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Sat Oct 30, 2021, 03:35 AM

New Orleans man gets nearly $30,000 returned to him after it was seized by DEA agents at the airport

A New Orleans man will have nearly $30,000 returned to him after it was seized by DEA agents at the Columbus International Airport in Ohio last year.

According to a settlement agreement signed Thursday, the federal government agreed to dismiss its civil forfeiture case.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents seized $28,180.00 of Kermit Warren's money at the Columbus airport last November while Warren was traveling home after inspecting a tow truck he considered buying for his scrapping business, according to a release from the Institute for Justice, a non-profit whose lawyers helped Warren reach a settlement in the case.

According to the Institute for Justice, Warren was never arrested or charged with a crime and the seizure "was based on vague innuendo and baseless accusations that the money was connected to drugs."

The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio filed a civil forfeiture lawsuit to keep the money in April, arguing the "currency is forfeitable to the United States (...) because it represents property furnished or intended to be furnished in exchange for a controlled substance, represents proceeds traceable to such an exchange, or was used or intended to be used to facilitate any violation of 21 U.S.C. 841 or a conspiracy to commit such offense," according to the settlement.


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