There's really nothing else you can call it:
Anastasio Prieto of El Paso gave a state police officer at the weigh station permission to search the truck to see if it contained "needles or cash in excess of $10,000," according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the federal lawsuit Thursday.
Prieto told the officer he didn't have any needles but did have $23,700.
Officers took the money and turned it over to the DEA. DEA agents photographed and fingerprinted Prieto over his objections, then released him without charging him with anything. Border Patrol agents searched his truck with drug-sniffing dogs, but found no evidence of illegal substances, the ACLU said.
DEA agents told Prieto he would receive a notice of federal proceedings to permanently forfeit the money within 30 days and that to get it back, he'd have to prove it was his and did not come from illegal drug sales.
They told him the process probably would take a year, the ACLU said.
Wasn't this kind of crap supposed to stop after the 1997 federal forfeiture reforms?
Apparently not. Perhaps some drug warrior can explain to me how this kind of thing can possibly be justified. Should people who carry large sums of cash just assume that there's a small chance the government will simply steal it from them at gunpoint?