Measured Against Reality

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Where's the outrage

Via Radley Balko I find this terrible piece of news:

Anastasio Prieto of El Paso gave a state police officer at the weigh station permission to search the truck to see if it contained "needles or cash in excess of $10,000," according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the federal lawsuit Thursday.

Prieto told the officer he didn't have any needles but did have $23,700.

Officers took the money and turned it over to the DEA. DEA agents photographed and fingerprinted Prieto over his objections, then released him without charging him with anything.

Border Patrol agents searched his truck with drug-sniffing dogs, but found no evidence of illegal substances, the ACLU said.


DEA agents told Prieto he would receive a notice of federal proceedings to permanently forfeit the money within 30 days and that to get it back, he'd have to prove it was his and did not come from illegal drug sales.

They told him the process probably would take a year, the ACLU said.

Can you imagine that? Because of the drug war, the police are literally allowed to steal your money for no reason. Or at least they think they can, we'll see if it's legal when the ACLU finishes their suit against the DEA.

Every time a story like this comes out I just wonder, "Where's the outrage?" We've been raving nonstop about Mike Vick's dog-fighting ring, but no one cares about all of the botched SWAT raids that kill people (and sometimes household pets) and damage property, no one cares about the tens of thousands of nonviolent drug users rotting in prisons, and no one cares about the forfeiture of our rights in order to "end the scourge" of consenting adults taking drugs that affect no one but themselves (the classic negative results of drug use are largely the result of prohibition, and aren't intrinsic to drug use).

Maybe some day the outrage will come. I'm holding my breath.

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  • While I think the cops have no right to seize the cash, the outrage you seek is not going to come from tax payers. even if it is a legitimate business he is running, I doubt he has a legitimate reason for not putting it in a bank. Sounds like a cash business ... and a guy who doesn't like to pay taxes.

    By Blogger bobber21, at 9:43 AM, August 25, 2007  

  • Thank you! I'm sick of all the outrage against Vick, when there are numerous newsworthy stories regarding crimes against humanity and the loss of the most basic freedoms Americans USED to hold so dearly.

    @bobber21: show me the law that states we must pay income tax.

    By Anonymous bobby b, at 9:56 AM, August 25, 2007  

  • @bobber21: I would much rather err on the side of too much personal freedom than too little. Having a few low-profile individuals not pay taxes is absolutely a price I'm willing to pay for not giving the government the right to steal from me at will.

    Maybe you think that sounds like a slippery slope towards anarchism, but at least it's not a slippery slope towards fascism.

    On a somewhat related note, if drugs were legalized, then we'd be taxing all of that income... which is much more money than the occasional $23k.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:05 AM, August 25, 2007  

  • bobby b, I'm pretty sure the Sixteenth Amendment is the law that states we must pay income tax (then again, I'm no lawyer).

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 10:13 AM, August 25, 2007  

  • Apparently "The Law" says it's
    alright to steal cash from someone
    just minding his own business.

    Some don't think there's a law
    for government to steal its

    Would it make you all feel better if
    that was all legalized?

    Would "The Law" make it right?

    By Blogger jomama, at 11:12 AM, August 25, 2007  

  • @ stupac2:

    By Anonymous bobby b, at 11:13 AM, August 25, 2007  

  • I had $50,000 cash on me back in April and I don't sell drugs. I had it because I have no bank account so I got a friend at a chinese Liquor store (they deal in cash) to cash it (it took them a while to gather the money, but they did it) and I got a settlement check from my Workers' Comp case with the Government. So, if I had of put it in my trunk, that would've made me a drug dealer, I guess. First off, the guy should have never agreed to let the pig search his trunk. NEVER let a cop search anything without a warrant of probably cause.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:11 PM, August 25, 2007  

  • so much for "innocent until proven guilty."

    By Anonymous overcaffein8d, at 2:48 PM, August 25, 2007  

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