Man Files Complaint Against Border Patrol for Trespassing, So They Put a Spy Camera On His Property

By Rachel Blevins

Encinal, Texas – A landowner has filed a lawsuit after he discovered that Border Patrol agents had illegally placed a camera on his property that gave them access to 24/7 surveillance of his land, and they then threatened to arrest him if he did not comply.

Ricardo Palacios, 74, told Ars Technica that he was walking around his property when he noticed a small camera in green plastic attached to a mesquite tree, about eight feet from the ground. In addition to being located near his son’s house, Palacios said the camera had a transmitting signal.

Given the fact that Palacios did not know where the camera came from, he took it down as soon as he saw it. He said that he then began to receive calls from both Customs and Border Protection officials and the Texas Rangers, demanding that he return the camera.

Now, the fact that the agents knew right away that the camera had been moved and was inside Palacios’ residence serves as a reminder that the agencies were actively monitoring the camera and its location.

While the ongoing intimidation and threats of arrests from Border Patrol and the Texas Rangers may have caused some landowners to turn over the mysterious camera without asking questions, Palacios refused to comply with their orders. Instead, he filed a lawsuit against both agencies.

“My client is 74 years old, he’s a lawyer, been practicing for almost 50 years, he has no criminal history whatsoever, law-abiding citizen, respected lawyer and senior citizen. To have put him in jail would have been—forget the indecency of it—what a way to end a career,” Attorney Raul Casso told Ars Technica.

The land owned by Palacios is 35 miles from the nearest U.S. borderline, and in his civil complaint, he alleged that he has been having problems with CBP trespassing on his land ever since their agents interrogated and physically assaulted his son in April 2010.

Over the last several years, after an ugly, physical confrontation that Plaintiff, Ricardo D. Palacios’ son, had with CBP agents at the IH-35 Checkpoint 29 miles north of Laredo, Plaintiffs’ have encountered agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) going onto their land, at will, without any warrant or legal authority, without landowner consent, over landowners’ objection, and without any warrant or exigent circumstances that would permit such intrusions upon Plaintiffs’ private property. On each such occasion, Plaintiffs confronted the CBP agents they encountered and warned them that they, the agents, were trespassing onto private property.

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The lawsuit claimed that when Palacios and his sons ordered CBP agents off of their land, the agents often responded by claiming that they were within “25 miles” of the border, which would give them jurisdiction. Even when Palacios’ son filed an official complaint with Border Patrol, they claimed that “No results were forthcoming, none were ever had, and the trespassing continued.”

According to federal law, “within a distance of 25 miles from any such external boundary to have access to private lands, but not dwellings, for the purpose of patrolling the border to prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the United States.”

However, Palacios has maintained that his ranch is 35 miles from the border. He claimed that the discovery of the camera was the “final straw,” and that when he was contacted by the Texas Rangers, they threatened “to file criminal charges for theft upon [his] persistent refusal to surrender the camera.”

“Our lawsuit is that we want a federal judge to tell the border patrol and the feds to not go on [Palacios’] property without permission or probable cause,” Attorney David Almaraz told Ars Technica. “And if you all are going to keep doing that, you’re going to have to pay for it. It’s called the right to be left alone. That’s what the Fourth Amendment is all about.”

Palacios is accusing the cameras of being a part of “Operation Drawbridge,” an initiative from the Texas Department of Public Safety that uses “low-cost, commercially off-the-shelf technology that has been adapted to meet law enforcement needs” to conduct surveillance along the border.

The use of detection technologies such as video, cameras, and sensors, can provide real-time information on exact locations of smuggling events. Unfortunately, there are insufficient personnel resources to adequately cover the entire border region, therefore the effective use of detection technologies is a vital component in a multi-dimensional strategy.

The Texas Border Sheriffs have demonstrated that live video coverage in remote areas along the border can support interdiction operations. However, the Cartels quickly adjust and simply relocate their operations elsewhere. This is good for the Texas landowners in those areas but the Cartels are highly adaptive and they quickly exploit other areas along the border.

The case will be presided by US Magistrate Judge Guillermo R. Garcia. It has the opportunity to set a powerful precedent, if Ricardo Palacios’ Fourth Amendment rights are upheld, even in the face of the Customs and Border Protection’s argument that they must trespass on his property in order to ensure border security.

Rachel Blevins is an independent journalist from Texas, who aspires to break the false left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. Follow Rachel on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Steemit and Patreon. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.

Also Read: Papers Please: “Daily Citizenship Checks” on Buses Across Maine Highlight Constitution-Free Zone


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15 Comments on "Man Files Complaint Against Border Patrol for Trespassing, So They Put a Spy Camera On His Property"

  1. Seems like a pretty straight forward win for the landowner. It will be interesting to see what twisting and weaving the CBP comes up with to prove the camera is their property and that they have any right to recovery after trespassing.

    • lightingstrikesthrice | March 12, 2018 at 6:33 am | Reply

      I wonder the camera has any recording capabilities? Be interesting to know and if so, what it has indeed recorded.

  2. Good reading Rachel. Good story and article. Seemingly the landowner has the upper hand in that his property is located outside the 25 mile radius the law requires. Reading the article it also appear the customs group is harassing the father after his son’s confrontation with them. This is called harassment, intimidation and abuse of power. Let us remember that this is Texas and the USA and so I will not be surprised if the landowner loses. What then, I ask? Its well past time our youth wake up and fight for human rights else they may find themselves without any. Not good.

    • NobodysaysBOO | March 12, 2018 at 10:20 am | Reply

      watch your BACK !!!!

      • Dear nobody, what do you imply with your comment? Your comment is par for the course for comments you do not like? I would bet the landowner gets your type of comments and worse. You, mr nobody, are a bad example of the human race. Learn to love and respect others. Good day.

  3. lightingstrikesthrice | March 12, 2018 at 6:31 am | Reply

    Hilarious. How often do Cartels use private land? For every vehicle stopped for dope at the border, ten more roll through. It is a joke. Does this stop the State from doing any trafficking what so ever? No, just theater, just more intrusion and control by the kakistocracy. Plus, public federal citizens don’t ‘own’ land, the buildings are their responsibility yes, but the central banks and controlling families ‘own’ the land for the debt of the State. Why debt is introduced, so that the State can give power over to private individuals/parties/societies/etc. Pretty simple. Why the 14th Amendment was introduced in the first place. Great article, and showing the mind set of these so called ‘protectors’.

  4. Cameras like that are what 10-ga shotguns with 00 shot are designed for!

  5. anticriminals | March 12, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Reply

    I learned a long time ago that this isn’t government; it is organized crime that has no respect for anyone nor their rights. Good luck trying to win in those crooked courts.

  6. semper veritas | March 12, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Reply

    Why the hell don’t these agents use such aggressive tactics in the sanctuary cities? Leave peaceful honest citizens alone. Go after real criminals, including politicians who obstruct justice.

  7. Grace by Faith | March 12, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Reply

    This looks like another example of people scratching their heads in disbelief that this stuff is happening, when the truth is, it happened to us a long time ago and no one bothered to tell us. Well, it’s out now, everything they’ve ever done on legal paper is out thanks to the internet, and just a simple peruse of treaties, congressional record and case law proves everything they’re saying now are lies to cover-up past misdeeds and high crimes.

    I think what we’re witnessing a lot with these recent boisterous displays of unconstitutional power is the creation of new, plausible, paper trails so they don’t have to face what they’ve already done to us. They’ve had all this power for over 100 years, but they’ve never really acted on it to keep the illusion going strong that we’re free. Truth is, the opposite is true. We are slaves, and if that no-longer secret ever hits mainstream, they’d be in big trouble because the military and cops would go after them and protect us and our property. Check out the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1933, US citizens are named specifically as the enemy due to the bankruptcy in 1933, and bound to them in their service to pay their non-existent debt.

    We are slaves, and their color of law world slaves can own no property because we are property. So according to the fed, this poor man does not own that land, and that’s why the feds go there whenever they damn well please and do whatever they want. Read carefully the deed to the property you think is yours. You are listed as a tenant. You are a user occupying federal property only. Senate Document 43, 73rd Congress 1st session. January, 1934.

    March 9, 1933 – Ownership (legal title) of all property is in the State; individual ‘ownership’ is only equitable (user) title. Use must be in accordance with law and subordinate to the necessities of the State.

    “The ultimate ownership of all property is in the state; individual so-called `ownership’ is only by virtue of government, i.e., law, amounting to a mere user; and use must be in accordance with law and subordinate to the necessities of the State.” – Senate Document No. 43, “Contracts payable in Gold” written in 1933.

    “Therefore, the U.S. citizens residing in one of the states of the union, are classified as property and franchises of the federal government as an “individual entity.” Wheeling Steel Corp. v. Fox, 298 U.S. 193, 80 LEd. 1143, 56 S.Ct. 773. March 10, 1936.

    “Capitis Diminutio Maxima (meaning a maximum loss of legal status) – The highest or most comprehensive loss of legal status. This occurred when a man’s condition was changed from one of freedom to one of bondage, when he became a slave. It swept away with it all rights of citizenship and all family rights.” This is your name in all capital letters, when you see it on an ID or bank card, that’s your slave ID.

    Queen Elizabeth has zero loss of legal status, that’s why she only signs her first name with one capital letter. There are several statuses, Capitis Diminutio Maxima – JOHN DOE (slave), Capitis Diminutio Media – John DOE (medium loss of legal status), and Capitis Diminutio Minima – John Doe (minimal loss of legal status).

    • Grace by Faith | March 13, 2018 at 12:01 am | Reply

      One more thing, these unconstitutional actions by many federal agencies could also be done to test how far their agents will go to trample our rights. The peons on the ground like those who showed up at this man’s ranch don’t know the truth, so how far will they go? Pretty damn far when they believe their authority to do so is real (it’s not, it’s color of law, not real law). What would happen if they found out they didn’t really have any valid authority? Reminds me of the Milgram experiment and that new Netflix mentalist show where people actually committed murder because people they had just met told/convinced them to. It was of course a fake set-up, but three out of four subjects pushed someone off a roof with the intent to kill them.

      • Thanks Sir Grace. Your comments are always welcomed as they are a good source of knowledge enrichment for me. Adios.

        • Grace by Faith | March 14, 2018 at 10:04 am | Reply

          Thanks, FREEPH, and I’m a Ma’am, not a Sir. 😉 Cheers~

          • My sincere apology about that. I did not know. You are smart, to the point and resourceful with your information and comments. P.S. I feel honored to receive your reply .From one warrior to another, thanks again.

          • Grace by Faith | March 15, 2018 at 10:14 am |

            No worries, it happens all the time for some reason! lol Thank you for the kind words and encouragement. 😉

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