By Danny Lewis
There was a plaque on Ron Paul’s desk which said “Don’t steal, the Government hates competition”. The phrase might give you a chuckle, however it is a reality.
Civil asset forfeiture is an issue we don’t hear much about. It is the act of the government stealing from individuals. The law, which was intended to obtain the assets of drug dealers, is used on thousands of people who are never even been convicted of a crime.
In Philadelphia about 2.2 million dollars a year is taken through civil asset forfeitures.
Here are just a few examples
“Each year, Philadelphia cops take millions of dollars in cash from city residents under the state's civil asset forfeiture laws. Roughly one-third of these residents -- 1,500 of them -- are never convicted of a crime. And much of their money -- about $2.2 million a year -- goes directly into the coffers of the Philadelphia district attorney's office, which oversees the forfeiture process.”
There was an instance in Montana where someone was stopped by police when he had a large amount of money in the car.
“In 2013, Lorenzo Ayala, a farmer in Palo Alto, California, drove to Montana to meet a woman he met online. He had $16,000 in cash along for the ride, he said, to purchase tractor parts.”
“The AP reported that the strong smell of cologne and certain items in his car, among other things, lead Trooper Erick Fetterhoff to be suspicious about the possible presence of drugs. Fetterhoff called a local police department, requesting its K-9 unit, and according to the AP, the dogs indicated smelling drugs. No illegal items were found though and no charges were brought against Ayala, but he still had to turn over the $16,000 found in his trunk and never got it back.”
The latest instance took place here in Virginia at Richmond International Airport.
"A man continued on his flight out of Richmond International Airport without a large bag of money that was confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The man, who was stopped at a checkpoint, was carrying $75,000 in cash. The TSA kept it and he boarded his flight.
The man’s bulky bag left TSA agents wondering what was inside, and when they opened it they found bundle after bundle of cash stacks inside the passenger’s carry-on bag. Authorities checked out the passenger, but he was not charged and was given clearance to continue his flight."
Campaign for Liberty has taken numerous stands against civil asset forfeiture. When someone’s assets are taken from them it called theft. No citizen should be forced to give up their property without due process of the law.
Tags: Rand Paul, civil asset forfeiture, police state, due process, theft