Driving with Cash


Reader Les Milton makes Monday even more blue by sending along this tidbit:

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.

Whole story here.

Back in April 2001, our then-Washington Editor Mike Lynch, wrote about how Amtrak pulled similar tricks. Back then, of course, it was to help the war on drugs, not the war on terror. Read about it here.

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  1. “The U.S. Vs. 124,700”? So the money itself was on trial? “A trained dog barked at the car…” You need to train a dog to do that? This article reads like an Onion story!

  2. From http://www.theagitator.com this actual quote:

    While the claimants’ explanation for these circumstances may be “plausible,” we think it is unlikely. We therefore conclude that the government proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the DEFENDANT CURRENCY was substantially connected to a narcotics offense.

  3. I’m glad we’re getting the system streamlined so that you don’t have to actually commit a crime to commit a crime. That whole presumption of innocence bit just slows things down.

    Note: Missed opportunity here – Should also have stolen..er..confiscated the car as well. After all the dog did bark at it! That could have then been used as justification for going to the rental car company and having dogs bark at those cars. They could have outfitted the entire police dept with new vehicles! Jeez…why don’t these people do their jobs right.

  4. Money.

    It’s a crime.

  5. So they don’t have enough evidence to convict the guy of a crime but enough to take his property? How does this make sense?

  6. [Cartman Voice] SON OF A BITCH [/CV]

  7. I’m surprised they didn’t go after the cash and the car under RICO. They were clearly in it together.

  8. “We therefore conclude that the government proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the DEFENDANT CURRENCY was substantially connected to a narcotics offense.”

    Gee, a ‘preponderance of the evidence.’ Now it doesn’t have to even be beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s the cop’s word against yours.

    Prepare, folks. The revolution cometh.

  9. When I become benevelent dictator, we will not allow cops to use dogs. How does one cross examine a dog?

  10. If I’m a cop, starting today I’m pulling over every armored car I see! Enough of the penny-ante stuff.

  11. some of our local men-in-blue have been making eyes at the krispy kreme on the corner.

  12. Makes sense to me. Everyone knows you’re supposed to keep your money in a bank, so the government can easily keep track of it. 😛

  13. So I’m to take a cab to make a bank deposit? (Walking, skating, or biking seem too risky.)

  14. Read that the guy that won big in the lottery,travels with $500,000 cash.Has he had any problems,other than having it stolen out of his pick-up?

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