Faces of the Drug War: Woman Carrying $47K in Bra at Airport Sues


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Vernal45
June 24, 2005, 03:27 PM
Faces of the Drug War: Woman Carrying $47K in Bra at Airport Sues
Woman Carrying $47K in Bra at Airport Sues

Thu Jun 23, 4:48 PM ET

BOSTON - A Quincy woman who apparently stuffed $46,950 in cash in her bra before trying to board a plane to Texas for plastic surgery has sued a federal agency, demanding the return of her money.

The money was seized from Ileana Valdez, 26, after a security check at a metal detector at Logan International Airport on Feb. 3. Valdez told authorities she was heading to Texas for plastic surgery on her buttocks and breasts.

"I don't know why she was carrying it (the cash) in her bra," said Boston lawyer Tony V. Blaize, who filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston on behalf of Valdez.

In her suit, Valdez said a male Drug Enforcement Administration agent told her she had a nice body and didn't need surgery — and then seized the cash, claiming it was drug money.

Valdez, a single mother said in her suit that she has no criminal record and earned the money by selling her Dorchester business and two parcels of property in Boston's Jamaica Plain section.

Anthony Pettigrew, a spokesman for the DEA in Boston, said he could not comment on the lawsuit. But he said federal asset forfeiture laws allow agents to seize suspected drug

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/06/23/national/a134858D18.DTL

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WT
June 24, 2005, 03:35 PM
Some pictures of the suspect would be helpful .............

BostonGeorge
June 24, 2005, 03:40 PM
Yeah, I read this story yesterday in the Globe. A Dominican with money?!?!, must be a drug dealer. It's amazing that the feds have the ability to do this without any PC. She said she withdrew the money from the bank to protect from creditors, hopefully her financial records are on point, and she'll win a big enough judgement for a full body lift. :)

CentralTexas
June 24, 2005, 03:45 PM
it was drug money, *** happened to innocent until proven guilty in this country???
Damn Republicrats!
CT

Tory
June 24, 2005, 03:53 PM
she broke NO LAW!

She was on a wholly domestic flight and, therefore, was under NO OBLIGATION to declare the funds.

Another example of the wholesale trampling of Constitutional rights under the mendacious assertion of "public safety." :barf:

Vernal45
June 24, 2005, 03:55 PM
I now wonder if a Bra, in the open is now probable cause to search a vehicle or person? :evil:

Preacherman
June 24, 2005, 04:04 PM
Good thing she wasn't a 1960's-vintage Women's Libber - burning that bra would have been a very expensive proposition... talk about hot money!

:D

Zundfolge
June 24, 2005, 04:07 PM
...Valdez told authorities she was heading to Texas for plastic surgery on her buttocks and breasts.

"I don't know why she was carrying it (the cash) in her bra," said Boston lawyer Tony V. Blaize, who filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston on behalf of Valdez.

I'd think it would be perfectly obvious why she carried the cash in her bra. :scrutiny:

rhubarb
June 24, 2005, 04:07 PM
I now wonder if a Bra, in the open is now probable cause to search a vehicle or person?
Don't even have to be in the open. Just a visibly large bust. Bust, get it?

It's really not funny.

Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Chalk it up.

jefnvk
June 24, 2005, 04:08 PM
There are so many things screwed up with this story, starting with $50,000 in her bra. And selling her business for breast implants :scrutiny:

But I don't see anywhere where taht justified confiscating her money :banghead:

thorn726
June 24, 2005, 04:13 PM
absolutely insane. she may be in some hot water over carrying that much cash, but to basically convict her as a drug dealer sight unseen?
ARGH! this is terrible. however, i think the article is probably leaving out some details- like she may at least have the possibility of getting her money back if she can prove it came form legal sources- and if she cant, well, thats why yer not allowed to carry huge amounts of cash around. i know kinda weak logic, but not entirely bad.
most people who legitmately earned that kind of money wold be able to show tax forms or something to show how they got it.

i would feel a lot better about this if they sadi she was illegally transporting cash. calling her a drug dealer is definitely over the top guilty without trial, and taking her money convicts her.
even though i would bet 70% chance it IS drug money, this is america. proof is essential

BenW
June 24, 2005, 04:19 PM
I'd like to get more details on this story. Nevertheless, this whole business of "carrying cash = evil intentions" galls me to no end. Whatever happened to being able to stuff your mattress (or bra) with money instead of putting it in the bank?

SteveS
June 24, 2005, 04:24 PM
Single mother...Who wouldn't want their mom selling the business so she could get new boobs and a new butt. As weird/funny as this is, I don't see anything illegal. More fodder for comedians and late-night talk-shows.

Henry Bowman
June 24, 2005, 04:24 PM
well, thats why yer not allowed to carry huge amounts of cash around. Please cite applicable staute. :scrutiny:

Biker
June 24, 2005, 04:24 PM
The story didn't mention what her businesses were. Coffee shops I'm guessing.
Biker

CAS700850
June 24, 2005, 04:30 PM
Funny, around here we actually have to PROVE it is drug money before we get to take it. Darn state law!

As for carrying in her bra, it kind of makes sense. No pickpocket is going there, it isn't going to run away with her purse when it gets snatched, and if she's going to Texas to get them made bigger anyways...

thorn726
June 24, 2005, 04:45 PM
i dont know why people are always so suprised by this-
http://www.irs.gov/compliance/enforcement/article/0,,id=113004,00.html

little pieces of garbage like this make it possible for you to be jacked over having cash on you=
Additionally, IRC, Section 6050 I, requires anyone involved in a trade or business, except financial institutions, to report currency received for goods or services in excess of $10,000 on a Form 8300. This requirement has created a significant impediment to the use of illicit profits by narcotics traffickers and others engaged in illegal activity for the purchase of luxury items such as vehicles, jewelry and boats. Financial institutions report similar information on a Currency Transaction Report.

Grape Ape
June 24, 2005, 04:45 PM
$47k is a big chunk of change, literally. Even if it were mostly C-notes, it would have enough volume that I’m sure that it would print though her shirt. I am sure that the screeners are trained to watch for odd lumps (non-metallic bomb anyone), and would want to know what she was hiding under her shirt.

What I can’t figure out is how DEA got involved. What kind of a moron would smuggle drugs TO Texas? I’m not an expert, but I hear that the border is pretty porous and can infer that drugs produced in S. America should be cheaper and more available…
The cash appears to have been seized via a civil forfeiture rather than a criminal one, so there is no requirement that she be found guilty or even charged. :cuss:
The whole thing makes me ill, but you can read more about it www.fear.com or google “civil forfeiture”. :barf:

thorn726
June 24, 2005, 04:47 PM
the metal strips in that much cash should set off detectors, no?

fjolnirsson
June 24, 2005, 04:53 PM
and if she cant, well, thats why yer not allowed to carry huge amounts of cash around. i know kinda weak logic, but not entirely bad.

You're joking, right? First of all, the statute you cited doesn't apply in this case.

Title 31 USC Section 5332 –Also as a result of the USA Patriot Act was the passage of Title 31 USC 5332, Bulk Cash Statute. Criminal Investigation has jurisdiction to investigate violations of this statute. This affects anyone who transports or attempts to transport currency or other monetary instruments of more than $10,000, from a place within the United States to a place outside of the United States, or from a place outside the United States to a place within the United States, and knowingly conceals it with the intent to evade the reporting requirements of 31 USC 5316.

It was an internal domestic flight she was on.
2nd, I'm unaware of any law which forbids the carrying of cash in large amounts.
Finally, even if such a law does exist, how can you say it's a good idea? not entirely bad
How so? I'm really not following your logic here.

I hope this woman wins a settlement big enough to buy 12 sets of implants.

Mr. X
June 24, 2005, 05:04 PM
Anyone rember the case where an older Kansas City woman got a DEA auction VW and had fuel delivery problems with it, only for her mechanic to find $80K in the gas tank and call the BATF, DEA, etc? I believe they took the money and never gave it back. The woman sued, but they still were trying to only give back only a fraction of the cash, despite the woman buying the car at auction from the Feds.

I don't give this woman much chance of getting her entire $47K back and certainly not w/o spending it all on a lawyer.

mercedesrules
June 24, 2005, 05:11 PM
I don't care if they were 99% sure it was drug money,

I don't care if it was drug money.

BostonGeorge
June 24, 2005, 05:24 PM
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/06/23/woman_stopped_at_logan_with_46950_sues_dea/

In her suit, Valdez says she earned the money from selling a Dorchester multi-service business and two parcels of property in Jamaica Plain. She said she withdrew all of her money from the bank to prevent creditors from getting the cash.

If she withdrew it from the bank than the bank would have had to do the paperwork. The one time I had to withdraw such a large amount of cash, the teller complained about the paperwork and asked if I'd make two seperate withdrawerals. I kindly told her that I wasn't interested in having any JBT IRS types showing up at my door and that she'd have to do her job after all.

BostonGeorge
June 24, 2005, 05:25 PM
I don't care if it was drug money.

+1

R.H. Lee
June 24, 2005, 05:32 PM
"We have laws against drugs, so we can take your money"

"We have laws against terrorism, so we can take you guns"

"We want to provide for 'economic growth', so we can take your house"

"It's all in the public good. It's our job. And after all, we have laws............"

:mad: :fire: :cuss: :barf:

Standing Wolf
June 24, 2005, 05:55 PM
...he said federal asset forfeiture laws allow agents to seize suspected drug

Yeah, but we're not a police state, because the government trough feeders have to want to seize someone's money. Clear?

fjolnirsson
June 24, 2005, 06:03 PM
I should know by now not to read Standing Wolf's posts while drinking Coke.
I go through more paper towels that way......

peacefuljeffrey
June 24, 2005, 06:14 PM
absolutely insane. she may be in some hot water over carrying that much cash, but to basically convict her as a drug dealer sight unseen?
ARGH! this is terrible. however, i think the article is probably leaving out some details- like she may at least have the possibility of getting her money back if she can prove it came form legal sources- and if she cant, well, thats why yer not allowed to carry huge amounts of cash around. i know kinda weak logic, but not entirely bad.
most people who legitmately earned that kind of money wold be able to show tax forms or something to show how they got it.

i would feel a lot better about this if they sadi she was illegally transporting cash. calling her a drug dealer is definitely over the top guilty without trial, and taking her money convicts her.
even though i would bet 70% chance it IS drug money, this is america. proof is essential.

Nothing could be more transparent than the fact that the authorities are engaging in a "steal-the-money" gambit, knowing that many people will simply forfeit the money rather than spend thousands on a lawyer to get back what should have always been theirs in the first place.

This is a twisted perversion of the way it should be: the police are saying -- unchallenged -- that there is no justifiable reason for a person to be carrying a "large" amount of cash. Who are they to decide? What if a person is just... weird? And he/she just likes to have a lot of cash. Maybe they're just pretentious and like to be able to flaunt how they can buy lots of expensive stuff at a moment's notice? Now that's ILLEGAL, and subjects your money to SEIZURE?

And the fact that they don't have to offer ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that the money was obtained illegally?! Then YOU have to do the work, hire the lawyer, fight the government in court, to get back money they never had the legitimate right to take in the first place?

But you, Thorn, say it is "not entirely bad" if the woman has an opportunity to "prove [the money] came from legitimate sources"? *** is wrong with you, man? Why should the money be different from a car? What if the cops confiscated your car until you could "prove" you didn't steal it? How about if they came by your house and confiscated any stereo and computer equipment and jewelry you have, until you could "prove" you didn't steal that, too? Or maybe take your wife's diamond necklace at the airport because she doesn't carry a receipt around with her to "prove" that it's really hers.

"Ohhh, but Thorn, you don't have any right to complain: you have an opportunity to go into court, at the expense of thousands of dollars, to 'prove' that the stuff is really yours!"

In my opinion, Thorn, people like you deserve to have this kind of thing happen to them. Maybe that's the only way to show you, to "prove" to you, that it's abuse by the government.

-Jeffrey

Tory
June 24, 2005, 06:43 PM
"Section 6050 I, requires anyone involved in a trade or business, except financial institutions, to report currency received for goods or services in excess of $10,000 on a Form 8300."

Which is wholly irrelevant to the issue at hand.

This is NOT a failure to report. That was done when she withdrew the funds from the bank.

The issue is whether carrying her OWN money on a wholly DOMESTIC flight violated any laws.

The answer, your desperate rationalizations notwithstanding, is NO.

The incident is yet another manifestation of the abuse of power in the pathetic disguise of law enforcement for public safety. Apologists make that possible. :barf:

Sistema1927
June 24, 2005, 06:52 PM
I am surprised that they haven't yet taken the Constitution out of the National Archives and recycled it for toilet paper.

Might as well, it doesn't appear to be any more significant anymore. Anyone else scared for their children/grandchildren?

armoredman
June 24, 2005, 06:56 PM
So if she had carried the bank reciept for the cash, all would be good? The Feds want two things - your money, and to electronically track what they "allow you to have",(quote from Teddy Kennedy about taxes), so they can take it later. Untraceable cash makes them nervous, as they cannot take it without working for it, nor can they track it. Same as paperless gun sales...drives 'em nuts not being able to document every little thing you do....so they'll confiscate your money under a forfetiture standard no one can define, and they know you can't afford a lawyer, because they took your money. Doesn't matter anyway, as the charge will be against the item seized, and you won't have any say in any of it!!!

Azrael256
June 24, 2005, 07:01 PM
So if she had carried the bank reciept for the cash, all would be good? No.

Read The Tyrrany Of Good Intentions by Roberts and Stratton. ISBN is 0-7615-2553-X. They talk about highway robbery by police... I mean... uhhh... "drug checkpoints" where they search people and confiscate large amounts of cash. My personal favorite was a woman who had ~15k stolen from her after she had cashed an insurance check because her business was destroyed by a hurricane (I think... some natural disaster, anyway.) The presence of the money creates its own PC because "no honest man would need more than $300."

rick_reno
June 24, 2005, 07:36 PM
She'll never see a dime of her money again. Remember, they've got a lot of OUR money to use against her - and they're not shy about using it.
It used to be ok in the United States of America to carry and use money. What happened to our country?

Joejojoba111
June 24, 2005, 07:43 PM
Does the arresting officer get to keep a percentage of the cash, or is it just his department? And does he get a bonus on his paycheck for the large seizure? Otherwise, WHO gets the money?

R.H. Lee
June 24, 2005, 07:46 PM
It goes to the 'evidence' room where after awhile it gets 'lost'.

griz
June 24, 2005, 08:06 PM
Otherwise, WHO gets the money?

I don't think the individuals get any of it, but the local force does get a big part of the take. So there is a financial incentive to err on the side of confiscation. Some places use the law responsibly, and some have fought legitimate attempts to regain property in the hopes of a big payday. This has been the law for well over a decade.

George Hill
June 24, 2005, 08:13 PM
All you have to do is have more cash in your pocket than the cop.

This is as old as... well... how long have we had cops?

Hypnogator
June 24, 2005, 08:29 PM
a male Drug Enforcement Administration agent told her she had a nice body and didn't need surgery
Obviously not, if she had room to stuff $47K in cash in her bra! :rolleyes: :evil:

50 Freak
June 24, 2005, 08:32 PM
This is so wrong. If they see you carrying a large chunk of cash they can seize it as "drug money"??? Wonder how that would play in Las Vegas where gamblers come with hundreds of thousands in cash. :fire: :fire:

hifi
June 24, 2005, 08:35 PM
Why should this be a surprise to us subjects of the United States government. This happens many times everyday.

ceetee
June 24, 2005, 08:47 PM
What if a person is just... weird? And he/she just likes to have a lot of cash. Maybe they're just pretentious and like to be able to flaunt how they can buy lots of expensive stuff at a moment's notice?

Okay... How did Dennis Rodman and Michael Jackson get put into this discussion?

stevelyn
June 24, 2005, 10:05 PM
It used to be okay in the United States of America to carry and use money.

The drug war is part of the subterfuge being used to convert us to a cashless or nearly cashless society. Not for the benefit of making banking and purchasing easier, but to make it easier for the govt to control you through your finances. That's one of the reasons the govt is after all the gold miners up here.

beerslurpy
June 24, 2005, 10:10 PM
I started using cash for almost all my purchases a few years ago. I realized that I could look at my bank statement and see everywhere I had been for years, nearly down to the minute.

DMF
June 24, 2005, 11:31 PM
Oh yeah, I'm so sure this article has the "whole story."

BTW, any of you know anyone who has had breast augmentation and liposuction? Ask them how much it costs for those procedures. You won't get anywhere near $47K even if you go to very pricey docs.

Joejojoba111
June 24, 2005, 11:41 PM
Good point, because it's totally our business. Everyone obviously has the right not only to steal her life savings, but to criticise her for over-paying for an embarrassing personal procedure and call her a drug dealer. That will teach her to not break laws. Yea.

R.H. Lee
June 24, 2005, 11:48 PM
Ask them how much it costs for those procedures. You won't get anywhere near $47K even if you go to very pricey docs. Yeah, you're right. I hadn't thought of that. Obviously she's a lying drug dealer and who knows what else. Who does she think she is anyway walking around with all that money. Obviously a criminal. Thanks, DMF.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

fjolnirsson
June 24, 2005, 11:52 PM
I found the following estimated price list online. If you look at the list, a few procedures + taxes could easily add up to $47,000. I have known folks who spent that much, or rather, their boyfriends did.
The site isPlastic surgery Info (http://www.infoplasticsurgery.com/cost.html)
And it really is nobody's business....



Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)


$5000-6500


Blue Peel


$500-700


Botox


$200-400 per area


Breast Augmentation (saline)


$5000-6500


Breast Augmentation(silicone)


$6000-8000


Breast Lift


$5000-6000


Chin or Cheek Implants


$3000-4500


Collagen Injection


$500-1500


Deep Chemical Peel


$3500-5000


Dermabrasion


$2000-4000


Eyelid Tuck (upper & lower)


$4000-5500


Face Lift


$7000-9000


Forehead Lift (Brow Lift)


$3500-5000


Hair Removal (Laser)


$300-800


Laser (Erbium)


$2500-4000


Laser (CO2)


$4000-5000


Lip Augmentation


$600-2000


Liposuction (1 area)


$2500-4500


Liposuction (3 areas)


$5500-7000


Liposuction (5 areas)


$8000-10,000


Medium Peel


$1500-2500


Micro Peel


$60-100


Nose Surgery


$5000-6000


Pectoral Implants


$6000-7000


Permanent Eyeliner


$300-1000


Permanent Lip Liner


$300-1000


Spider Vein Rx (Laser)


$400-1000


Spider Vein Rx (Sclero)


$200-500


Tattoo Removal (Laser)


$300-800


Tummy Tuck


$6000-8000

armoredman
June 25, 2005, 12:19 AM
Ick. I'll stay factory original, thank you.
The above is also why i stay of public transport, etc. Guess I could have had my money stolen this morning - had $800 on me, paying off the evil blodsuckers, I meanm landlord. But I guess I was a moneycriminal for a while, like Orwell thoughtcrime and facecrime....

dustind
June 25, 2005, 01:30 AM
When will people learn that the government does not recognize the right to own property? After the EPA's "wetlands", eminent domain, the IRS's tax courts, and DEA you would think people would catch on.

I also hate how the only way you will get due process is if the government has no interest in the case or knows it will win. Heck I can't even get a fair trial for a speeding ticket, which is an arrestable offense.

Byron Quick
June 25, 2005, 01:43 AM
You folks that are saying all that about her winning a suit. I hope she does, too. But check the forfeiture laws out in their entirety. You have to post a very large bond even to sue.

There's a man who comes to this board from time to time. A multimillionaire.

100K was being transported to him by a friend to use in a land purchase. Friend was stopped and searched in Delaware. Money seized.

There existed the bank withdrawal record. The fact that he had accounts with much more in them. Annual income tax returns showing that his income could easily account for 100K. Records of the sale of a business for several tens of millions of dollars.

Guess what? His lawyer (a very good and very expensive lawyer) told him to write it up as a loss and that suing the government of Delaware for the money would be throwing good money after bad.

If a man with his resources couldn't get his money back...what do you think of her chances?

GRB
June 25, 2005, 01:46 AM
It's amazing that the feds have the ability to do this without any PC.You obviously have little clue if any as to what constitutes probable cause for such a seizure. I can name at least a few points of PC from just the scant details given in the article. Think about it maybe you can figure what they are for yourself - here is a clue: PC is often based upon the facts of the particular case combined with facts know about (in this case) previous drug money seizures. That is all I would be at libery to discuss, but that shopuld be enough to get you thinking of at least 4 or 5 points of PC in this case.

Sindawe
June 25, 2005, 01:52 AM
More and more, it seems to me that the only way to effectively deal with this kind of abuse of power is not to file a complaint, not to file suit in a court of law, but to deal with these brigands on on the spot, as honest men used to deal with them in years past. :fire: You obviously have little clue if any as to what constitutes probable cause for such a seizure. It turns the magic ink a special color; the trained dog barked at it; its being carred by a black man in an airport. Does that sound about right?

GRB
June 25, 2005, 01:56 AM
It turns the magic ink a special color; the trained dog barked at it; its being carred by a black man in an airport. Does that sound about right?No.

alan
June 25, 2005, 02:04 AM
Re that lady with the cash filled bra, and the federal drug fuzz, the latter, unfortunately do not have to prove a "drug nexis", whatever that might turn out to be. All they have to do is grab the money and run. You, or the lady in this case, are required to "prove" the money is not "drug related". Of course, having so done, you still have to get it back from the feds. Lots of luck in/with that.

Who is the head Storm Trooper over at DEA these days?

DMF
June 25, 2005, 02:08 AM
All they have to do is grab the money and run. You, or the lady in this case, are required to "prove" the money is not "drug related". Nope the burden of proof is on the government. However, that means contesting the seizure and going to court. Any guesses on how many drug smugglers want to show up in court to fight the seizure?

Sindawe
June 25, 2005, 02:15 AM
Yes, at least for the latter example of a black man with money in an airport.

Willie Jones (http://www.geocities.com/rab_cdg1/jones.htm)

The freaking dog alerting to "possible contraband" is PC for a search, and if money is found with drug residue, for the money to be seized.Nope the burden of proof is on the government. Then tell us DMF, why those who contest seizures have to post a frelling bond to get their day in court? Why does the .gov get to take the assets and the owner of those assets have to sue to get them back?

antarti
June 25, 2005, 02:17 AM
Being kind of a "prick-ly" sort of person, if you get my drift, I suppose the wife and I were very fortunate during our foreign adoption.

Twice I carried around $13K, fresh crisp cash, through airport security at TPA and then through Kennedy airport, through France and finally Russia. I did it in a smartcarry holster.

Only at new York was I hassled. I was given 2 "limited pat downs", one right after the other, by 2 different guards, with both of them chattering away explaining what they were doing, waving wands around all my extremities (except the right one). They kept scratching their heads and re-searching me.

Finally I was asked to remove my wedding ring, and a religious article dating from the 12th century on a chain around my neck. I refused on both counts, stating that my religion precluded it, as these were religiously symbolic and part of my convictions, and they were free to inspect them in place.

Then I was asked to retire to a "private room" where they would conduct a more thorough search, and I flatly refused, telling them "I will submit to anything you want, but you're going to have to do it HERE, in front of everyone. If you'd like me to strip and bend over, I can do it right now, right here, but no way am I going into some room with you people. Anything you want, you'll get, but out here in public."

I was then sat down in a chair for 5 minutes while walkie-talkie static and conversation ensued, and finally was allowed to go on my way.

This happened EACH time I went to Russia, only at Kennedy.

Put simply, I could have never gotten away with this returning from Russia. Those people are PROS, ours are clowns, and I don't believe in our case we should equate the two legal systems, or subject ourselves to such blatant abuse by incompetent fascisti.

I bet if the woman didn't wear an underwire, she would never have been caught.

Telperion
June 25, 2005, 02:19 AM
Nope the burden of proof is on the government. However, that means contesting the seizure and going to court. Any guesses on how many drug smugglers want to show up in court to fight the seizure?And those that show up may find that they don't have standing to fight, since it's the money that's been charged (something like United States v. 46,950 dollars in US currency). As a third party, then it becomes your burden to prove the money is actually "yours".

griz
June 25, 2005, 02:58 AM
You obviously have little clue if any as to what constitutes probable cause for such a seizure.

That's the problem. Apparently the only PC they need is to know that the money is there. I realize the intent of the forfeiture laws, I just disagree with the premise. If she commited a crime, arrest her. If you have probable cause to suspect a crime, investigate. But to punish someone for your mere suspicion is just plain wrong.

Just so we're clear, if you think that money was part of a crime, hold it as evidence until the trial. If she is convicted the gov keeps it. If found not guilty or the trial doesn't happen she gets the money back, no matter what the money was for. But to take it and not charge her is theft, "legal" or not.

Sindawe
June 25, 2005, 03:31 AM
Just so we're clear, if you think that money was part of a crime, hold it as evidence until the trial. If she is convicted the gov keeps it. If found not guilty or the trial doesn't happen she gets the money back, no matter what the money was for. But to take it and not charge her is theft, "legal" or not. Ahh, and therein lies the rub. It is not the PERSON that is charged with the crime, but the PROPERTY. And property has no rights. So we see cases like UNITED STATES v. $405,089.23 U.S. CURRENCY.
:banghead:

Cesiumsponge
June 25, 2005, 03:42 AM
I'm not agreeing with the actions taken during this entire ordeal...

...but does anyone else find it odd that transporting that much money in a bra as odd?

I would think there are much more comfortable ways of transporting large sums of money. I would be free to do so legally, but I don't think I'd ever walk around with a large quantity of money stuck in my undergarments at an airport.

Crosshair
June 25, 2005, 03:53 AM
I hope I'm not the only one who thinks happy thoughts about the special place in hell for some of the people we have governing and controling us. :evil:

Joejojoba111
June 25, 2005, 03:55 AM
Maybe I just know wierdos, but, lol, bras are popular transportation places.

Besides, who are we to talk, we have cell-phone pockets built into our briefs!

fjolnirsson
June 25, 2005, 03:56 AM
but does anyone else find it odd that transporting that much money in a bra as odd?

Not really. Women from lower social classes carry money there frequently, IME. In addition, most women tend to think of that particular area as being off limits, even to police officers and the like.
what I find odd, is that someone would find it there. Of course, I shouldn't be surprised, what with groping women being part of TSA procedure these days. :barf:

spartacus2002
June 25, 2005, 06:59 AM
I bet if the woman didn't wear an underwire, she would never have been caught.

Maybe she carried the money in a pair of coffee cans in her bra....

BenW
June 25, 2005, 10:59 AM
if money is found with drug residue, for the money to be seized.
Perhaps someone can verify (just to make sure I didn't just pick this up on NCIS on TV), but won't most money test positive for drug residue?

armoredman
June 25, 2005, 11:53 AM
When I worked armored, I was told ALL $20 will test positive for cocaine. Lovely. Carry only 1s and 100s.... :D

NIGHTWATCH
June 25, 2005, 12:11 PM
This is the only "War" that I know of where the frontline (our borders) are troopless and the only casualties are civillians. :fire:

GRB
June 25, 2005, 12:22 PM
Not really. Women from lower social classes carry money there frequently, IME. In addition, most women tend to think of that particular area as being off limits, even to police officers and the like.
what I find odd, is that someone would find it there. Of course, I shouldn't be surprised, what with groping women being part of TSA procedure these daysSo this woamn who had over $46 THOUSAND dollars in her bra was from a lower social class. I make darned good money and I do not have anywhere near that much money to shove into my pants.

Then you find it odd that this would be found exceppt that TSA gropes people! Hmm, of course the people who get searched and patted down are not just whiners and complainers trying to sue to make a buck, are they? I would think anyone would be quite happy with the TSA employee who found this money as having done a good job of detectiuon. The money, $46,000, even in all 100's could have easily been replaced with a bomb substantial power, certainly enough to bring down a plane.

As for the PC thing:

She had the money secreted in her bra.

The amount was consistent with money laundering (even if consistent with the amount paid for plastic surgery this constitutes a factor among others to make for PROBABLE Cause)

If going to a doctor to have surgery, most doctors would not accept that much (or even any cash) as payment.

Most people would normally pay with a check.

The route she flew is frequented by people who are smuggling money out of the country to Colombia (whoops didn't you know that).

Then there would be other factors that were not discussed in the article. These could include:

How she paid for and purchased her tickets.

If she appeared nervous at check-in.

Her appearance at the time she was stopped (did she appear nervous right from the start even before being stopped).

The manner in which she answered questions about the money.

Any prior or ogoing investigative facts of which you probably would not be aware (for all you know they followed her from a safe house to the airport - are you telling me that article has all the facts).

There are lots of considerations that could go into probable cause. Remember the DEA is not saying she is guilty, they are saying they have enough PROBABLE cause to effect a seizure.

Of course the DEA agents could have targetted her beause she was Dominican, but wasn't it TSA who found the money. I tend to doubt the Dominican profiling aspect but of course maybe a court will decide otherwise. I also think it possible that a DEA agent asked to see her behind (there are plenty of articles about this on the Internet) and then said she did not need plastic surgery. That agent would be jeopardizing his/her career in doing so, and would stand to lose a lot. Of course it could have happened, but all you have heard is her story so far. Wait to see the reults in court, check the public record of the court proceedings and see what other witnesses say before you damn these guys to Hades. This woman can have her day in court if she decides to try to get the money back.

I have seen enough and made enough currency seizures in my career to also know that smugglers do sometimes try to get their money back from the federal government through legal wrangling such as by way of law suit or through other civil methods. Some of hou seem to think this is far fetched; it is not. They file petition cases all of the time. Usually when push comes to shove they abandon it, but then again for all we know if this the proceeds of drug crimes (and it still could have come from the sale of property and be drug proceeds as in money that was being laundered) then the lady in question may be facing death if she does not get the money back. Couriers have been killed by drug organizations for less than a $46 grand screwup in the past.

This just seems to be another cop basher thread plain and simple. They did their jobs, apaprently did them well, probably had more than enough PC to make the seizure and maybe even an arest, and you guys seemingly just want to berate.

Oh well that is your prerogative, anyone can have an opinion, the above was mine.

All the best,
Glenn B

Biker
June 25, 2005, 12:38 PM
Glenn
I thought that Elvis had left the building.....
Relax. It appears that a couple of LEOs on this board drink too much coffee. Anyway, this thread isn't about "cop bashing". It's about laws that allow cops to confiscate cash carried by law abiding citizens.
Biker

makarova
June 25, 2005, 12:55 PM
Seems to me I heard there was a provision in federal law that allows you to sue anybody for violating your civil rights. You wouldn't have to win to give JBTs pause. Sort of a warning shot across the bow.

fjolnirsson
June 25, 2005, 01:10 PM
It'd be nice if this thread didn't get closed for "cop bashing". Maybe if we got back to the topic at hand, which is the seizure of private funds belonging to a citizen. Not actually her "property", as Federal Reserve Notes actually belong to the government, and are merely on loan to the peasants for temporary use.
Glenn, you made a valid point, we don't have al of the facts. However, without those facts, we must discuss the case using the facts we do have. While I will be the first to admit the poor reporting practices and standards of the MSM, I don't have a solution, either. Should we refrain from discussion of current events unless we have somebody from each side of the story who was actually there?

So this woamn who had over $46 THOUSAND dollars in her bra was from a lower social class.

Not what I said at all. I merely noted it was a common practice among lower social classes. I don't know now if women in higher social classes do this, since I don't run in those circles. Perhaps she used to belong to a lower social class. Old habits die hard.

The money, $46,000, even in all 100's could have easily been replaced with a bomb substantial power, certainly enough to bring down a plane.

Please don't twist this into a public safety issue. we all know darn well that if somebody wants to take down a plane, the TSA can't stop them. Our "security" is a joke. someone bent on serious mischeif doesn't care about the TSA and their rules. Again, can we discuss the matter at hand, which is not imaginary explosives.

DMF
June 25, 2005, 02:05 PM
Seems to me I heard there was a provision in federal law that allows you to sue anybody for violating your civil rights. You wouldn't have to win to give JBTs pause. Sort of a warning shot across the bow.Criminal penalties are possible are under 18USC241 and 18USC242, civil penalties are possible under Constitutional Torts, ie, a lawsuit claiming your rights were violated.

ksnecktieman
June 25, 2005, 02:10 PM
If we have all the facts this should have been resolved in six hours. A phone call to her city of residence, and a verification by local LEO that she did, or did not sell property, and she should be free to go, with her money. It is wrong if her money is confiscated, and she does NOT go to jail.

I disagree with anyone that sees morally justified probable cause for a seizure here on the information we have been given.

If we have all the facts then some more honest, upstanding, servants of the people have just stepped across the line to the "Jerks, and Bad guy's Team".
The REALLY TERRIBLE part here is that she was probably not hiding the money from an armed robbery attempt. She probably knew that the government would seize her money, if they knew she had it. Because this is not an isolated incident.

BostonGeorge
June 25, 2005, 02:21 PM
Glenn:
I am quite positive she was targeted for being Dominican, if it was a nice old white lady carrying around the cash it would be "no problem ma'am."

I don't know where you're from, but if you had ever spent any time in Boston or NYC, you would know that Dominicans being targeted for drugs is pretty much par for the course.

I am Dominican, and my mother doesn't trust banks either, nor is she a member of a cartel.

There are alot of "routes" going out of Texas, she could be on her way anywhere in the country.

Do you really think that she was transporting less than 50K to Colombia? Thats not very much money at all.

I grew up in Jamaica Plain, and I will tell you that if she had bought property in the early nineties when they were shooting every night, and sold it recently, she very well may be a millionaire.

Biker
June 25, 2005, 02:47 PM
Why is that? Did you observe a coffee can in his car?
Biker

HonorsDaddy
June 25, 2005, 02:55 PM
Ok - whats the deal with the coffee can jokes?

Derby FALs
June 25, 2005, 03:04 PM
Why is that? Did you observe a coffee can in his car?

From the masculine sound of his name I would think he's male. That is the same logic he uses, isn't it? :D

Ok - whats the deal with the coffee can jokes?

According to centac that is all he needs to see to give him PC to search your vehicle. :rolleyes:

GRB
June 25, 2005, 03:18 PM
It's about laws that allow cops to confiscate cash carried by law abiding citizens.No it is not, it is about whether or not those DEA agents were justified from what I have seen in most of the posts. Count them yourself.


I am quite positive she was targeted for being Dominican, if it was a nice old white lady carrying around the cash it would be "no problem ma'am." I don't know where you're from, but if you had ever spent any time in Boston or NYC, you would know that Dominicans being targeted for drugs is pretty much par for the course. I work in NYC and have done so for over 20 years now. I am a federal agent. I worked for US Customs for about 19 years. Of that time about 3/4 was spent doing currency, narcotics smuggling and other smuggling investigations. The thing about the white person not being targeted is pure bull chips.

One of the largest currency seizures from an individual at JKF Airport in NYC was being carried by a white guy. Maybe not a white 'old lady' but by a supposedly respectable businessman on his way to Nigeria to launder Heroin importation/sales proceeds. Another involving seizures of well over 1/2 million was from a white couple. Many others came from white folks including a large amount of currency seized from a white grandma and grandpa (in their 80s) going to Italy to retire or so they claimed. They said the money was from selling their pizza place, turned out to be laundered mob money. Plenty of people other than minorities have currency or monetary instruments seized from them either as proceeds of an unlawful specified act (SUA) such as narcotics proceeds, or for failure to report the money when traveling out of the country with in (when in excess of 10 grand). Please don't tell me how it is when I have done the job now for over 20 years. Do you have any first hand experience with this? I have plenty and have never lost a seizure due to any type of profiling, or to a complaint of improper behavior on my part, or to improper seizure or arrest procedure.

When the arrest report and the follow up investigative reports become public documents on this one, get copies and read them. As I said, it is quite possible that the DEA profiled this woman by national origin, but my guess would be that they did not need to based on my experience in such matters. I would like to know the bottom line myself regarding the seizure but; I do know the bottom line in this thread - a lot of conjecture that the DEA agents are guilty of something based on the same scant information in the paper which you say does not show justification for a seizure. Think about that, some of you use the article to say definitively that there was not enough PC to make the seizure, and the woman was profiled as a Dominican; the same article you say cannot be used to say there probably was enough PC. Where does it give any real evidence that these officers profiled her for being Dominican - just because she was one??? Amazing how twisted that is! It could go either way; my estimation is based upon experience in these matters, upon what is your conjecture based.

Seems to me I heard there was a provision in federal law that allows you to sue anybody for violating your civil rights. You wouldn't have to win to give JBTs pause. Sort of a warning shot across the bow. JBT comments again on these forums. Amazing how it becomes insulting cop bashing once someone tries to inject a little first hand knowledge of seizure law into these discussions. As for her having a right to sue the federal government for violation of civil rights, sure she can if the government allows it. Funny how that works. The thing is though that the agents should have no cause for pause as they are protected while operating within the scope of their duties and while it is jsut my bet they operated well within that scope, my bet is hedged by experience. The sad truth is though, that even agents who are sued unsuccessfully (because they acted properly) often wind up with cause for pause the next time they are called upon to do their duties. In the future is that what is desired here, that agents do not do their jobs?

Now tell me, are comments like these necessary:
I thought that Elvis had left the building.....
Relax. It appears that a couple of LEOs on this board drink too much coffee.
I don't drink too much coffee, usually little to none. Elvis is dead, if you me that singer of years ago. Are you trying to imply something off kilter in my posts sanity wise - that is usually what is meant when such Elvis comments are made. I gave a well thought out, in depth answer to other ranting posts about how there could have been no PC, how it was profiling, and about JBT comments and I get a comment like that.

Then I get one like this: In my opinion I have PC to believe you are a rapist How wonderfully childish - about in my estimation the words of an 8 year old who is not getting things her or his way and has little to offer (very little to nothing) along the lines of intelligent conversation.

best regards,
Glen B

HonorsDaddy
June 25, 2005, 03:35 PM
Did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, if you feel you have to defend what appears to be bad actions on the part of law enforcement that perhaps there is a reason for that perception in the public eye?

You're probably doing your job with good intentions. In fact, I believe that MOST law enforcement officers do their job with good intentions. The fact remains though that many of us have issues with the job you're doing. This is in no means a reflection upon you personally, but upon the laws you are tasked with enforcing.

We make comments about JBT behavior because, quite frankly, it scares us. We arent comfortable with the idea that a misperception on your part could cause a lot of trouble on our part - and that the onus would be upon US to prove our innocence, rather than the other way around. At least, that is how it feels.

Take this down to the most common interaction most of us have with police officers: traffic tickets. We are typically treated as dangerous felons when all we have done is exceeded a posted speed limit. We, the public, do not appreciate having an officer dressed in black, with no name tag, his hand on his gun, his partner behind us where we cannot see him, demanding our indentification and many times refusing to answer the most basic questions such as "What did i do?". This creates in us a feeling that you see us all as someone out to hurt you - when the truth is, most of us support you.

In short, try to see it from the other side of that badge once in a while. Try to imagine what YOUR life would be like if you didnt have the protection and professional courtesy that comes with the job.

Biker
June 25, 2005, 03:41 PM
I was composing a response to Glenn when I read yours, Daddy. You said it better than me.
Biker

Brett Bellmore
June 25, 2005, 03:46 PM
You get JBT comments on this forum, because when cops act like JBT, you can always count on LEOs to start defending them.

Now, I know they're only doing their job, but when their job IS to be a jack booted thug, that's not much of a defense.

Carrying money around in large quantities is NOT a crime. Finding somebody carrying it around may be probable cause to investigate further, but to take the money they had a legal right to carry, and dare them to try to get it back? No, that stands "innocent until proven guilty" on it's head. You want the money? Prove they're guilty, THEN take it! Anything else is well into JBT territory, and if you can't see that, this "war" has already corrupted your judgement.

The problem here is the war on drugs, a constitutional atrocity which demands police state tactics, because when everybody involved in a crime wants the crime to take place, there's no way to enforce the law non-abusively.

You don't have victims to tell you a crime has taken place. So all you can do is inflate your conception of "probable cause" until everybody is fair game, just for doing things which are perfectly legal. Like carrying around a lot of cash. Or having a baggy full of bulk herbs on their passenger seat on the way back from a food co-op. Or turning around when you see a police checkpoint, because you just don't have the TIME to screw around, you've got someplace to be.

You don't realize it, Glen, but you're getting those jack boots worn in, they're starting to feel comfortable.

HonorsDaddy
June 25, 2005, 03:49 PM
I have no animosity towards law enforcement in general. Considered it as a career myself until I discovered its a hell of a lot more boring than the TV shows make it out to be. I went into a different field which I find more personally and financially rewarding.

Yes, there are some cops with whom I have an issue, but truth be told, it has nothing to do with their job, but with the person. One absolute fact of life is the world is full of um...difficult people.

Sergeant Bob
June 25, 2005, 03:57 PM
Great signature line material there Brett.

ksnecktieman
June 25, 2005, 04:27 PM
Glenn? Of the money you were involved in confiscating? How many of the carriers were charged with a crime, and convicted, and went to prison?

How many never had charges filed against them?

Vernal45
June 25, 2005, 04:30 PM
Glenn? Of the money you were involved in confiscating? How many of the carriers were charged with a crime, and convicted, and went to prison?

How many never had charges filed against them?


And, How many got their money back if they were innocent)?

Brett Bellmore
June 25, 2005, 04:42 PM
When they're proven innocent, at least their lawyers get the money back. :evil:

insidious_calm
June 25, 2005, 04:55 PM
Mr. Bartley sir, your reasonings in this matter are what's currently wrong in america. It's why we have no more private property and a whole laundry list of other things that have happened to our rights. Those of you who choose to justify the rape of the constitution for the most miniscule of reasons deserve no mercy when St. Peter comes calling IMO.


I.C.

Pointman
June 25, 2005, 06:42 PM
Hm... I wonder if this would be seen differently if it'd been a 24 year old Arab male from Saudi Arabia named Mahamad?

Or consider how many AK47's $47k could buy for Hugo Chevez's & Castro's Marxist friends trying to get a foothold in another S.American country? (and they are on the march incase you're not paying attention)

Eithe way remember that this non-resident woman violated the law, so target the pathogen not the symtom. And don't carry more than $10k in cash until then. :evil:

Brett Bellmore
June 25, 2005, 06:48 PM
Either way remember that this non-resident woman violated the law, so target the pathogen not the symtom.

And which law is she supposed to have broken? I've yet to hear that.

Pointman
June 25, 2005, 07:01 PM
She didn't file 4790. :evil:

"No limit is placed on the amount of money that travellers may legally take into or out of the United States. However, if on any occasion you carry more than US$10,000 in monetary instruments (such as U.S. or foreign coin, currency, traveller's cheques, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form) into or out of the United States, or if you receive more than that amount while in the United States, you must file a report (Customs Form 4790) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal penalties, including seizure of the currency or monetary instruments."

Source http://www.voyage.gc.ca/main/pubs/usa_bound-en.asp , travel advise for Canadians entering the United States.

Brett Bellmore
June 25, 2005, 07:19 PM
She wasn't traveling in or out of the country; She was on a domestic flight. And it doesn't say how long she had to file it. A rational thing to do would have been to remind her to get around to it before she left, and maybe hand her a copy of the form.

Unless, of course, you were looking for an excuse to rob her under the color of law.

Pointman
June 25, 2005, 07:41 PM
Yes, I hope this $47k will lower my taxes. :rolleyes:

You are right, it was a domestic flight, my mistake. I don't know why I thought otherwise :uhoh:

natedog
June 25, 2005, 07:58 PM
I now wonder if a Bra, in the open is now probable cause to search a vehicle or person?

If it has a coffee can attached to it, then yes.

Biker
June 25, 2005, 08:01 PM
In that case, remember the melody?
"The best paaaarrrt of wakin' up..."
Heh heh .
Biker

mercedesrules
June 25, 2005, 08:12 PM
(Glenn Bartley) The amount was consistent with money laundering

"Drug dealing", "money laundering" and "smuggling" are bogus crimes. People should think twice before taking any job that requires enforcing those (and many other) laws. :scrutiny:

Brett Bellmore
June 25, 2005, 08:19 PM
The amount was consistent with money laundering

The problem wasn't that there wasn't some cause to investigate the possiblity that she was doing something illegal... Though I've probably violated money laundering laws myself once in a while, they've become so absurd.

The problem is that seizing the money, and then requiring her to go to court to get it back, stands the legal sequence on it's head. Trial first, THEN punishment! That's the way it's supposed to work.

spartacus2002
June 25, 2005, 09:09 PM
The amount was consistent with money laundering

SO WHAT? The amount of ammo in my closet (and many other members here, I suspect) is consistent with starting a small domestic guerrilla war -- that doesn't give anybody Probable Cause to seize it!!!!!!!!

Vernal45
June 25, 2005, 09:12 PM
So lets see, If I travel cross country, make sure NO coffee cans in my 4runner, but I have $100k in cash on me. $100k to purchase a house, buy property when I get to my destination. But, I get pulled over, money is found. Money gets seized, I get arrested, I have to go to court to prove its my money. HMMMM, I have committed no crime, yet I would be treated like a criminal. Yep, smells like a police state.
The government has no, NO business telling anyone what amount of money they can carry on them.......


SO WHAT? The amount of ammo in my closet (and many other members here, I suspect) is consistent with starting a small domestic guerrilla war -- that doesn't give anybody Probable Cause to seize it!!!!!!!!

Dont get to excited spartacus2002, they are working on that one as we speak.

2nd Amendment
June 25, 2005, 09:22 PM
Nope the burden of proof is on the government. However, that means contesting the seizure and going to court. Any guesses on how many drug smugglers want to show up in court to fight the seizure?

This is a really annoying fantasy the Apologists have and try to foist off on the rest of us. 80% of AF cases never result in charges filed and that is because the victims are really all drug pushers who don't want to go to court.

No, wait, it's actually...well, damn...when you actually look at it it doesn't make a bit of sense, does it? The government takes money, doesn't file any charges and it's somehow the fault of the person whose assets were stolen.

Give it a rest.

As for this case, I can think of exactly what the PC was: None. Any disagreement there is strictly excuse making by someone with some form of vested interest in government sanctioned theft. Government flunky did an excessive government search, found the money and took it, period. That's how it always is in any case where no charges are filed. There is no rational argument to the contrary, but as one who despises government flunkies I truly love seeing such attempted justifications. Just makes my job of marginalizing the government easier. This and little things like the Kelo decision anyway...

Group9
June 25, 2005, 10:09 PM
80% of AF cases never result in charges filed

Care to cite your source for this statement?

Brett Bellmore
June 25, 2005, 10:11 PM
The reason charges aren't filed in most cases, is that you can lose trials. And they've already successfully "fined" you, why take the chance that a jury will find you innocent, and they'll have to give the money back?

Besides, it was the money they really wanted, not justice.

The reason people don't contest, of course, is that most of the victims of these seizures are rendered too poor to put up the bond, which is necessary to challenge the seizure even if you found a lawyer who'd represent you for free.

Yeah, claiming that they're only preying on the guilty is a crock. But I think it's mostly a lie they tell themselves, to salve their own consciences.

Vernal45
June 25, 2005, 10:14 PM
Police Profit From Confiscation




As you can see, the biggest crime organization in America is run by your government.
Jim Hardin
The Freedom Page
http://www.freedompage.ws

Subject: Fw: Courts / Police Profit From Confiscatio From: "John Simmons"
texian39th@cowtoen.net
J.A.I.L. News Journal, October 20, 2000

From Confiscations The Looting of America How over 200 Civil Asset Forfeiture laws enable police to confiscate your home, bank accounts & business without trial. by Jarret Wollstein Revised May 1997

A police dog scratched at your luggage, so we’re confiscating your life savings and you’ll never get it back.’ Police stopped 49-year-old Ethel Hylton at Houston’s Hobby Airport and told her she was under arrest because a drug dog had scratched at her luggage.

Agents searched her bags and strip-searched her, but they found no drugs. They did find $39,110 in cash, money she had received from an insurance settlement and her life savings; accumulated through over 20 years of work as a hotel housekeeper and hospital janitor. Ethel Hylton completely documented where she got the money and was never charged with a crime. But the police kept her money anyway.

Nearly four years later, she is still trying to get her money back. Ethel Hylton is just one of a large and growing list of Americans – now numbering in the hundreds of thousands – who have been victimized by civil asset forfeiture. Under civil asset forfeiture, every-thing you own can be legally taken away even if you are never convicted of a crime. Suspicion of offenses which, if proven in court, might result in a $200 fine or probation, are being used to justify seizure of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property.

Totally innocent Americans are losing their cars, homes and businesses, based on the claims of anonymous informants that illegal transactions took place on their property. Once property is seized, it is virtually impossible to get it back. Property is now being seized in every state and from every social group.

Seizures include pocket money confiscated from public-housing residents in Florida; cars taken away from men suspected of soliciting prostitutes in Oregon; and homes taken away from ordinary, middle class Americans whose teenage children are accused of selling a few joints of marijuana. No person and no property is immune from seizure. You could be the next victim. Here are some examples: In Washington, D.C. police stop black men on the streets in poor areas of the city, and "routinely confiscate small amounts of cash and jewelry". Most confiscated property is not even recorded by police departments.

"Resident Ben Davis calls it ‘robbery with a badge’." [USA Today, 5/18/92]

In Iowa, "a woman accused of shoplifting a $25 sweater had her $18,000 car – specially equipped for her handicapped daughter – seized as the ‘getaway vehicle’." [USA Today, 5/18/92]

Detroit drug police raided a grocery store, but failed to find any drugs. After drug dogs reacted to three $1.00 bills in the cash register, the police seized $4,384 from cash registers and the store safe. According to the Pittsburgh Press, over 92% of all cash in circulation in the U.S. now shows some drug residue.

In Monmouth, New Jersey, Dr. David Disbrow was accused of practicing psychiatry without a license. His crime was providing counseling services from a spare bedroom in his mother’s house. Counseling does not require a license in New Jersey. That didn’t stop police from seizing virtually everything of value from his mother’s home, totaling over $60,000.

The forfeiture squad confiscated furniture, carpets, paintings, and even personal photographs. Kathy and Mark Schrama were arrested just before Christmas 1990 at their home in New Jersey. Kathy was charged with taking $500 worth of UPS packages from neighbors’ porches. Mark was charged with receiving stolen goods. If found guilty, they might have paid a small fine and received probation.

The day after their arrest, their house, cars and furniture were seized. Based upon mere accusation, $150,000 in property was confiscated, without trial or indictment. Police even took their clothing, eyeglasses, and Christmas presents for their 10-year-old son. The incentive for government agencies to expand forfeiture is enormous. Agencies can easily seize property and they usually keep what they take. According to the Pittsburgh Press, 80% of seizure victims are never even charged with a crime.

Law enforcement agencies often keep the best seized cars, watches and TVs for their "departments", and sell the rest. How extensive are seizures in America today? The Washington Post has reported that the U.S. Marshals Service alone had an inventory of over $1.4 billion in seized assets, including over 30,000 cars, boats, homes and businesses. Federal and state agencies seizing property now include the FBI, the DEA, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Coast Guard, the IRS, local police, highway patrol, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, FDA, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Asset forfeiture is a growth industry. Seizures have increased from $27 million in 1986, to over $644 million in 1991 to over $2 billion today. Civil asset forfeiture defines a new standard of justice in America; or more precisely, a new standard of injustice. Under civil seizure, property, not an individual is charged with an offense. Even if you are a totally innocent owner, the government can still confiscate your ‘‘guilty’’ property.

If government agents seize your property under civil asset forfeiture, you can forget about being innocent until proven guilty, due process of law, the right to an attorney, or even the right to trial. All of those rights only exist if you are charged with a criminal offense; that is, with an offense which could result in your imprisonment. If you (or your property) are accused of a civil offense (offenses which could not result in your imprisonment), the Supreme Count has ruled that you have no presumption of innocence, no right to an attorney, and no protection from double jeopardy.

Seizure occurs when government takes away your property. Forfeiture is when legal title is permanently transferred to the state. To get seized property returned, you have to fight the full resources of your state or federal government; sometimes both! You have to prove your property’s "innocence" by documenting how you earned every cent used to pay for it.

You have to prove that neither you nor any of your family members ever committed an illegal act involving the property. To get a trial, you have to post a non-refundable "bond" of 10% of the value of your property. You have to pay attorney fees – ranging from $5,000 to over $100,000 – out of your own pocket. Money you pay your attorney is also subject to seizure (either before or after the trial) if the government alleges that those funds were "tainted". And you may be forced to go through trial after trial, because under civil seizure the Constitutional protection against "double jeopardy" doesn’t apply.

Once your property is seized, expect to spend years fighting government agencies and expect to be impoverished by legal fees – with no guarantee of winning – while the government keeps your car, home and bank account. In fact, in a recent Supreme Court decision (Bennis v. Michigan), the Court said explicitly that innocent owners can be deprived of their property if it's used to facilitate a crime, even without the owner's knowledge or consent. That means you can now lose your home or business because of the action of employees, relatives, or guests, over whom you have absolutely no control.

Police and prosecutors have incentive to confiscate as much as possible. Not only do police and prosecutors have the power to seize anything you own on the slightest pretext, they also have the incentive. The dirty little secret of the forfeiture racket is that police, prosecutors and judges can benefit personally by stealing your property. Brenda Grantland – America’s leading asset forfeiture defense attorney – gives these examples of government greed in her book Your House Is Under Arrest: Suffolk County, NY. District Attorney James M. Catterton drives around in a BMW 735I that was seized from an alleged drug dealer.

He spent $3,412 from the forfeiture fund for mechanical and body work, including $75 for pin-striping. Warren County, NJ. The assistant chief prosecutor drives a confiscated yellow Corvette. Little Compton, RI. The seven member police force received $3.8 million from the federal forfeiture fund, and spent it on such things as a new 23-foot boat with trailer, and new Pontiac Firebirds.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The head of one Los Angeles police forfeiture squad claims his group personally pocketed over $60 million in seized property. Why do our courts tolerate these outrageous legalized thefts? Because they get their cut. It's completely legal for confiscated property to be used by police, prosecutors and judges, so long as it's for official business. In 1996, a federal district court even ruled that police can personally receive 25% of the value of any confiscated home, car, or business.

Some police will kill you for your property In Malibu, California, park police tried repeatedly to buy the home and land of 61-year-old, retired rancher Don Scott, which was next to national parkland. Scott refused. On the morning of October 2, 1992, a task force of 26 LA county sheriffs, DEA agents and other cops broke into Scott's living room. When he heard his wife, Frances, scream, he came out of his upstairs bedroom with a gun over his head. Police yelled at him to lower his gun.

He did, and they shot him dead. Police claimed to be searching for marijuana which they never found. Ventura County DA Michael Bradbury concluded that the raid was "motivated at least in part, by a desire to seize and forfeit the ranch for the government . . .[The] search warrant became Donald Scott’s death warrant." ....

Mr. Tom Gordon (Interim Director) Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (FEAR)
P.O. Box 15421, Washington, DC 20003 Tel: 1-888-FEAR-001
e-mail: tgordon@tmn.com
website: http://www.fear.org

International Society for Individual Liberty
836-B Southampton Rd, #299, Benicia, CA 94510-1907
Tel: (707) 746-8796 Fax: (707) 746-8797
E-mail: 71034.2711@compuserve.com
Website: http://www.isil.org FreeRepublic.com

"A Conservative News Forum"Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works. "It is exclusively the judicial branch of government in any country that throws its nation into internal upheaval and ultimate revolution."-

Ron BransonJ.A.I.L. is an acronym for (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law)
JAIL's very informative website is found at
http://www.jail4judges.org/

"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."
- Samuel Adams-

http://home.iae.nl/users/lightnet/world/awaken/seizurelaws.htm

Vernal45
June 25, 2005, 10:16 PM
Highway Robbery
Bruce Benson

In 1863, Henry Plummer was sheriff of the gold camp at Bannock, Montana. He also organized a gang of about 100 "road agents" who stole from miners and travelers; his deputies were horse thieves, stagecoach robbers, and murderers. Citizens could do something about highway robbery by their sheriff in 1863, however. Since Plummer was breaking the law, a vigilante committee arrested, tried, and hanged him in short order, along with 21 members of his gang, banished several others from the area, and frightened off most of the rest.

Today, the sheriff of Volusia County, Florida, also leads an organized band of "road agents" who confiscate cash from travelers on Interstate 95. His road agents are called the "drug squad" and they have seized an average of $5,000 per day from motorists during the 41 months preceding June 1992: over $8 million dollars since 1989. But Floridians cannot do anything about this highway robbery, because it is perfectly legal under the state's asset seizure law.

Such highway robbery is being "justified " as part of a "war on drugs." Actually, however, most Volusia County seizures involve southbound rather than northbound travelers, suggesting that the drug squad is more interested in seizing money than in stopping the flow of drugs. In fact, no criminal charges were filed in over 75 percent of the County's seizure cases. But more significantly, a substantial amount of money has been stolen from innocent victims. In order to get their money back, these people must undertake an expensive civil trial to prove their innocence, something most decide they cannot afford to do.

Our criminal justice system presumably is based on the premise that someone is innocent until proven guilty, because it is better to err on the side of letting a guilty person go free than to err by punishing someone who is innocent. Florida's asset seizure law has turned this presumption on its head. The sheriff argues that it is better to hurt a few innocent victims than to take a chance on letting a guilty drug trafficker's money through (although the trafficker is usually free to go).

In fact, the sheriff apparently feels that fining innocent victims a few thousand dollars for carrying cash is okay, since money is not returned even when the seizure is challenged, no proof of wrongdoing or criminal record can be found, and the victim presents proof that the money was legitimately earned. Three-fourths of Volusia County's 199 seizures that did not include an arrest were contested. The sheriff employed a forfeiture attorney at $44,000 a year (he moved to private practice in mid-1990, but now is paid $48,000 to consult with the sheriff's department regarding how much to give back) to handle settlement negotiations. Only four people ultimately got their money back, one went to trial but lost and has appealed, and the rest settled for 50 to 90 percent of their money after promising not to sue the department. How many were drug traffickers? No one knows, since no charges were filed and no trials occurred, but it is clear that several were innocent victims.

A 21-year-old naval reservist had $3,989 seized in 1990, for instance, and even though he produced Navy pay stubs to show the source of the money, he ultimately settled for the return of $2,989, with 25 percent of that going to his lawyer. In other similar cases the sheriff's department kept $4,750 out of $19,000 (the lawyer got another $1,000), $3,750 out of $31,000 (the attorney got about 25 percent of the $27,250 returned), $4,000 of $19,000 ($1,000 to the attorney), $6,000 out of $36,990 (the attorney's fee was 25 percent of the rest), and $10,000 out of $38,923 (the attorney got one third of the recovery).
Federal Forfeitures

The Volusia County sheriffs department is not the only law enforcement agency that has turned to highway robbery in response to asset seizure laws. Federal forfeitures have taken in $2.4 billion since 1985. The Drug Enforcement Administration seizes millions of dollars at ports, airports, and bus stations; Congress began investigating alleged abuses by the DEA in May of 1992. Whether large portions of the seizures come from criminals or not cannot be determined since many do not involve arrests, and the costs associated with recovering wrongfully seized assets from the federal authorities can run into thousands of dollars. Many other states have laws similar to Florida's, and for those that do not, the Comprehensive Crime Act of 1984 established a system whereby any local police department which cooperated with federal drug enforcement authorities in an investigation would share in the assets confiscated.

The 1984 federal confiscations legislation followed a period of active advocacy by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials who suggested that it would foster cooperation between their agencies and increase the overall effort devoted to drug control and its effectiveness; that is, law enforcement bureaus maintained that they needed to be paid to cooperate, whether the cooperation was in the public interest or not.

It was not until a few years after the effects of the legislation could be seen that strong opposition arose. It became clear that the federal legislation was being used to circumvent state laws and constitutions that prohibited certain forfeitures or limited law enforcement use of seizures. For example, North Carolina's Constitution requires that all proceeds from confiscated assets go to the County School Fund. Law enforcement agencies in those states where state law limited their ability to benefit from confiscations began using the 1984 legislation to circumvent their laws by "routinely" arranging for federal "adoption" of forfeitures, whereupon 80 percent is passed back to the state and local law enforcement agencies, since the federal law mandated that shared forfeitures go exclusively to law enforcement.
Section 6077

As education groups and others affected by this diversion of benefits recognized what was going on, they began to advocate a change in the federal law. They were successful, as the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (passed on November 18, 1988) changed the asset forfeitures provision. Section 6077 of the 1988 statute stated that the attorney general must assure that any forfeitures transferred to a state or local law enforcement agency "is not so transferred to circumvent any requirement of State Law that prohibits forfeiture or limits use or disposition of property forfeited to state or local agencies." This provision was designated to go into effect on October 1, 1989, and the Department of Justice interpreted it to mandate an end to all adoptive forfeitures.

State and local law enforcement officials immediately began advocating repeal of Section 6077, of course. Thus, the Subcommittee on Crime heard testimony on April 24, 1989, advocating repeal of Section 6077 from such groups as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, and the U.S. Attorney General's Office. Perhaps the most impassioned plea for repeal was made by Joseph W. Dean of the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, who both admitted that law enforcement bureaucracies were using the federal law to circumvent the state's constitution and that without the benefits of confiscations going to those bureaus, substantially less effort would be made to control drugs:

Currently the United States Attorney General, by policy, requires that all shared property be used by the transferee for law enforcement purposes. The conflict between state and federal law [given Section 6077 of the 1988 Act] would prevent the federal government from adopting seizures by state and local agencies.

... This provision would have a devastating impact on joint efforts by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies not only in North Carolina but also in other affected states....

Education is any state's biggest business. The education lobby is the most powerful in the state and has taken a position against law enforcement being able to share in seized assets. The irony is that if local and state law enforcement agencies cannot share, the assets will in all likelihood not be seized and forfeited. Thus no one wins but the drug trafficker . . . .

. . . If this financial sharing stops, we will kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

This statement clearly suggests that law enforcement agencies focus resources on enforcement of drug laws because of the financial gains for the agencies arising from forfeitures. Apparently it is not the fact that drugs are illegal which induced the massive post-1984 War on Drugs, but the fact that forfeitures generate benefits for police.

The implication that law enforcement agencies benefit from the discretion arising through forfeitures was also corroborated by other testimony. In fact, a statement by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, in support of repealing Section 6077, actually implied that law enforcement agencies were focusing on confiscations as opposed to criminal convictions: "Drug agents would have much less incentive to follow through on the assets potentially held by drug traffickers, since there would be no reward for such efforts and would concentrate their time and resources on the criminal prosecution." But isn't that what they are supposed to do? Nonetheless, the police lobbies were successful. A repeal of Section 6077, retroactive to October 1, 1991, was hidden in the 1992 Defense Appropriations Bill.

It is time to rethink asset seizure laws. By making victims prove their innocence before their assets are returned, long-standing constitutional protections of due process are being overturned. Assets should not be seized unless an arrest is made and they should not be kept unless a conviction follows. Furthermore, by giving the seizures to the police department that makes them, we are creating incentives for legalized highway robbery. Seizures of assets used in the process of committing a crime or assets purchased with ill-gotten gains may be a good idea. However, if this is the case, then police should willingly make seizures no matter who gets the seized assets, and they should be eager to ensure that innocent victims get their assets back. If seizures are warranted, they should go into the general fund or into a restitution program for crime victims. Then maybe the incentives for police to commit legalized highway robbery would come to an end.

At the time of the original publication, Bruce Benson was Distinguished Professor of Economics at Florida State University.

http://www.libertyhaven.com/politicsandcurrentevents/crimeandterrorism/highwayrobbery.shtml

Vernal45
June 25, 2005, 10:18 PM
http://www.druglibrary.org/think/~jnr/presumed.htm

Gewehr98
June 25, 2005, 10:18 PM
I was gonna fly to the West Coast and get a boob job, myself. Making a mental note to myself to bring a certified bank check or USPS money order. :o

2nd Amendment
June 25, 2005, 10:28 PM
Thx, Vernal.

Care to cite your source for this statement?

Also use the THR Search function, since it has been cited in excrutiating detail here many times before. ALSO, try Google. It's your friend.

BostonGeorge
June 25, 2005, 11:38 PM
Thanks for the articles Vernal.

So let me get this straight Glenn, you're OK with this?

DMF
June 25, 2005, 11:46 PM
So BG, you're just going to assume those editorials are the whole story, with no bias. When you can give us both sides of the story, not just the side whose agenda is to get rid of all asset forfieture, then maybe your question will be worth answering.

GRB
June 25, 2005, 11:47 PM
Deleted at Glenn's request to be in keeping with The High Road.
--DMG

DMF
June 25, 2005, 11:51 PM
Also use the THR Search function, since it has been cited in excrutiating detail here many times before. Yeah but as I recall it's not as clear cut as you'd want some to believe:

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=1197107&highlight=series1811#post1197107

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=1683786&highlight=series1811#post1683786

The reality of asset forfeiture is much different than the myth being perpetuated by some here.

GRB
June 26, 2005, 12:00 AM
I now wonder if a Bra, in the open is now probable cause to search a vehicle or person? You do not have a clue as to probable cause.

SO WHAT? The amount of ammo in my closet (and many other members here, I suspect) is consistent with starting a small domestic guerrilla war -- that doesn't give anybody Probable Cause to seize Nor do you.

Probable cause is not one fact, it is a collection of facts that cause one to reasonably believe that a something probably may have happened. It is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. When you combine all the facts ofwhich the DEA agents were aware, they believed they had probabler cause to seize the money. They had many facts on which to base their belief. if they had enough the seizure was quite legal no matter how much you may want to play Monday Morning Deense Attorney. Of course maybe they did not have enough. You do not hear me say for sure they had enough, I just bet that they did based on my working knowledge of the law.

Mr. Bartley sir, your reasonings in this matter are what's currently wrong in america. It's why we have no more private property and a whole laundry list of other things that have happened to our rights.

When I read something like this though, I wonder do you have a better plan for our legal system. The probable cause of which I speak and by which I base any arrests I have ever made is a part of our Bill Of Rights. Are you saying that the 4th amendment is wrong? The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with the seizure if there was probable cause. Probable cause is not proving a person commiteted a crime, all it is is saying that the police have cause to effect an arrest or seizure. Then the courts figure it out.

Brett Bellmore
June 26, 2005, 12:06 AM
The reality of asset forfieture, is that it takes place before you've been convicted by a jury of your peers. And that's ALL we need to know, to understand that it's an abuse which the government should not be committing. It doesn't matter if 100% of the people whose assets are seized happen to be guilty.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

You have a right to a jury trial before you're criminally punished, or civilly punished to more than a minor degree. End of story. Civil forfieture prior to conviction is a constitutional obscenity.

Vernal45
June 26, 2005, 12:14 AM
You do not have a clue as to probable cause.

And you dont have a clue as to what a tongue and cheek remark is.

2nd Amendment
June 26, 2005, 12:24 AM
The reality of asset forfeiture is much different than the myth being perpetuated by some here.

No, it's not. You've been buried in links to congressional testimony, congressional statements, actual cases and legal reviews. The 80% statistic is unassailable and your "explanation" is illogical. It isn't about opinions, it's about demonstrated facts and those facts don't support your "side".

Bruce H
June 26, 2005, 12:31 AM
Their are two members of this board that qualify for Standing Wolf's signature.

GRB
June 26, 2005, 12:31 AM
Glenn? Of the money you were involved in confiscating? How many of the carriers were charged with a crime, and convicted, and went to prison?

How many never had charges filed against them?Hmm, that would be hard to give exact figures because I cannot remember how many, and for me to check y government data base and then divulge it to you could be a felony. You can file a FOIA claim asking for info on all seizure I was involved with or, you can take my estimate which is in good faith: I have worked hundreds of currency cases both my own and assisting other agents. I have been involved in cases where up to 8.6 million dollars was seized, down to cases where about 12 thousand was seized. Rarely was anyone ever prosecuted if the amount was under 50 grand (that was years ago, I do not know the prosecutorial guidelines now).

I figure that of all the money actually seized by me in investigations I initiated, all of it was forfeit. In each instance where I seized money during an investigation the subject was arrested and went to jail or got a suspended sentence or fled and is now a fugitive. Of all the trials in my own cases, all the subjects were found guilty; all were jury trials. In the other cases they pled guilty.

I had one case where we released the woman who was transporting the money because I decided to believe her story about how she was innocent because someone else had duped her to unknowingly carry the money (which she said did not belong to her) while departing the US. A day or two later her husband called my office demanding their money back. He and his wife came to the airport and were nice enough to let me arrest her again, and also to arrest him. They went on trial and both were found guilty of several charges. Funny case, because if you guys had just read about it in the paper, many of you would have immediately believed her story and said I was a JBT. Once convicted, the judge was so kind as to allow them to serve a year each one after the other so one would always be with their children. They were let out on bond for a few nights so the one could prepare to go into the klink and then they fled. That was about 16-17 years ago. They will get caught one day. A major cartel player from one of my other money seizures also fled, that was 15 years ago. He was arrested this January and his case is pending.

Many others were never facing jail time but instead faced only a fine - most of these types were seizures made by Customs Inspectors and then I got the case. In some of these cases, there was no fine and the money was returned even though there had been ample probable cause to seize it. The Customs Service, without going to court, decided to give it back because of mitigating circumstances (no the G is not always the big bads wolf as some seem to believe); not that there was not enough probable cause to seize it but that once all the info was available it was clear that something mitigated the facts in favor of the suspect and the government said ok here it is back to you. Other cases, as I said, there was a fine, sometime substantial sometimes minimal; many of the cases with mitigating factors had some small fine or part of the money forfeit, yet some did not have any fine. Such cases included every sort of person, all races, creeds, colors, sexes and so forth getting the money back or being fined instead of jailed. Other ones I got from inspectors were also prosecuted. All who were prosecuted were found guilty or pled guilty.

At first, when a seizure is made, many people had claims about it being legitimate money from legitimate business, or of not knowing it was there because uncle Ignatz packed their bags, or of not understand English thereby not understand the currency reporting requirement when it was read to them by Customs inspectors and so on.


My whole point in this discussion has been to point out that probable cause though is only cause for arrest or seizure. It is not saying someone is guilty. It is saying they are suspect and there is enough cause to effect an arrest or seizure.

If that is too coffee can for some of you take it up with the Supreme Court. My cases, and the PC in my cases, have withstood suppression hearings and trials and petitions to return the money (even one we were pretty sure came direct from a cartel bank).

Since this is getting rather nasty (even I have strayed - I guess the rape PC post was a little too much for me, shame it came to that) I will bring my postings on this one to a close. No sense in arguing something that we will never agree upon.

All the best,
Glenn B

Don Gwinn
June 26, 2005, 01:14 AM
Good Lord, now coffee can is an adjective?


Anyway, we had a good discussion going here for a few pages. It's starting to look like more light than heat, but at the moment I'd like to see the good discussion continue, so let's all take a deep breath and stick to the subject at hand, OK? No personal stuff, please.

CentralTexas
June 26, 2005, 01:42 AM
email me and explain this coffee can remark I see every freakin week with no explenation?????
PUUUUUUHHHHLEEEEEEESE????
CT

fjolnirsson
June 26, 2005, 01:50 AM
Hey, CT. Your email doesn't work through the board, so you have a PM. Hope it helps.
byron

Vernal45
June 26, 2005, 02:05 AM
The Looting Of America
How over 200 Civil Asset Forfeiture laws enable police to confiscate
your home, bank accounts & business without trial.
by Jarret Wollstein victimized by civil asset forfeiture. Under civil asset forfeiture, every-thing you own can be legally taken away even if you are never convicted of a crime.

Suspicion of offenses which, if proven in court, might result in a $200 fine or probation, are being used to justify seizure of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property. Totally innocent Americans are losing their cars, homes and businesses, based on the claims of anonymous informants that illegal transactions took place on their property. Once property is seized, it is virtually impossible to get it back.

Property is now being seized in every state and from every social group. Seizures include pocket money confiscated from public-housing residents in Florida; cars taken away from men suspected of soliciting prostitutes in Oregon; and homes taken away from ordinary, middle class Americans whose teenage children are accused of selling a few joints of marijuana. No person and no property is immune from seizure. You could be the next victim. Here are some examples:

In Washington, D.C. police stop black men on the streets in poor areas of the city, and "routinely confiscate small amounts of cash and jewelry". Most confiscated property is not even recorded by police departments. "Resident Ben Davis calls it ‘robbery with a badge’." [USA Today, 5/18/92]

In Iowa, "a woman accused of shoplifting a $25 sweater had her $18,000 car – specially equipped for her handicapped daughter – seized as the ‘getaway vehicle’." [USA Today, 5/18/92]

Detroit drug police raided a grocery store, but failed to find any drugs. After drug dogs reacted to three $1.00 bills in the cash register, the police seized $4,384 from cash registers and the store safe. According to the Pittsburgh Press, over 92% of all cash in circulation in the U.S. now shows some drug residue.

In Monmouth, New Jersey, Dr. David Disbrow was accused of practicing psychiatry without a license. His crime was providing counselling services from a spare bedroom in his mother’s house. Counselling does not require a license in New Jersey. That didn’t stop police from seizing virtually everything of value from his mother’s home, totalling over $60,000. The forfeiture squad confiscated furniture, carpets, paintings, and even personal photographs.

Kathy and Mark Schrama were arrested just before Christmas 1990 at their home in New Jersey. Kathy was charged with taking $500 worth of UPS packages from neighbors’ porches. Mark was charged with receiving stolen goods. If found guilty, they might have paid a small fine and received probation. The day after their arrest, their house, cars and furniture were seized. Based upon mere accusation, $150,000 in property was confiscated, without trial or indictment. Police even took their clothing, eyeglasses, and Christmas presents for their 10-year-old son.

The incentive for government agencies to expand forfeiture is enormous. Agencies can easily seize prop-erty and they usually keep what they take. According to the Pittsburgh Press, 80% of seizure victims are never even charged with a crime. Law enforcement agencies often keep the best seized cars, watches and TVs for their "departments", and sell the rest.

How extensive are seizures in America today? The Washington Post has reported that the U.S. Marshals Service alone had an inventory of over $1.4 billion in seized assets, including over 30,000 cars, boats, homes and businesses. Federal and state agencies seizing property now include the FBI, the DEA, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Coast Guard, the IRS, local police, highway patrol, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, FDA, and the Bureau of Land Management. Asset forfeiture is a growth industry. Seizures have increased from $27 million in 1986, to over $644 million in 1991 to over $2 billion today.

Civil asset forfeiture defines a new standard of justice in America; or more precisely, a new standard of injustice. Under civil seizure, property, not an individual is charged with an offense. Even if you are a totally innocent owner, the government can still confiscate your ‘‘guilty’’ property.

If government agents seize your property under civil asset forfeiture, you can forget about being innocent until proven guilty, due process of law, the right to an attorney, or even the right to trial. All of those rights only exist if you are charged with a criminal offense; that is, with an offense which could result in your imprisonment. If you (or your property) are accused of a civil offense (offenses which could not result in your imprisonment), the Supreme Count has ruled that you have no presumption of innocence, no right to an attorney, and no protection from double jeopardy.

Seizure occurs when government takes away your property. Forfeiture is when legal title is permanently transferred to the state. To get seized property returned, you have to fight the full resources of your state or federal government; sometimes both! You have to prove your property’s "innocence" by documenting how you earned every cent used to pay for it. You have to prove that neither you nor any of your family members ever committed an illegal act involving the property.

To get a trial, you have to post a non-refundable "bond" of 10% of the value of your property. You have to pay attorney fees – ranging from $5,000 to over $100,000 – out of your own pocket. Money you pay your attorney is also subject to seizure (either before or after the trial) if the government alleges that those funds were "tainted". And you may be forced to go through trial after trial, because under civil seizure the Constitutional protection against "double jeopardy" doesn’t apply. Once your property is seized, expect to spend years fighting government agencies and expect to be impoverished by legal fees – with no guarantee of winning – while the government keeps your car, home and bank account.

In fact, in a recent Supreme Court decision (Bennis v. Michigan), the Court said explicitly that innocent owners can be deprived of their property if it's used to facilitate a crime, even without the owner's knowledge or consent. That means you can now lose your home or business because of the action of employees, relatives, or guests, over whom you have absolutely no control.

Police and prosecutors have incentive to confiscate as much as possible.

Not only do police and prosecutors have the power to seize anything you own on the slightest pretext, they also have the incentive. The dirty little secret of the forfeiture racket is that police, prosecutors and judges can benefit personally by stealing your property.

Brenda Grantland – America’s leading asset forfeiture defense attorney – gives these examples of government greed in her book Your House Is Under Arrest:

Suffolk County, NY. District Attorney James M. Catterton drives around in a BMW 735I that was seized from an alleged drug dealer. He spent $3,412 from the forfeiture fund for mechanical and body work, including $75 for pin-striping.

Warren County, NJ. The assistant chief prosecutor drives a confiscated yellow Corvette.

Little Compton, RI. The seven member police force received $3.8 million from the federal forfeiture fund, and spent it on such things as a new 23-foot boat with trailer, and new Pontiac Firebirds.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The head of one Los Angeles police forfeiture squad claims his group personally pocketed over $60 million in seized property.

Why do our courts tolerate these outrageous legalized thefts? Because they get their cut. It's completely legal for confiscated property to be used by police, prosecutors and judges, so long as it's for official business. In 1996, a federal district court even ruled that police can personally receive 25% of the value of any confiscated home, car, or business.

Some police will kill you for your property

In Malibu, California, park police tried repeatedly to buy the home and land of 61-year-old, retired rancher Don Scott, which was next to national parkland. Scott refused. On the morning of October 2, 1992, a task force of 26 LA county sheriffs, DEA agents and other cops broke into Scott's living room. When he heard his wife, Frances, scream, he came out of his upstairs bedroom with a gun over his head. Police yelled at him to lower his gun. He did, and they shot him dead.

Police claimed to be searching for marijuana which they never found. Ventura County DA Michael Bradbury concluded that the raid was "motivated at least in part, by a desire to seize and forfeit the ranch for the government . . . [The] search warrant became Donald Scott’s death warrant."


http://christianparty.net/assetforfeiture.htm

ksnecktieman
June 26, 2005, 08:19 AM
centraltexas, and anyone else that did not hear. The "coffee can" remark is relating to one of our posters that is in law enforcement that tells us.


"Some people with drugs think the smell off coffee will conceal the smell of drugs from dogs, so they get coffee to spread near their drugs to confuse the dogs. He considers it "probable cause to conduct a search if he sees an empty coffee can or a coffee pouch in your vehicle."

BostonGeorge
June 26, 2005, 10:09 AM
Glenn: You are right, I am sure we don't have all the information in any of these cases. I am also quite sure that most, if not all of these seizures were 100% legal. Legal does not equal right, and the current asset forfeiture laws are just plain wrong. Because of their civil nature, the accused in these case do not have the benefit of the rights afforded to them in the Constitution. Nobody should have to prove their innocence, at their own expense, to retain their personal property. I understand it is your job to enforce these misguided laws, but as you seem like quite a level headed individual, I must wonder if you have any moral dilemma in doing so.

So BG, you're just going to assume those editorials are the whole story, with no bias. When you can give us both sides of the story, not just the side whose agenda is to get rid of all asset forfieture, then maybe your question will be worth answering.

DMF: As I stated above, I do not, however, I do believe these laws are oft-abused with no repercussions. I would support serious reform, not complete dissolution.

Art Eatman
June 26, 2005, 11:05 AM
The very idea that an asset can be arrested qualifies the originator of that thought as a prime candidate for a Home For The Bewildered. The idea that an asset can be arrested is unsane. Irrational. The comment, "The Law Is An Ass" is a lot older than I am.

Anybody can suspect anybody of anything. Anybody can investigate anybody for anything. There is no probable cause for arrest for just *being*. The idea that having a large amount of cash is somehow prima facie evidence of involvement in illegal activity is anathema to the fundamentals of this nation. It is merely a way to terrorize innocent people, no matter the rationalization on the part of the lawmakers, "The Powers That Be". (Whence cometh TPTB.)

It is a twisting of word meanings to say that government can sieze property without some form of trial or court order. In no way is the mere act of siezure "due process" in the constitutional and even the dictionary meaning of the term.

I've been paying attention to this whole deal of anti-drug stuff since forty years gone. That's from well before the official naming of the War On Drugs.

I'll repeat from my observations through the decades: You don't have to be FOR drugs to see that the success has only been in the War On The Bill Of Rights.

If in forty years the supply-rate of drugs has not been reduced, isn't it time to ask why we continue to repeat our experiment yet expect different results?

Art

Brett Bellmore
June 26, 2005, 12:15 PM
THEY continue the experiement, because THEY like the results. The very things we're complaining about ARE the effects they want.

And, I suspect, because the drug warriors have caused so much suffering, destroyed so many lives, done so much to compromise our liberties, that they can't admit it was all a mistake. Admit that, and the weight of guilt would destroy them.

So they're NEVER going to admit it was a mistake.

griz
June 26, 2005, 03:12 PM
This just seems to be another cop basher thread plain and simple. They did their jobs, apaprently did them well, probably had more than enough PC to make the seizure and maybe even an arest, and you guys seemingly just want to berate.

Maybe you just don't understand the point that we disagree with the concept of guilty until provem innocent. That isn't cop bashing. If anything I would say that defending all seizures is civil rights bashing. I have no idea if this woman's story is true, and it sounds like a strange way of transporting 46K. But why not convict her of a crime before robbing her?

NHBB
June 27, 2005, 02:18 PM
cash or funds in a bank account, they are both just as susceptible. this story hits home for me...

I am self employed, and one day had an amount greater than what was found in this womans busom simply debited out of my business account, which was then frozen and all incoming funds seized as well... based strictly on speculation of business practices from a particular state's postal inspector.

I was never charged with anything, the business was never even charged with anything, but they kept all of the money regardless. as for not fighting for the money, it was legally advised that there was slim to none chance of seeing a penny of it again... it ended up being written up as a loss.

in this case nobody even had to lay a finger on anyone, simply sign a paper and take the money electronically. and it wasn't just frozen, it was removed from the account.

after that debacle, I had a new found respect for cold hard cash.

alan
June 28, 2005, 02:05 PM
When all is said and done, what remains is simply the following. THEFT UNDER COLOR OF LAW!!!!!

Cut it any way you like, salami is salami.

GunGoBoom
June 28, 2005, 02:08 PM
I sure hope she gets punitive damages and costs, in addition to her cash. Stupid flipping gov't agents. Wait, don't tell me, there's traces of coke on that cash (just like there are on 80% of all 100s floating around in circulation). NHBB, I'm very sorry to hear of that travesty of justice. Yes, cold hard cash has it's definite advantages, provided it's well hidden/secured/distributed. In fact, it's neither cold nor hard. I find it warm and soft myself.

But why not convict her of a crime before robbing her? Or even at the very least, win a preponderance-of-evidence burden of proof seizure case! :cuss:

BostonGeorge
June 28, 2005, 02:17 PM
When all is said and done, what remains is simply the following. THEFT UNDER COLOR OF LAW!!!!!

I don't think anyone is going to disagree with that Alan. It seems either this thread changed some minds or the .gov apologizers are running scared.

GunGoBoom
June 28, 2005, 02:31 PM
Glenn, you can spit out your convoluted logic till your blue in the face as a smokescreen to what is in reality something that is very simple: Either they

DID

or

DID NOT

find drugs on her. If they didn't, and if they didn't already possess AT THAT TIME any other specific extrinsic evidence to support a finding that the money is drug money, then there ain't no PC, and it should be "have a nice day, ma'am; don't spend it all in one place." Any other result means the system is SERIOUSLY flawed. But I guess that's kinda what you're saying; don't blame me, I don't make the law. True enough. But you ought to be able to see through the indoctrination to realize that what I just described is the correct moral result, given our Constitutional protections of "innocent until proven guilty".

That is all I would be at libery to discuss, but that shopuld be enough to get you thinking of at least 4 or 5 points of PC in this case.

Oh good lawd. Secrecy needed eh? Now why exactly, praytell, wouldn't you be at liberty to discuss or point out those 4 or 5 things? If it's in the article, then why on earth can't you help your your fellow g men and show us all here what those obvious facts were that added up to PC? Why, why why would that be any kind of secret? Convenient that you bowed out. I seriously doubt you're a big enough of a man to jump back in and answer my question - we'll see. Let's see, 4 or 5. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and say that your trained eye sees 4 specific things from what we both agree is very scant facts. Allow me to venture to guess what they might be, and you can tell me if I'm right:

1. Dominican national origin, right? As you say, national origin might be enough to *profile* her, but it sure ain't PC; nor can it be added to any other factors to add up to PC. It's adds *zero* to finding of PC, because it itself has nothing to do with PC. Especially in light of our specific protections for national origin in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Granted, that taken together with other factors, if that country is known to be skewed statistically as a drug import staging point, then it *might* add up to reasonable suspicion *IF* and only if she were actually on a flight TO the Dom. Republic. But she wasn't, and that would only be RS, not PC.

2. The money was in her bra, and therefore one can draw an inference that she wishes it to be hidden from gov't agents, right? I and any other person can just as reasonably draw another equally-plausible inference, and that is that she wishes to hide it from potential THIEFS.

3. She was traveling on a plane, and a lot of people in the drug trade do that. So do a lot of people in many other businesses. And she had a story as to why she was traveling. Did her story check out? Did they attempt to call the doc from the airport to see if she was scheduled for surgery before robbing her? Did she have any papers from the doc's office indicating that she was a patient of his in TX? We don't know, but the point is, it's a free country, we're allowed to travel, and the mere fact that she was traveling does not amount to PC, nor any portion thereof adding up to PC.

4. The fact that it was cash, and lots of drug dealers deal in cash, and why wouldn't she just write a check for it or charge it on a CC? Many many Americans are quite leery and skeptical of banks, rightly or wrongly, esp. those members in certain ethnic groups and subcultures. Is this fear justified? See NHBB's post above. Furthermore, some people aren't allowed to have credit cards anymore, like me. :) . Furthermore, if she had judgment creditors, she would have good reason not to keep in a bank account. Futhermore, I doubt the doc accepts a check, or at least doesn't put her under until the check clears, and she didn't want to wait for that. Etc., etc., etc.

So, are those the four, or did I spot one you didn't? Are there others? Cuz none of those are PC, nor any portion that amounts to PC. Maybe all taken together, they are reasonable suspicion to detain and question, but not PC to arrest, and not PC to seize.

AhmuqGB
June 28, 2005, 02:45 PM
Ok,
I gotta play devil's advocate here. The lady sets off a metal detector and during the search you find 49,000 stuffed in her Bra...that doesn't sound fishy to anyone? Would you do that? Would you have your wife carry 49,000 dollars in cash in her bra to fly to texas for breast surgery? They confiscated the money and if it all pans out will return it, but It does have "shadey dealings" written all over it. I'm no expert on search and seizure, so I'll let the lawyers haggle that out, but the DEA guy called in, other than making a comment that will likely terminate his employment was right to suspect something. If you don't want to be accused of being a criminal, don't do things that make you look criminal. OK, now you guys can flame away.

R.H. Lee
June 28, 2005, 02:47 PM
The concept of 'probable cause' has become meaningless as it has expanded to include anything and everything they feel like at the time, plus anything they can come up with later. It's a joke.

Derby FALs
June 28, 2005, 02:54 PM
Ok,
I gotta play devil's advocate here. The lady sets off a metal detector and during the search you find 49,000 stuffed in her Bra...that doesn't sound fishy to anyone? Would you do that? Would you have your wife carry 49,000 dollars in cash in her bra to fly to texas for breast surgery? They confiscated the money and if it all pans out will return it, but It does have "shadey dealings" written all over it. I'm no expert on search and seizure, so I'll let the lawyers haggle that out, but the DEA guy called in, other than making a comment that will likely terminate his employment was right to suspect something. If you don't want to be accused of being a criminal, don't do things that make you look criminal. OK, now you guys can flame away.


Is Innocent Until Proven Guilty A Lost Principle?

On a side note...
My old Great Aunt carried her cash in her bra till the day she died. She called it her "bank. I called it he shelf. :)

Ryder
June 28, 2005, 04:24 PM
I've had a serious urge to buy a new car recently but all of a sudden I don't feel so much like having a lawyer explain just how it is that a lowly peasant such as me managed to save up such a sum.

Put that in your economy and smoke it. :fire:

alan
June 29, 2005, 04:23 PM
At the not inconsiderable risk of repeating myself, the way it works, CIVIL FORFEITURE is THEFT UNDER COLOR OF LAW!!!!!

Real property, wordly goods or cash money are seized. No trial is ever held, no charges are ever brought, no indictment is ever handed down, yet it is claimed that there was NO PUNISHMENT INFLICTED ON A REAL PERSON, baloney.

Arrant nonsense from beginning to end, otherwise descxribed as above notred, THEFT UNDER COLOR OF LAW.

publius
July 10, 2005, 08:45 AM
Glenn Bartley: My whole point in this discussion has been to point out that probable cause though is only cause for arrest or seizure. It is not saying someone is guilty. It is saying they are suspect and there is enough cause to effect an arrest or seizure.

The problem with civil asset forfeiture laws being used in the drug war is, if you have enough cause to arrest a person, you must then either charge the person with a crime or release him. If you have enough cause to seize property, your agency just gets to keep the property. See the difference there? There is an incentive problem, and there is a due process problem.

The legal fiction that says seizing property is not punishing the owner of the property, but is instead merely punishing "guilty" property, is creating lots of animosity out here, hence the berating. You wind up with courts saying things like this:
"[i]n sum, even though this Court has rejected the "innocence" of the owner as a common-law defense to forfeiture, it consistently has recognized that forfeiture serves, at least in part, to punish the owner.").
That's legalese for "we're going to punish people even if they are innocent because we want the loot."

Property does not commit crimes, people do. If the property is "guilty" it is because a person committed a crime. Property doesn't care if it gets seized. Seizing property is punishing the owner, not the property. To punish someone, you should charge the person with a crime and obtain a conviction. You should not just start the punishment and have them report to court if they object and can afford to go to court.

This is why civil asset forfeiture abuse (http://fear.org/hadaway.html) has led to policing for profit (http://fear.org/chicago.html) in the drug war, and like other drug war precedents (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=142059), this one is reaching out to touch our gun rights (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=138275).

Cosmoline
July 11, 2005, 07:11 PM
Large parts of our Federal Government have degenerated into organized crime on a monumental scale.

They do things that would have made King George III blush, from taking money if they think you have too much of it to inspecting the private parts of female passengers.

R.H. Lee
July 11, 2005, 07:19 PM
All property is the King's property and if you behave yourself, he might let you keep it for awhile. The notions you may have about private property are just illusions, as is the BOR. So you might as well get with the program, because resistance, especially armed resistance is futile and amounts to no more than suicide by cop/soldier, followed by a complete trashing of your reputation.

The FF are spinning in disgust that we've so negligently squandered our legacy.

Maybe we deserve the bondage that is rapidly approaching.

publius
July 11, 2005, 08:29 PM
King George was no wimp when it came to abusing power. He'd hang you for disagreeing with him. If he didn't like what your legislature decided, he'd dissolve it. If you didn't like that, he'd station some troops in your house. Those troops might just do a little looting and female inspecting.

Our government isn't particularly well behaved at times, but I'd prefer our modern oppression to what King George would dish out, thanks.

alan
July 11, 2005, 08:42 PM
BostonGeorge wrote, quoting a comment of mine:

When all is said and done, what remains is simply the following. THEFT UNDER COLOR OF LAW!!!!!



I don't think anyone is going to disagree with that Alan. It seems either this thread changed some minds or the .gov apologizers are running scared.

---------------

Perhaps it is due to the fact that our dirtbag congresscritters, senate critters too haven't been leaned upon hard enough, by enough of their CONSTITIENTS, but I have not noticed the slightest movement in The Congress directed at changing the rules under which THEFT UNDER COLOR OF LAW (CIVIL FORFEITURE) OPERATES, have you, or for that matter, has anyone who passes this way?

Derby FALs
July 11, 2005, 08:42 PM
How wonderfully childish - about in my estimation the words of an 8 year old who is not getting things her or his way and has little to offer (very little to nothing) along the lines of intelligent conversation.

Sorry it was over your head. Can we assume you possess the equipment? :neener:

R.H. Lee
July 11, 2005, 08:45 PM
Our government isn't particularly well behaved at times, but I'd prefer our modern oppression to what King George would dish out, thanks. Lessee- King George could pick you up off the street and hold you in prison indefinitely without trial. Check. King George could stop you in a public place and take your money. Check. King George could take your house. Check.

Should I continue?

GSB
July 11, 2005, 09:03 PM
Wonder how that would play in Las Vegas where gamblers come with hundreds of thousands in cash

Oh, but those are "important" people. They aren't like us. They won't get hassled.

publius
July 12, 2005, 08:03 AM
Lessee- King George could pick you up off the street and hold you in prison indefinitely without trial. Check. King George could stop you in a public place and take your money. Check. King George could take your house. Check.

Should I continue?

We're getting closer, but the whole thing about quartering troops in your home, and hiring foreign mercenaries to invade your lands, and putting warships offshore to block your trade and shell your cities, you know, stuff like that, makes me think our government is just a wee bit better behaved.

publius
July 12, 2005, 08:05 AM
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
. . . . He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
. . . . He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
. . . . He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature; a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.
. . . . He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
. . . . He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.
. . . . He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without, and convulsions within.
. . . . He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
. . . . He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
. . . . He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
. . . . He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers, to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
. . . . He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.
. . . . He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to the civil power.
. . . . He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
. . . . For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;
. . . . For protecting them by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;
. . . . For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;
. . . . For imposing taxes on us without our consent;
. . . . For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;
. . . . For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences;
. . . . For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighbouring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;
. . . . For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;
. . . . For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
. . . . He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.
. . . . He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
. . . . He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
. . . . He has constrained our fellow citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
. . . . He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
. . . . In every state of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
. . . . Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace, friends.
. . . . We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance, to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

R.H. Lee
July 12, 2005, 10:01 AM
Eye opening, isn't it, how much of that actually has a modern corollary? King George III could deprive you of life, liberty and property with impunity. So can the U.S. government today. But if you want to wait on the 'quartering troops' thing as your own line in the sand, that's ok by me.

HonorsDaddy
July 12, 2005, 08:24 PM
There obviously isnt a direct example of everything listed in the Declaration of Independence going on today, but a few things for you to consider:

If one of the abuses listed had not occured, do you really think the ones that had wouldnt have ben enough? Hell - take HALF of them out for all i care, and tell me it still wouldnt have been enough.

Just because the current government doesnt do all of them, are you really pretending that they have the best interests of the people in mind? If they do, it would be the first time in the history of government. Governments exist for themselves - regardless of the reasons they were called into being. Its been try since before written history.

Last but not least, you may feel comfortable with the way things are now, but a good number of us do not. Many people were perfectly fine with the way things were in 1776 too...history calls them "Tories".

publius
July 12, 2005, 08:54 PM
You two are misunderstanding me. I merely saw the post which said King George would blush at the behavior of our current government, and decided to correct it. He was worse, and I don't think there can be any serious argument about that. Find one that answers the "quartering troops" point.

I'm not saying there are no modern equivalents to many of those. There are. I'm not particulary happy with a variety of things our government does, as a search of my posts here and back on TFL will show. I just realize that King George was worse. Lots of folks are worse. Castro is worse. So is that Mugabe character. That megalomaniacal North Korean dude comes to mind. Does saying that those rulers are worse than our government mean I'm perfectly content with our government? Where did that idea come from.

King George was worse. That's all.

EasternShore
July 12, 2005, 10:06 PM
Not wanting to go OT but was George worse of were the founding father's better at understanding human physce? Read this very carefully, slowly, and think about it...

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Thought?

Cosmoline
July 12, 2005, 10:24 PM
I merely saw the post which said King George would blush at the behavior of our current government, and decided to correct it. He

I disagree. George III was a madman who certainly was willing to execute those who disobeyed him in the colonies. But he never crossed certain lines. Citizens were never forced to line up, strip off half their clothes, and submit to pat downs in order to board a common carrier. Citizens were not forced to undergo strip searches if the redcoats thought they were carrying contraband. Certainly ladies would never have been subjected to this treatment. Whatever their faults (and they had many), the founders just didn't put up with certain things. If you had demanded that George Washington take off half his clothes in order to board a common carrier, he would have told you to sod off. If you pressed it, he would have been within his rights to kill you on the spot. Andrew Jackson killed people for a lot less, in fact.

But now we cower and beg before a government that's bloated out of all reason.

publius
July 12, 2005, 10:25 PM
I think I'm enjoying the diversion here, but we're getting off track. Civil asset forfeiture laws started out being the thread topic here.

I also think that there seems to be pretty widespread consent among the governed, causing me to suffer some evils, but not without complaint. ;)

publius
July 12, 2005, 10:28 PM
Cosmoline, I guess we'll just agree to disagree about the relative merits, but I've suffered the evils of airport security checkpoints, and never had this happen to me:

. . . . For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;
. . . . For protecting them by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;

And I don't think I'd want it the other way around.

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