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Articles Tagged with Iowa

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pexels-skitterphoto-9660-300x196A broken tail light or driving over the speed limit is reason enough for a traffic stop. But is it justification for all the cash in the car to be confiscated by police?

Unfortunately, the answer in Iowa is yes, to the tune of over $100 million in the past 20 years. Even more unbelievable is the fact that no speeding ticket, no warning, and no probable cause has to exist. This practice, legal in all 50 states, is called civil asset forfeiture.

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In September 2015, Jean Carlos Herrera was driving his 16-year-old SUV from New York to Los Angeles when law enforcement in Iowa pulled him over. The police did not charge Jean Carlos with any crime. Nonetheless, they seized both his car and the $45,000 in cash they found inside.

When he was pulled over in Pottawattamie County, Jean Carlos refused to allow the police officer to search his vehicle. Despite this, the officer nonetheless examined his car, claiming there were inconsistencies between the story Herrera and his passenger told about why there were traveling across the country. According to a court record, a police dog also examined the car and detected narcotics. No drugs were found in the car.
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