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Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:33 PM

Former Marine pulled over for following a truck too closely. Police took nearly $87,000 of his cash.

National Security

A former Marine was pulled over for following a truck too closely. Police took nearly $87,000 of his cash.

By Matt Zapotosky
Today at 10:30 a.m. EDT

The Nevada trooper first told Stephen Lara the highway patrol was educating drivers “about violations they may not realize they’re committing,” and that he’d been pulled over for following a tanker truck a bit too closely. After some small talk, the trooper admitted an ulterior purpose: stopping the smuggling of illegal drugs, weapons and currency as they crossed the state.

Lara — a former Marine who says he was on his way to visit his daughters in Northern California — insisted he was doing none of those things, though he readily admitted he had “a lot” of cash in his car. As he stood on the side of the road, police searched the vehicle, pulling nearly $87,000 in a zip-top bag from Lara’s trunk and insisting a drug-sniffing dog had detected something on the cash.

Police found no drugs, and Lara, 39, was charged with no crimes. But police nonetheless left with his money, calling a Drug Enforcement Administration agent to coordinate a process known as “adoption,” which allows federal authorities to seize cash or property they suspect is connected to criminal activity without levying criminal charges.

“I left there confused. I left there angry,” Lara said in an interview with The Washington Post. “And I could not believe that I had just been literally robbed on the side of the road by people with badges and guns.”

{snip}

By Matt Zapotosky
Matt Zapotosky covers the Justice Department for The Washington Post's national security team. He has previously worked covering the federal courthouse in Alexandria and local law enforcement in Prince George's County and Southern Maryland. Twitter https://twitter.com/mattzap

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Reply Former Marine pulled over for following a truck too closely. Police took nearly $87,000 of his cash. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 1 OP
msongs Sep 1 #1
Chainfire Sep 1 #2
zipplewrath Sep 1 #3
riversedge Sep 1 #4
TheRealNorth Sep 1 #5
discntnt_irny_srcsm Sep 1 #6
PortTack Sep 1 #7

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:34 PM

1. organized crime. was the trooper wearing his taliban outfit? nt

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:37 PM

2. Guilty until proven innocent.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 04:50 PM

3. Going on for decades

Sheriffs in Florida were spending alot of time pulling over people looking for cash and seizing it without charges. It funded alot of equipment purchases. In some cases they were seizing the cars themselves and turning them into "cruisers".

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 05:00 PM

4. Holder banned Juctice from this--but Sessions restored the vile practice...........

Meanwhile, innocent citizens get caught in the yo yo law. damn.



............After Holder banned the Justice Department from adopting local seizures — with exceptions for joint federal-local investigations and gun and child porn crimes — such cases declined sharply, according to Justice Department data analyzed by the Institute for Justice, hitting a low of about $4.9 million in 2017.

But that year, Sessions issued a directive reviving the practice.

In 2018, the amount forfeited by the Justice Department through adoptions not connected to a joint operation crept up to $19.6 million, according to the institute. It fell slightly, to $16.5 million, in 2019, the last year for which the institute says there is reliable data.

Lara sued the Nevada Highway Patrol over the seizure on Tuesday and filed a court motion asking the DEA to give his money back, saying it was taken without probable cause as part of a program that incentivizes such conduct.

Hottot said he received an email about 8:53 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday notifying him DEA planned to return the money. But he said the lawsuit would continue.

“This is a standard tactic that the federal government uses to try to prevent people from challenging the constitutionality of their cash cow,” Hottot said...................

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 05:16 PM

5. It's definitely suspicious

But I am against allowing the seizure of money and other things based on suspicion alone.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 05:54 PM

6. Such activity will prove self-limiting.

I guess I shouldn't post that t-shirt.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 1, 2021, 06:44 PM

7. Educate yourselves! If a trooper pulls you over, unless they arrest you, you do not have to get out

Of your car. That’s the law!

Also, immediately start recording them. Be sure to get their name and badge number right away as well.

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