Comments about ‘Police drug search intrudes on husband's final moments with deceased wife’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 3 2013 7:10 p.m. MST

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Bountiful, UT

This story seems like some fiction writer is trying to paint a dark picture how things will be in the United States .. at some future time, but it isn't, it's the now reality, ... even the city manager showed no regard for what happened.

The poor guy's wife dies, and very shortly after this police come busting in insisting to get the dead wife's percription drugs. How did they know she just died? Since when do police bully themselves into people's homes just after a family member dies to collect the percription drugs the person was using? Since when don't police need a warrant i.e. probable cause to believe those drugs would have been sold or used illegally before they come busting in?

People, shouldn't be treated this way.

Wow, that was awful
Salt Lake City, UT

If this happened as the story portrays, then people should lose their jobs.
No way that anything like this is acceptable.

I hope their is a major punitive damage awarded that makes the city reconsider their ways.


Sadly a sign of the times, inexcusable behavior by police/government.

zippa dee doo utah

Thanks Dennis for the information. It seems that local, state and fed police can do no wrong and are not accountable for bad behavior under the name of pubic safety.

Layton, UT

I applaud Mr. Mahaffey for his willingness to hold the police accountable. This is outrageous behavior by the cops. It's not like people are dying left and right, and this is the sole means by which prescription drugs get sold illegally. That they were searching his home while the body is still there in the home, is absolutely outrageous, and his personal history clearly suggests he viewed drugs as purely medicinal in nature. They should nail someone to the wall for this one--it sound like the police in vernal need to learn that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around.

Give us a break and let the guy grieve the passing of his wife.



Salt Lake City, UT

One of the things I would press for in discovery is whether the drugs taken from the home were actually disposed of. This warrantless entry seems rife with abuse and fraud - and the officers who took the drugs must show that each and every pill taken was accounted for and destroyed.

This kind of intrusion and abuse of privacy seems more and more common.

Salt Lake City, UT

Where is the common sense Police?

Give a man a little authority and he thinks he can bully people.

Altamont, UT

The crime rate must be really low in Vernal if they have the time and manpower to respond to "dangerous" incidents like this one.

SomewhereIn, UT

If true, sounds like some butts in Vernal need to be kicked...to the curb

Santa Ana, CA

In my experience in California, when hospice is involved in a death and when there are strong medications like morphine, they make a short term appointment to secure and destroy the drugs. We had to crush all the pills and poured all the liquid morphine (street value $5000) into a diaper to render them useless. This was done with a hospice person, me and a neighbor to witness. But it wasn't done while we were in the process of removing my husband's remains.
There is purpose for doing this, but after midnight when the death was not suspicious nor were the individuals involved is pretty awful.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Beware of news articles (like this one) that only tell one side of the story. There's more going on here than meets the eye.

Cinci Man

A few years ago, a brother committed suicide by hanging himself inside my parents' tool shed. When my parents discovered him, they called 911. For the next two hours 9 police officers grilled my parents with the same questions, trying to trip them up, and they were told that they were under investigation for murder. For heaven's sake, they had just discovered their son dead. He weighed over 200 pounds and they thought it was logical that my 76 year old grandfather could carry him up a ladder and hang him. There was no probable cause. There was no evidence. There was no history. This was just standard procedure. They wouldn't even allow them near his body to spend any time grieving or caressing his arm or face. They couldn't tell him they loved him. That would have to wait. These officers could be put to better use at the airport frisking old ladies and babies and cripples. And there is not more to this story.

Bluffdale, UT

it is drug war which is against people and always has been. it is a issue of control by the most consevative people in our country to make you think and act like they do. the same people want more guns on the street. they peotected no one when they did this. someones house could have been robbed when they where there. a murder could have happened.
we wont let sex education be in school but children are molested all the time. why dont they bust down doors for child porn, or gang rape. or violence on the streets. mexico supplies us with drugs our gun companies sell then automatic rifles. paranoina rules our counntry.

Spanish Fork, UT

The story is pretty one sided. I know they said the city wouldn't make a comment because they hadn't see the complaint yet, but that's hardly covering both sides. Since the event happened in May, what harm would have been done had they waited and got more information on both sides. It clearly sounds like a violation of the elderly gentleman's rights, but again, we've only heard his side.

Vernal, UT

You just have to know our little police department here. They take a lot of time to do vehicle code enforcement (too loud, tires too wide, too-dark tinted windows, etc...) because not much else goes on in the city. When something major happens, the whole department shows up.

I've known Ben since he and his wife moved here. He is a soft-spoken, avid outdoors man that I would venture is telling the truth. He has no reason to do otherwise.

Yes, the story sounds one-sided, but it sounds plausible to me.

Highland, UT

This is pretty upsetting. I am against illegal drug use. But those responsible for controlling illegal drugs should never engage in behavior that is abusive to private citizens--just because they have a little authority in a smaller town where there is no one to check their behavior. We are getting one side of the story but if the account is accurate, the authorities in Vernal need a serious reality check about respecting people's rights.

West Jordan, UT

If Feinstein's Assault Weapon Ban legislation is passed we will be seeing this exact same thing playing out everyday when a gun owner passes away and the ATF comes to confiscate his/her "grandfathered" firearms. Welcome to the New America.


Ya know -- a hospice service/ dying at home is in our plans.

Now I know there will have to be a very detailed in-depth discussion with the hospice regarding respecting final moments and handling of any drug issues. (I am assuming that the hospice *is* the originator of contact to the outsiders)

This incident as described, is totally unacceptable.

Utah Girl
Vernal, UT

This sounds very believable to me. We live in Vernal, and are aware of the arrogance of some of the officers here. Not all...some are very public service oriented. But there are many who are very full of their own self-importance.

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