I heard somewhere a while back that some amazing percentage- I forget just what the percentage was- of currency in this country tests positive for cocaine. I can't help but think that's just another urban legend, but this Sacramento Bee story on some confiscated drug money got me to thinking about that again. Use humboldtlib for username and blogspot for password, if asked to log in.
Apparently yet another guy gets arrested and has a large amount of cash seized, simply because a drug dog detected the scent of drugs on both his money and the ice chest the money was in. One federal judge ruled that just because the money and ice chest had drug odors wasn't enough to link the money to drug activity. The eighth circuit court overuled his ruling with one judge dissenting.
I'll be the first to admit, from the newspaper account, the guy's story sounds a bit tough to swallow and you can't help believe he might well have been in the drug business. I can't imagine someone carrying around that much money to go buy something. If he was in a "legitimate business", I would almost think he'd have to have some kind of credit card, or at least some bank that took care of purchases like he was supposedly making.
That said, this confiscating money from people just because they can't come up with a normal explanation of it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I remember watching one of those COPS type shows. I believe it was Real Stories of the Highway Patrol.
A black guy gets pulled over for some traffic violation in, I believe, Arizona. The cop talks him into letting him search the vehicle. The cop finds some ten thousand or so dollars in the glove box. The cop tells they guy they're taking the money as it is presumed to be drug money.
I forget the guy's excuse for having the money. I don't believe he said much. He just looked like there was nothing he could do and like he was getting shaken down. I believe they let him go but took the money. What happened after that, I don't know.
I don't like that. I don't think any of us should be comfortable with it. There should be a little more involved in taking someone's money than a cop just saying it was probably used in the drug business.
But this is one of those increasing signs of the police state we're living in and it's likely to get worse before it gets any better. Assuming it gets better at all.