Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration confiscated $82,373 in cash from Rebecca Brown at the Pittsburgh airport and won't return it, even though she hasn't been charged with a crime. Brown says her father, 79-year-old Terry Rolin, accumulated the money over a lifetime of saving and that he gave her the cash to open a joint bank account.
From The Washington Post (via Seattle Times):
Rebecca Brown was catching a flight home from the Pittsburgh airport early the next day and said she didn’t have time to stop at a bank. She confirmed on a government website that it’s legal to carry any amount of cash on a domestic flight and tucked the money in her carry-on.
But just minutes before departure in late August, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent met her at the busy gate and questioned her about the cash, which showed up on a security scan. He insisted Brown put Rolin on the phone to confirm her story. Brown said Rolin, who is suffering mental decline, was unable to verify some details.
“He just handed me the phone and said, ‘Your stories don’t match,’ ” Brown recalled the agent saying. ” ‘We’re seizing the cash.’ “
Brown said she was never told she or her father were under suspicion of committing any crime and neither has been charged with anything. A search of her bag turned up no drugs or other contraband. Neither she or her father appear to have criminal records that might raise suspicions.
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Cops can take your stuff without charging you for a crime. They can take fast cars they like and add them to the pool of police vehicles. They can take cash and use it to buy a foosball table for the break room. Good luck getting your stuff back. It's called civil asset forfeiture and is often used to swipe the life savings of migrant workers. Lee Adams of Vice explains how it works. Read the rest
What to do with all that civil asset forfeiture? Why not erect a fake hotel sign outside the county jail and make a fake ad starring you? That's what Sherriff Rick Staly thought would be fun. Read the rest
Earlier this week the president revealed that he supports civil asset forfeiture (of course he does) when he told a sheriff that he would "destroy" a state senator fighting to rein in civil asset forfeiture. Another state senator who opposes civil asset forfeiture, Daylin Leach of Pennsylvania, dared the president to try to destroy him, by tweeting: "Hey @realDonaldTrump I oppose civil asset forfeiture too! Why don't you try to destroy my career you fascist, loofa-faced, shit-gibbon!" Read the rest
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has purchased several 'Electronic Recovery and Access to Data' devices to install in police cruisers for seizing funds from prepaid debit cards during roadside arrests. Read the rest
A police detective in Rock Falls, Illinois has been arrested for stealing more than $1,700 in cash found on the body of a man who died of a heroin overdose. Detective Sgt. Veronica Jaramillo, 43, was taken into police custody on May 17, 2016 by Illinois State Police and charged with theft and official misconduct. Read the rest
Civil asset forfeiture is way for police to confiscate people's property and share the bounty with prosecutors' offices, without the tiresome hassle of due process. Read the rest