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26 June 2005

streamlined butt-reaming

I like this forfeiture without any evidence of crime
, without due process, and with putting the burden of proof that the money isn't drug money on the citizen rather than on the government. There's an elegance, a streamlined flavor to it. The government wants your money, the government takes your money, the government keeps your money.

Maybe you and your lawyer will eventually get lucky and get some of it back (and you give maybe a third or half of it to your lawyer). My guess is many or most lawyers experienced in forfeitures will just wisely advise vctims to just suck it up and forget about trying to get their money back.

To date to my knowledge, the most comprehensive mainstream journalism about police forfeiture in America is Karen Dillon's remarkable and terrifying Kansas City Star series, "To Protect and Collect." I recommend taking Diazepam (on prescription, please) before reading it.

When you've finished, or have read all you can stand to read, send an e-mail to Ms. Dillon and share your thoughts with her. Smack dab in the middle of this era of media-bashing, there's still remarkable old-fashioned public-service journalism going on, and the folks who do it need love, too, just like your kiddies and your puppies and kittens. Your e-mail might make her keep doing this kind of work, rather than leave for a 9-to-5 corporate public-relations job that pays a lot better.

Let's face it: Why would anyone travel with large sums of cash? They're all drug dealers. Particularly the blacks and the Hispanics. And the Asians. And the Hasidic Jews. Also keep an eye out on the Unitarians, there's something fishy about them.

Bob / Elmer

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-------Original Message -----

Sent: 6/26/2005 4:22:38 AM
Subject: [DrugWar] Another citizen robbed by feds at airport

Posted on Thu, Jun. 23, 2005

Woman carrying $47K in bra at airport sues

Associated Press

BOSTON - A Quincy woman who apparently stuffed $46,950 in cash in her bra before trying to board a plane to Texas for plastic surgery has sued a federal agency, demanding the return of her money.

The money was seized from Ileana Valdez, 26, after a security check at a metal detector at Logan International Airport on Feb. 3. Valdez told authorities she was heading to Texas for plastic surgery on her buttocks and breasts.

"I don't know why she was carrying it (the cash) in her bra," said Boston lawyer Tony V. Blaize, who filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston on behalf of Valdez.

In her suit, Valdez said a male Drug Enforcement Administration agent told her she had a nice body and didn't need surgery - and then seized the cash, claiming it was drug money.

Valdez, a single mother said in her suit that she has no criminal record and earned the money by selling her Dorchester business and two parcels of property in Boston's Jamaica Plain section.

Anthony Pettigrew, a spokesman for the DEA in Boston, said he could not comment on the lawsuit. But he said federal asset forfeiture laws allow agents to seize suspected drug profits.


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