Articles Posted in Drugs

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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.

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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.

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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?”

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Nicholas Castelao of Hialeah, Florida is accused of crashing a stolen vehicle into and killing Lyft driver Robert Torra while under the influence of crystal meth and cocaine, Miami prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Castelao, 35, is being charged with DUI manslaughter. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.

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Todd Watson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested after he allegedly made obscene phone calls and sent threatening letters to several Broward judges claiming to be their “biggest nightmare.”

Watson, 53, is charged with several misdemeanors, including 10 counts of making obscene phone calls and five counts of stalking. He is being held in Broward Main Jail on $100,000 bond. He is forbidden from contacting any judges and will have to wear an ankle monitor if he manages to post bail. He will also be restricted from visiting the courthouse without a police escort.

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