If I were an Evanston police officer, I would arrest on the spot any Utah
enforcement person taking down names and descriptions. The charge: loitering.
My first priority would be to help the people who paid my salary---the business
people---not help Utah enforce its local fireworks laws.
UHP would be doing far more to protect the state if they were equally aggressive
in going after illegal people and those who smuggle them into Utah.
So how would the Evanston guys feel about Utahns coming over the border to break
Wyoming law? Say, fishing or hunting without a Wyoming license? This is hypocrisy. If your business is based on illegal activity, you need a
new business. Quit whining.
Guess Evanston police just need to start enforcing the no loitering laws against
these "undercover" officers. Which branch of Utah law enforcement is this- the
UHP. Established to aid and protect stranded citizens in trouble on the
streets, now harassing people as they cross the border without breaking any
vehicle movement law. Guess everyone needs something to do on slow
holidays-even the UHP.
How is such a sting operation "protecting" Utahns? I don't need such protection.
I would prefer a handgun to protect myself.
With a predominant religion influencing the laws and law enforcement in Utah.
People in Utah see everything in terms of black and white. Right or wrong. True
or false. Us vs them. The UHP tactics in this case are just an extension beyond
state boundaries of this.You must remember that the UHP is the same
agency that had its own drunk driving skeletons a few years ago. Its largely a
"do as I say," not "a do as I do" organization.All it would take is
one unreasonable search and seizure attempt by the UHP and a lawsuit and these
tactics would end.
why are the fireworks legal most every where but Utah anyway. Some activist
group got our politicians to pass it. We should put it up for a vote and let
the people decide. I agree arrest the officers and let the governor of Utah get
them out of jail. These are the same people stopping all motorcycles leaving
We need a beer party movement to free adult Utah beer drinkers from the tyranny
of 3.2 beer. Beer spoils if its not stored cold. Utah's beer drinkers risk
paying high prices in government run stores to buy bad beer.
This is so funny, and fun, to watch all of these little "situations" that we get
ourselves into. Oh, what a great day!
This is just more cops being bullies. In spending time in Wyoming and at the
Wyoming border the UHP is ignoring real issues within in the state that are a
much greater threat to Utahns. The priorities are all screwed up... but then it
is much easier to target the average unarmed and "soft" citizens that to conduct
an investigation against a criminal that may be a threat to the law enforcement
officer as well as public safety.
re: rmkYou'll see why the fireworks are illiegal when countless wild
fires are started this summer.Also, for what it is worth, these
fireworks would also be illegal in Iliinois and Iowa. I would know. I lived in
these two states during 2009-1010.
to American Citizen: the Wyoming business are NOT, i repeat NOT, based upon
illegal activities. Do not disparage them. The "illegal" act is Utahns going
into Wyoming to buy fireworks that are banned in Utah. It is not the business
owners at fault here, it is the Utah individuals. That said, this "sting" is
stupid. What next, UHP staked out in Idaho writing down Utah license plates and
then stopping people in Utah to see if they purchased a lottery ticket? Guess
UHP would want to build a fence around Utah borders to keep us in and keep the
"bad guys" out. This is a joke and the wimpy UHP spokesperson should find a
better tag line than "its for the good and safety of the utah people."
Puhhleassse, there are more serious things that are effecting my safety than
Wow, what a bunch of anti law inforcements people. Just obey the law and you
won't have any problems. If you don't like the law then use legal means to get
it changed. If you are so against Utah's laws then move to Evanston and live
happly ever after.
If the UHP organization were really doing right, it would be honest about its
operation. The article quotes a UHP official saying, "All of the enforcement
took place in Utah." That's clearly not true. The UHP officers who sit in
unmarked cars in Evanston and take down license plate numbers are a key part of
the "enforcement" operation.
You guys would be the first ones screaming if there was a fire threatening your
neighborhood due to a fireworks violation."Why aren't they doing
more to protect us?" you'd whine."The police are negligent in
letting people use these illegal fireworks," you'd moan.Face it.
This is less about what went on over the 4th than it is about you having one
more chance to whine and express your baseless outrage against the government,
the church or whatever it is you hate so much.I'm just glad we have
people running things that are willing to do their jobs instead of waiting for
the inevitable property damage and death that would result from these illegal
Solution: Plan on spending the day in Bear Lake. If you are from the SLC area
or Ogden area go to Bear Lake via Evanston. Arrive at Evanston in the morning,
buy your porn, booze, or fireworks then go have fun at Bear Lake. After a
raspberry shake then head on back home via logan. Problem solved! I guess you
could also go home via monte cristo if you cannot spend the day in bear lake. I
don't think I've ever seen a highway patrolman on the road to Randolph. There
are ways around than just going directly to Evanston, buying fireworks, then
heading home immediately. Any Utahn that does that deserves to get them
What make me laugh is the same Conservatives wanting "freedom" to smuggling
illegal fireworks into the State, and cry foul when when it's about
immigrants.HYPOCRITES.Show some integrity.
Does UHP really have the authority to do this? What if the Utah driver was
driving THROUGH utah to Nevada, Arizona, or New Mexico? Is it the
use of these fireworks or the mere possession of these fireworks that is illegal
Wyoming is one of the few states that allow pretty much all kind of fire works.
Most states outlaw any of the kind that shoot up into the air and explode.
It’s not just Utah. Nevada (although you can purchase off the 15 at the
Indian Reservation), Arizona, Idaho (although they allow bottle rockets, just
not the exploding kind). In most jurisdictions outlaw fireworks.With that said though, I think spying in unmarked cars by the UHP and then
pulling them over as soon as they cross the state line is STILL on the verge of
illegal search and seizure. I would insist I was just looking and didn't
actually purchase any, and then refuse to let them search my car. If they
threaten with impound until they get one, just say fine, I'll call my Attorney,
and let them know you've got all day. Because in reality, they don't.
Just obey the law and quit transporting illegal stuff into the state, whether it
be fireworks or alcohol. Shame on Utahns for not living the law; and if you
have a problem with the law then run for office and change it. Simple fix to a
To me...this is no different than your local city (Draper comes to mind) that
has excess police coverage in the mornings when everybody is just trying to get
to work. They have their speed traps to catch Mr. Hard worker so that they can
raise revenue. Why don't they have that officer working on hard
crimes...particulary theft? Because theft doesn't help the city or state
coffers...Same with Evanston....it's all about the money...not
fighting real crime!!!!
"This is hypocrisy. If your business is based on illegal activity, you need a
new business. Quit whining. "----But it's legal activity in Wyoming.
The merchants just sell fireworks, they have no control over where they are
ultimately being used.
Might be nice if Wyoming fireworks would stop sending flyers to homes in Utah.
They know perfectly well it's illegal here, so why are they soliciting our
business? Just sayin... And no, I don't want to change our laws to
make that kind legal here. Too much fire danger. This year may be particularly
bad come the end of summer, with the wet spring we had the weeds and undergrowth
will have grown more than usual.
American Citizen, you cannot blame a legitimate business for the misconduct of
its customers. Yes, they might base their business on the fact that many of
their customers come from Utah, but that is their right. That is
like blaming pharmaceutical companies for those who abuse their prescription
drugs or gun manufactures for those who mishandle their weapons. What happened
to personal responsibility and placing the blame on the person who is illegal
transporting fireworks across the border. It is not illegal to buy fireworks in
Wyoming, it is illegal to bring them into Utah, whether they are from Utah,
Wyoming, or Timbuktu. The businesses in Wyoming are not bringing them into
Utah, the people that buy them are doing so.
Re: Roscoe @ 10:54 a.m.They "just sell fireworks" on the border? You mean
they thought, "I'd love to own a fireworks shop in Evanston just because. Oh,
Utah outlaws the fireworks I sell and I'm within a short distance of the border?
Well isn't that fortunate!" It may not be illegal but it sure isn't ethical.
They know very well that the bulk of the booze and fireworks they sell are
crossing state lines ilegallay. If that's how they want to make their living,
and if they can sleep at night, then I fail to see why anyone should have
sympathy for them if UHP is enforcing Utah law.
The whole point of having laws is for the safety of all. The law on fireworks is
meant to make everyone safer (wildfires, firwork accidents). Speed limits are
meant to make all drivers and passengers traveling on our roads safer. If you
disagree with these laws (whether it be border checkpoints, stings, or speed
traps) then why don't you lobby to have such laws changed? Remember, in a
democracy, the majority makes the laws. Either work to change that majority
opinion or move somewhere else where your opinions might be the majority.
Otherwise, stop whining about it!
What grounds are they using to search my vehicle? I think it would be easy to
prove illegal search and seizure. They would have to admit why they believed
that I possessed illegal material. I would fight this. I am
usually pro-law enforcement, but this is above and beyond what is reasonable.
Catch someone using illegal fireworks, arrest them. That is fine. Spy on
someone outside your jurisdiction then do an illegal vehicle stop is wrong and
against everything the West is supposed to stand for. Illegal
fireworks are illegal due to fire risk and increased injury risk. They probably
should be illegal for these reasons. But, they are not illegal in Wyoming. So
the storekeepers are breaking no laws by selling them. This
practice by UHP is just plain wrong, no matter how you look at it. It is an
example of police state mentality gone wrong.
Re: davidjayIt's not just illegal to use these types of fireworks in
Utah, it's illegal to possess them. If they have probable cause to search your
vehicle, they will. It's called a warrant. If you decline to allow them to
search the vehicle, you can be sure it won't be long for them to obtain a legal
warrant, if they have probable cause.By the way, UHP's practices are
just as legal as the stores in Wyoming selling fireworks that you're defending.
Don't want to get caught? Don't possess in Utah. Pretty simple.P.S.
If you really need to get your firework fix, why not drive to Evanston, light
some off, and then come home? The problem I have is all the illegal fireworks I
see going off in my neighborhood all the time. Do I believe they are inherently
dangerous? Not really. But they're illegal. What exactly are we teaching our
kids? That it's okay to break the laws you don't agree with?
Put up barriers around the paring lots they can't see over. Most of the problem
Please.... there is nothing wrong with what has happened. The UHP wants to
enforce the laws that Utah has. Whats wrong with that? And
Wickster77 your Idaho Lottery straw man example is hilarious. It's not illegal
to posses a lottery ticket in Utah. Any "gambling" being done with regards to
the lottery ticket is done at the time of purchase, in Idaho where its legal.
Utah doesn't prohibit its citizens from going somewhere other than Utah to
gamble. No laws have been violated therefore no need for any sort of law
enforcement.Evanston shopkeepers need to shut-up and grow-up. Utah
enforcing its laws (within its own borders no less)is nothing for you to whine
about. The fact that there were some parts of the sting that took place in
Evanston is irrelevant. Cooperation between state law enforcement agencies is a
long standing precedent that no one will get in the way of.
I have a problem with any police force spying on me. I am a law abiding
citizen. I don't shoot off any fireworks at any time. I have never been to
Evanston. The issue isn't personal, it is an issue of being an American.This is wrong. This is a step toward a police state. Police states are
states where the police assume you are guilty and can do whatever they wish to
you. In America you are innocent until proven guilty. You have certain rights
as set forth in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. What is the next step
in this effort. Maybe the police should put a camera in my bedroom
to see what sexual practices I enjoy. I'm sure, I do something illegal or
immoral according to someones moral code.
@scambuster:The problem as I see it, is not that they are enforcing
the law on the Wyoming transaction and therefore, they are not enforcing a law
on the merchant. So, the the only one paying the penalty is the lawbreaker in
Utah.I would be far more sympathetic to the Wyoming merchants if
they weren't actually soliciting this behavior from Utahns. While, they can say
that they aren't doing anything illegal. They are are complicent in the
situation.Let's be honest, the point is their bottom line not the
legality or illegality of what is going on.@LDS LIBERAL:The comparison is non sequiter and not valid as support for your point which
is well taken. So with that caveat I agree with you, so If I may I add to your
point LDS LIBERAL: guys quit your whining, if you break the law, you will and
should pay the price.
Unscrupulous Wyoming businesses can whine about revenue decline all they want.
Witless Utah rednecks can disagree with UHP's enforcement policy and priorities
all they want.But UHP's actions, both in Wyoming and Utah, were all
I live in CO, where we also have strict firework laws. The same thing happens
at the WY/CO border.
Gotta be careful of the Utah Communist Party.If everything was not
made illegal in Utah by the Utah Communist Party, residents would not need to go
to Wyoming to make purchases. Freedom in Utah would solve the issue.
I like the idea of writing loitering citations to the cops sititing in their
cars watching for Utah lawbreakers.It would be even funnier though
if some of the local charter bus companies would start making daily trips to
Evanston so Utah citizens could: buy smokes (.62 cents per pack tax)booze,
lottery tickets, fireworks, and (isn't there a huge porn store there also?)
klepsydra: Shhh!!. Don't say that too loudly because bigots like The Canuck
(9:46am) won't be able to blame all their problems on the LDS church. We
certainly don't want to say anything, true or not, that flies in the face of
Hey Wyoming, if you want your state to burn down your state full of nothing but
grass and shacks then that is ok. We in Utah have nice homes and property to
You know, if people could always be responsible and sensible about safety, we
wouldn't need laws to protect the majority from the few idiots. But there's
always going to be some fool who never stops to think that setting off some fun
fireworks (or a campfire, or burning brush, etc.) in a rural area will start a
wildfire. After all, that's just a stupid law...
There is nothing that Evanston has that Utah residents cannot legally buy in
Utah. And when they buy locally, the tax money helps UTAH.I applaud
thus UHP for this crackdown. If a fireworks store or a liquor store in Evanston
exists primarily to facilitate Utahns' illegal activities then the stores should
not be in business. I hope they soon are not.
Is it legal to go to a brothel in Nevada, pay, and then bring the lady back to
Utah for the service?How is this any different then fireworks?Is the
UHP sitting in the parking lot looking for this?If you live in Utah, and
you want to see something blow up, then shoot a toilet with your gun.In
Utah, that is apparently legal
Until recently is was legal to drive with an open alcohol container in Wyoming.
When you cross a state line it is ILLEGAL. SO those Wyomans can stop their
I agree with Evanston residents and businesses!The UHP has no business
conducting stings in Wyoming! Period!
Good grief. Do our UHP troopers have nothing better to do? They are employees of
the people of the State of Utah. We can, if take the time, work through the
legislature to make this cowardly behavior illegal. But we should not have to.
The UHP should be looking for drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, speeders, etc.
This should be classified as "goofing off" when evaluations are done. This is
embarrassing to me as a Utahan. Every UHP trooper I have ever spoken to (even
when I've been bad) has been professional, friendly, fair, and a credit to Utah.
They are better than this.I have never purchased anything at Phantom
Fireworks, but next year I think I'll buy a bunch of stuff there. Then go to the
local Burger King and load all the contraband into a friend's vehicle. Then
proceed home to Utah, hopefully to get pulled over. After bidding "Have a nice
day!" to the frustrated trooper, I can set the contraband off somewhere safe.
If you REALLY want to do the job of protecting people and enforcing public
safety, put those unmarked cars outside of Utah bars, and then pull over the
drunk drivers. I don't care if people go home and drink straight alcohol out of
a 50-gallon drum--but keep it off the road! Also, minimize the number of repeat
offenders by cooperating with the INS and sending the illegals back south of the
border--regardless of what Burbank and the other babies think about being
politically correct and advocating for the cheap-liberal-votes lobby and the
cheap-labor lobby. Stop the stuff that REALLY costs us and REALLY hurts us, and
forget about the firecrackers.
People who want the government to strictly enforce the law regarding the
immigration conduct of others but do not want the government to strictly enforce
laws regarding their own conduct are HYPOCRITES saying, "Do as I say, not as I
Some suggestions:1. Go to Evanston and visit a "targeted" fireworks
store. Carry in a couple of duffle bags. Purchase a few boxes of sparklers and
carry them out to your car. Nothing illegal for use in Utah.2.
Drive directly to the Utah border and pray that UHP pulls you over. Don't
speed, illegal lane change or anything. No moving violation excuse.3. Wait for the UHP trooper to tell you that you've been pulled over for
illegal fireworks. When he asks to see them. Tell him no. Demand a warrant.
Waste their time. When they get one, they open your trunk to see sparklers.
Videotape it.4. File suit against UHP for illegal arrest without
proper evidence. Provide videotape to all the local tv stations.5.
Evanston should also create a new ordinance preventing anyone from using
binoculars or other lenses to "spy" on a business.6. Loitering laws
should be enforced.7. If an undercover cop is in the parking lot of
a business, that business should call the Evanston police and have them arrested
for trespassing and loitering.UHP will learn that it isn't worth the
cjhebgen, it sounds like your plan would waste a substantial amount of time and
money for anyone doing it. About 1.5 hours to drive to Evanston and about 1.5
hours back, if not stopped. If stopped, then add about an hour. Plus the cost
of the gas, plus the cost of filing the lawsuit. Plus the time it takes you to
file the lawsuit, file subpeona requests for the video shot by UHP, plus the
time taken up by the hearings.