Special U.S. Attorney Colin Wood, though, said in a response filed in court that the cash was drug money and that the girlfriend had pictures of marijuana on her phone.
“Complaints have been upheld on less,” Wood wrote.
The DKT Liberty Project, though, says Franco is innocent.
“We do this because we think the civil http://dillidilse.com/ laws have gone way wrong, and we want to push back,” said A.C. Bushnell, the project’s program director.
Civil forfeiture is a practice in which prosecutors use a civil lawsuit to seize money or property. Such a suit enables the government to take money or property without a criminal conviction or even criminal charges. Franco has not been charged.
Franco and his girlfriend, Liliana Ramirez, allege that a trooper deliberately cued or directed a drug-sniffing dog to find his cash, which was hidden under the rear seat.
Smith says the money was placed there simply because Franco thought it would be the safest place to store it en route from Nevada to St. Louis, where he visited a cousin who recently had a baby. Franco wanted to get a discount on a pickup truck from a dealership and had seen ads for it, Smith added. Many dealers require cash from out-of-state customers, Smith said.
Franco ended up not purchasing the truck and headed back home, Smith said. That’s when he was encountered by police at the rest area for not having a front license plate. Kansas law, though, does not require a front license plate.
“Finally, the handler rapped on the back bumper of the car and the dog allegedly alerted,” Smith wrote in his motion to dismiss the case. “This cuing of the dog was observed by both http://christogenea.net/connective-words-for-essays/ and Ramirez. Franco angrily remonstrated with the dog handler, to no avail.”
Troopers also cursed at the two, shouted at them and called them derogatory names, Smith alleged.
“They’re probably embarrassed because the whole thing was illegal,” Smith said. “Basically, the officer involved didn’t respect any of their constitutional rights. He seized the money and threatened to keep the money — until they signed a form giving up their rights to it. Efforts to reform our forfeiture laws are driven by horror stories like this one.”
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