In February 2017, Ashley Tami Renee Phillips was stopped at Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in Jackson, Mississippi by a Transport Security Administration officer. The TSA had discovered the woman was carrying $30,000 in cash in her checked luggage. He seized the cash.
Law enforcement attempted to take her cash using civil asset forfeiture. This is the procedure where police may take an individual’s money or property if they suspect it is involved in a crime. In the woman’s case, the Jackson Airport Police Department brought in their drug dog to test the cash. When the dog detected narcotics on the money, the police had found their justification to take the cash. This is despite a study demonstrating that more than 75 percent of currency in the U.S. has cocaine residue on it.