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Theft by government: Federal agents confiscated $29K cash from a man, who has never been charged with any crime, while he was proceeding through security at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.
Yuba City resident Josh Gingerich buys and flips trucks. A recent buying trip to do that cost him a bag of cash which was seized by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) drug interdiction task force at O’Hare Airport. “A little over 29 grand,” the amount taken said Gingerich who was not arrested and did not break any laws. “No marijuana, no drugs.”
He believes an airport TSA agent saw the money in his backpack and tipped off the DEA. “They take you down to a dingy basement room,” said Gingerich. “No cameras…no nothing.”
Gingerich said he was set up by the officers who he says claimed to smell marijuana on a plastic bag filled with dirty laundry in his backpack. He said officers dumped the clothes, filled the bag with cash, then brought it to the drug dog. “They can just do what they want,” said Gingerich.
There might have been a marijuana smell there, but if so they never used that evidence to charge the man with a crime, only to steal his money.
The Constitution, specifically the Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights, is blatantly clear about this: “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” You can’t get clearer. The entire civil forfeiture process is unconstitutional, illegal, and should end, now. It should especially end because of this quote from the story:
Last March, the U.S. Justice Department Inspector General released a report saying from 2007–2016, the DEA seized $3.2 billion with zero convictions tied to this money.
In other words, the DEA stole more than $3 billion from Americans, none of whom were ever found guilty of any crimes. This is theft by government, and must end.