The DEA seized a 79-year-old man's life savings at airport and won't give it back

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Civil asset forfeiture is a terrible injustice and needs to be abolished. It is a small piece of good news that some states like NJ are moving to restrict this but the federal government seems uninterested so far.


I don’t have a funny meme to post, but would like to point out that Joe Biden cosponsored 1984’s Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which made this heartwarming incident possible. Let 2020 be the year ABB returns! (Well, after anyone but Trump).


This happens, you say: “Names and badge numbers please of all agents present, including TSA, DEA and local. You will be hearing from my lawyer. Probably multiple times, as I will be filing in both Federal and State court, for criminal seizure of my assets as well as civil suit to recover the funds and damages, likely totaling around 4 lawsuits per agent that you will each need to answer to. If you don’t know what that means, my lawyer can fill you in on the details and where to check the box for ‘guilty’.”

The problem is there is no personal penalty for any amount of stupidity, and so the threat of legal action should carry some heft. They need to be reminded of this.


Given that cops kill a number of people in an average year that makes them competitive with any other gang and steal more money than burglars, perhaps we need to rethink our entire concept of policing.


Yes, well, it’s 82,000 dollars - lawyers fees would eat it up rapidly. The governments involved have practically unlimited tax funds to fight lawsuits.


Highway robbery on the highest of ways.


Still a little would be better than nothing, in their current predicament. Then there’s damages if they win. So there’s that.


Indeed. Cops account for ~1/500 of the population, and ~1/10 of firearm homicides, so, unless you think 98% of police shootings are justified, you should be far more worried about cops having guns than about your fellow citizens having them.


She won’t even get in the courthouse door. They got tired of defending these cases so they require IIRC a 10% bond when challenging a seizure. Take everything someone has and they can’t come up with the money to contest it.


I still - still - don’t remotely understand how asset forfeiture wasn’t declared unconstitutional decades ago, it’s so blatantly abusive. That it exists makes a farce of the pretense that we live in a country of due process.

The problem is, this behavior has been considered legal on the part of law enforcement, so… damages? (And good luck scraping together money for a lawsuit - which could cost more than they seized from you - with the money that they just took from you.) Even in the most extreme, clearly abusive uses of asset forfeiture - cops pulling people over and taking the jewelry they’re wearing - extensive legal action often managed little more than getting some of the money back, at best. So legal action is likely to leave you financially in a bigger hole, not coming out ahead.

The whole situation is so grotesque, it’s hard to get one’s head around. We have a presumption that there’s some sort of legal remedy when the government does something to you, but this is a situation where that’s not really true.


I’m having difficulty understanding how one winds up in the negative, aside from legal fees, which could be pro bono. The DEA sues you back?
And I did provide the conditional, “if you win”.

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When they decide to retaliate against you and you wing up in jail for drugs they planted on you, or dead in a botched raid, that’s a negative.


supreme injustice. but who the fuck travels with $80k in cash?

Seems like a plot out of Law & Order.

A class-action lawsuit has been filed already, no matter whether anyone here thinks suing the DEA is clever or not…

Brown and Rolin filed a federal, class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the DEA, Transportation Security Administration and agency officials, claiming the agencies violate the Constitution’s ban on unlawful search and seizures by taking cash from travelers without probable cause. The lawsuit claims the only criteria the DEA has for seizing cash is if it finds amounts greater than $5,000.


I’ve never seen law and order, but cops retaliating against people who videotape them or testify against them is not just the realm of fiction. It happens all the time. You see thing a like that in the news all the time, but I personally know of several episodes that never made the news, so I think it’s far more prevalent than you would think even from reading the news.


I ask all the naysayers what is the alternative? Roll over and let them keep your money? Call customer support? No way. I don’t think so… fight fight fight!