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Thursday, January 28, 2010

I’ll just take that off your hands

Another unconstitutional asset seizure fills the county coffers in Minneola, Kansas.

MINNEOLA, Kan. —  A Clark County undersheriff says he was just following his instincts when he found more than $1 million during a traffic stop.

Undersheriff Daniel Knowles stopped a vehicle last week on U.S. 54 just outside of Minneola and became suspicious of the driver.

Knowles searched the car and found a hidden compartment with the money packed inside. He says the money smelled like marijuana. The total amount was $1,017,183.

Paperwork has been filed with the Clark County Attorney's office to begin the asset forfeiture process.

The Drug Enforcement Agency is helping to investigate the incident. The names of the people in the car have not been released.

Notice that it doesn’t say any drugs were found or anything illegal took place at all as far as the evidence showed. It was just an unusually large amount of cash. Last time I checked, carrying large quantities of a legal item was not illegal – and suspicion should not be grounds for the state confiscating private property! Unfortunately the current law allows for just that. Possession is nine tenths of the laws  - unless there is the most tenuous link to a drug crime suspicion.

Lessons learned: Don’t consent to your car being searched and definitely don’t keep your product and your funds in the same bags.

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