle, written two tickets (one for an expired registration and another for no seatbelt) and taken to the jail.

After having to pay to be bonded and for my tow, I was shocked at the outrageous accusations and events. I was never drug tested at the jail nor asked any drug-related questions. When I took the two tickets to traffic court (Agency case #: 0111012533), the judge honored the dismissal of my registration since it was up to date, but could not grant me relief of the seatbelt. I tried numerous times to contact and subpoena the video tapes of the arrest that day, but mysteriously NEITHER of the police cars that were present had taping capabilities. I am still fighting the amphetamine case, one orange pill, of which I still have no clue as to what exactly it was she planted in in my car on her illegal search.

Officer Ortiz did say something I thought was strange before entering the back of her vehicle: “you see anything back there? If we get to the station and I see anything, any drugs or weapons, it was from you.” This definitely frightened me, as I was increasingly aware of the corruption taking place. I asked for audio as well, nothing was recorded according to the sheriff.

I also found a case from 2008 involving Ortiz and 2 other cops–they were sued by a man in a civil rights case (case #: 2:2007cv14393) that took place in Martin county. I’m not certain why Ortiz is now an officer in St. Lucie County, but I imagine it had something to do with this case and her having to switch counties.

St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office
4700 West Midway Road
Fort Pierce, Florida 34981
(772) 462-7300

EPN

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  • shawn

    What can I say? More and more, people putting recorders in their cars looks like a good idea, rather than paranoia. As the technology becomes cheaper, cops will plant stuff without even knowing they’re on camera.

    I’m cautions about simply taking your word about the pill, you apparently did at least make an effort to seek evidence. And one pill is a little suspicious. The officer’s “looked disoriented’ is clearly an excuse. And it isn’t one that makes any sense.

    On what grounds did they claim for searching your vehicle?

    For all who don’t know, Florida LE has quite the reputation.

  • I’m going fire off a FOIA letter to them asking

    1 how many times the department has been sued over the officer.
    2 how many civil rights violations are in her file.
    3 why was there no dashcam video?(my county choose to install them instead of citizens oversight). to funny

    Not sure If anything will get done as the county I live in won’t give you anything.

  • zon

    sounds like dash cams that both record and send the film to the internet should be standard equipment on all vehicles.

  • LIAR

    Find out where she lives !

  • Maurice Clemmons Devil Slayer

    This sort of thing happens all every day. I don’t see why anyone would frown on a person who expresses a negative opinion of the elite officer class. The word respect denotes admiration. These people are to be feared, not admired.

  • t.

    So the dazed and confused girl driving with no seatbelt and expired registration is found to have illegal drugs in her car. And she doesn’t like it that she got caught. OK, got the story.

  • certain

    I don’t know wally, I imagine you’re pretty stupid looking, does it get you stopped a lot?

    Short of sitting there cross eyed and drooling, I wonder what “looked disoriented” actually means, anyway.

  • Shawn

    @T

    It’s a little hard to determine if someone is dazed while simply sitting in a car at a red light with two windows between them, and the sun out, don’t your think. And if she wasn’t wearing a seat belt, that would have been the immediate cause for the stop, not looking dazed.

    And they only found one pill. Isn’t that a little unusual? And why no drugs test, unless the officer knew she’d pass? In florida, your can be charged with under the influence for drugs. That would have been a far more meaningful charge than simple posession.

    Like told the author, I’m not one to just accept “cops planted it on me.” But my points do Suggest something right here.

    Explain my points away, if your can.

  • Steve H.

    Story sounds a little suspect to me. If it happened the way she said the evidence would be suppressed due to no reasonable suspicion to stop the car and no consent to search. A newly hired public defender could win that suppression hearing. In FL the State is required to prove probable cause in a suppression hearing. And seeing that this is a felony case, she can be assigned public defender automatically if she can’t afford a lawyer.

    We need to get a statute passed in FL that requires all police agencies to video/audio record 24/7 with the leo having no control over the camera.

  • Shawn

    Steve, I’m no expert on drugs laws, as I don’t touch and have never used, but I’m pretty sure posession is a misdemeanor in florida. That’s why I find this weird.
    The cop claims she is dazed, bit doesn’t perform a drugs test to see if they can nail her on under the influence. The charge of possession is crap in comparison, and the other two were simple trafic violations.

    Something stinks here.

  • Voluntarist tippy

    It won’t be long until the general public does something about things like this.

  • t.

    @Shawn: Drug test huh? Please tell me you are kidding. She wasn’t charged with any impaired driving. We don’t give “drug tests”. DRE’s might be called in. If a serious enough driving incident might do a blood test (again, back to the I paired driving).

    And just look around while at stop lights. Won’t tale you long to see what he saw. BTW, the only reason there aren’t THOUSANDS of more DUI / DWI arrests for drugs is it is just such a pain in the ass and so time consuming to do the blood seizure / analysis.

    As form the charge…she probably held a felony as a opposed to a misdemeanor DUI.

    /certain: nice to see you still have nothing to add.

  • Shawn

    @T

    The cop was hot to get her on something. And florida is pretty serious about dui. And how difficult is a basic drugs test? Now days, your have one every time you get a new job.

    And without a dui, felony what’s exactly? It was one pill. The cops probably had to hunt quit a bit to find that. If one pill is a felony, then jay walking is a capital offense.

    As I said in the start, I’m reluctant to assume the cop is lying and I have little knowledge of drugs laws. But the whole stop seems likely to be baseless, when all she had was “looked disoriented.”

    And as someone who has delt with cop lies myself, a cop’s word means crap to me.

  • shawn

    “And without a dui, felony what’s exactly? It was one pill. The cops probably had to hunt quit a bit to find that. If one pill is a felony, then jay walking is a capital offense.”

    Since that was poorly written.

    And since they didn’t attempt a DUI arrest, what felony did she commit? It was one pill, and the cops probably had to hunt quite a bit to find that. If one pill is a felony, then jaywalking is a capital offense.

    You know more about how far you’ll go for a DUI than I do, but it seems the best charge you can make against someone on drugs. Most I’ve ever heard, small amounts are barely a chargeable offense.

    You can’t honestly tell me there wasn’t something going on with this cop who searched a vehicle only to find one pill. Even if, which I do find likely, the pill wasn’t dropped, why single this person out? I don’t buy the ‘looked disoriented’ claim. Not when they could have simply used the seatbelt claim, which in florida in now a primary traffic offense. That alone is enough for a stop.

    And I’m curious to the author, did they stop searching the car after finding only the one pill? If so, why did they assume the search was over?

  • t.

    @Shawn: You have ZERO evidene to even try and speculate about what happened. You are taking as gospel some B.S. story from someone you do ‘t know…just because you are certain that the police HAD TO BE LYING. They had to have planted the drugs, she HAS to be innocent. Those kinds of statements, that type of attitude, weakens your position greatly.

    For drug related DUI / DWI ‘s, there needs to be really strong evidence of the impairment…a good driving case. This sounds like an interdiction stop. And one that worked. And in a way your kinda right, and wrong at the same time. Why would you “plant” only 1 pill? Not a really strong case. Chances are better that it is exactly what it looks like…she had probably used some of the drugs found, or others, the officer had interdiction training and picked up on the clues she was giving, and he actually had PC to stop her.

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  • shawn

    @T

    I did say in the first comment that I’m leery of taking someone’s word for a cop dropping it. 99+ a drug bust is exactly what it seems. Even pig cops usually have to have a reason to plant evidence. But remember that they could have any motivation and you not know it. The cop who educated me in police corruption had no beef with me. But she did have one with my dad that I didn’t know about.

    “Why would you “plant” only 1 pill? Not a really strong case. Chances are better that it is exactly what it looks like”

    Well, apparently one pill is enough. And it would be easier to palm one pill than a bag.

    I know that even if my view is correct, that the cop had little or no justification in the stop or search, the pill still could have belonged to the suspect.
    I just find the cause for the stop to be a little suspect. I had a cop use a speeding excuse once to check me out for DUI. Claimed 17 over the limit, which in florida can cost a license. No ticket, fortunately, but I know the cop lied to me about why he stopped me.

  • certain

    Shawn,

    Don’t argue with T. He has a fixated world view that neither logic nor demonstrated example can affect. Go back and look at some of his posts over time. Really funny. He will make up entire stories while insisting that the other person has no direct knowledge of what happened. He will quote you as saying and claiming all kinds of stuff. Guy is a freaking nutcase, which is why I think he’s a security guard badge bunny. Constantly accused others of being a child molester, drug abuser, etc. In fact, come to think of it, he was quite fixated on those 2 specific crimes. Hmmmmmm. You ever an alter boy, T?

  • shawn

    @Certain

    I don’t have your experience with T. I have seen the same abrasive attitude in him as I’ve seen in cops, but I’ve seen worse.
    So far, while I have disagreed quite a bit with a lot of his logic, and his willingness to tie the Constitution into a pretzel, I have found that he at least has some logic to his statements.

    Yes, he is totally pro cop to an extent that I believe he is a Thin Blue Liner, but he can at least intelligently poke holes in my logic, like my question about drug tests. At least he isn’t that total ass known as Common Sense.

    As for the security guard comment, now wait just one cotton picken moment. I happen to be a security guard. In fact, I’m a CAPTAIN. I don’t have a single lieutenant or sergeant under me, but I’m a CAPTAIN. (Shawn puffs out his chest until he ruptures something.)

    Knowing security guards and knowing cops, I’m pretty sure T is an actual cop.

  • Steve H.

    In FL, possession of any drug other than marijuana is a felony.

  • Steve H.

    If the leo had reasonable suspicion to believe she was impaired after the traffic stop, she would have been obligated to ask her to perform field sobriety tests. FST’s are optional because the courts have determined that FST’s are searches, so a defendant can refuse consent and that refusal cannot be entered into evidence. Then if the driver refuses the FST’s the leo usually arrests the driver for DUI, except like the author was saying that in cases where controlled substances are involved, leos can order a urine sample (FL). But the urine sample doesn’t give the amount of drugs in the system, only that a certain drug is present. The conviction rates on those cases are negligible because without the driver stumbling around on camera the leo can’t prove that the driver was impaired.

    So in this case the leo probably went for the possession charge instead of the DUI but without consent to search the case falls apart.

  • Steve H.

    As far as traffic stops are concerned, most of the appellate cases state that the leo has to have an “objective” reason for pulling over the car rather than a “subjective” reason. Looking dazed would be subjective, but the leo could in this case switch over to the “she wasn’t wearing her seat belt” excuse after seeing that she didn’t have the seat belt on. That would be an “objective” reason to make the traffic stop even though it wasn’t the reason he gave to the driver.

    I would guess that leos pull cars over for subjective reasons as much as objective reasons, but they figure they can manufacture an objective reason sometime during the “investigation”. This is why most leos don’t come up with the reason right away and will ask the driver “Do you know why I stopped you?” hoping that the driver will incriminate herself by saying something like, “Was I speeding?” or “Didn’t i have my lights on? or “I don’t really like to wear my seat belt most of the time.” Especially if they want to stop the car for a shake down.

  • t.

    Steve: All I need is R.S. , or as is more commonly stated now, R.A.S. to stop the car. In this case, he had clear P.C. to stop the car, an even higher standard.

    You can “quess” what you’d like about why we stop cars. Interdiction stops are legal, if the the officer can “articulate” why the drivers reaction to his presence…and what those reactions demonstrate. Personally, I’m not a big fan of most officers trying interdiction stops. Generallymost officers can’t really articulate what is going on…they can only say what they learned in some class. Some guys are really well trained and experienced though. They are true.y experts in the field. But you are ignoring the fact(s). This driver, and so many others, maybe due to their chosen lifestyles, do stupid crap while they are driving.

  • Common Sense

    @t

    I think you were right, this poor flower was ‘dazed’ and ‘confused’ and, shocker, she had at least one pill, one controlled substance on her. Now, she’s just upset she got caught, that’s all. Of course all the curb side legal experts think they know this and that. Always funny when they suddenly discover they didn’t know all they originally thought.

    She’ll be fine, its her first felony drug case…probably…well, maybe…

  • shawn

    “In FL, possession of any drug other than marijuana is a felony.”

    In other words, they called it a felony to justify permanently taking away a person’s rights, like ever owning a weapon. How many people, at young ages, have dealt with drugs? Fortunately, I never did, but I know I’m a rare bird in that stuff. I’ve never even been in the back seat of a patrol car.
    Even T has commented that going after drug uses is a waste of time.

    I know cops didn’t decide to call drug possession a felony. That was the wonderful gun grabber politicians. Everything is being made a felony now days to justify blocking people from owning a gun. Unfortunately, cops are cooperating with that.
    We’re becoming a nation of more and more laws. Why? Because as one person had stated, you have no power over an innocent man. Only over a criminal. Want power? Make so many laws that everyone is a criminal.

    An interesting statistic is that we each commit an average of 5 felony offenses a day, without even knowing it.

  • Steve H.

    Didn’t want to imply that I agreed with the laws, just what they are. I despise the drug war and the resultant tactics and everything to do with it.

    Also, with possession in FL, the state has to prove constructive possession. With one pill not in a bottle and not withing reach of the driver and if she isn’t the only one who uses the car, proving constructive possession would be pretty tough unless she confesses that the pill is hers. That’s why leos try to get someone to say that the drugs are theirs or they’ll arrest everyone in the car which they might do, but they’ll never prove constructive possession.

    Also, if you buy steroids or Viagra on line, don’t carry it on your person or in your car in FL.

  • shawn

    @Steve H

    Didn’t mean to imply you agreed with it. Just stating a basic fact. Even cops don’t get to decide what our laws are(Something they sometimes forget with guns), so it isn’t your fault.

    But my post still stands. They’ve made so many laws that everyone is a lawbreaker. Like I said, the statistic is we do 5 felonies a day without knowing it.
    Had a county inspector check a job at my place of work. He’s said when he started, he had one binder of regulations. But he now has cases of them in the back of his tuck.

    More laws, that’s the ticket. Yah.

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  • st lucie deputy badge 356 beat my wife up and towed my cars because i told him i was going to file a internal affairs complaint against him….sheriff deputy thomas johnson verbally abused me and left my wife on the floor bleeding and limp and beaten.

    he made up a entire bunch of false charges to cover himself

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  • DO IT

    Thomas,…..do what you have to do ! It’s your manly duty to protect your wife. Do not let them get away with beating her up. Enough is enough. Got it ! Time to go to work.