You might get pulled over for “failing to maintain lanes” or “following too closely” only to have the traffic cop seize your cash, jewelry, vehicle and other possessions in order for you to escape prosecution from money laundering charges even if you’re completely innocent.
For years, Tehana cops had been targeting minorities under their drug enforcement programs and would confiscate any possessions these people would have under asset forfeiture laws. It helped make the county over $3 million. In one case, a couple had to give up over $6,000 in cash to the cop in order not to be charged with “possession of a criminal instrument”:
”Barry Washington, the deputy city marshal who made the stop, took $6,160 as well as two vehicles — one Rivera was driving and another he was towing — on the premise that Rivera, 30, and his companion were in possession of a criminal instrument, records show. Krowski [Rivera’s attorney] said the charge was based on the unproven notion that the vehicle Rivera was towing, a Volkswagen beetle, had a secret compartment. Washington, a former Texas state trooper, testified in his deposition that he believed all the stops were legitimate, and that God had directed him to disrupt drug trafficking on U.S. Highway 59. In addition to the cash and the vehicles, Washington seized a laptop computer, cellphones, a cellphone charger, DVDs and even a carton of cigarettes from Rivera.”
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