By  Posted January 28, 2016 In Blog

adam spicer.jpg

So. Lake Tahoe lawyer Adam Spicer

It is no secret that the cops think they are above the law.  However, when the Chief of Police is blatantly wrong about the law and completely rude and disrespectful to the community he is supposed to serve, something must be done.  Last week, I had the chance stand up and do something and I did.  Here is what happened…. 

First, a little background on the situation.  A defendant in a criminal case has the right to call witnesses in their own defense. 

The Bill of Rights is actually quite clear on that.  Further, the defendant can use the subpoena power of the court to compel witnesses to attend court.  Of course, if a defendant had to pay witnesses to come to court, then it wouldn’t really be a clear right to call witnesses.  That would not be an issue in civil cases where the Bill of Rights is not at stake, but the right is clear in criminal cases.

Some time ago, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department (SLTPD) decided they wanted to test this right.  It would be quite easy to incarcerate more people if the police couldn’t be forced to testify when called by a defendant.  Some time last year, I served a subpoena on the police department.  I was told the subpoena wouldn’t be accepted without payment for testimony.  Kindly, I said “no thank you” to the request for payment and informed the SLTPD that they had been served.  The case ended up resolving with a plea bargain so the issue was never tested.

Fast forward to January 2016 when I served subpoenas for two officers at SLTPD on behalf of a client.  Once again, I was asked to pay the fee for testimony.  I informed the front desk staff that I was serving subpoenas in a criminal case and no fee was required.  I was once again asked to pay and once again I kindly replied “no thank you.”  I was told that the subpoenas would not be accepted and I refused to take them back.

As I was packing my belongings and walking out, the front desk staff began yelling at me and telling me that “you had better not report to the Court that I have been served.”  While being yelled at, I calmly informed the staff that they are represented by the city attorney and could raise a motion to quash the subpoenas.

Brian Uhler

Local’s are calling for the ouster of disgraced SLTPD Chief Brian Uhler

After leaving the police department, I contacted the city attorney as a courtesy to warn them about the problem brewing on their hands.

informed the city attorney that they may want to file a motion to quash my validly served subpoenas and that I would be happy to get this issue before the court so the Judge could give us a ruling on this matter.  I was told the city attorney would look into the matter and get back to me.

After a few days go by without hearing anything, I received a letter from the Chief of Police Brian Uhler.  This is by far my favorite part of the story.

Not only does the letter incorrectly cite the law to support the Chief’s incorrect legal position, he goes on to insult me.  The Chief accuses me of wildly flinging papers at his front desk staff and yelling at them.  He called my behavior “rude and unprofessional.”  I am sure those who are familiar with my reputation and the reputation of SLTPD and specifically Chief Uhler are rolling on the floor laughing right now.

Once you are done laughing at the Chief’s outrageous claims, there is more to the story.  Chief Uhler writes in his letter that he is holding the subpoenas and will not deliver them to the subpoenaed officers without the payment his department is demanding.  I took this as a gift.  He actually gave me proof, in writing with his signature, that he is actively interfering with a lawful subpoena (court order).  We have a legal term for the Chief’s actions and that is ‘contempt’.

I replied to Chief’s Uhler’s accusatory and factually incorrect letter to let him know that he is misinformed about the law and his staff is lying to him about the facts of our interchange.  I even cited the law for the Chief to read himself and I let him know that he has an attorney who can file a motion to quash the subpoena on his behalf.  I also informed him that if the Officers are not present in court, I will ask the Judge to enforce the validly served subpoenas and I will ask for contempt sanctions against him personally.  I felt the fair sanction would be for Chief Uhler to pay my hourly rate for all the time I spent on this issue.  And, once again, as a courtesy I sent copies of the Chief’s letter and my reply to the city attorney.

Within hours, I received word form the city attorney that I was 100% correct on the legal issue and the city would not be challenging the subpoenas.  I was further told that the subpoenaed officers would be present in court and the city attorney will hold a training for SLTPD staff to teach them how to read and deal with subpoenas.  I am so happy that the police may actually learn something.  I am very glad to be responsible for the SLTPD staff to have to attend a training.  Although you would think being able to read “civil” vs. “criminal” would be a prerequisite to obtaining a job at SLTPD, that doesn’t seem to be the case and hopefully the training will cover these simple points.

As a champion for due process rights in South Lake Tahoe, any victory no matter how large or small is great for the citizens here and great for the Constitution in general.  Even though this issue was only in one case for one client, the outcome of this issue affects everyone in South Lake Tahoe.  I am happy that I could go to the mat for the people of South Lake Tahoe and the Constitution.  I would do it again in a minute for any of my clients.  My commitment to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights requires no less.

If you have questions regarding your Constitutional rights or you are facing criminal charges in California or Nevada, contact The Law Office of Adam T. Spicer today for a FREE CONSULTATION (530) 539-4130.


So. Lake Tahoe needs to implement a Citizen review board for So. Tahoe police internal affairs complaints.

sltpd complaint

Greetings So. Lake Tahoe City Council:
I am requesting an “agenda item” to be placed on the next city council meeting to address citizen complaints against the police. The city needs to implement a Citizen review board for So. Tahoe police internal affairs complaints. Complaints against SLTPD officers known as “internal affairs” complaints appear to be covered-up by the corrupt SLTPD.
Many cities in California have implemented citizen review boards and South Lake Tahoe is a major tourist destination. The locals also deserve accountability. My experience is that the SLTPD covers-up citizen complaints against their personnel.
This cover-up and white-washing must stop and there must be accountability and transparency in the SLTPD especially with the false arrests, police shootings, excessive force and neglect of SLTPD officers to follow State laws and withholding police reports from crime victims.
“In many communities in the United States, residents participate to some degree in overseeing their local law enforcement agencies. The degree varies. The most active citizen oversight boards investigate allegations of police misconduct and recommend actions to the chief or sheriff. Other citizen boards review the findings of internal police investigations and recommend that the chief or sheriff approve or reject the findings. In still others, an auditor investigates the process by which the police or sheriff’s department accept or investigate complaints and reports to the department and the public on the thoroughness and fairness of the process. Citizen oversight systems, originally designed to temper police discretion in the 1950s, have steadily grown in number through the 1990s. But determining the proper role has a troubled history. This publication is intended to help citizens, law enforcement officers and executives, union leaders, and public interest groups understand the advantages and disadvantages of various oversight systems and components. In describing the operation of nine very different approaches to citizen oversight, the authors do not extol or disparage citizen oversight but rather try to help jurisdictions interested in creating a new or enhancing an existing oversight system by: • Describing the types of citizen oversight. • Presenting programmatic information from various jurisdictions with existing citizen oversight systems. • Examining the social and monetary benefits and costs of different systems. The report also addresses staffing; examines ways to resolve potential conflicts between oversight bodies and police; and explores monitoring, evaluation, and funding concerns. No one system works best for everyone. Communities must take responsibility for fashioning a system that fits their local situation and unique needs. Ultimately, the author notes, the talent, fairness, dedication, and flexibility of the key participants are more important to the procedure’s success than is the system’s structure.”
Thank You,
-Ty Robben

Reader comments: Judge Kingsbury is most certainly one of the most corrupted judges in the state why hasn’t the DOJ investigated them yet?


Judge Suzanne Kinsburry

Judge Kingsbury is most certainly one of the most corrupted judges in the state why hasn’t the DOJ investigated them yet? what will it take?

They are on a path of certain destruction, by malicious prosecution, attorney malpractice, falsifying, withholding, and planting evidence is their specialty are they getting kickbacks from the prison industry from all the innocent people they send to prison?

When you appeal and complain your appeal is supposed to go to an independent panel of 3 judges but it is sent back to the same judge who tried the case? They sent my son to prison for 6 years for protecting himself on his own property from a man with a gun trying to kill him? Was this guy with a gun Assistant DA Robin Anthony Sears’s best friend? why did they falsify and withhold evidence, why was malicious prosecution and personal grudges allowed? Why are Public Defenders like Lori London sabotaging their own clients cases? What the hell is going on here? Why wont anyone do anything about it????????? I seriously want answers!!!!!


South Lake Tahoe Superior Court is the most corrupt court in California they have sent thousands of innocent people to prison, when these people appeal instead of the appeals going through an independent panel of 3 it goes straight back to the corrupt judge who tried the case, corruption abounds my son was sentenced to 6 years without the possibility of parole and sabotaged by his own public defender for protecting himself in his own front yard when an armed criminal came to kill him how the hell is that justice? My son had just turned 18 the attacker was 24 Tony Sears withheld and falsified evidence and maliciously prosecuted my son on a personal grudge Mr. Sears admitted to our Attorney we had to hire after Lori London sabotaged her own clients case she told us to shut up stop sending her evidence, stop calling her that my son was going to prison for 6 years and there was nothing we could do about it, that was after his arraignment where she objected and when asked on what grounds she laughed out loud and said I don’t know? If you live in Tahoe GET OUT do whatever you have to leave that evil place before you find yourself in prison for protecting yourself from an armed criminal who happens to be friends with the Assistant DA very dangerous corrupt town!!!!



Former South Lake Tahoe police officer John “Johnny” Poland, 46, is projected to be released from custody Feb. 22 and is currently serving the last weeks of his sentence under the custody of a halfway house, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons

South Lake Tahoe Police corruption Johnny PolandSOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Former South Lake Tahoe police officer John “Johnny” Poland, 46, is projected to be released from custody Feb. 22 and is currently serving the last weeks of his sentence under the custody of a halfway house, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

Poland was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after reaching an agreement with prosecutors and pleading guilty to a single count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

In addition to the obstruction charge, Poland was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of tampering with a witness, victim or informant. He faced as many as 20 years in a federal prison for each count.

Poland was committed to the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona on Nov. 6 2013, according to Melinda Clark of the BOP. He served time there until he was transferred to the custody of a halfway house on Nov. 6.


Former South Lake Tahoe police officer John “Johnny” Poland, 46, is projected to be released from custody Feb. 22 and is currently serving the last weeks of his sentence under the custody of a halfway house, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Poland is projected to be released from custody nearly 16 months after he was committed at the prison. Clark could not comment on Poland’s case specifically, but said projected release dates generally factor in any time credit earned.

Poland was taken into custody in January 2013 after an FBI investigation determined he gave information about police operations on several occasions to a woman, referred to in the report as VC, with whom he had an ongoing sexual relationship, according to court documents. The woman was reportedly the girlfriend of a suspected gang member and drug trafficker.

In his plea agreement, filed in federal court on May 22, 2013, Poland agreed that the factual summary that prosecutors presented, based on the FBI investigation, accurately described his criminal activity.

bad copThe summary detailed instances during which he gave information about upcoming search warrants to people familiar with VC, coached VC on how to respond to investigators’ questions, encouraged her to delete information from her phone and told her to say she didn’t know about her boyfriend’s alleged drug-dealing.

The summary also stated it had statements from two women who said they voluntarily engaged in sex acts with Poland when they were 17-year-old students at South Tahoe High School while he was a school resources officer between 2003 and 2006.

In a statement to Federal Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in August 2013, Poland stated he “made very serious mistakes in judgment and discretion, products of very poor thinking and with a lack of awareness of the consequences of my conduct. I admit that I am guilty of the crime as charged, obstruction of justice.”

johnny poland

In addition to the obstruction charge, JOhnny Poland was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of tampering with a witness, victim or informant. He faced as many as 20 years in a federal prison for each count.

“I am partially glad this happened and stopped my behavior,” he added.

He later stated, “first of all, the atmosphere where I worked as a South Lake Tahoe Police Officer had many people that acted in the way I did. It was an office that at times almost encouraged the behavior I displayed, and it also often caused extreme friction and stress amongst the officers,” he stated.

“As I stated moments ago, my police force itself was a place where ethics and morality often were dispensed with, and some corruption of the justice process occurred.”

“As a result of this case, I have genuinely lost everything that I have worked my while for [sic]. I have lost my job, my pension, all simple assets that I ever had,” he said toward the end of his statement.

South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Brian Uhler said Thursday he had no comment for the excuses Poland made for his actions. He added that Poland’s case reflected unfavorably on the department and put them in a difficult situation. Furthermore, he said he wanted to put the situation behind and move forward and that he did not wish any harm onto Poland.

Poland’s attorney, Mark Reichel, described the case against his client as a political vendetta that used him as a scapegoat. He added that the prosecution did not have a strong case against him.

About Poland’s time in custody, Reichel said Poland is a motivated and strong person who always lands on his feet and that moving forward he would have to rebuild his life.

He said he had not been in contact with Poland recently, but that he was happy he was getting out.


SLTPD “Cop Watcher” Mike Barnhart sues the SLTPD and starts a blog to tell his story

Mike Barnhart



The founder of Cop Watchers Lake Tahoe Michael W. Barnhart has filed the first of many Section 1983 violations by the city of South Lake Tahoe and the SLTPD. The forms were sent to the city attorney dated March 6, 2014 asking for 2.5 million Dollars in damages for the civil rights violations.
Michael Barnhart has a 3.611 GPA in Computer Technology and Business as well as 2 of the 6 Ca Real Estate courses. He has been hired multiple times by the LTCC as an administrator helper and clerk to fail the background check due to the FALSE POLICE REPORTS FILED BY JOSH ADLER of the SLTPD and ignored and concealed by the city attorney and manager.

// This is just one report asking for charges for what is a Constitutionally protected action. Filming the police. Sgt Josh Adler of the SLTPD clearly asks for felony stalking charges for nothing more than giving him the finger, calling him a scumbag and filming him in uniform conducting his duties.

In no place on this report can a crime be found. Yet, the SGT has called for felony charges against the press because he does not like us. The city of SLT has been informed of the false reports and malicious prosecution and still refuses to act. In fact they conceal breaches of agreements to allow malicious prosecution.

Still no criminal acts in this whole report…..can you find the felony I am missing?

My favorite part is the finger……why does this make a police report? Is it a crime to give the police the finger? NO!
Due to the blatant attack of the press and its members employment in South Lake Tahoe is impossible and it has limited potential employment by slander and false reports filed in retaliation against press releases and accountability.  The city and it’s Police Department are guilty of conspiracy and slander as well as multiple Section 1983 violations at all levels of government.

Remember back in 2009 …SLTPD Sgt. Jeff Reagan who’s in trouble NOW for DUI, had a domestic battery charge in 2005 – but his wife recanted …She said in her report that Reagan pushed her off the couple’s deck, but testified Monday it was her fault. “I was so mad. I threw up my arms, whirled around and went off the deck,” she said. She said Reagan was trying to calm her down…

Jeff Reagan SLTPD

South Lake Tahoe Police Sgt Jeff Reagan assault of wife and later his DUI

Sgt. Jeff Reagan who’s in trouble NOW for DUI, had a domestic battery charge in 2005 – but his wife recanted …She said in her report that Reagan pushed her off the couple’s deck, but testified Monday it was her fault. “I was so mad. I threw up my arms, whirled around and went off the deck,” she said. She said Reagan was trying to calm her down…

Police sergeant arrested Tahoe Daily Tribune
Adam Jensen Friday, April 24, 2009
[Excerpts] A veteran South Lake Tahoe police officer has been placed on administrative leave after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence last week.

A Nevada Highway Patrol officer stopped Sgt. Jeff Reagan in Carson City at about 4:10 a.m. on April 16… driving 54 mph in a 35 mph zone…

During the stop, the officer noticed an “obvious” odor of alcohol coming Reagan and administered three field sobriety tests… Reagan failed all three and was booked into Carson City Detention Facility… Reagan —a sergeant in the police department’s detective division — told Nevada Highway Patrol officers he was returning from a relative’s house east of Carson City at the time of the traffic stop… Police Chief Terry Daniels placed Reagan on administrative leave following his arrest.bad cop

Daniels has also launched an internal affairs investigation into the matter… Reagan’s arrest was not his first involving alcohol. Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies said they smelled alcohol on Reagan when they responded to an August 2005 incident at the South Lake Tahoe police officer’s Minden home, according to newspaper articles published at the time. Deputies responded to the home on Aug. 9 after Reagan’s wife and son accused him of pushing her out the back door with such force that she landed on the lawn 10 feet away, according to the articles.

Reagan was charged with domestic battery following the incident, but the charges were dropped in November 2005. East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl dismissed the charge after Reagan’s wife said she was partially responsible for the incident and felt pressured by sheriff’s deputies to make her initial statements.

At the time, EnEarl said the charge was dropped because the state was unable to prove the allegations. EnEarl had initially ordered Reagan to abstain from the use or possession alcohol following his August 2005 arrest, but the order was lifted when the charge was dismissed…

South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Johnny Poland expected to plea guilty

South Lake Tahoe Police corruption Johnny Poland
Johnny Poland if you are reading, we invite you to tell you side of the story on SLTPD WATCH. We have heard good and bad. Some people think Mr. Poland was guilty and a sinner.  Other have said Mr. Poland was a good cop and SLTPD took him out for retaliation.
The charges do not look good, but we also know Mr. Poland could have been been coerced into a “plea bargin”.  Again, the charges do not look good against Poland, n or do the people who were victims of Mr. Poland’s wrongdoings.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Cal. ( & KRNV) – South Lake Tahoe police officer, Johnny Poland is expected to plea guilty next week to federal charges according to LakeTahoeNews.Net.

Poland was indicted in early 2013 on three counts related to tampering with a witness and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

According to court documents, Poland was caught up in a love triangle with a gang member’s girlfriend and he tried to help drug traffickers evade police and throw investigators off their path.

A criminal complaint filed in January says a probe uncovered allegations of Poland’s misconduct dating to October 2003 when he allegedly engaged in sexual activity with a 17-year-old female student while he was a school resource officer at South Lake Tahoe High School.


Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

lady fucking justice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

RICO predicate offenses

Under the law, the meaning of racketeering activity is set out at 18 U.S.C. § 1961. As currently amended it includes:

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them, closing a perceived loophole that allowed someone who told a man to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because he did not actually do it.

RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub.L. 91–452, 84 Stat. 922, enacted October 15, 1970). RICO is codified as Chapter 96 of Title 18 of the United States Code, 18 U.S.C. § 1961–1968. While its original use in the 1970s was to prosecute the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized crime, its later application has been more widespread.

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Brian Uhler replaces embattled Terry Daniels as Chief of Police in So. Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Brian Uhler

South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Brian Uhler

Posted by admin in Featured Articles, News on November 2nd, 2010 | 10 responses

Updated Nov. 2, 2010, 12:36pm.

By Kathryn Reed

The first police chief hired from outside the department was sworn in this morning at the South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting.

Brian Uhler becomes the eighth chief, taking over a department that has had a rocky time of it in recent years, especially under the leadership of former Chief Terry Daniels. Capt. Martin Hewlett has been the leader of the department since the start of the year after Daniels left.

Terry Daniels South Tahoe police

Terry Daniels South Tahoe police

Several members of the police department were on hand as Uhler was sworn-in and given his badge at the end of the Nov. 2 council meeting. He said a few perfunctory words before the meeting was adjourned.

Uhler, 49, most recently was a captain in the UC San Francisco police force. He was laid off in August after two years on the job. Before that he spent 25 years with the Corpus Christi, Texas, police department. He retired as a commander.

Uhler has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration, and is a graduate of the FBI Academy.

Read more:


SLTPD Chief Daniels leaving
Posted by admin in Featured Articles, News on November 13th, 2009 | no responses

By Kathryn Reed

Embattled South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Terry Daniels is calling it quits after more than 27 years in law enforcement.

As part of a reorganization plan that will be before the City Council on Tuesday, a number of jobs are likely to go by the wayside. This doesn’t mean there won’t be a police chief or building inspector (Ron Ticknor may be retiring as well), but having people on the higher end of the pay scale retire will save money.

Terry Daniels

“Early retirement is being offered to the chief and to some line people,” City Manager Dave Jinkens told Lake Tahoe News on Friday night. “We are not trying to get rid of people.”

But the city is trying to eliminate positions in an attempt to save about $1 million a year.

Furlough days are still going to be part of the mix even with the retirements. It’s expected city workers will have to take four in December and then two days each month through September — the end of the fiscal year.

Most employees are also feeling a 9.23 percent cut in pay in 2009-10.

In addition to the restructuring of city government, the budget is also on the Nov. 17 agenda. The fiscal year began Oct. 1, therefore the city has been operating without a final budget.

Other people expected to leave the police department are officers Chuck Owens, who has been with the department for more than 20 years, has had stints on the FBI and local narcotics task force; and Scott Willson, who is currently the school resource officer at South Tahoe High School.

It is up to each employee if he wants to accept the golden handshake. They have 90 days to make up their minds.Retirements in the fire department and public works are also expected. “Our goal was the equivalent of five people,” Jinkens said. “It could be more.” Read more: Trump busted

Prior to taking the helm of the department, the chief, who was unavailable for comment, was involved in a slew of interesting cases.

He was on the force in 1989 when then Mayor Terry Trupp was arrested on a variety of federal crimes — mostly drug related in what the FBI called Operation Deep Snow. Trupp recently died after serving a number of years behind bars.

S. Lake Tahoe Mayor Accused in Drug, Money-Laundering Case
June 14, 1989|PAUL JACOBS and DANIEL M. WEINTRAUB | Times Staff Writers

SACRAMENTO — Undercover federal agents using wiretaps, videotapes and paid informants gained entry into an elaborate, statewide drug distribution and money-laundering network that included South Lake Tahoe Mayor Terry Trupp and his wife, Kimberly, according to court documents made available Tuesday.

The detailed court filings–affidavits used to support the multiple arrests–provide an insight into Trupp and the workings of illicit drug trade centered in the resort communities around Lake Tahoe, with money and cocaine being shuttled among suppliers and dealers in Orange County, Palm Springs and San Diego.

The accusations about the Trupps have stunned residents of the bustling Lake Tahoe resort city where Trupp presided as mayor. There had been whispering about his life style–about the source of his income, his yellow Maserati and fast motorcycles and his recent marriage to his 24-year-old former stepdaughter. But few suspected that the 46-year-old part-time politician was caught up in the shadowy underworld of cocaine trafficking, as he is described in the court documents.

“He’s a flamboyant personality. He’s a loner,” said Neva Roberts, the mayor pro tem of South Lake Tahoe. “I don’t know who his friends are. He’s somewhat of an enigma.”

An elaborate undercover operation–code-named “Deep Snow”–led to the arrest of the Trupps and 17 others, including a South Lake Tahoe chiropractor, Glenn Clifford Miller.

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terry trupp dies



SLTPD Police Boat Peals out of Camp Rich in So. Lake Tahoe causing safety risks, property damage and violating TRPA wake laws

sltpdboatThis video shows the reckless behavior and careless attitude of SLTPD officers who were hanging out at Camp Richardson instead of patrolling the lake.

Even if the emergency call was a capsized boat, these guys should have been on their boat to begin with instead of hanging out at the beach at camp Richardson where they have private security.



As they say – Camp Rich is a  “A Sunny spot for shady people”.

The youtube comments are interesting:


IrishmenV8 5 months ago

The police up here in south lake tahoe are assholes. PERIOD! They do what they want when they want. They will throw on their lights just to go through a red light and not stop. There is no rush, they just don’t want to stop. This is a great video showing how careless and reckless they are.

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