Skip to comments.Deputies seize $88,000 in cash in traffic stop
Posted on 09/28/2006 5:44:38 PM PDT by elkfersupper
Two men traveling south on Interstate 85 southwest of Lexington Tuesday told Davidson County sheriff's deputies that the $88,000 in cash they had hidden in their car was to buy a house in Atlanta.
Officers with the sheriff office's Interstate Criminal Enforcement unit didn't believe the story after a drug-sniffing dog found a strong odor of narcotics inside the car.
No drugs were found, and the two men weren't charged with a crime, but officers did keep the money, citing a federal drug assets seizure and forfeiture law.
Deputies first stopped the car for following too closely to another vehicle, said Davidson County Sheriff David Grice.
The two men told officers they had flown from Texas to New Jersey and were driving south to Atlanta to buy a house with the money, Grice said.
Federal investigators arrived and took the cash in order to make a case in federal court that the money would fall under federal forfeiture laws.
If a federal judge agrees with investigators, the Davidson County Sheriff's Office would receive 75 percent ($66,000) of the confiscated money.
"It takes about a year for the money to come back to the county," Grice said.
The money then would make its way into the sheriff's office general fund, where it could only be used for enhancement purposes, such as new equipment or additional training.
Grice said as a general rule the sheriff's office cannot count on forfeiture money, noting the money isn't a sure thing and can fluctuate from year to year.
But the Davidson County Sheriff's Office has had positive results in the past after bringing in $1.6 million in 2005 and $1.4 million in 2004.
This year Grice said officers have brought in about $400,000.
"It allows us to buy equipment without using taxpayers' money," Grice said.
Replacing older vehicles, installing newer radios in patrol cars and installing a new camera system in the jail were all paid for by drug forfeiture money, Grice said.
Why even bother with cash anymore? Some punk cop decides he want to confiscate your cash, there's nothing you can do about it. No drugs? No problem!
Why would you buy a house for cash? Why not write a check?
I think it was Dateline that showed an old black man that was traveling, that lost a little over $800.00 because the law thought it was too much cash for a guy like him to have.
This country is beginning to resemble a banana republic.
I've recently read another ,similar post on here about this. Its disturbing that your money can be confiscated on a dogs opinion. Even if these guys are suspicious,taking thier money and not charging them with anything? Could it be a corrupt police department?
Knowing that there are some things we know about the guys carrying the cash.
I agree with everything but "beginning to resemble".
And the dog was able to testify as to the strength of this odor exactly how? Stupid journalists, evil law, injustice abounds.
Federal Appeals Court: Driving With Money is a Crime
Eighth Circuit Appeals Court ruling says police may seize cash from motorists even in the absence of any evidence that a crime has been committed.
A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that if a motorist is carrying large sums of money, it is automatically subject to confiscation. In the case entitled, "United States of America v. $124,700 in U.S. Currency," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit took that amount of cash away from Emiliano Gomez Gonzolez, a man with a "lack of significant criminal history" neither accused nor convicted of any crime.
On May 28, 2003, a Nebraska state trooper signaled Gonzolez to pull over his rented Ford Taurus on Interstate 80. The trooper intended to issue a speeding ticket, but noticed the Gonzolez's name was not on the rental contract. The trooper then proceeded to question Gonzolez -- who did not speak English well -- and search the car. The trooper found a cooler containing $124,700 in cash, which he confiscated. A trained drug sniffing dog barked at the rental car and the cash. For the police, this was all the evidence needed to establish a drug crime that allows the force to keep the seized money.
Associates of Gonzolez testified in court that they had pooled their life savings to purchase a refrigerated truck to start a produce business....
Source: US v. $124,700 (US Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 8/19/2006)
All it would take is one experience like this, and even reasonable people would not be in the mood for another.
As someone who has at times had to drive around with large sums of (legit) money, saying "I'm not too thrilled about this" would be an understatement.
I don't know. But, if someone wants to buy a house with cash, they should be allowed to do so.
Yep, it's a blanket presumption of guilt and being penalized without their right to a trial.
I understand people being upset about this...but I sure hope you aren't saying this in ANY way justifies shooting a police officer. My partner is paralyzed from being shot after a "routine" traffic stop. Trust me, there is nothing routine about any traffic stop.
They stole those guys money pure and simple.
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