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Articles Tagged with Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia, PA

A recent report on the state of civil forfeiture in the U.S. has given Pennsylvania a near-failing grade, calling for greater reforms for the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws.

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that gives law enforcement agencies the ability to seize assets from individuals suspected of committing a crime or being involved in illegal activity, even if the property owner has not been formally charged with wrongdoing.

In December 2020, the Institute for Justice (IJ), a Virginia-based public interest law firm, released the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, a document alleging unwarranted punitive seizures through the civil asset forfeiture process across the country.

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markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash-300x200The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has announced charges against a Northampton County man accused of swindling over 50 victims out of more than a $1 million by selling them worthless stocks.

Robert McCabe, 76, of Bangor, PA, was charged with multiple counts of securities fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud. Attorney information was not available.

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pepi-stojanovski-MJSFNZ8BAXw-unsplash-300x188A drug task force in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is missing roughly $150,000 from a civil asset forfeiture fund in what “appears to be an internal theft,” District Attorney Heather Adams told the press Monday.

Adams announced June 1 that an internal audit of the Lancaster County Drug Task Force revealed that someone has stolen up to $150,000 from the task force’s asset forfeiture fund. She didn’t name any potential suspects, but she did indicate that it was likely someone with access to and knowledge of the drug task force.

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drugs-908533_1920-300x200It was May 2015, and still early in the morning in rural Berks County, Pennsylvania. Dana Smith, age 48, looked outside and was surprised to see a line of police cars waiting outside. “It was like a line of state troopers’ car and sheriffs’ cars,” she said. “They said they have a warrant, and I said, ‘A warrant for what?” and they said, ‘To search the house.’”

It turns out that Smith’s boyfriend, Edward Chesney, was under suspicion of trafficking drugs. Law enforcement believed he had based his operation in Smith’s own home, and now they were looking for evidence.
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drugs-2793133_1920-300x200In 2016, Ambioris Cruz was in a Nissan Murano SUV together with Jose Veloz in Reading, Pennsylvania. With them in the car were $5,000 in cash and several bags of drugs. They were waiting for one of their associates to show. They were waiting to make a drug deal.

What Cruz and Veloz didn’t know was that the police had turned their associate against them. Law enforcement officers were observing from a distance. When the time was right, the police rushed in. They arrested the pair and seized the SUV, cash, and drugs.
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