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On Your Side: Law enforcement seizes money without arrest
MyNews4.com ^ | February 5, 2014 | MyNews4.com

Posted on 02/06/2014 10:34:43 AM PST by Altariel

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Imagine getting pulled over for a traffic stop, and instead of getting a ticket, the officer takes your money. All of it.

It happened to one man recently, who was driving on Interstate 80 through Northern Nevada. Now, he is fighting back.

It's a case that focuses on our rights: Can law enforcement take your money or property, even if you are not charged with a crime?

The driver was Tan Nguyen of California. He has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney. His attorney, John Ohlson said, "The basis of the stop was he was going 78 in a 75. The stop ended in a search, and the deputy took $50,000 from my client that belonged to him."

Nguyen was not arrested. He was not charged with any crime. But Humboldt County Sergeant Lee Dove decided to confiscate a bundle of cash Nguyen happened to be carrying: $50,000 worth. Sergeant Dove even posed for a photo after seizing the cash.

In this incident report, Sergeant Dove observed that Nguyen seemed "nervous", was "argumentative", and that the car smelled of marijuana. No drugs were found during the stop.

Nguyen was not cited for doing anything illegal, although Sergeant Dove wrote in his report, "I felt he was not part of the legal traveling public," which he cited as justification for taking Nguyen's money.

When asked why Nguyen had so much cash, Ohlson responded, "I think it doesn't matter. I think the point is as long as there is U.S. currency in circulation, and we're allowed to have it, you can carry it."

This case seems to raise a lot of questions about all of our rights as citizens. The Humboldt County Sheriff Ed Kilgore was asked if he had any concerns about how the money was seized during this stop.

"At this point, I can't comment, since its an active litigation," Kilgore said.

But Humboldt County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Pasquale responded by saying, "If we think the money was obtained illegally, we have a right to seize it."

Does law enforcement have that kind of power? That's the question. This case is now headed to federal court, where a judge will decide whether authorities had a right to take Nguyen's money.

"You can have $50 and decide to buy drugs with it," Ohlson concluded. "But until you by the drugs, there's no crime."

Ohlson says he has heard of several other similar cases, where people had their money seized even though they were not charged with a crime. So far, only one known lawsuit has been filed.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: assestforfeiture; donutwatch
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Due Process of Law? We don't need no stinkin' Due Process of Law.
1 posted on 02/06/2014 10:34:43 AM PST by Altariel
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To: Altariel

“But Humboldt County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Pasquale responded by saying, “If we think the money was obtained illegally, we have a right to seize it.”

Not if they prove it. Just if they think it. This guy needs to be fired.


2 posted on 02/06/2014 10:37:23 AM PST by lowbridge
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To: Altariel

They are taking their lead from mac daddy, mac daddy disregards laws so why not them.


3 posted on 02/06/2014 10:38:46 AM PST by chiefqc
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To: Altariel

Policing for profit, when Rule of Law has died in your local Socialist police state tyranny.


4 posted on 02/06/2014 10:39:22 AM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: Altariel
Can law enforcement take your money or property, even if you are not charged with a crime?

Yes, and they do so at least every April 15th.

5 posted on 02/06/2014 10:39:34 AM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Altariel
I think this is a constitutional rights issue...

Fourth Amendment - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.[69]

They can't write a law that allows seizure without court oversight. This needs to be challenged properly.

6 posted on 02/06/2014 10:39:54 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: Altariel

If I was ever carrying 50 grand in cash at one time, then yeah, I’d be nervous.


7 posted on 02/06/2014 10:40:27 AM PST by alancarp
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To: lowbridge

I read somewhere all paper money has traces of drugs on it.

Police:”all your cash are belong to us!”


8 posted on 02/06/2014 10:41:26 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad and lived with his parents .)
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To: Altariel
But Humboldt County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Pasquale responded by saying, "If we think the money was obtained illegally, we have a right to seize it."

I think Mr. Pasquale and the officer involved should have all their personal Possessions seized including ALL their finances because It appears they both Committed Fraud on the public by possing as LEO when in fact they are nothing but a couple of NAZIS.

9 posted on 02/06/2014 10:42:23 AM PST by VRWCarea51
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To: lowbridge

Government has no “rights”, only duties, protecting and defending The Constitution is first and foremost!


10 posted on 02/06/2014 10:42:31 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: Altariel

Cops seize money all the time. They get to keep a portion of it. They do it for their budgets. It’s blatantly unconstitutional, but our horrid courts let them get away with it.


11 posted on 02/06/2014 10:42:59 AM PST by DesScorp
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To: Altariel

>>> But Humboldt County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Pasquale responded by saying, “If we think the money was obtained illegally, we have a right to seize it.”

The Assistant DA doesn’t need laws or any proof, just as long THE THINK it is illegal?

I am thinking of a huge settlement.


12 posted on 02/06/2014 10:43:50 AM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: alancarp

When I hear of stories like this I always wonder how the cash was found. Are these vehicles being searched without cause as well?


13 posted on 02/06/2014 10:44:03 AM PST by Bizhvywt
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To: Altariel

“In this incident report, Sergeant Dove observed that Nguyen seemed “nervous”, was “argumentative”, and that the car smelled of marijuana. No drugs were found during the stop.”

Uh huh. /spit


14 posted on 02/06/2014 10:44:44 AM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: DannyTN
It's all tied to the war on drugs.

/johnny

15 posted on 02/06/2014 10:47:16 AM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Sir Napsalot
But Humboldt County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Pasquale responded by saying, “If we think the money was obtained illegally, we have a right to seize it.”

Used to be the cops needed "probably cause." A bunch of courts have said just having that much money on you IS "probable cause," so yeah, the cops can just seize it.

Now, can they keep it? Some courts have basically said you basically have to PROVE that you did not acquire the money illegally, or the cops can keep it!

Yeah, War on Drugs...

16 posted on 02/06/2014 10:47:27 AM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: Altariel

Where have these people been....Asset Forfeiture goes back almost 30 years now, part and parcel of The Drug War. Currency and property are deemed “guilty”, and seized from the citizenry. The person then has to prove it was not gained through illegal activity to get it back.

Old news is so exciting.


17 posted on 02/06/2014 10:47:32 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Altariel

Cops are required to REQUEST to search the vehicle... so what happens if the driver had said “no?” They just tase him and start rifling through his stuff anyway?

Sounds to me like a the cops have quite the racket going.


18 posted on 02/06/2014 10:48:32 AM PST by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: piytar

“car smelled of marijuana”

The smell triggers the search.


19 posted on 02/06/2014 10:50:05 AM PST by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
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To: Sir Napsalot

The presumption of innocence does not apply to property. The citizen has to prove the money and/or propery was acquired legally to get it back. Seriously, this horse left the barn a long time ago.


20 posted on 02/06/2014 10:50:06 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: ScottinVA

Cops can be bums.


21 posted on 02/06/2014 10:52:07 AM PST by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Altariel

That’s larceny under color of authority.I hope this guy takes that cop and his department to the cleaners.

These violations of the Constitution have to stop,and it’s up to the courts to stop them hard.


22 posted on 02/06/2014 10:52:24 AM PST by puppypusher ( The World is going to the dogs.)
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To: JRandomFreeper
"It's all tied to the war on drugs."

True, but an authority overreach that needs to be slapped down, doesn't justify killing an entire program.

23 posted on 02/06/2014 10:53:00 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: JRandomFreeper
"It's all tied to the war on drugs."

True, but an authority overreach that needs to be slapped down, doesn't justify killing an entire program.

24 posted on 02/06/2014 10:53:00 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: Altariel
Ohlson says he has heard of several other similar cases...

Wow, that's some cracker jack lawyer the guy has. Several similar cases...ya think?

Forfeiture Endangers Americans' Rights

25 posted on 02/06/2014 10:55:46 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: ScottinVA

Simple. They bring a dog over, trained to react to small signals by the handler, indicating a “hit” for drugs, they then impound the car and get a warrant, based on the dog’s “evidence”. . .


26 posted on 02/06/2014 10:57:16 AM PST by Salgak (http://catalogoftehburningstoopid.blogspot.com 100% all-natural snark !)
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To: alancarp

“If I was ever carrying 50 grand in cash at one time, then yeah, I’d be nervous.”

Especially is you were doing 78 in a 75 in Humbolt County.


27 posted on 02/06/2014 10:58:37 AM PST by Darteaus94025 (Can't have a Liberal without a Lie)
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To: DesScorp
They need the money to fight the ‘war on drugs’.

Asset forfeiture for fun and profit(and show who's boss)

28 posted on 02/06/2014 10:59:24 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad and lived with his parents .)
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To: Altariel

911 Operator: “What is the nature of your emergency?

Citizen: “There’s a man standing next to my car with a gun yelling at me to get out. He smells like alcohol, and he seems out of control. I am in fear for my life.”


29 posted on 02/06/2014 11:01:21 AM PST by Darteaus94025 (Can't have a Liberal without a Lie)
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To: DannyTN

The entire program was created for the purpose of justifying authority overreach.


30 posted on 02/06/2014 11:01:59 AM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Wolfie; piytar

Thanks for the education. Now I know.


31 posted on 02/06/2014 11:02:32 AM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: lowbridge

They’ll test the cash for exposure to drugs and of course they’ll find something. Say, “Bye, bye cash.”


32 posted on 02/06/2014 11:03:59 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts ("The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell)
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To: piytar

We only have the word of the cop that the car smelled of marijuana, but we do know no drugs were found. I expect the driver would be argumentative when the cop decided to take his money. I certainly wouldn’t have said, “Sure, take all my money and have a good day.”


33 posted on 02/06/2014 11:05:18 AM PST by Marcella ((Prepping can save your life today. I am a Christian, not a Muslim.))
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To: Altariel

I guess the cop turned all $5,000 of it to the DA.


34 posted on 02/06/2014 11:05:24 AM PST by SkyDancer (Live your life in such a way that the Westboro church will want to picket your funeral)
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To: SkyDancer

You mean $50,000.


35 posted on 02/06/2014 11:07:23 AM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Sir Napsalot

Please understand, my exasperation is not directed at you or the OP, it’s reserved for the reporter who apparently just crawled out from under a rock.

Google “Donald Scott Malibu Ranch” if you ever want to get really disgusted by where asset forfeiture has taken us.


36 posted on 02/06/2014 11:08:12 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: chiefqc

Sorry to say this, but all this “asset forfeiture” cr*p long predates Obama and was probably quite bi-partisan in its origins.


37 posted on 02/06/2014 11:08:38 AM PST by jocon307
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To: Altariel

Anything over 10 K they can take it.


38 posted on 02/06/2014 11:08:41 AM PST by IC Ken
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To: Stormdog

...a large amount of cash has a smell too. Sorry, so there’s “a smell”, cop says it was marijuana....not buying it. If there’s no arrest this is theft plain and simple.


39 posted on 02/06/2014 11:10:34 AM PST by fuzzylogic (welfare state = sharing consequences of poor moral choices among everybody)
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To: SkyDancer

a little lost in the inventory process.


40 posted on 02/06/2014 11:11:51 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad and lived with his parents .)
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To: IC Ken

Based on what though? My house is worth more than 10k, so they can take that too? At what point does the constitution allow for illegal search and seizure based on value?


41 posted on 02/06/2014 11:11:58 AM PST by fuzzylogic (welfare state = sharing consequences of poor moral choices among everybody)
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To: Altariel

No, I meant $5,000. All $500 of his money will be returned. Cops are corrupt. It’s been an on-going joke in posts here.


42 posted on 02/06/2014 11:12:00 AM PST by SkyDancer (Live your life in such a way that the Westboro church will want to picket your funeral)
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To: TurboZamboni

I’m sure the guy will be happy when his $500 is finally returned to him.


43 posted on 02/06/2014 11:12:56 AM PST by SkyDancer (Live your life in such a way that the Westboro church will want to picket your funeral)
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To: Altariel
No the program was created to try to contain stupid.

The odds are this guy was involved in the drug trade and should be rotting in Levenworth for the next 50 years. My guess is the officers had inside or NSA information before they ever stopped him.

But constitutional rights and due process of law should apply. Because if they can seize property from a drug user without court oversight or due process, then they can seize it from you and me too.

44 posted on 02/06/2014 11:14:19 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: Altariel
No the program was created to try to contain stupid.

The odds are this guy was involved in the drug trade and should be rotting in Levenworth for the next 50 years. My guess is the officers had inside or NSA information before they ever stopped him.

But constitutional rights and due process of law should apply. Because if they can seize property from a drug user without court oversight or due process, then they can seize it from you and me too.

45 posted on 02/06/2014 11:14:20 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: Altariel

It’s not what you think it’s what you can prove!


46 posted on 02/06/2014 11:14:20 AM PST by plainshame
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To: DannyTN
The whole program is an over-reach of authority. The Constitution doesn't give Congress power to make laws about drugs. That's a police power reserved for the States.

Put the fed back in the Constitutional box.

The federal war on drugs has gutted the 4th amendment.

/johnny

47 posted on 02/06/2014 11:16:13 AM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Altariel

Good thing Mr Nguyen didn’t have a dog with him - it would have been shot, in all likelihood.


48 posted on 02/06/2014 11:18:28 AM PST by bkopto (Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.)
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: ScottinVA
Cops are required to REQUEST to search the vehicle... so what happens if the driver had said “no?”

"Then we'll have to get a warrant. That will take some number of hours, because [plausible, impossible-to-disprove reason goes here], and you'll have to stay here the whole time..."

50 posted on 02/06/2014 11:19:04 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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