Civil Asset Forfeiture

Coked-up Cops

Asset forfeiture run wild.



Asset forfeiture laws give police officers an incentive to bust people with property to seize. But few have taken this practice as far as the police of Sunrise, Florida, who posed as cocaine suppliers to lure targets into town.

According to the Broward County Sun Sentinel, which exposed the strategy in October, undercover cops and informants arranged to meet potential buyers and middlemen, then busted them, seizing their cash, cars, phones, and jewelry. While local police said they were putting away dangerous drug dealers, the Sun Sentinel found that few of the people arrested through this program lived in the area. Most came from other cities or even other states. And far from capturing major players, the operation mostly nabbed low-level mules or people down on their luck.

It did provide a nice gravy train for the small city's narcotics unit, bankrolling overtime and funding new equipment and training. One sergeant received more than $200,000 in overtime over three years.

After the program was exposed, the city ended it. But four out of five Sunrise City Council members defended the operation, and the mayor relayed the police department's assurances that its busts, which often occurred at public locations such as restaurants and gas stations, never put innocents in danger.

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  1. Jesus, is it Sunday or not? Got more articles than during the week. Can we at least get some linkz?

    1. Maybe they imbibed too many substances last night and think it is Monday?

      1. Well duh, it IS Monday.

        Doesn’t matter when they posted it, all that matters is when I first see it.

  2. Giving money to poor people may help children

    Professor Costello’s findings are not necessarily a sweeping endorsement of Native American gaming, and casinos generally. Rather, they suggest that a little extra money may confer long-lasting benefits on poor children. And in that respect, the Cherokee experience is unique in several important ways.

    First, this was not a top-down intervention. The income supplements came from a business owned by the beneficiaries. The tribe decided how to help itself. Moreover, the supplements weren’t enough for members to stop working entirely, but they were unconditional. Both attributes may avoid perverse incentives not to work.

    And maybe most important, about half the casino profits went to infrastructure and social services, including free addiction counseling and improved health care. Ann Bullock, a doctor and medical consultant to the Cherokee tribal government, argues that these factors together ? which she calls the exercising of “collective efficacy” ? also may have contributed to the improved outcomes. She describes a “sea change” in the collective mood when the tribe began to fund its own projects. A group that was historically disenfranchised began making decisions about its own fate.

    I do like the idea that community self-empowerment is more important than just getting free shit from the government.

    1. B-b-but it says tribal government !!!

    2. It’s not just the Cherokee. Studies of aid in Africa show that the most cost effective technique is simply to give cash with no strings attached.

      People figure out how best to improve their lives on their own.

      You can get very slight improvements in outcomes by having supervision/counseling, but they’re so small that you’re better off taking the money spent on that and giving away too.

  3. The problem with allowing police – and any one else involved – to gain financially from such activities is that gives them an incentive to find people guilty, and to exaggerate if not actually falsify evidence to increase their take – and give them more money…

    Then they don’t have much if any time to prevent crime. I’m surprised such entrapment is not illegal…

    1. A surprisingly low number of people whose assets are seized even get formally charged. It’s a racket to get cars, cash and other assets from out-of-staters, who may not think it’s worth the effort to retrieve (would you spend $10K in lawyer’s fees to recover $5K? Most people who answer “no”). After a certain period of time, the victim of the seizure loses his/her property rights and the asset can simply be auctioned off.

    2. Are you kidding? This is government doing what it does best, manipulating the law and the public in order to enrich government.

  4. Civil forfeiture is fucking appalling and its abusers deserve to be hung by the neck from lamp posts.

    1. perhaps forcing them to make restitution personally would be a better approach.

      still, i would not lift a finger to stop them from hanging.

      1. I would, but only to drag them behind the truck.

  5. Do you really think that this police force is alone in this practice? 60 Minutes did a broadcast years ago on the seizure of anything of value from the druggies; they even arrested a senior citizen that sold her home and flew one way to Florida and set off alarms of cash in large amounts by the airlines clerk to the authorities and they accused her of dealing in drugs because of the large amount of money involved but the reality was her husband died and she wanted to move south. Guess what? They confiscated the money.

  6. Most state and local laws exist to finance government, not protect the citiens.

  7. No one has commented on how punchable those two cops are?

  8. Interstate 40? between Memphis and Nashville? is a disgusting display of ‘roided out SUVs from a dizzying array of “departments”? sitting about like rapists and pediphiles waiting for their next victim. It is asset forfeiture to the max.

    The decent person puts their middle finger on constant display.

    1. They do this in the state I live in too on I-40. They don’t file charges on the person either. They list it as the state vs the cash, the vehicle, a cell phone, etc. You can’t defend an inanimate object so they can do whatever they please. My cousin was doing weekends and met a guy that was hauling a bunch of drugs and money. By the time they charged him, the drug weight went from 150 kilos of weed to 1.5 lbs. the cash was not claimed on the evidence log, over $50k, they kept it. The heroin was not logged. he claimed over 5 kilos. The dude was obviously guilty but the cops kept almost everything. They actually moved the guy off I-40 into the city. They took him and his dad to jail and did the inventory at a detectives home. Then used just enough to make the “bust” and kept the rest to do and sell. How do you fight coruption like that? Like I’ve been saying for years, the motto should read, ‘To protect their interests and serve themselves’. My cousin is now selling drugs for the cops in the same town. The cops ALWAYS have the best dope. I bet President Sport has some really good stuff too.

  9. I’m still waiting for someone to sincerely and adequately cover the travesty that was the Liberty Dollar silver seizure. Tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of silver rounds were seized “as evidence” in the federal trial of Bernard von NotHaus and his associates. BvNH was ultimately convicted of counterfeiting (??!!) although, over a year later, he has not been sentenced. The “evidence” has yet to be returned to its rightful owners, and no plan for doing so has been announced. Attempts by those rightful owners (including me!) to contact appropriate authorities, in order to stay in the legal loop and learn how to get their property back have gone without acknowledgement, much less helpful response. In the face of all this stonewalling, statutes of limitation for the return of the property may be expiring or may already have expired! Hey Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie, frequently seen on Fox Business’ “The Independents”: Why no on-screen love for this case and its victims from you guys? The government has a sweet deal here: In the case of most victims in this matter, the legal costs for getting the property back (if it is possible at all) far exceed the value of the property itself! Only through group action or a public outcry, or both, does it seem that we victims can be successful. So help, already!

    1. He has not been sentenced, therefore he has not been damaged. I think that they know that he could win on appeal. This is so there is no “final appealable order”. He is in limbo, and he has no standing to sue for his property back.

      1. It is not HIS property! The arrangement for Liberty Dollars was that owners could hold actual silver rounds, or they could hold paper or electronic “warehouse receipts,” which could be redeemed at the mint or through the LD organization (or between holders of LDs) ON DEMAND. BvNH did not possess the seized property, the Sunshine Mint did, in trust for the receipt-holders. The rounds were seized “as evidence,” which does not need to be held after the verdict was handed down. So why hasn’t the property been returned to the Mint so that we who have paper and electronic receipts can claim it? If the government IS going to hold the property indefinitely, it only needs a little bit of “evidence,” and can use the rounds that don’t belong to anyone. The government should be prepared to redeem the paper and electronic receipts for the silver rounds in some orderly process.

        Whether my interpretation of the situation is valid, KM, or yours is, we need outcry to finish the trial (and ideally, dismiss the case and its kangaroo court verdict). Reason, “The Independents,” and the Institute for Justice could all turn up the heat on the Federal government and at least increase John Q. Public’s familiarity with the case.

  10. rom other cities or even other states. And far from capturin

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