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Old 10-17-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default How cops/gov't take your property without a trial

CIVIL FORFEITURE.

They take your property with just *suspicion* that it was involved in drug related activities. You are guilty until proven innocent, at your expense.

Yet another reason to get rid of the "war on drugs"

http://bostonherald.com/news/opinion...87&format=text

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Russell and Patricia Caswell are a hard-working couple who may soon have their American Dream taken from them by the unholy alliance of local and federal law enforcement officials seeking to cash in on the Caswell's property.

The Caswells face this dilemma even though they have broken no law and have spent their entire professional career working to combat crime with the very police force that now seeks to take their property though civil forfeiture. What is happening to Russ and Pat, however, is by no means an isolated instance and local law enforcement's end-run around state laws designed to end the abuse of civil forfeiture should give anyone who owns Massachusetts property pause.

The Caswells have owned and operated the Motel Caswell in Tewksbury for more than 30 years. They took it over from Russ's father, who built it in the 1950s. The motel is mortgage-free and the Caswells expected it to provide for their retirement. And it is precisely because they don't owe on the property that they now face the loss of their life's work.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Tewksbury Police Department plan to take the entire property -- worth well over $1 million -- because on some 30 dates since 1994 guests staying at the motel have been arrested for drug-related crimes. During that period, the Caswells have rented more than 125,000 rooms.

The government doesn't claim that the Caswells are guilty of any crime. The government only says that federal civil forfeiture laws give them the power to take the property.

But civil forfeiture laws treat property owners worse than criminals. Criminals must be proven guilty before their property is taken. Once the government targets a property for civil forfeiture, however, the property owner must prove his innocence. For the Caswells, that means squaring off against the U.S. attorney’s office in federal court to make the difficult if not impossible case that they did not know that guests brought drugs into their rented rooms.

Even more shocking, local police and the federal government have a direct financial stake in the forfeiture. Through so-called “equitable sharing,” Washington pays local police departments 80 percent of what they seize and keeps the rest.

Equitable sharing has become a jackpot for state and local law enforcement nationwide, which received more than $400 million last year alone from the Department of Justice. Massachusetts agencies got nearly $5 million in equitable sharing from various federal agencies.

The case against the Caswells should be dropped because they are innocent of any wrongdoing. Local police departments shouldn’t be allowed to take property to fund their own budgets, which is exactly what the proceeds from the Caswells’ property would be used for. As this case makes clear, fair and impartial law enforcement cannot exist as long as government can take a person’s property without convicting them of a crime.
This is not some obscure law. This is a source of revenue for governments at all levels. It has been for at least 25 years.

The average American knows nothing about this. He thinks that his property is safe. It isn't.

"Land of the Free". Ya right.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:56 PM   #2
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
CIVIL FORFEITURE.

They take your property with just *suspicion* that it was involved in drug related activities. You are guilty until proven innocent, at your expense.

Yet another reason to get rid of the "war on drugs"

[...]

The average American knows nothing about this. He thinks that his property is safe. It isn't.
http://flexyourrights.org/

Assuming the facts are as presented by that op-ed piece (and I don't doubt that they largely are), it's just one more example of the costs of prohibition outweighing any benefits.

I really wish more people were able to make the logical connection between the ill effects of the Prohibition of Alcohol and the Prohibition of Other Drugs.


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"Land of the Free". Ya right.
How about "Land of the Freer than Most?" For all its (many) faults, the USA is still an amazing nation with a ton going for it.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:43 PM   #4
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How about "Land of the Freer than Most?" For all its (many) faults, the USA is still an amazing nation with a ton going for it.
+1.

But our freedom has been continuously eroded. Like the frog being slowly boiled to death. It is the nature of gov't to continuously take on more power and reduce our freedom.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:40 PM   #5
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The war on drugs is a farce. I'm praying Ron Paul wins the election to he can put an end to it.

However, when you have 400,000 bucks stashed in a very hard to reach place, and it's wrapped up in black tape, you're using it for drugs. I mean, who the hell carry's money that way? Brinx trucks don't even do that ****. Only drug cartels. So I see nothing wrong with seizing it if it's found like that.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:30 PM   #6
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The war on drugs is a farce. I'm praying Ron Paul wins the election to he can put an end to it.

However, when you have 400,000 bucks stashed in a very hard to reach place, and it's wrapped up in black tape, you're using it for drugs. I mean, who the hell carry's money that way? Brinx trucks don't even do that ****. Only drug cartels. So I see nothing wrong with seizing it if it's found like that.
Don't be a ******* retard. I once traveled with $8k cash, in a bag, in a backpack, in a spare-tire well to buy a VW out of state. Does that look like drug money to you? What if I stuffed it in a plastic bag?
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:01 AM   #7
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Don't be a ******* retard. I once traveled with $8k cash, in a bag, in a backpack, in a spare-tire well to buy a VW out of state. Does that look like drug money to you? What if I stuffed it in a plastic bag?
$8k stashed in the spare tire well? I thought you knew how to handle yourself...

Police shakedowns are nothing new. That ***** been going on for years and years.

That first story though about them seizing the property, that's fucked up. The crazy thing is, people actually let this **** happen to them.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:09 AM   #8
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The fucked up thing is we the people let the gov't do it.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:42 AM   #9
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The fucked up thing is we the people let the gov't do it.
To an extent. No one "Joe Citizen" is introducing these ordinances or bills. They're created by internal sources and passed quietly in the night.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:03 AM   #10
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Don't be a ******* retard. I once traveled with $8k cash, in a bag, in a backpack, in a spare-tire well to buy a VW out of state. Does that look like drug money to you? What if I stuffed it in a plastic bag?
No, it just looks like you're afraid of getting mugged by thugs selling a stolen VW..

Anyway, hiding it that way is pretty lazy compared to the **** drug cartels come up with. If you have cash hidden in an incospicuous space, that shouldn't be grounds to sieze it and assume it's drug money.

If you have 400K shrinkwrapped and stuffed into seat coushions, the differential, inside the tire, etc... WTF is it doing there?
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:04 AM   #11
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If you have 400K shrinkwrapped and stuffed into seat coushions, the differential, inside the tire, etc... WTF is it doing there?
does it matter? laws are subjective now?

putting 400K into your seat cushion isn't illegal, but it seems suspicious, so it's okay for the gov't to just take it.


What about Gibson guitars? They are about to move their manufacturing plants out of the US because the Gov't stole all their legally purchased wood. Twice.

And they still haven't been charged with a crime.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:20 AM   #12
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does it matter? laws are subjective now?

putting 400K into your seat cushion isn't illegal, but it seems suspicious, so it's okay for the gov't to just take it.
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... It's probably a duck. Until proven otherwise. Go watch border wars or something. No ordinary law abiding citizen has to hide their money that way.

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What about Gibson guitars? They are about to move their manufacturing plants out of the US because the Gov't stole all their legally purchased wood. Twice.

And they still haven't been charged with a crime.
Haven't heard of that happening before so can't really comment. But if that's true, it's 1) bullshit and 2)Should have been plastered all over the news.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:35 AM   #13
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If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... It's probably a duck. Until proven otherwise. Go watch border wars or something. No ordinary law abiding citizen has to hide their money that way.
lol, you're not an American. Bringing cash over a national boarder is a little bit different from stuffing your car full of cash and going for a drive.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:13 PM   #14
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If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... It's probably a duck. Until proven otherwise. Go watch border wars or something. No ordinary law abiding citizen has to hide their money that way.
Welcome Comrade.

This defies our innocent until proven guilty system since 1895.

A police officer has a sneaky suspision, o rnot, seizes property, and then you have to proove yourself innocent to get it back.

Conviction should be absolutely 100% nessecary in order to take your possesions, especially if it is only assumed it is being used in a crime.

What if you film a police officer or official doing something illegal, and they seize your camera. Looks like a duck...they just happend to be the duck.

This practice is not moral or just. it's a billion dollar business; no joke.

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Haven't heard of that happening before so can't really comment. But if that's true, it's 1) bullshit and 2)Should have been plastered all over the news.
it is plastered all over the news, you're just uninformed.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/1...79B7PT20111012

a simple google search of "gibson guitars" found this.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:44 PM   #15
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Bringing cash over a national boarder is a little bit different from stuffing your car full of cash and going for a drive.
This. If you are bringing more than $10,000 cash into the country you are required by law to declare it to customs. There is no law requiring me to declare anything to anybody or get permission if I want to load up a dozen stacks of bennies in VA and road trip it to anywhere else in the country where I choose to make it rain.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JasonC SBB
The fucked up thing is we the people let the gov't do it.

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Originally Posted by hustler View Post
To an extent. No one "Joe Citizen" is introducing these ordinances or bills. They're created by internal sources and passed quietly in the night.
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Originally Posted by ThatGuy85 View Post
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... It's probably a duck. Until proven otherwise. Go watch border wars or something. No ordinary law abiding citizen has to hide their money that way.
I present the evidence. Decades of Statist propaganda produces a meek compliant citizenry that will bow to our overlords. They don't understand the meaning of liberty and why gov't as an institution is the greatest threat to it.

Those Border Wars type TV shows promote the Statist mindset.
ThatGuy85 probably doesn't even question why drugs should be criminalized in the first place.

If there were far fewer ThatGuy85 types, do you think "Joe Citizen" would let the gov't run over our civil liberties more and more?
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:52 PM   #17
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This. If you are bringing more than $10,000 cash into the country you are required by law to declare it to customs. There is no law requiring me to declare anything to anybody or get permission if I want to load up a dozen stacks of bennies in VA and road trip it to anywhere else in the country where I choose to make it rain.
The TSA have been known to detain passengers with a few thousand $.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:33 PM   #18
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Hold the ******* accusation train, and read my first post. I stated that if we got rid of this whole war on drugs, this wouldn't be a problem in the first place.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:38 PM   #19
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Hold the ******* accusation train, and read my first post. I stated that if we got rid of this whole war on drugs, this wouldn't be a problem in the first place.

yes it would, it happens everywhere in every town.


quick google searches:

In 2008, federal Judge Joseph Bataillon ordered the return of $20,000 taken from a man during a traffic stop in Douglas County, Neb. Judge Battaillon quoted from a recording of the seizure, in which a sheriff’s deputy complained about the man’s attitude and suggested “we take his money and, um, count it as a drug seizure.” The judge’s order said the case produced “overwhelming evidence” that the funds were clean....

Raul Stio, a New Jersey businessman, is caught up in the civil-forfeiture world. Last October, the Internal Revenue Service, suspicious of Mr. Stio’s bank deposits, seized more than $157,000 from his account. Mr. Stio hasn’t been charged with a crime...

New York businessman James Lieto was an innocent bystander in a fraud investigation last year. Federal agents seized $392,000 of his cash anyway. An armored-car firm hired by Mr. Lieto to carry money for his check-cashing company got ensnared in the FBI probe. Agents seized about $19 million—including Mr. Lieto’s money—from vaults belonging to the armored-car firm’s parent company...


nothing to do with the war on drugs and these people arent even getting charged with a crime.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:59 PM   #20
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In 2008, federal Judge Joseph Bataillon ordered the return of $20,000 taken from a man during a traffic stop in Douglas County, Neb. Judge Battaillon quoted from a recording of the seizure, in which a sheriff’s deputy complained about the man’s attitude and suggested “we take his money and, um, count it as a drug seizure.” The judge’s order said the case produced “overwhelming evidence” that the funds were clean....
Drug seizure aka war on drugs. If they weren't illegal this wouldn't have happened.

The other two.. You are correct, it's bullshit.
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