Gut Rumbles

June 24, 2005

they do it all the time

If you get caught carrying 47,000 in cash the government can take it. The government doesn't have to charge you with any crime. You just have no fucking business carrying that much cash, even if it IS yours, all legally. You MUST be up to no good.

This is another slight problem that the miserably failed War on (some) Drugs has spawned. If the woman wants her money back, she has to SUE THE GOVERNMENT to get it. I call bullshit.

In her suit, Valdez said a male Drug Enforcement Administration agent told her she had a nice body and didn't need surgery ó and then seized the cash, claiming it was drug money.

Valdez, a single mother said in her suit that she has no criminal record and earned the money by selling her Dorchester business and two parcels of property in Boston's Jamaica Plain section.

Anthony Pettigrew, a spokesman for the DEA in Boston, said he could not comment on the lawsuit. But he said federal asset forfeiture laws allow agents to seize suspected drug profits.

"Suspected" drug profits? WTF does THAT mean? Anybody carrying more than what the government believes is a proper sum of cash is automatically assumed to be a drug dealer? With NO evidence whatsoever and NO charges filed and NO arrest? Just confiscate the money because you CAN?

I may have to back up on some of the insults I hurled at PJ for calling this country a Nazi police state under a fascist regime. If this bullshit is allowed to happen in this country, we've got some really, really bad problems.

When I rode with Recondo 32 up to Sumpter, SC, to buy the Shelby Mustang, he had $10,000 in cash in his wallet. Like me, he believes that when buying a car, cash speaks louder than a check does, especially when you're dickering over a price.

If we had been pulled over on the way up there, the cops might have confiscated every dollar he had as "suspected" drug profits the way the law works now. Forget the fact that we had no drugs, didn't intend to buy any drugs, don't even USE drugs and have no criminal records involving drugs.

The woman should have carried a cashier's check if she were smart. But she shouldn't HAVE to do that. It's her goddam money. As far as sticking it in her bra, I can't think of a better place to carry $47,000 in cash.

What else was she supposed to do? Check it in her luggage and allow the Federal baggage-checkers to steal it make it disappear along the way? (Recondo checked a prescription bottle of 90 Darvocets in his luggage when he flew somewhere recently. When he picked up his bags, the Darvocet was missing. Wonder who took that?)

Having $10,000 in cash in your wallet is a crime now. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.


The govt can seize your real estate if they want to give it to somebody else who'd pay more taxes on it. And the government can seize your cash if they feel you've got too much of it. Remember everybody, whether you're a left-winger or a right-winger: everything you learned in civics class is WRONG. Government does not exist to protect the rights of its citizens; citizens exist to generate money for the government.

Why isn't the woman being charged with an actual offense and sent to prison? How can a "responsible law enforcement official" let this woman go if they actually think she sold drugs? (and nowhere does it say she was arrested)

Why did she even HAVE to give a REASON why she had that much cash? It is nobody's damn business!!

Criminals with badges, that's what this is all about.

Posted by: Ruth on June 24, 2005 06:16 PM

Yeah, the bastards can take your money they can take your home, they can take just about anything else too if they want it badly enough. I think Delftsman has it right, time to do something about it.

Posted by: Aquila on June 24, 2005 07:23 PM

Why would she go all the way to Texas? Aren't there any plastic surgeons in Boston?
Something sounds fishy to me.

Posted by: livey on June 24, 2005 07:32 PM

Maybe the doctor she trusts the most is in Texas,Livey.

It doesn't really matter WHY she did what was arguably a stupid thing. People do stupid things all the time.

The point is, the government can seize personal property without EVIDENCE of illegality and without DUE PROCESS. That goes against everything our Constitution stands for.

Posted by: delftsman3 on June 24, 2005 08:15 PM

She could have been wearing jewelry worth ten times that and nobody would have batted an eyelid.

Cash, however? GUILTY! PROVE you're not! (HALT! Your papers please!)

I feel better knowing that the old "innocent until proven guilty" thing has gone by the wayside...

Wait... Why did she even HAVE to give a REASON why she had that much cash? It is nobody's damn business!!

They stole her friggin' money...

Posted by: Ruth on June 24, 2005 08:17 PM

Bad news, you have been reported to the Government for years if you made a cash transaction at any bank. Don't know when the law was passed, but it had something to do with laundering drug money or the Mafia. Nothing new to being suspect if you carry large sums of money. I would suspect that someone carrying that sum of money is a criminal or 'just plain stupid'. In most cases when they lose the money it's a case of the latter. Stupid.

Posted by: scrapiron on June 24, 2005 10:54 PM

The swelling has finally gone down out of that cyst in the middle of my forehead. I can now see somewhat out of my left eye.

My erection has just now reduced to a small boner. Acidbrain, come hither!


I want this man!
I need this blog!
It gets me off

Posted by: PJ on June 24, 2005 11:20 PM

"I may have to back up on some of the insults I hurled at PJ..................."

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes!

Posted by: Ed on June 25, 2005 10:45 AM


Posted by: Brett on June 25, 2005 12:55 PM

Why was it in her bra? No wonder it tipped the DEA agent off. Cashier's check wold have made much more sense.

Posted by: Nancy on June 25, 2005 02:15 PM

DO NOT MOVE large amounts of cash in or out of your bank account(s) unless you have REALLY good documentation on what you sold or bought.
Better be like houses or expensive cars.
REALLY, REALLY GOOD documentation for the men in black.

Posted by: Dan Pursel on June 25, 2005 03:06 PM

I don't know what the federal law says currently but it used to be that all cash transactions over $10,000 had to be reported.The bank did not have to report a $9,999 cash deposit but did have to report a $10,000 casg deposit. Something to do with the drug laws and the war on drugs which cannot be won regardless of the laws except for the law of supply and demand.

Posted by: GUYK on June 25, 2005 05:23 PM

You can thank George Bush Sr for this one. It was part of his "war on drugs" . It's galling when we lose part of our constitutional rights under a republican. This definatly goes against the due process requirement.

Posted by: bbuddha on June 25, 2005 07:21 PM

Siezure without what we think of as due process has been going on for a long time.
For one story see (1993)
CBS 60 Minutes did a story once about a guy buying an airline ticket in cash and being questioned 10 minutes later by airport police.
A few of the related regs I've "encountered"
- It's "legal" to take more than $10,000 of negotiable instruments (cash, traveller's cheques) out of the US if the value is declared to Customs before boarding the flight. The hassle factor increases some percentage, however.
- A bank cheque for more than $9,999.99, e.g. to buy a car, must be reported by both issuer and receiver.
- A personal cheque for more than $9,999.99 must be reported by the receiver and, when cleared, reported by the clearing bank(s).
- Signature authority over a foreign (non US) bank account of any size must be reported.
All have their "reasons," but leave a somewhat constraining feeling.

Posted by: DJSloan/Houston on June 25, 2005 10:27 PM

No legit person carries 46K stuffed in their undergarments. Period. If this lady had been able to give a reasonable explanation that made sense; i.e: here's the name & # of the surgeon I am going to see, that story would have been verified and she would have been cut loose. I would bet the farm she was headed to Laredo or El Paso or another border city. This woman was carrying drug money back to Mexico on behalf of a major drug traficking organization. If anyone crying foul over this cares to follow up, I expect the "sold business and property" story won't hold up.

People have been screaming for years for the government to do something about the drug trafficking that is devestating this of the best tools in the war on drugs is asset forfeiture. Don't like the feds taking drug money from drug couriers? Petition the government to change the law. But be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: Jack on June 26, 2005 02:04 AM

"I may have to back up on some of the insults I hurled at PJ for calling this country a Nazi police state under a fascist regime. If this bullshit is allowed to happen in this country, we've got some really, really bad problems."


I believe you are starting to see the light Acidbrain. I am beginning to think you are a wise old Democrat at times pretending to be a fucktard Republican most of the time.

Posted by: PJ on June 26, 2005 04:47 AM

PJ, get a grip. The democrats, if given their way, would have flushed all our rights down the toilet years ago. Go look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that Clinton appointee, who keeps on giving. (Kelo v. New London). You actually have a point, however, as the swing vote, Anthony Kennedy, was a Regan appointee. Do us all a favor and register republican. Help us fix this party. The Dimocraps are a dead horse.

Posted by: Ed on June 26, 2005 10:34 AM

"You actually have a point, however, as the swing vote, Anthony Kennedy, was a Regan appointee."


I believe YOU are actually beginning to see the light too Mr. Edweird. And I think the chances of YOU registering as a Democrat are FAR GREATER than this ole sixth-generation Texan and southern Democrat EVER registering as a snake oil peddling Republican. Ain't gonna happen in this lifetime. I have seen too much corruption by the so called conservatives to ever fall for their bullshit rhetoric. Hell, I can just look at THIS administration as a perfect example. By the way, I just wish someone could please explain to me what part of Bush's actions so far could be remotely considered conservative.


Posted by: PJ on June 27, 2005 02:31 AM


Sixth generation Texan politicians who are Democrats will fuck you just as fast as any Republican.

Get a clue, and get past government as a solution to anything.

Posted by: jb on June 27, 2005 02:56 AM

A democrat in Texas! Jebus, I thought the stupid party gerrymandered your ass out of existence.

I'll tell you what. When the limp wristed, whiny, northestern liberal democrats start walking and talking like Zell Miller, or a manly Texan, I'll switch my fucking party by God.

Do you see that happening? I don't!

Posted by: Ed on June 27, 2005 02:43 PM

The drug laws are unconstitutional, Jakc (see the ninth amendment.)

I don't care how great a majority wants this crusade, it is wrong, and when it bites its supporters on the ass, they won't have a glute to sit on.

Individual liberty and majority rule are contradictory principles; the fact that most Americans don't recognize this fact is a testimony to their lousy educations, voted in by the same clueless majorities, I note.

You may pick one: individual freedom or majority rule. I know my preference. Do you know yours?

Posted by: Brett on June 28, 2005 01:34 PM
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