Police Seize $63,530 From Veteran Because He Kept It In Grocery Bags
Simply carrying a large amount of cash in a grocery sack in your car is now sufficient grounds for a police officer to seize your money, a US circuit court has ruled. A panel of the Eighth US Circuit Court of Appeals found that all a deputy has to do to seize cash from a person is say it is drug money.
The court refused to return the $63,530 that Deputy Dave Wintle seized from a disabled veteran named Mark A. Brewer during a traffic stop in 2011. Brewer was never charged with a crime or even given a traffic ticket. Yet the decorated Air Force veteran lost his savings when a drug-sniffing dog smelled marijuana on it, even though no cannabis was found in Brewer’s car or his home.
Brewer saved the money from disability payments and his Air Force pay — as documents deputies found in the car indicated. He said he was traveling to Los Angeles to visit his uncle and to use the money as a down payment for a house. He added he was hoping his uncle could help him get a job there.