DEA takes $16,000 cash from black man on train, leaves him penniless



I’m not sure “naive” is the right word. He may have simply consented because black men who don’t immediately cooperate with any and all law enforcement requests have a tendency to get shot.


Why would I contribute to a GoFundMe campaign to replace his money? Shouldn’t we be contributing to fund his lawsuit against the thief in the DEA?


Just for additional information. When withdrawing any funds over 10,000 a bank has to file a ctr, so there is proof that the money is his. I think this is a horrible situation to happen to anyone but a SIMPLE Michigan search for arrest records would disclose that a joseph rivers was previously arrested for distribution and manufacturing of a controlled substance. Also, that there are fees still due and associated with the arrest. You may want to be careful of what cause you contribute your hard earned money. the link for the michigan court records

So what? They think he’s a drug dealer, then they should get some actual evidence, and arrest the man. Not steal his money.

“We don’t have to prove that the person is guilty,” Waite said. “It’s that the money is presumed to be guilty.”

This is fucking stupid. How can anyone (let alone someone who works in the law) say something like this with a straight face?


There’s no law that says you can’t walk around with over $10,000 without a CTR, or that you have to use banks to handle your money at all. There are whole communities of anti-government folks who keep their life savings hidden under mattresses and buried in backyards.


Welcome to Boing Boing, Joshua! So glad you registered a few minutes ago just so you could comment here.


I’m not sure why you feel the need for a comment like this. People make accounts so they can comment on articles and It doesn’t seem like Brainspore was trying to be a jerk.

That there’s solid proof! There couldn’t possibly be more than one person named “Joseph Rivers” in the entire state of Michigan!


What I can comment is what I would do in this situation. If the person had
withdrawn the money from the bank, then a simple bank slip would prove
that. If I were in this situation, I would simply just post a picture of
the bank slip rather than making a video, contacting the newspaper, etc.
Also, I would contact the DEA rather than making a gofundme crowdsourcing
account. There are numerous things that I, a reasonably educated person,
would do in this persons shoes and none of these things, I see happened. I
think shitty things happen, yes, and I feel awful that a hard working
persons money is gone but that is the same reason I posted the information.
It was to inform people of possible scenarios. Take it or leave it.

I have a hunch you’ll have a difficult time relating to this situation unless you’re part of a very specific American demographic.


  1. There’s been no indication that this money was withdrawn from a bank. Much of it was contributed by family who likely just gave him cash.
  2. There’s no legal requirement to keep large amounts of money in a bank.
  3. Even if the money HAD been in a bank that would have little or nothing to do with whether or not he was involved in illegal activity. Drug dealers can open bank accounts just like anybody else.

That’s adorable.


Seriously. What’s with the assumption that somebody carrying that amount of cash has easy access to banking services?


He’s also a master of disguise! Just do an image search for his name. I ask you: what law-abiding citizen would feel so compelled to constantly alter his appearance??


What if not? Is there anything wrong with dealing with cash? I for one prefer cash over banks - it is more physical, more intuitive than some numbers, and does not leave traces that can be misinterpreted by some computer (even if you are not doing anything wrong, the computers can think otherwise and then it is a hassle to explain). Why should I, or anybody else, be forced to deal with banks I distrust and despise, instead of using cash in the way it was invented for?


Looks like 13, give or take a few


Yeah I’m sure contacting the DEA about what the DEA did to you will solve the problem.

I’ll leave it.


Alright, I’ll play along. How, pray tell, would you then prove to the officers conducting the search that you weren’t going to later spend all that money that was legitimately withdrawn from the bank (proven as such because you brought your slip) on a big ol’ pile of drugs?


Once again, this is a very sad situation but all sides should be heard, not just the side from a newspaper journalist that wasnt told the full story and there had been a past history, before she wrote the article. That being said. sorry I brought it up.

And I’m sure we can find a Joshua Andrew in whatever city you live in with a mugshot and criminal record. So what does that prove? Nothing of course.

Read the article more carefully and you’ll see this:

In one of the bags, the agent found the cash, still in the Michigan bank envelope.

Exactly what side is not being heard in this situation? Pretty clear you’re trying to argue a point here but I’m not sure what it is.


“I don’t consent to searches.”

“Are you detaining me or am I free to go?”


This has to be taught to kids, the same way they have to be taught how to cross the street and not to talk to strangers.