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 ...
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."
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