Man Says Officer Seized $14,000 That Wasn’t Drug Money
Posted by Freshman
on Jan 3rd, 2011 | 0 comments
‘Drug Money’ Charges Dropped, But Troopers Won’t Give The Money Back
An Illinois man says the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety is improperly holding $14,000 in cash taken from his stepson as supposed “drug money” when it was actually money he had sent with the young man to buy rare coins.
“It’s literally highway robbery — that’s literally what it is,” said Oklahoma City-based attorney Chad Moody. “They pull you over, they take your money.”
After State Trooper Joe Kimmons said he smelled the odor of smoked marijuana coming from the car, he reported finding “marijuana residue” in the car and on the pants of a passenger in the car.
When he searched the trunk of the vehicle, he found a black duffel bag with some fabric softener sheets — “a common tool for masking the smell of drugs” — inside. He also found a roll of trash bags, “another common find in the car of a drug trafficker.”
When he rummaged through another duffel bag, he found a white bank envelope containing $14,000. Kimmons thought, what with fabric softener sheets and trash bags, that was that — all that money “must” be “tied to drugs,” so he seized it.
Nearly 2.5 years later, the stepfather of the man with the marijuana residue on his pants has a chance to recover the money which he said wasn’t tied to drugs, and was his all along.
The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals last month ruled that the stepfather deserves a day in court in which the state should have to prove the money was, in fact, “drug money.” A lower court had thrown out the stepfather’s previous claim to the money, supposedly for “procedural reasons.”
The stepfather, Brooks Burr, 61, a rare coin collector and zoology professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, said he gave the money to his stepson to buy coins for him at a rare coin show in Las Vegas, according to court records.
Felony “drug money possession” charges against Burr’s stepson were dismissed after Burr produced records showing the money was withdrawn from his bank account the day before it was seized by Trooper Kimmons.
But despite the bank records and the dismissed charge, an attorney for the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety claimed the agency still believes the cash was “drug money.”
They really don’t wanna let go of that $14 grand.
via : Toke of the Town
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Man Says Officer Seized $14,000 That Wasn't Drug Money,
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