Shackelford County Discusses Alleged Illegal Vehicle Searches

By Victor Sotelo |

Published 04/29 2014 05:57PM

Updated 04/29 2014 06:38PM

There was a heated discussion at the Shackelford County Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday morning. It came after an Albany resident says his truck was illegally searched by a drug dog. Steve Ford claims that both those who live in Albany, and those passing through, are being harassed by illegal vehicle searches.

The searches have been conducted by a drug dog and handler. The dog is not owned by the county, but instead contracted out to the county.

"[They told me] hunters have been bringing narcotics into our county," Ford told the court, as he explained his recent search. He added, "You can't even say that around here, thats no reason to search a vehicle."

Ford also said the Sheriff's Department is using excuses to pull over people to conduct the searches, and says deputies are out of control and its the Sheriff's job to control them.

Another Albany resident, Clint Richards, told the Commisioners Court that his son has been pulled over several times and searched. "Where does 'protect and serve' stop and harassment start?" questioned Richards.

Sheriff Ed Miller says the searches are justified, especially in the case of Ford. "The intelligence we have on you Steve, and the common knowledge of you in the community, plus the way you were acting, and the interview that the officer had with you on the side of the road, gives him reason to further investigate," Sheriff Miller proclaimed to Ford across the court.

At least one commissioner agreed with Ford and the others. Commissioner Larry Coubel said he has heard that because of other people's experiences with the law enforcement in Albany, they wold not becoming back to town.

Coubel said, "I want it on the record, I disagree. I think it's out of hand."

No action on the matter was taken. Ford did say, last week, that if the problem was not taken care of, he would be running for sheriff.

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