The two separate events resulted in nearly 600 pounds of marijuana being seized, as well as the vehicles the drugs were being transported in. All of the individuals involved were arrested and turned over to the DEA.
In addition to the significant bust, authorities also took three suppliers off the streets as part of Operation Big Apple, a years-long investigation targeting drugs trafficked to Florida from New York City.
It was a big day late last month for the U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP), as it seized a significant amount of crystal meth and unreported currency with a value of more than $1 million in Laredo, Texas.
On a typical day, the CBP processes over 1 million passengers and pedestrians. In the 2015 fiscal year, the CBP performed over 2 million drug seizures and seized nearly $20 million in currency.
Civil asset forfeiture laws were originally intended as a way to fight drug trafficking. The laws originated and grew in the 1970s and 1980s as law enforcement agencies lacked a way to diminish the operations of resilient drug trafficking operations.
But the laws have also created for law enforcement agencies a lucrative stream of revenue, and the numbers show just how common civil forfeiture has become in the United States.
The Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act can be found in Florida Statutes 932.701-932.706, and allows for the seizure and civil forfeiture of property and contraband related to violations of the law.
The forfeiture procedure is a two-step process. The first is the seizure or the initial restraint on the property, and the second is the forfeiture itself. Of course, the outcome must be determined in a court of law before property can be subject to forfeiture. It’s important to understand what falls under the category of “contraband” to understand forfeiture in Florida.
What is “contraband?”