Civil Liberties

Possible DEA Mugging of Professional Poker Player


Over at the poker forum Two Plus Two, pro poker player David Peat writes that he was essentially mugged by DEA agents at an airport in Toledo, Ohio Detroit, Michigan.

According to Peat, he and his girlfriend had originally planned to fly back to Las Vegas together after visiting her family. But after purchasing their tickets, Peat decided to fly to L.A. to play in a poker game. He bought a last minute, first-class ticket, and paid in cash.  That apparently was enough to set off red flags.

Peat says he was accosted by several DEA agents, who asked him questions about who he was and where he was going. He told them he was a poker player, and had $15,000 in cash in his pocket. They first let him go, but then chased him down, and told him he'd need to come with them for questioning. Peat says the agents then confiscated all of his money, as well as his $50,000 Rolex watch. He says they gave him a receipt, and told him to expect more information in the mail.

In a separate post, Peat concedes he had a few marijuana possession charges, but the most recent was more than eight years ago. He wasn't arrested, and the agents didn't tell him why they were taking his money. The reason for seizing it seems to be little more than he was traveling with a large amount of cash.

If Peat's account of the incident is accurate, it certainly wouldn't be unprecedented.

CORRECTION: I spoke with Peat tonight. He was staying in Toledo, but he flew out of Detroit. More to come.