Articles Tagged with cash

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bills-cash-collection-47344-300x212In the early hours of January 10, 2017, Zhimin Peng of Chicago was traveling through Boone County, Missouri when he was pulled over by Deputy Patrick Richardson. Peng had been driving his rental car at 94 mph. Together with Peng in the car was Ting Wei Huang. They told Richardson that they were on a short break from college and were traveling from Chicago to San Francisco.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Matt Halford soon joined Richardson. Halford obtained permission to search Huang’s possessions. When Halford opened a bag in the trunk, he saw it contained a large amount of cash. Another officer, Kevin Purdy of the Columbia Police Department arrived with his drug dog, Duncan; the dog alerted officers to the odor of narcotics in several bags in the trunk. The bags contained nearly $627,000 in cash.
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In June, I reported on the case of Rustem Kazazi, who had about $58,000 in cash seized from him at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The case caused outrage across the country as Rustem was never charged with a crime. His money was taken using a process known as civil asset forfeiture, a legal procedure where law enforcement can take an individual’s property or cash without criminal charges being filed.

In good news, the Department of Homeland Security has now agreed to return $57,330 to Rustem together with interest earned. However, in a lawsuit from May, Rustem said Customs and Border Protection (CBP) took $58,100 in cash. A hearing has been set for December to decide whether the federal government will have to give Rustem the additional $770.
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A judge has ordered that Miami-Dade Police Department return $19,934 in cash seized from LizMixell Batista. It was taken from her when police pulled over her husband’s car in the West Little River neighborhood in Miami.

On May 25, Ras Cates cut off a police patrol car, prompting police to pull him over. On examining his vehicle, officers found three rifles and three handguns as well as liquids suspected to be codeine and marijuana oil. Ras’ wife, LizMixell, was in the passenger seat. An officer found the $19,934 in her purse. They seized the cash, weapons, and liquids.
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In 2016, police in New Hampshire stopped a car for speeding and tailgating. They seized the $46,000 in cash they discovered inside. More than 18 months after it was taken, a man claiming to be the rightful owner of the money is petitioning to have it returned to him.

On October 3, 2016, state troopers pulled over a red Hyundai registered in Massachusetts. The police report stated that the driver, Alexander Temple, had shaking hands and looked nervous. Temple gave permission for the trooper to examine his car. In the trunk, the officer found the $46,000 in 20-dollar bills neatly wrapped up inside a Whole Foods bag.
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In 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized $58,000 from an Ohio man. They have not returned the money, nor have they charged him with a crime.

Rustem Kazazi and his family are originally from Albania in southern Europe, where Rustem worked as a police officer. In 2005, the Kazazis moved to the U.S. when they were awarded visas through the State Department lottery program. They settled in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2010, the family became naturalized U.S. citizens.
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