GOVERNMENT SEIZURE--JUST CAUSE?? Reprinted from Volume 1, Issue 4, FLASHPOINT
The Thomas case is similar to a Fairbanks (Alaska) case where agents seized %59,000 from a Perry Johnson. Money was turned over to the DEA. Charges were soon dropped. Alaska Supreme Court ruled the city had overstepped it's authority, and required the city to reimburse Johnson. The city cut the check for it's return, but the DEA again confiscated that check and refused it's return.
The Thomas and Johnson cases appear to strongly manifest the theory, that the Federal DEA is 'law unto itself' , beholden to no court or state government. An agency so infiltrated with lust for uncompromising power and total punishment, it has and continues to run rampant not only over the people they supposedly serve, but also over state and local courts empowered to protest the laws, rights, and citizens of the state and nation.
A citizen caught up in the forfeiture laws may bring court action in attempt to secure the return of cash or property, but in most instances the government rules. The law requires the individual to prove innocent, not for the government to prove guilt.
Under the present standard the government need only show probable cause to seize property or cash, a standard no greater than cause needed to secure a search warrant. In so many words agencies can take a home, business, savings, or any other property, as easily as they can enter a living room to look around.
Citizens who choose to fight the government soon discover they are in a David and Goliath encounter, but they, unlike David are not even allowed a slingshot. The legal encounter is sometime more costly then the worth of the property taken.
Frequently, after a government seizure, assets are not available that would allow the individual the resource to mount a battle.
For a number of years the National Park Service attempted to acquire a $5 million ranch owned by Donald Scott of California. They wanted an addition to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Scott refused to sell.
Record indicated that his wife was arrested with a small amount of Marijuana a year before here marriage to Scott. This record was used to justify a raid on the property. Two agents reported that seizure was discussed at a briefing prior to the raid. Property appraisals were shared between Sheriff's deputies, and federal agents before the raid was planned. No reason was given as to why officers investigating suspected narcotics violations had interest in the value of the ranch.
David Scott was shot to death by a Sheriff's Deputy during the raid......