Dallas Police Seized an Airline Passenger’s Cash. New Information Only Makes Their Case Weaker.

Dallas officers caught a suitcase belonging to a tourist at Love Field Airport in December after a dog alerted them. Although there were no drugs found in the bag they discovered more than $106,000 in cash in bubble wrap. Although the police took the money through asset forfeiture but did not provide any further information about the reason for its seizure or the suspect, they said that the police would take the cash.

Additional information about the incident has now been made public, raising further questions.

As There are reasonsThe law does not specify how much cash a person may carry for domestic flights. However, civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement agencies to only assert that the cash is being taken. could They have been used in criminal activity. Texas has a standard of proof that someone can seize their cash and other property. However, to have the property or cash back, they would need to present evidence in court. It is not Participation in criminal activity. If the property cannot be returned to the police, they can retain a significant portion of the proceeds.

The Dallas CBS affiliate received the police report on the incident. In it, the officers explained their decision to seize cash. Police discovered that the suitcase was intended for “a known source city” after the dog sniffed drugs. [Chicago]For the exportation narcotics,” it was enough to search it. The search was conducted by a detective, who smelled marijuana’s odor. However, only cash and some packing materials were found in the luggage.

A 25-year old woman was found by detectives and asked her questions about the bag. She misidentified her suitcase as being gray and not black. Her description of the lock mechanism was also incorrect. She also answered no to further questions about whether she was carrying heroin or cocaine. According to the news report, police observed that she hesitated before she said no to their question about marijuana transport. They asked her if she carried a lot of cash. She hesitated once more and then glanced to the right before she replied that she did not have $20,000 and she only had it because she sold her house.

The police suspected the cash was “the result of illegal drug sales” and took it.

The clear absence of any crime is what stands out about this description. To be clear, it is perfectly legal to bring large quantities of cash with you on domestic flights. Although the bag might have had a strong odor of marijuana, it is legal to possess cannabis in Illinois where the person lives or was going. In its initial statement, the Dallas Police Department stated that the bag contained marijuana. There are reasons In December the traveler was on a layover in Dallas. Therefore, even if she were involved in drug trafficking it would have almost certainly taken place where she flew. Starting at.

Also, detectives discovered that their suspect was acting nervously and under-reporting the cash. They also incorrectly described her bag’s physical characteristics. Admittedly, this could be the behavior of a devious narcotics trafficker caught in the act—or it could just as easily be the mannerisms of a nervous young woman being interrogated by police in the airport of an unfamiliar city.

New York City officers are fond of using darting eye movements to justify their “stop and frisks” every year. Despite the fact that very few searches turn up any legal action, the incident reports often accuse the suspects either of being “furtive” or of being in “high-crime areas” to justify being searched and accosted.

Police departments seeking to increase their budgets can abuse civil asset forfeiture as it is currently done. This case led to some Texas state and local officials looking into reforming this practice. Police can take property from someone simply by making a claim. could It is clear that there are many areas for improvement.