Reason Roundup

Cops Return Cash Seized From Afroman in Bogus Drug Raid…With $400 Missing

Plus: What's going on with Iran's morality police? Two more days to give to Reason's 2022 webathon, and more...


Celebrity status is no foolproof protection against the cruel and pointless drug war. Case in point: Afroman. Police raided his Ohio home back in August, claiming the musician—best known for the 2000 song "Because I Got High"—may be selling drugs.

By all available evidence, the whole thing was bogus. And now, money seized from Afroman's home is allegedly missing.

The raid on Afroman's home was conducted by the Adams County Sheriff's Office. According to a search warrant obtained by Fox 19 News, Afroman was suspected of drug possession, drug trafficking, and kidnapping.

As part of the raid, sheriff's deputies seized more than $5,000, saying it may be connected to drug sales.

No charges were ever filed, and the government has now returned the money. Or some of it.

Afroman, whose given name is Joseph Foreman, says $400 is still missing. And Fox 19 News backs up this claim. "We watched it being counted out of sealed evidence bags, and $400 in cash was missing," said Fox 19's Ken Baker in a recent broadcast.

Afroman posted about the money on Instagram last week, saying he was filing a lawsuit "against Adams County Sheriff Dept for deformation [sic] of character from kidnapping being on the warrant." His post also accused sheriff's deputies of "tampering with evidence/disconnecting cameras" and "stealing money from evidence room."

The Adams County sheriff told the Cincinnati Enquirer the matter of the missing money allegations had been turned over to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Perhaps to save face—or to try to avoid legal liability—the sheriff is still acting as if the raid was warranted, despite the fact that the seized money was returned (which wouldn't happen if authorities still thought it was drug money) and despite the fact that Afroman isn't facing any charges. The sheriff told the Enquirer last week that some items from Afroman's home were still being tested and charges could still be filed pending results.

But "the Adams County Prosecutor's Office said the raid failed to turn up probative criminal evidence," attorney Anna Castellini told Fox 19.

Afroman told TMZ back in August that all the cops found at his house was trace amounts of marijuana in some old joints, plus a vape pen and some hemp. "He's mostly upset about the force they used and the damage to his house," TMZ reported. Afroman also suggested he was profiled because he often raps and talks about smoking pot.

The sheriff's office has not been forthcoming about the reasons for the raid, which was conducted by officers in tactical gear carrying long rifles. "My girl and her mom were telling how my kids were screaming and crying," Afroman told WLWT5. "Police were running around my company with AR-15s."

Afroman told Fox 19 last week that the raid and authorities' allegation of kidnapping had impacted his ability to book shows and left him anxious about the possibility of police popping back in to snoop around.


What's going on with Iran's morality police? The New York Times reported yesterday that Iran has abolished its morality police following months of protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by said police for wearing her headscarf too loosely. The news reportedly came from Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Javad Montazeri, who mentioned it Saturday during a meeting reported on by state media. But celebration may be premature: "the government did not confirm the move and local media reported that his remarks had been 'misinterpreted,'" notes The Guardian. Matthew Petti sorts through the competing reports here.


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