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This Federal Agency Has Seized $3.2 Billion From People – Without Charging Them With A Crime

This Federal Agency Has Seized $3.2 Billion From People – Without Charging Them With A Crime

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictures-of-money/

WASHINGTON — One single branch of the U.S. government, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), has collected more than $4 billion through civil forfeiture since 2007.

Disturbingly, most of that money — $3.2 billion — was seized in cash without criminal charges or convictions, a report from the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Justice found this week. The $3.2 billion figure does not include the value of cars, homes and other items the DEA took.

The report – dubbed “The Review of the Department’s Oversight of Cash Seizure and Forfeiture”found that reasons for the seizures included “traveling to or from a known source city for drug trafficking, purchasing a ticket within 24 hours of travel, purchasing a ticket for a long flight with an immediate return, purchasing a one-way ticket, and traveling without checked luggage.”

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Darpana Sheth, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, told The Washington Post that the report “raises serious concerns that maybe the real purpose here is not to fight crime, but to seize and forfeit property.”

Civil forfeiture is the controversial method whereby law enforcement officials can seize property they believe to be tied to drug trafficking, without going to trial or even pressing charges. (Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s in-depth report on it here.)

Sheth said a criminal conviction should be required to seize money.

“Nobody in America should lose their property without being convicted of a crime,” Sheth said. “If our goal is to curb crime, we should simply abolish civil forfeiture.”

Do you support or oppose civil forfeiture? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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4 comments

  1. Some call it “Policing for Profit”.
    I call it theft under color of law. And it’s only going to get worse as government at all levels is totally bankrupt and will use any excuse to continue.

  2. Legal theft! Taking property and assets from innocent people for any lame reason that they call “suspect.” One lady was pulled over for some minor violation like a tag light out and the officer saw quite a few $100 bills she had won at a local casino, while getting her liscense out. He acted like she was a criminal. He told her it would cost her a lot of money to even try and get her money returned to her and wouldn’t be worth the attempt. Plain evil.

  3. SCOTUS has refused to hear legal cases involving this issue. They have overthrown our constitutional guarantee against unlawful search and seizure without compensation and due process. Obama signed a bill in 2011 which give law enforcement the right to arrest and detain any American citizen within US borders without any crime. States and the federal government make billions a year through this theft.

  4. It”s not just the DEA. Local small town governments ate just as corrupt as them! I submit as an example Alamo, NV…a small town 100 miles NNE of Las Vegas. The town is run by a Mormon family so corrupt they run the sheriffs department to the judge and going so far as also the post master of the local post office!

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