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Joshua James
Joshua James

Airport 77 (1977)


After a long and distinguished career as one of the biggest stars of horror and fantasy films, Christopher Lee gained fresh fame with movie audiences as Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films, and as Darth Tyranus in the Star Wars epics Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). Christopher Lee began making movies in 1947. Lean and brooding, with a face that carried a bit of a cruel streak, Lee for many years played mostly villains and monsters, thanks in part to a long association with the United Kingdom's Hammer Films. His best-known role was the vampire Dracula, which he played in 10 films ranging from Dracula (1958) to Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) to Dracula and Son (1976). But his remarkable filmography included more than 250 films, including The Mummy (1959); The Hands of Orlac (1961); The Gorgon (1964); The Face of Fu Manchu (1962); The Devil Rides Out (1968); The Wicker Man (1973); The Three Musketeers (1973, co-starring Faye Dunaway); The Man With The Golden Gun (1974, with Roger Moore as Bond and Lee playing the titular assassin, Scaramanga); Airport '77 (1977, starring Jack Lemmon); and Sleepy Hollow (1999, with Johnny Depp). In 1977 he published his autobiography, Tall, Dark and Gruesome, and his career seemed to be on the wane. But in the 21st century he was introduced to a new generation of fans in the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings films. In the latter he played the villainous wizard Saruman in The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003). He reprised the role for the prequels The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014). He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2001 and then knighted in 2009.




Airport 77 (1977)



American Airlines Flight 492 originates in Chicago and terminates in New York LaGuardia Airport after a stop in Cincinnati. When they deplaned from Flight 492 at LaGuardia, on March 29, 1977, Carlos Westerbann-Martinez (hereinafter Westerbann) and Luis Angel Torres, two casually dressed Hispanics, glanced about the airport. It was the way in which they were looking around that first attracted the attention of Agent Arthur Rose and led him to conclude that they were nervous. Agent Rose had been assigned to LaGuardia Airport as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration narcotics detection program. Rose and his partner were there to observe passengers in order to "look for any suspicious traits . . . which we believe are traits that are exhibited by narcotics couriers." (Tr. 1.7). Among the factors that Rose was looking for are those contained in a Drug Courier Profile compiled by the Drug Enforcement Administration.[1] According to Agent Rose, these factors include (1) people travelling from a source city,[2] (2) people who are Hispanics (especially Mexicans), (3) people travelling long distances with little luggage, (4) people who are together but appear not to be together, and (5) people *693 who are nervous (and look around the airport in a suspicious manner). (Tr. 2.5, 2.58).


(7) At the airport the next morning the two men while waiting for the next flight remained apart and studiously avoided giving any appearance of knowing each other despite the fact that, as the agent was aware, the two men did know each other (the previous evening the agent had observed them speak together in Detroit prior to flying to New York, they had flown to New York on the same flight, had rejoined in New York after the flight, had then resumed their conversation, and of course had re-appeared the next morning to take the same return flight);


Many of the factors alleged in other cases to be part of the drug courier profile were neither mentioned nor present in this case. Among those factors are: (1) making a phone call immediately after arriving at the airport, United States v. Chamblis, supra; United States v. Endia Allen, 421 F. Supp. 1372 (E.D.Mich.1976); (2) exiting at a level of the airport where there is no access to public transportation, United States v. Chamblis, supra, (3) being the last person to deplane, United States v. Mendenhall, No. 6-80208 (E.D.Mich. Nov. 18, 1976); (4) changing planes or airlines en route without apparent justification, or taking a circuitous route, United States v. Mendenhall, supra; United States v. Daniels, No. 6-80613 (E.D.Mich. October 8, 1976); (5) entering a rest room for a brief period of time, United States v. Frost, No. 6-80842 (E.D.Mich. Sept. 30, 1976); (6) not having a ticket folder, United States v. Tyronne Allen, No. 76-471 (E.D.La. September 17, 1976); (7) travelling under an alias, United States v. Tyronne Allen, supra; United States v. Endia Allen, supra; United States v. Van Lewis, 409 F. Supp. 535 (E.D.Mich. 1976), rev'd sub nom., United States v. McCaleb, 552 F.2d 717 (6th Cir. 1977); (8) not having an FAA required name tag on luggage, United States v. Tyronne Allen, supra; (9) possessing a large quantity of cash, United States v. Pruss, supra; (10) paying for a plane ticket with small currency, United States v. Endia Allen, supra; United States v. Van Lewis, supra; (11) using a false telephone number to make airline reservations, United States v. Endia Allen, supra; (12) meeting known drug dealers, United States v. Endia Allen, supra.


Moreover, apparent nervousness in an airport is not necessarily a sign of suspicious behavior; it may result from an innate personality syndrome, or from a disorientation from fear of flying or from having disembarked at a strange airport. See United States v. Floyd, 418 F. Supp. 724, 728 (E.D.Mich.1976). Although "it is certainly possible that a trained narcotics agent could distinguish between a passenger glancing around nervously to escape detection and one who is merely disoriented in disembarking at a strange airport," this court must conclude, in light of all the circumstances present here, including the equivocal testimony of Agent Rose that "that distinction is not articulable enough to warrant an identification stop" without stronger corroborating factors than are present in this case. See United States v. Mico Rachelle Rogers, 436 F. Supp. 1 at 7. No. 6-80162 (E.D.Mich. July 15, 1976).


The danger in placing too much reliance on an agent's perception as to the nature of a person's attitude is that in the absence of stronger objective evidence than that present here, to do so would be to short-circuit the requirement of "specific and articulable facts and inferences therefrom to support an investigative stop." See Terry v. Ohio, supra. This court is not prepared to usher in the day in this country when, without stronger objective incriminatory evidence, any person may be subject to a police stop after arriving by plane in an airport merely because an agent subjectively concludes that repeated looking around is a manifestation of nervousness. It is not too difficult to see the eventual result of such a decision. When it becomes known that looking around will justify a conclusion of nervousness which in turn may justify an investigative stop, narcotics couriers will then deplane and proceed to their destinations without looking around. At that point, the government will presumably argue that people who look straight ahead after deplaning are subject to investigative stops. Cf. United States v. Mallides, 473 F.2d 859 (9th Cir.), reh. denied (1973) (occupants of automobile were "sitting very erect" and "did not turn to look at the marked patrol car as it passed"), 473 F.2d, at 860; United States v. Himmelwright, 551 F.2d 991, 992, n. 1 (5th Cir. 1977) (agent's *700 attention directed at defendant because she appeared "extremely calm"). If this result is eventually to occur, it will have to be based on the authority of another court; this court will not "rubber-stamp" the vague suspicion of nervousness in this case.


As damnable as drug traffic is, its regulation involves the protection of no special public interests like those at play in airport security. Regulation of drug traffic is achieved through enforcement of laws adopted by Congress which are similar to laws prohibiting bank robbery, bribery, or conspiracy. Thus, the court perceives no fundamental public interest at stake in routine enforcement of the drug laws which calls for the development of rules unique to airport drug searches. Accordingly, the government's rights in these cases must be tested against basic Fourth Amendment principles rather than by rules derived from an air piracy context. 041b061a72


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