Minnesotans Score Small Victory in Civil Asset Forfeiture War

The number of those caught up in such illegal confiscations is legion. For instance, Tan Nguyen was driving home from Las Vegas, Nevada, with about $50,000 in cash, which he had won during his visits to several casinos. He was pulled over by officer Lee Dove for driving three miles an hour over the speed limit. The officer searched his car and found the cash, which he confiscated. When Nguyen protested, Dove threatened to seize and tow his car, leaving him stranded in the Nevada desert unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot that this ever happened.” It was a daylight highway robbery and Nguyen sued.

A settlement was reached last week, and Humboldt County, Nevada, returned his money along with an extra $10,000 to pay for his legal expenses. IJ noted that Nevada’s current system allows police officers such as Lee Dove to “seize property under a legal standard lower than the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard used in criminal convictions.” In its “Policing for Profit” report, IJ also gives Nevada a rating of “D.”

In Virginia, a state police officer stopped Victor Luis Guzman for speeding on I-95 and confiscated $28,500 from him without charging him with any crime. The fact that he was transporting cash donations from his church didn’t matter. He had to sue to get the church’s money back.

In Florida, there is a stretch of highway now known as a “forfeiture corridor” on I-95 in Volusia County. Two “law enforcement” officers, Bob Vogel and Bill Smith, turned that stretch of highway into their own personal casino, with Vogel raking in more than $6.5 million before being caught. Two hours north on I-95, in Camden County, Georgia, Smith turned his “forfeiture corridor” into a $20 million payout over the past 20 years, using some of the money to buy himself a $90,000 Dodge Viper and build a “party house” for his friends.

FK – Such trash should be hunted and shot on sight.

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