Skip to comments.Court OKs seizure of cash with high cocaine traces
Posted on 03/08/2006 10:00:00 AM PST by steel_resolve
HARRISBURG -- Cash with far higher-than-normal trace levels of cocaine can be seized as contraband from speeding drivers, a divided state appeals court ruled today.
The 5-2 Commonwealth Court decision concerned the seizure of $451,000 from two separate vehicle stops by state police on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 2002 and 2004.
(Excerpt) Read more at postgazette.com ...
Bottom line: 1) It's money. 2) We want it. 3) It's ours.
Even if the guy just cashed his paycheck at the bank, and is in a hurry to get somewhere? This is wrong.
So what's the normal level of cocaine that's acceptable on currency?
Almost all cash has trace elements of Cocaine.
I think I've read before that 98% of paper money has cocaine traces on it.
This is the thinnest veil yet I have seen for an outright theft from citizens by law enforcement - and an excellent example of how the WoD leads to the degradation of all law and respect for the law in this country.
Yeah, I remember hearing that long ago - it still amazes me. So did they put out guidelines on what's trace and what's beyond trace?
Another good reason for "money laundering"!
Without other evidence I'd have to go with "Give it back".
Most times I have less than $20 on me but a few times I had over $10K. It's mine and I worked hard for it. If the law wants it, prove it in court.
Pretty amazing stuff. Just the fact that money has a trace amount of cocaine on it means that some will have more and some will have less. All it would take would be to have a few bills with extra cocaine on it - or, even worse, a crooked cop sprinkling a bit of cocaine on seized cash - and the money goes to the police.
Yet another hole blasted into basic constitutional protections.
It's not - but they can seize it anyway.
Nobody owns their money. The government just lets us carry some around until they want it back.
There have been several studies on the phenomenon. The cocaine is mainly spread by cash counting machines, as well as ATMs. The machines get contaminated, then spread the cocaine to every bill that goes through it after that.
In one 1985 study done by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on the money machines in a U.S. Federal Reserve district bank, random samples of $50 and $100 bills revealed that a third to a half of all the currency tested bore traces of cocaine. Moreover, the machines themselves were often found to test positive, meaning that subsequent batches of cash fed through them would also pick up cocaine residue. Expert evidence given before a federal appeals court in 1995 showed that three out of four bills randomly examined in the Los Angeles area bore traces of the drug. In a 1997 study conducted at the Argonne National Laboratory, nearly four out of five one-dollar bills in Chicago suburbs were found to bear discernable traces of cocaine. In another study, more than 135 bills from seven U.S. cities were tested, and all but four were contaminated with traces of cocaine. These bills had been collected from restaurants, stores, and banks in cities from Milwaukee to Dallas.
This needs to be appealed all the way up. These drug warrior psychos must be stopped.
It's not right, but that doesn't stop the drug warriors. They could care less because they get to keep the money and do whatever they want with it. Like purchase shiny new vehicles.
So now we have land confiscation, AND cash confiscation just because they can.
These socialists better start looking over their shoulders, they will soon rue the day they broke the camels back.
Is this a great country or what, I mean what's left of it.
"I think I've read before that 98% of paper money has cocaine traces on it."
When you think about it, is that really possible? 98% of paper currency has either been rolled up and used as a straw for snorting coke, or handled by people whose hands had coke on them? Seems unlikely, really. More likely that whatever test they use to indicate the prescence of coke is producing false positives on some other substance.
Oops, make that #20.
This is not even rational. People USING cocaine MAY use the pills to ingest it, but the people BUYING and SELLING the cocaine in high dollar transactions as described here, even if they are users, are probably NOT using THAT PARTICULAR money to snort it. Think about it, they are probably raising or borrowing that money via organized crime and holding it briefly, so why would one even expect it to be contaminated any more than any other money? Makes no sense at all...
I stand corrected.
This is still a ridiculous decision, though.
As a 30 cop I have seen the focus shift from catching dopers with drugs to snatching money and property. To prove a drug case you need evidence that proves the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. To snatch the money/property one only needs to show a preponderance of guilt. Simply being caught with a large sum of cash makes you guilty. The IRS tactic of grab the money, and argue later is now common in law enforcement. The property owner has to prove his innocence. This is just wrong.
...sorry meant bills, not pills...
"AND cash confiscation just because they can."
Not just because they can but moreover because they plan
to make all money digital so that it is impossible to keep
transactions secret from the government. There can be no
black market once this transition is complete. The black
market would have to go to a gold standard or some hard
currency to survive. Surely it will survive as it is highly
adaptive but our liberties will be diminished. Carry large
amounts of cash and they can find you remotely with the
new money and they will take it. Bling Bling is the future
black market currency and not just a fashion statement.
They don't have to arrest you. They can just take the money.
I would hope that even you guys would be on the side of us loserdopians on this one.
No it's coke and it's the main reason I lick every bill I come across.
You're right. It seems that the money-counting machines spread the cocaine around all the bills.
One of the studies that has proved most damaging to prosecutors was done by Sanford A. Angelos, a forensic chemist with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's North Central Laboratory in Chicago. The study concluded that a third of the samples taken from several Chicago banks and from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago had traces of cocaine. The test results were reported in an undated internal DEA memo and first surfaced publicly in a trial in Los Angeles three years ago.
More important, Mr. Angelos said in the memo, the belts of the bill sorter at the reserve bank continued to spread the contamination to more and more cash. Mr. Angelos recommended, among other things, that "trace analysis or seizure be stopped." [...]
The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati also raised questions about the use of cocaine-tainted cash as evidence in a decision in January involving the seizure of $53,082. The court cited, among other studies, a test conducted four years ago by Lee Hearn, chief toxicologist for the Dade County medical examiner's office in Miami. In a study of currency from banks in cities around the country, Mr. Hearn concluded that 97% of the bills tested positive for cocaine.
That's why I never carry more than $200,000, in cash, in a shoebox, in the trunk of my car.
A good report of the arrest circumstances: http://www.post-gazette.com/localnews/20020519cash5.asp
What an idiot (but it doesn't seem to me they have cause to keep the money).
Oh please. This was a little more than that, wouldn't you agree?
According to the article, it was seized because of "the amount of money, the way it was bundled, the level of drugs on the bills and the stories the vehicle occupants told."
Not under federal law.
But when the precedent is set, that suspect money can be confiscated for this purpose and in this manner, then eventually, the amount probably won't matter.
The idea is that property can be guilty of a crime even if the property owner isn't. If LE takes your property you must then prove the property innocent, and not in open court but to some appointed government jerk that wants to keep your stuff. Needless to say ever few ever get there stuff back.
It is out right thief and blatantly unconstitutional but since the government has most of the guns and is not afraid to use them nothing will be done. The war on drugs is in fact a war on the American people and their Constitution.
I just knew you would be wrong.
Or been right next to another bill with such a history. Duh.
Aint dat the truth...after all whose name is on it?...
"Cash with far higher-than-normal trace levels of cocaine can be seized ...."
Okay; fair is fair -- I propose the first people whose money should be tested for cocaine residue should be the legislators who voted for this law.
It's spread by cash-counting machines and ATMs.
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