GOVERNMENT SEIZURE--JUST CAUSE?? Reprinted from Volume 1, Issue 4, FLASHPOINT
Americans have been brought up to believe that they need not fear laws and actions of government officials if they have done no wrong. Certainly, the citizens reasons, our government agencies would not infringe upon the rights of honest citizens! Yet, greed has reared it's head, and some law enforcement agencies , hungry for cash in the wake of declining tax dollars are on a power trip and seizure spree.
The Jones' family of Nashville have owned and operated a nursery business many years. On February 27, 1991, Willie Jones made a cash purchase of an American Airline ticket to Houston. He carried $9600 profits from the previous years business to purchase flowers and shrubs.
The ticket agent alert ed officers that a large black man had paid for his ticket in bills. An unusual practice, but certainly not illegal. Because of his cash purchase, and because he fit the 'profile' of what a drug dealer is supposed to look like, they believed he was buying and selling drugs.
Jones was not charged, but the officers kept his money. He received a receipt in exchange. Jones has never been charged, yet, his money has never been returned.
What is a drug dealer 'profile?
A 'profile' frequently depends upon the agent or officer in charge or the district where apprehension is made. In many cases a 'profile' begins with a minority.
A Pittsburgh Press investigation indicated that of 121 drug courier stops, where money was seized, and no drugs were discovered, 77 percent were Asian, Black, or Hispanic.
Traits used as guideline by DEA drug task force may depend upon where you live. Agents in Illinois are told it's suspicious if their subjects are among the first people off the plane. They are in a hurry.
Michigan agents are informed the last person off the plane is suspicious because the suspect is trying to appear nonchalant.
In Ohio, agents are told suspicion should surface when suspects deplane in the middle of a group because they are probably attempting to lose themselves in a crowd.
A person may become suspect, if they appear nervous, looks around, paces, sneaks a peek at their watch, makes a phone call, carries too much, or not enough baggage, doesn't look as if they 'belong', appear nonprofessional while flying first class, have a cellular phone or pager, etc. etc.