Did you know that your neighbor can call the police and tell them that they think you are doing something illegal in your home? They can then, through a court order, raid your home, seize your money, your car, or any of your assets all on suspicion, and if you are never charged with a crime or found guilty of a crime, they don't have to return your money or property and usually don't.
18 US Code 981 is referred to as civil forfeiture. Civil forfeiture allows the government to seize and then keep or sell any property that is allegedly involved in a crime or illegal activity. Owners need not ever be arrested or convicted of a crime for their cash, cars, or even real estate to be taken away permanently by the government. The government does not have to charge the property owner with any specific crime in order to seize the property. Gotta pay for those bullets their sending over to Ukraine somehow.
Cristal Starling’s New York apartment was raided by police in October of 2020. Her boyfriend was suspected of dealing drugs. They seized $8,000 of her hard-earned savings in the raid. She was never charged or convicted of any crime, and the money was never returned.
In June 2010, Frank Ranelli’s computer repair shop in Ensley, Alabama, was raided by police. 130 computers were confiscated. Some were for sale; others were undergoing repair and were supposed to be returned to their owners. An informant’s tip that Ranelli was receiving stolen goods was the reason for the raid. Charges were dropped when Ranelli demonstrated he had followed proper protocol in the case of the only laptop he was accused of receiving illegally. None of the 130 computers were ever returned.
Jerry Johnson started his own trucking company in 2015 and currently has two trucks and two employees. Seeking to add a third truck He flew from Charlotte to Phoenix to attend an auto action in August 2020. He was carrying $39,500 in cash, which is completely legal. When he landed in Phoenix, an undercover officer approached Johnson in baggage claim, asking if he had money or drugs on him. When he revealed he was carrying the cash, the officer interrogated Johnson for an hour and gave him a choice of signing a forfeiture agreement or being arrested. Johnson signed. The money was never returned.
This is only three examples of our governments gestapo style tactics and there's a list a mile long. If property is confiscated because it was obtained by illegal means, that's one thing, but to confiscate the property of hard-working tax-paying Americans who did nothing wrong just to fill the government coffers is wrong and unconstitutional. Just another form of overeach in America. Civil forfeiture, or, as I see it, legal robbery, should be done away with in a free sociaty. Law enforcement should be required to secure a criminal conviction before anyone’s property can be forfeited.
The burden of proof should be on them.
Written by Walt Ryba August 22, 2023