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ACLU of Oklahoma wants OSBI inquiry into Caddo County drug stops

Caddo County District Attorney Jason Hicks halted drug stops after judge complained July 2.
by Nolan Clay Published: July 30, 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on Monday called for a criminal investigation into a district attorney's use of a private company to help in his drug interdiction effort on Interstate 40.

In a letter, the ACLU called on Caddo County District Attorney Jason Hicks to ask the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to initiate an inquiry of his own office.

The ACLU alleged the founder of the private company, Desert Snow LLC, and at least two of its employees “have falsely impersonated peace officers, a misdemeanor offense.”

Hicks hired the Guthrie-based company in January to mentor his drug task force for one year. He agreed to pay the company 25 percent of all forfeited funds from stops involving its trainers.

Over $1 million seized

After hiring the company, the task force seized more than $1 million in cash during traffic stops. Hicks halted further stops by his task force after a judge criticized him July 2.

Caddo County Special Judge David Stephens became upset after Desert Snow founder Joe David testified he pulled over a pregnant driver and questioned her even though he is not a state-certified law enforcement officer.

“For people to pull over people on I-40 without that license is shocking to me,” the judge said of the certification by the state Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training.

Hicks said Monday he would not comment on the ACLU letter to him.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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