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Annals Of The Police State.....
Posted by: max
Date: March 08, 2019 01:16PM

The journalists at St. Louis Public Radio ...found plenty of abuse thanks to the federal loophole, which allows law enforcement to bypass all the built-in protections legislators have enacted.
Missouri law around asset forfeiture contains some fairly strong protections. Civil asset forfeiture can only take place after a conviction or a guilty plea in a criminal case. In addition, the money is set aside for schools. The Institute for Justice, a libertarian-leaning legal advocacy group, gave Missouri a grade of B+, among the best in the country. In the federal system, however, no criminal conviction is required, and police departments can keep up to 80 percent of the money they seize.
Prosecutors like Tim Lohmar in St. Charles County make the decision whether to handle potential asset-forfeiture cases with state charges, or at the federal level. The vast majority of the time, Lohmar chooses the federal process.
This has resulted in a windfall of over $1 million for local law enforcement agencies. Thanks to federal adoption, the money train never stops, no matter what state laws require. If the forfeiture is tied to criminal charges, the money goes to local schools. Cops aren't fond of sharing, so only three of the 36 forfeiture cases processed by Lohmar last year included criminal charges for the person the cash was taken from.
The preference to grab cash, rather than drugs, has led to some completely nonsensical defenses of civil asset forfeiture.
“When you seize a thousand pounds of marijuana in the St. Louis area, you’re really not hurting the operations of a drug cartel in Mexico, because the cost to produce that thousand pounds is negligible in the grand scheme of things,” [State Rep. Justin] Hill said.
We're expected to believe cultivating and processing drugs is a zero cost effort but lost cash can never be replaced. It stands to reason that the production and sales of drugs aren't going to stop, so the seizure of a few thousand dollars from a random driver is also pretty "negligible in the grand scheme of things."
And we know cops don't actually care about stopping the drug flow. They allow the drugs to make their way into St. Louis and camp out on the roads leading away from the city to seize cash they believe resulted from the drug sales they can't be bothered to stop.
[Sgt. Carmello] Crivello, like most highway interdictors, focuses on the westbound lanes of the interstate, targeting cash, rather than drugs, that comes through Missouri in the eastbound lanes.
“The westbound, generally speaking, are the profits from the drug sales,” said Crivello in an interview, “... so stopping westbound (is) more likely to hurt drugs … (You) hurt the cartels more than you hit the pocketbooks.”
Repeating the same fallacy doesn't make it true. Law enforcement agencies like cash and the federal loophole that allows them to keep 80% of what they seize. What they don't like is the work that comes with actually dismantling drug cartels which, at some point, has to involve drug seizures and arrests, rather than pocketing cash and sending drivers on their way.

"We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution;
one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship."
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Re: Annals Of The Police State.....
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 08, 2019 07:24PM
SCOTUS says “not so fast, LEO scum !”
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Re: Annals Of The Police State.....
Posted by: Sam3
Date: March 09, 2019 06:08AM
So where are the ‘state’s rights’ Republicans now?
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Re: Annals Of The Police State.....
Posted by: mattkime
Date: March 09, 2019 07:55PM

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