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F.E.A.R. Asset Seizures

 
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: F.E.A.R. Asset Seizures Reply with quote

NPR has a good four-part series on Asset Seizures

We're going to take your money now. Trust us.

Justice Department figures show that in the past four years alone, the amount of assets seized by federal law enforcement agencies -- the vast majority of it cash -- has tripled, from $567 million to $1.6 billion. And that doesn't include tens of millions more the agencies got from state asset forfeiture programs.

Lots of police departments are making asset forfeiture their big game. They're actually spending more effort profiling drivers going south than going north, because they'd rather seize money than drugs -- the drugs get destroyed, the money they get to keep.

"If they catch 'em going south with a suitcase full of cash,
the police department just paid for its budget for the year."

-- Jack Fishman, attorney


And plenty of cases, they're just stealing it from innocent people at gunpoint.

There were some telling and bizarre quotes from law enforcement in the series...

Part 1
Investigator Mike Tamez assures us that we have no reason to worry if we just trust them:

"We're not going to sidestep the law and seize people's money just for the financial gains of the department," Tamez says. "It's not going to happen."

Apparently law enforcement is immune from the lure of money? Right. Of course, plenty of other stories in the series puts the lie to Tamez' statement.

Part 2

Captain Ray Escamilla explains one of the tricks in picking the mark.

"You don't want to take the money from any John Doe," Escamilla says. "If you can't prove that it's been a criminal activity, reasonably suspicious, probable cause, you don't want to take it, 'cause it'll look bad in court."

Yeah, cause you don't want to look bad in court is the main reason for a cop not to steal from people.

Part 3

Chief Deputy Eddie Ingram:

"If you get money, God bless America," Ingram says. "It's a wonderful thing. ... But that ain't what our sole purpose in life is. If all I wanted to do was get money, I know how to get out there and get all the money I want."

Yep. God bless America -- where else can government officials have the power to pull people over without cause, search through their stuff and take what you want? I mean, other countries probably have constitutions and stuff to prevent that kind of wholesome, fun activity.

Part 4 covers some of the questionable spending with proceeds of asset forfeiture, although the mere notion of a government entity controlling the money it seizes is unacceptable because such a system cannot help but spawn corruption.

Legalize Every Drug
John Stossel Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Drew Carey videos
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Raiding California
Should medical marijuana be kept from minors at all costs? Why is it that pharmacists can dispense amphetamines without getting busted, but legal operators who dispense medical marijuana face prison time?

Why do armed federal agents persist in raiding California?

Senator Webb's hearing on Economic Impact of U.S. Drug Policy
All the prepared documents from today's hearing are available here

Senator Webb set the tone with his opening:

The central role of drug policy in filling our nation's prisons makes clear that our approach to curbing illegal drug use is broken. [...]

It is painful to note that as people gather today to celebrate the end of slavery, Human Rights Watch reports that while "ostensibly color-blind, the U.S. drug war has been and continues to be waged overwhelmingly against black Americans." [...]

Our current combination of enforcement, diversion, interdiction, treatment, and prevention is not working the way we need it to. And, despite overwhelming facts [^] the ease with which drugs can be obtained, the price of drugs, the number of people in prison, the violence at the border [^] there has been little effort to take a comprehensive look at the relationship between the many interlocking pieces of drug policy. continued...DWR/2900



Pot Potency? Boomers' blissfully unfazed by mere facts

"It's just a jaw-dropping lecture to receive from the Drug Czar, who previously claimed that marijuana potency had increased "as much as 30 times" precisely by using weak domestic samples as his baseline. Well thanks for clarifying that, finally. Maybe ONDCP should send a press release to 2002 to warn everyone how full of crap they are."
-- Scott Morgan 06/17/2008

Cover-Ups, Prevarications, Subversions & Sabotage



"Name me another agency that publishes data, but then denies the validity of said data the moment somebody highlights it," Armentano said. "This sort of slipshod research would receive a failing grade on a high-school term paper. It's an embarrassment that the most well-funded drug policy agency in America would engage in such an admitted act of duplicity."
-- Paul Armentano, NORML
essay in the HuffingtonPost.com

Journey for Justice Pedaling for Pot



StoptheDrugWar.org

Drug War Chronicle

Stop the Drug War DRCNetis an international organization working for an end to drug prohibition worldwide and for interim policy reform in US drug laws and criminal justice system.

THIS WEEK'S CORRUPT COPS STORIES 5/19/06
A missing evidence investigation in Delaware and a missing evidence sentence in California; more sticky-fingered cops in Tennessee; a would-be porn king with a bad temper in Denver, and some perverse traffic cops in Baltimore.

Drug Cops Shouldn’t be Paid With Confiscated Drug Money 06/18/2008
A disturbing report from NPR illustrates that many police departments have become dependent on confiscated drug proceeds in order to fund their anti-drug operations.

Seize This!



Drug War Chronicle Book Review

Enough is Enough: Stop the Deadly SWAT Raids

Two More Horrible Drug Raid Disasters
Scott Morgan Chronicle Blog 06/12/2008

Derrick Foster is the latest person facing prosecution after mistaking a drug raid for a robbery and firing on the intruders, who turned out to be police. He's gainfully employed, has no criminal record, and wasn't involved in any drug activity. But, of course, police are pushing the theory that he wanted to kill some cops on purpose. Concerned that Foster's innocence could result in him being found…innocent, the local police union is going around intimidating potential character witnesses.

In yet another raid-gone-wrong, police heard that Ronald Terebesi, Jr. was smoking crack in his house (smoking, not selling). So they threw a flashbang grenade in his window, smashed down his door with a battering ram and killed a disoriented man who "charged" at them. 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan is now dead because police went nuts in order to stop a guy from smoking crack.



World Record Marijuana Crop Gets Blown Up By Fighter Jets

There's something tragically ironic about using fighter jets to launch air strikes on a plant that's never killed anyone in the history of the world. Are you having fun yet, brave desert drug soldiers? Someone get these guys some volleyball nets before they nuke a poppy field.
-- Scott Morgan Chronicle Blog 06/12/2008




Misdemeanor possession... Confiscate her home!!!

Auction Action by Judy Osburn
"Police seized vehicles" exclaimed the advertisements for the Labor Day weekend auction. Four FEAR activists arrived at United Public Auctions in Upland, California early Saturday morning in time for the 7 a.m. auction preview. We intended to alert bidders that their own car could easily be forfeited under the unfair laws by which the vehicles up for auction were seized.

5029 3/26/05 Lynn and Judy Osburn 142x190



Forfeiture Endangers American Rights Foundation
A 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible.
20 Sunnyside Suite A-419, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Phone: 415-389-8551 or toll-free 888-FEAR-001

Help Free Dana Beal... Founder of MMM
Coles County sheriff said that Mr. Beal was facing a charge of money laundering. He is being held in $250,000 bail. Mr. Beal had told friends that he was traveling with cash because he was planning to finance a clinic. Mr. Weberman said the clinic was to study ibogaine, a derivative of an African shrub that researchers have said can be used to counter addiction. "He raises money from all over the world, And a lot of it comes from potheads."

"One of the problems that the marijuana-reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in tbe middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could."
-- William F. Buckley

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