October 10, 2011

FORFEITURE ABUSE: Crime Pays For Police. “The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Tewksbury Police Department plan to take the entire property — worth well over $1 million — because on some 30 dates since 1994 guests staying at the motel have been arrested for drug-related crimes. During that period, the Caswells have rented more than 125,000 rooms. The government doesn’t claim that the Caswells are guilty of any crime. The government only says that federal civil forfeiture laws give them the power to take the property. . . . The case against the Caswells should be dropped because they are innocent of any wrongdoing. Local police departments shouldn’t be allowed to take property to fund their own budgets, which is exactly what the proceeds from the Caswells’ property would be used for. As this case makes clear, fair and impartial law enforcement cannot exist as long as government can take a person’s property without convicting them of a crime.”

Tar. Feathers. And obviously, you don’t want to locate a business in Tewksbury, or in Massachusetts, with this sort of thing going on. And given the involvement of the DEA, maybe you don’t even want to locate a business in the United States of America . . . .

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