Boulaalam case dismissed

mono_courthouse_10-08.jpgLast July, Youssef Boulaalam, a resident of Cardiff-By-The-Sea who was vacationing in Mono County, grew nervous when two Mono Sheriff’s Officers followed him out of Travertine Springs and eventually stopped him on Highway 395. They wanted to search his car. They seized a loaded gun and arrested the man. Now, after finding there was no probable cause to stop Boulaalam in the first place and no evidence, the Court has dismissed the weapons case against him.

Attorney Allen Berrey had filed a claim against Mono County that alleged civil and constitutional rights violations connected with the traffic stop and search of Youssef Boulaalam’s car and his arrest. Two Mono Sheriff’s officers claimed they thought the man was under the influence; but after they followed him and stopped him, they did not investigate his sobriety. Instead, they searched his car. He told them there was a handgun in his pack back.

Attorneys Doug Buchanan and Berrey filed a motion to suppress the firearm evidence based on the argument that there was no probable cause to stop their client and to search his car. Judge Mark Magit agreed.

Initially, Assistant District Attorney David Anderson said the DA’s office would consider if the Judge’s decision would be appealed. Monday, Attorney Allen Berrey said that Mono Superior Court dismissed the case against Boulaalam and that the District Attorney would not appeal the Court’s February order suppressing all evidence from the July traffic stop. Berrey said that as a result the DA was “unable to proceed to trial.”



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39 Responses to Boulaalam case dismissed

  1. Wayne Deja March 17, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    …And now….duh..duh…duh……THE LAWSUIT for millions of $$$$$$$ !!!!

    • Wayne Deja March 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      …..and I should add…..which he will lose….maybe a bad decision by Law Enforcement how they handled the traffic stop and then an arrest……but not something that warrants a big lawsuit and a bunch of free tax-payers $$$$.

      • Benett Kessler March 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

        Geeezzzz, Wayne. The guy has not filed a lawsuit.

        • High & Dry March 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

          Benett could you please update us on the status of the lawsuit filed by William Crosby against the county, the toml and others?

      • Pedro March 18, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

        An attorney will only take it to court if they think it is a solid case or possibly if payed upfront. Civil rights cases can take hundreds of hours of work and are hard to win. Jury can award compensation for actual damages and possibly punitive damages to plaintiff.
        Judge can award attorney fees if plaintiff prevails in proving civil rights violations. Those tax dollars are well spent in defending every citizen’s rights and freedoms, and in sending a message that law enforcement is not above the law. Law enforcement that abuses civil rights are the ones wasting your tax dollars.

  2. Disgruntled citizen March 17, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Saw that coming…

    What’s the recourse for the officers??? Hopefully termination!!!

    Isn’t one of the officers still in his probation period also??

  3. Trouble March 17, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    I hope the police decide they need to play by the rules the next time they get bored!

  4. Dunce Club March 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    This is classic! Guess that “supplemental report” the DA asked for just didn’t quite cover up the two sherrifs poor law enforcement skills this time!

    Good for him! Glad someone was smart enough to stand up to this county. It is seriously lacking professionalism especially the Sheriff’s department and the DA’s office. This case is a prime example of how their “good ole boy” ways can ruin people’s lives. We need law enforcement that respects everone’s civil rights and this is proof that it isnt happening. Something definitely needs to change! Please remember this on June 3rd. This case is a very serious example of why Mono needs new blood and someone that actually has knowledge of the job and not someone that got it handed down to them the shady Mono way.

  5. Really? March 17, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    It’s hard to believe that the DA would drop this case when the evidence was found to have been seized illegally!

    The real question is, why would the DA file this fatally flawed case in the first place? Is it because most people get the public defender who are experts in talking their clients into taking a plea, and the DA is used to having people roll over?

    I guess it pays to hire a real attorney.

    How is it in this case, with no reasonable suspicion for the car stop, that it was approved all the way up the chain of command in the Sheriff’s Department, and filed on by the DA? The reasonable suspicion for the stop was not added until six months later in a supplemental report.

    Is this an isolated incident or SOP?

    • sugar magnolia March 18, 2014 at 7:49 am #

      unfortunately, it is clearly SOP for the current regime of Mono County Sheriff dept. They exemplify everything wrong with LEO these days. The long held doctrine of ‘protect and serve’ is no longer anywhere in their thought process.

  6. Meet the Simpletons March 18, 2014 at 6:26 am #

    I can tell you why both the DA and the Sheriff’s Department both approved of this, nothing ever happens to them for any of their actions or wrongdoings. There is no one governing these agencies and they cover for each others mistakes.

    When a child has no repercussions guess what they keep misbehaving until the are out of control which is the point Mono County is at right now. Both of these agencies need to be looked at with a fine tooth comb!

    Finally there is some light being shed on how this county has been operating for years. “The you lie and I will swear to it” process isn’t getting it anymore. Funny everytime a judge or attorney from out of the area takes a case from Mono County these lies come out and how shady they operate! Then you have the rocket scientist Mono County Council that will claim the judge is biased…. nah they just know the law and what laws are being broken daily! Get a clue already, the ship is sinking!

    • Gistine March 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

      I wish I could like your post a thousand times. Especially the part of covering “each other’s mistakes.” I can relate to both Madrid and Boulaalam quite well. My experience with those in power is they choose to turn a blind-eye and they’ll defend the perpetrator(s)/employees to the teeth even though they know of their guilt. They have to stick together, lest they set a precedent. However, they are all complicit in the end. It all starts at the top.

  7. SB March 18, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    His rights were violated in Mono County and he proved it in court.

    Good for Mr. Boulaalam

  8. Mongo March 18, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    Out of control small towns are somewhat common.
    It looks like this corrupt city in Florida may get dissolved.

    • Economy per region March 18, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      As some regional areas’ economy gets progressively worse and worse to where only the wealthiest can survive, be prepared for more and more of self-servitude, greed, and cronyism from our elected officials who have all the power.

      Great Depression II

  9. Ken Warner March 18, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    And yet, Boulaalam was driving around with two loaded guns within easy reach. If the cops had only given him a field sobriety test, the case would not have been dismissed.

    This is the best part: He told them there was a handgun in his pack back.

    Justice served!!!

    • Benett Kessler March 18, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      The rifle in his car was not loaded.

      • Slow Draw Mongo March 18, 2014 at 10:58 am #

        Just FYI for you gun enthusiasts; if you have a loaded magazine that is not in the gun it is still considered a loaded firearm under the law. Also, a handgun must be transported in a locked case, unloaded and with the breech open. A rifle may be carried in the car unloaded. You may carry a loaded non-concealed firearm while hunting or hiking with a hunting license in a hunting area.
        You may carry a loaded gun at your business, in your home, and at your campsite.
        According to the Cal-Guns site, Inyo county is a shall issue area for concealed handgun permits; simply apply and attend the instructional course.
        Typically, sparsely populated rural law enforcement appreciates having trained armed citizens because it can take quite a bit of time for an officer to get to the scene of a crime.

        • Slow Draw Mongo March 18, 2014 at 11:16 am #

          Then again, gun laws change all the time, it is incumbent on the individual to know the law for themselves.

        • Wayne Deja March 18, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

          Slow draw Mongo….Thanks for the info….I always heard that in Inyo County it was very difficult to obtain a CCW……not that most citizens up here have a need to carry a weapon,but nice to have just to cover your butt in a case such as this Boulaalam thing that happened….or if you happen to be on a hike out in the sticks and get “talked to” by a DFW or USFS Law Enforcement officer..but are you sure about that part saying a pistol has to be in a lock-box with the breech open while transporting in a vehicle? What I’ve always done,and been told is the pistol itself has to be in the trunk of a car or the bed of the truck with the magazine apart from the weapon….or if the pistol is in the cab of the vehicle the magazine has to be in the truck bed or the trunk of a car….as long as they are seperate from eachother….gonna check on that with ICSO so I don’t end up with a photo of myself and a story about my arrest on the Sierra Wave website sometime.If that were to happen I can only imagine the comments written….

          • Mongo March 18, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

            Better call and find out…

        • Tim March 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

          If the firearm is of a type that can be reasonably concealed it should be in a locked container and unloaded. Ammunition should be stored separately, even if in magazines. The general rule is that you want the ammo, especially if in magazines, in a separate container stored away from the handgun. I would fully recommend that you do so since if you get pulled over seeing loaded mags or loose ammo generally bugs the hell out of cops, raising their alert levels.

          Rifles can be transported similarly, unloaded. When I transport rifles, I have the unloaded rifles in lockable case/bag in the back of my truck while keeping the ammo in a bag in the front of the truck.

          The thing I’ve learned working with law enforcement is to never volunteer information to a cop on a traffic stop. Be polite answer basic questions but other than that, nothing else. If they ask if they can search your car, tell them no. Make them come up with probable cause to search it. If everything is out of sight or obviously secured if they decide to search they better be arresting you for something or had a police dog sniff it out, who current on their POST mandated training and testing for searching the particular type of item searched for. People think that they are getting done quicker with the stop by going along with all of the requests to search but the LEO can only detain you for a “reasonable” time. In the municipality I currently work with that is about 15 to 20 minutes.

          I have a police department ID and a LEO in the eastern sierra tried to pull that same BS with me, to the point that his sergeant called my agency’s watch commander. My watch commander, when finding out they had detained me for 45 minutes, told them to pound sand and they are trying to make something out of nothing…and I didn’t have anything in my car that would have been remotely suspicious. I just don’t like having yahoo county cops tearing through my truck…

          • Trouble March 19, 2014 at 5:24 am #

            Thanks for all your advise Tim. My advise to you is to support our second amendment rights to bare arms and help stop all these foolish laws you refer to. At least free speech is alive and well here today.

      • Ken Warner March 18, 2014 at 11:17 am #

        My mistake. Since law enforcement is so contentious, maybe we should not have a police force. We could crowd source justice.

        • Pedro March 19, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

          The court metes out justice, not the police. Got a problem with that Ken?

        • Trouble March 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

          Just so you know Ken, I gave one thumbs up. I think that’s a great idea!

          • Ken Warner March 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

            People take themselves way too seriously. At the same time, the bloggers here are indeed crowdsourceing justice.

    • SB March 18, 2014 at 10:05 am #

      Not true Ken, had they given him a sobriety test and he passed they would still have no right to search his car.

      • Tim March 18, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

        Correct. They would either have to get permission or have PC to arrest, at which point they can search incident to arrest…in this case the Mono deputies didn’t even have a valid reason to pull the guy over, let alone search. Which is something taught in academies before they become cops, and pounded into their heads during their training, as long as their trainers are smarter than a rock.

        Since they filed a claim with the county, the county can respond and accept the claim or fight it. When they decide to decline it, it will be interesting to see those deputies names on the federal lawsuit. And all for something rather basic to the general abilities of a cop.

      • Trouble March 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

        Bull SB, if the cops follow the rules! this guy is spending his money locally and enjoying our great fishing. instead he is fighting Barney fFive for his life.

    • Bemused March 18, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      Just a few miles to the East (NV) loaded guns in cars are legal. I’ve casually disclosed mine to LEOs there and they couldn’t have cared less.

      Gun possession restrictions do next to nothing…other than make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens that is.

  10. 2 cents March 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    This has been going on for decades in Mono county. Good to see the right thing being done for change. Very rare for the little guy to win in Mono county!

    • Rick O'Brien March 18, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

      One things for sure…things are gonna change, come June 3rd.

    • Gistine March 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      You are correct. Believe me, there’s more to come. Remember, those chickens are coming home to roost. It’s about to get even more interesting.

  11. Highaltitudecruiser March 18, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    Slow draw mongo… It is not legal to carry a loaded gun in your vehicle with a hunting license on any public roadway. Paved or dirt. However it is legal to drive with a loaded weapon on private property.

    • Slow Draw Mongo March 19, 2014 at 7:46 am #

      Thanks H.A.C.
      I missed that because I am slow.

  12. American patriot March 18, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    your way outside the reason for the constitution! If your serious, your crazy! I guess we should just move to Russia, or maybe you should, you would be more at home there! Your supporting a police state! Guess what, your in America, land of the free! Can’t believe your statements! Give up your rights just because of what?

    Based on Your opionion, we should produce our papers at every checkpoint and give up our freedom! Your as anti American as it gets! Go back to school! No need to reply you lost everybody!

    If a person is pulled over, probable cause is needed! If the initial probable cause is not substantiated the ititial investigation is over! Sorry have a nice day!

    In your version” sorry I’m not going to investigate the reason I pulled you over! Can I search your car because? Of what! Nothing!

    Support the system not those that abuse it!

    • Wayne Deja March 20, 2014 at 7:34 am #

      American Patriot……Alright already….Who is your “move to Russia” rant directed at ?…Don’t see ANY posts defending Law Enforcement’s actions on this one….they made some mistakes involving the search,but it still doesn’t make it legal to carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle.


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