Brief 47.2

Brief 47.2 - some bushes on the north side of the tracks....

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Brief 47.2 United States v. One Hundred Sixty-Five Thousand Five Hundred Eighty Dollars United States District Court, District of Maine, 2007. 502 F.Supp.2d 114. . STATEMENT OF FACTS: The Saint John River, located in Maine (on the border of Canada), flows through the town of Van Buren. During the winter, the river forms a pathway by ice, which is suitable for foot travel or use of snowmobiles. This becomes a passageway for those who wish to avoid U.S. Customs, particularly those involved in illegal drug importation. Typically, the smuggling consists of drugs being brought into the U.S. and cash heading to Canada. On February 4, 2005, at about 4:20 p.m., two patrol agents were patrolling the area when they noticed a snowmobile driving up the railroad tracks. The snowmobile tracks later revealed that the snowmobile had crossed the river and entered Canada illegally. At about 4:45 p.m., two railroad employees reported that they had recovered a black duffle bag in
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Unformatted text preview: some bushes on the north side of the tracks. They opened the bag and found a large sum of U.S. currency. The two agents took custody of the bag and the money. A drug-sniffing dog returned positive results for drugs on the bag. On March 1, 2006, the government filed a complaint in Federal District Court against the One Hundred Sixty-Five Thousand Five Hundred Eighty Dollars. The patrol officers filed answers. ISSUE: May lost property be claimed when that property is the product of an illegal activity? DECISION: No. REASONING: The claimants can no more claim ownership in the proceeds of an illegal drug deal than they could claim rightful ownership in illegal drugs themselves. Simply because they found the money on the side of the railroad tracks does not legitimize the cash or their claim to it. Here, the Government seized the money because of its suspected involvement in the drug trade and, as such, it is statutorily subject to forfeiture....
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