Federal agents steal $29K from innocent man

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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.



  • Craig

    What’s keeping this man from filing a police report in the jurisdiction where this airport is located. It’s very clear a crime was committed. We need our sheriffs to start flexing their jurisdictional muscle and push back on this federal overreach.

  • Col Beausabre

    The problem is that local law enforcement is in on the take.

    “Further, since the United States is a federal republic with governments at both the national and state level, there are civil forfeiture seizures at the state level which are not tracked and recorded in any central database,[10] which make it difficult to make assessments, since state laws and procedures vary widely. According to the Washington Post, federal asset forfeiture in 2014 accounted for over $5 billion going into Justice and Treasury Department coffers, while in comparison, official statistics show that the amount stolen from citizens by burglars during that same year was a mere $3.5 billion.[25]”

    You think the Rurales are gonna give up the money train? In particular since the funds go the locals – and gets spent &diety knows how – the Chiefs new car, that “training trip” to Hawaii….

  • wayne

    Airports are “special,” thanks to all the terrorism and ‘money laundering’ laws we have at the Federal level. They can do literally whatever they want under the guise of drugs & terrorism. (and I mean anything.)
    And most State & Local law enforcement conduct their own confiscation programs– it’s a profit center for them. In my town, the narc-unit gets almost 1/2 their budget from confiscating assets. They prefer to seize cash but they’ll seize anything you have and sell it later.

    Glenn Frey –
    Smuggler’s Blues

  • wayne

    Col Beausabre–
    very good stuff! (I like the way you think!)

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