Homer Police last week arrested on suspicion of drunk driving a Homer woman under investigation by the FBI in relation to the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.
After stopping Marilyn Hueper, 58, last Thursday on the Homer Spit, police arrested Hueper for driving under the influence. She also faces a charge of refusal to submit to a chemical test when she did not submit a breath sample for the DataMaster Intoximeter at the Homer Jail.
No federal charges have been filed against Hueper related to an FBI search of her home. An Anchorage FBI spokesperson said no new information regarding the search has been released.
Hueper claims that police harassed her, according to the conservative blog, Must Read Alaska.
“It’s just a DUI (driving under the influence) stop for us,” Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said in a phone interview on Monday.
He said Hueper’s notoriety in the FBI investigation had nothing to do with why officers pulled her over and eventually arrested her.
“Absolutely not,” Robl said. “… I talked to one of my officers this morning, and he had no idea who she was.”
FBI agents on April 28 served a search warrant to Hueper at her home on Ocean Drive Loop. In an affidavit for that warrant, an agent alleged that Hueper appeared to be a woman known as subject No. 225 captured in video images entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and taking a laptop computer from the offices of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. According to the warrant, Hueper’s hair color, hair style and clothes matched those of subject No. 225 seen in the images.
Hueper said she and her husband, Paul Hueper, did attend a rally by former President Donald Trump and walked to the Capitol, arriving there after rioters had broken into the building. She denied breaching the Capitol building or that she is subject no. 225. Hueper said she is the victim of a case of mistaken identity.
In an email, Bill Miller, a public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, said his office is not commenting on any cases beyond what has been filed in court. A list of individuals charged in what the U.S. Attorney’s Office calls “Capitol breach cases” is on the web at https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases. Hueper’s name is not on the list.
According to the Homer Police criminal complaint, Officer Morgan Tracy described the incident that started at 10:52 p.m. July 15, when he saw a woman he later identified as Hueper pull out in a green Hyundai Tucson from a driveway on the Homer Spit. Tracy claimed he had to brake suddenly for the car. He followed the car, seeing erratic driving such as crossing the fog or white line on the side of the road and driving over or under the speed limit. Tracy eventually stopped Hueper.
Robl said driving behavior like that gave the officer good probable cause to make what’s called an investigative stop.
“We’re looking at erratic driving patterns and behavior,” he said. “If the officer feels it’s consistent with an intoxicated driver or some other problem, they get pulled over.”
Tracy wrote that Hueper refused to give him identification, registration and proof of insurance. He said she explained her erratic driving by saying she was “enjoying the sunset and eating gelato.” Tracy alleged Hueper’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, and that her speech was slurred. Tracy wrote that Hueper argued with him about the validity of the stop. Hueper recorded the incident, Tracy wrote, and said told him, “Sorry, but I’m taking the Fifth (Amendment).”
Another officer responded to the scene. When he took Hueper out of the car, Tracy alleged he could smell alcohol on her. Hueper was handcuffed and placed in the back of Tracy’s patrol car. Tracy then told Hueper that he believed she was impaired by an intoxicating beverage, and asked her if she would perform field sobriety tests — tests like standing on one leg or walking a straight line to assess if someone is impaired. Hueper refused the tests and also didn’t take a preliminary breath test. Tracy then arrested her for driving under the influence and took her to the Homer Jail.
Even without evidence like field sobriety tests or preliminary breath tests, officers can make a decision to arrest someone based on what they have observed, Robl said. In Hueper’s case, Robl said both officers have experience in DUI investigations and came to the same conclusion to arrest her.
At the Homer Jail, Hueper demanded to speak to a lawyer, Tracy wrote. Police advised her of her Miranda Rights — the right to have an attorney and the right not to say anything before talking to an attorney — and then read her the “Advisement of Legal Requirement to Provide Breath Samples” form. That form says that a licensed driver gives implied consent to submit to a breath test, and that failure to do so is a crime. Robl said police made an audio recording of that reading.
When Tracy asked Hueper to move to sit in a chair by the DataMaster machine, Hueper refused, he wrote. Hueper refused to provide a breath sample and then was charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test. Hueper was offered the opportunity to consult with a lawyer.
If convicted for a first offense of refusal to submit to a chemical test, the minimum sentence is at least 72 hours in prison, a fine of at least $1,500, and revocation of a driver’s license — the same sentence for a first offender convicted of DUI.
The Homer News talked to Hueper, and she said she would consider questions emailed to her. At press time, Hueper did not respond to that email.
Reach Michael Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.