Source: Idaho Press Tribune (Nampa)
ISP opens investigation into license plate incident
Washington man claims he was detained in Idaho, accused of transporting pot because his truck had Colorado plates
PAYETTE COUNTY — The Idaho State Police has opened an investigation regarding a man who claims he was pulled over on the Idaho side of the Oregon border simply for having Colorado license plates. “We would like to assure the citizens of Idaho and the visitors to our state that the Idaho State Police holds all of its employees to a high standard which includes following the Constitution of the United States and the laws and constitution of the State of Idaho,” ISP officials said in a prepared statement. Darien E. Roseen, 69, of Gig Harbor, Wash., was driving a Honda pickup with Colorado license plates in January 2013 when he stopped at a Payette County rest stop, according to an ISP incident report. Idaho State Police Trooper Justin Klitch stated in his report he became suspicious of the Honda when it changed lanes and made a turn without a proper signal. Klitch wrote the driver appeared be avoiding Klitch’s patrol car and followed the driver into the parking area. Klitch reported he could smell marijuana coming from the vehicle, but after Roseen was detained during an hours-long search by multiple officers, nothing illegal was found. According to the Denver Post, Klitch drove Roseen to the Payette County Sheriff’s Office in the back seat of the patrol car. Without Roseen’s consent, Fruitland City Police Department Officer Eric Christensen transported Roseen’s truck, according to the newspaper. Roseen filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, the Denver Post reports, claiming the vehicle’s Colorado license plates were what drew the trooper’s attention. “Assuming guilt based on a license plate — that’s just a violation of our civil rights,” Mark Coonts, one of three attorneys representing Roseen, told the Denver Post. In his report, Klitch wrote that he approached Roseen for failing to signal a turn and for striking two curbs. Roseen said he could not see the curbs underneath the January snow, the Denver Post reported. In his complaint, he stated that Klitch had asked him when he had last smoked marijuana. Roseen told Klitch he doesn’t use the drug and never has, according to the newspaper. “He was offended by his treatment — assuming that not only was he a user but that he was carrying marijuana into Idaho just based on the fact that he has Colorado license plates,” Coonts said. The Denver Post reports others have contacted a Boise-based law firm with similar stories. Representatives of the Idaho State Police say the matter is now an ongoing investigation, and can offer no further comment.