Tag Archives: asset forfeiture

Northern Nevada Road Pirate, Who Stole $50,000, No Longer Humboldt County Deputy

An armed person stops a traveler and demands the traveler’s money and tells the traveler that unless he gets in his car and moves on down the road and forgets all about it, he’s going to take his car too. I would say that’s pretty close to what you’re describing as highway robbery.”

Last week, it was announced that Deputy Lee Dove, who gained a bit of infamy after a dash cam video of him pressuring a man driving through Northern Nevada into giving up $50,000 in cash that he won gambling in Las Vegas, is no longer employed by the Humboldt County Sherriff’s Department. It wasn’t disclosed whether he was fired or allowed to resign, nor whether his departure was related to the seizures.

In addition to the controversy that video caused toward the HCSD’s policy of shaking down drivers along I-80, two weeks ago Former Deputy Dove also pled guilty to a lesser charge as part of a plea deal in a criminal case, in which he threatened a customer at a convenience store with his gun.

The commentary from that dash cam video is pretty blatantly a case of outright robbery:

Deputy-Lee-Dove“How much money you got?” Humboldt County Deputy Lee Dove can be heard asking on the video.

Dove can be seen dropping cash on the hood of the car.

Deputy Dove: “That’s not yours, is it?”
Motorist: “That’s mine.”
Deputy Dove: “Well, I’m seizing it.”

The dash-cam video gives insight into what some say is a pattern of questionable drug interdiction stops by Deputy Dove along I-80 near Winnemucca in northern Nevada.

The out-of-state motorist was stopped for doing 78 mph in an 75 mph zone. Deputy Dove finds $50,000 cash and $10,000 in cashiers checks during a search of the car.

The first issue is whether Dove obtained permission to search the car or whether he simply told the driver, Tan Nguyen, he was going to do it.

Deputy Dove: “Well, I’m gonna search that vehicle first, ok?”
Nguyen: “Hey, what’s the reason you’re searching my car?”
Deputy Dove: “Because I’m talking to you … well, no, I don’t have to explain that to you. I’m not going to explain that to you, but I am gonna put my drug dog on that (pointing to money). If my dog alerts, I’m seizing the money. You can try to get it back but you’re not.”
Nguyen: (inaudible) got it in Vegas.”
Deputy Dove: “Good luck proving it. Good luck proving it. You’ll burn it up in attorney fees before we give it back to you.”

But Dove never seizes the money under state forfeiture law, instead he offers Nguyen a deal. Abandon the cash and you can leave with the cashiers checks. Otherwise, Dove will confiscate the cash anyway and tow the car because Nguyen’s name isn’t on the rental agreement.

Deputy Dove: “It’s your call. If you want to walk away, you can take the cashiers checks, the car and everything and you can bolt and you’re on your way. But you’re gonna be walking away from this money and abandoning it.

Tan Nguyen, the motorist being robbed in the video, was able to regain his money, plus $10,000 in lawyer’s fees, in a lawsuit. However Deputy Dove and the other Humboldt County Road Pirates were able to steal cash from many other drivers’ before their revenue generation scheme was finally exposed.

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Civil Asset Seizure Restrictions Now in Effect in Montana and New Mexico

Asset Forfeiture ProfitsOn Wednesday, laws enacted earlier in the year in Montana and New Mexico went into effect, limiting the ability of police and other law enforcement agencies to use civil asset seizure laws within those states. Civil asset seizures, also commonly known as forfeiture laws, have been some of the biggest drivers of police abuses since they were partnered with the “War on (Some) Drugs” back in the eighties. The size, militarization, and lethality of police departments have all increased in leaps and bounds over the past few decades, as a result of that unholy partnership.

Once the easy access to cash that seizure laws created became a temptation and, in many cases, evolved into a budgetary necessity for police departments and local governments across the country, abuses skyrocketed. Oftentimes, lethal raids and prosecutions have been predicated more on the desire and expectation of collecting assets from the target than ant actual strength of evidence. Along the way, there’s been numerous high profile cases where that evidence and other probable cause elements were even fabricated outright.

Civil Asset Forfeiture IncreaseThe hunger for cash has precipitated an increasing tendency toward the prosecution of victimless crimes and prohibitions. No-knock raids, carried out by heavily armed SWAT teams, have become the norm in most large cities and even some smaller ones throughout the United States, as a result. Mistakes, or even intentional acts of malfeasance, have led to an exponential growth in deaths of non-violent offenders, most of whom don’t actually harm anyone except maybe themselves, and even innocent people caught up in the deadly cross fire.

The even bigger reality is that forfeiture laws themselves are an abuse of the legal system and an affront to basic civil rights . In theory, they allow law enforcement to eliminate illegally earned assets that have been laundered and to hurt criminal enterprises’ ability to fund their operations. In practice, very tenuous links to criminal activity have been used to seize money from people with very little to no due process involved. If you set out with the express purpose of creating a police state it would be difficult to find a better method to bring that to fruition.

Completely innocent people, who happened to be in possession of what police consider to be unusually large amounts of cash, have essentially been victims of highway robbery, even when they’ve had perfectly reasonable justifications for having it and despite the fact that shouldn’t even be a requirement. Other people have had property, such as real estate or transportation equipment (i.e. planes, trains, and automobiles), stolen from them even though they were just renting it to someone else and had no actual control over or knowledge of its specific use.

Forfeiture AbusePretty central to those two abuses has been the lack of a requirement for a conviction (or even charges in most instances) for seizures to be upheld, as well as the reversal of the normal judicial roles. In civil forfeiture cases, the accused has the burden of proving their innocence and that burden is often very high and prohibitively expensive. That’s especially true since the one they are required to prove that to many times is also dependent on the ill gotten gains generated by seizure profits.

Montana’s version of seizure reform addresses some of those issues by making it a requirement for targets of asset forfeiture to be convicted of a crime before their property can be taken. It also forces prosecutors to prove that third party owners were involved in the criminal acts where their property was used, in order for it to be seized.

New Mexico went one better and took the purse strings out of the hands of local law enforcement altogether. As Montana’s did, the new law makes seizures contingent upon a criminal conviction. However, even in the event of that, funds generated by forfeiture go into a “general fund,” rather than directly to a defacto slush fund for police departments making those seizures. Not allowing law enforcement entities to fund themselves through asset seizures obviously removes some of the incentives for them to look for opportunities to bring that proverbial hammer down.

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Like most reformist measures, both of these represent a step in the right direction, but not a complete solution. Requirements for convictions and due process within forfeiture procedure can go a long way toward preventing the outright stealing of assets. However, Montana still allows police to directly profit off seized funds. While there’s more protection after the fact, the temptation to risk “breaking a few eggs” in order to make that golden omelet remains.

Also, while the general fund in New Mexico doesn’t directly finance police departments, their budgets are included within it. Therefore, the amount that is sent their way can be shifted in relation to the revenue generated by forfeiture to ensure they get their “cut” by politicians wishing to curry law enforcement’s favor and/or wishing to pump their own budgets up. Loopholes are not hard to find and they rarely take long to be exploited by people whose jobs largely consist of doing exactly that.

Beyond those issues, the real and most dire problem is that once an innocent person is killed or a baby’s face is permanently disfigured in a money driven paramilitary raid, that bell just can’t be unrung. A truer solution would be to abolish both civil asset seizure and the War on (Some) Drugs that spawned its abusive crime spree in the first place, altogether.

Ohio Bar Raided by Police W/O Warrant on St. Patrick’s Day – Exclusive From Lima-Allen County CopBlock

Note: As can be seen in the embedded post from Facebook, this is an exclusive report from those involved with Lima-Allen County Cop Block. It details a warrantless (and unjustified) raid that was carried against the Main Street Irish Pub, a local bar in Lima, OH, which took place on St. Patrick’s Day. It also discusses some other cases of harassment that has been directed at the owner, Brooke Jones, and some of her family and freinds, as well as patrons of the bar.


On March 17th 2015, the Main Street Irish Pub was enjoying a packed crowd and festivities for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Brooke Jones, the owner and operator, had left the bar early but was later called back around 3:45 AM Tuesday morning by one of her employees. The bar had closed for the evening and concluded it’s sales of alcohol to all patrons. However, after closing, a little more than a dozen people, not including employees, remained inside the bar with permission to socially interact with friends. Most of whom were family members and close friends of Brooke Jones.

Upon Brooke arriving at her establishment, she was greeted by a 3rd shift gang of thugs known as the Lima Police Department. Apparently, they were called to the establishment for loud music after hours, but would not disclose the source of the complaint and there are no residential properties in this area. It is commercially zoned with the Allen County Jail and Court House directly across the street from the pub.

Lima Police Officers Zachary Leland, Matt Boss, Nick Hart and other unnamed officers pushed their way through a back kitchen door as a patron was leaving. They did not have permission to enter the bar, as it was closed for business, had not yet obtained a warrant to enter the premises, and were unwelcome.

As officers entered the bar, they began to immediately intimidate and use coercive tactics against the non-drinking patrons who were present at the pub. Officers demanded everyone to lay down on the floor as they pulled taser guns and service weapons attempting a non-warranted pre-dawn search of the establishment. Patron “Desmond Kirkman” was kicked in the back and shoved to the ground for not moving fast enough for police. Brooke Jones’ cousin who is only 18 years old was sleeping in the pub office, after a long day of cooking. Police barged in, shining lights in her face and ultimately arresting her and over a dozen other patrons for public intoxication. All of whom were inside the bar and not on public property. Almost every person in the bar requested a breathalyzer test to maintain their innocence, but were denied by police, issued citations, and taken to jail on suspicion alone.

Officer Zachary Leland, who would ultimately request a proper warrant signed by a judge, produced an unknown object in his hand after exiting the pub bathroom. He claimed he had found drugs and held something up but never showed the pub employee or any other patrons what he had found. The officers remained at the bar until a warrant to search could be issued.

Brooke Jones eventually gave permission to search, but the police still obtained a warrant and found no evidence of ANY illegal activity going on in this bar. After LPD were unsuccessful in their attempts, the Allen County Health Department was called in by police as an additional “further attack” against Brooke Jones and her establishment. Of course, the “health police” are always going to find a reason to shut you down. They cited Jones for: store bought mouse traps…..a fridge that did not work that was actually being used to store can goods, and unmarked containers in another, working fridge. Brooke has since re-opened for business after compliance with these petty infractions.

Lima-Allen County Cop Block logoBrooke Jones has become a target by police for unexplained reasons that all of us are trying to determine. She is a mother, a law abiding citizen, and a recent employee of Proctor & Gamble for 17 years. Brooke wanted a “life change” and decided to enter the bar business using her 401K funds to start up an honest and lucrative business for herself and her family. Brooke’s 16 year old daughter has been pulled over at least 10 times by the Lima Police since December 2014 and never issued a SINGLE citation. The police are clearly targeting Brooke and her family as her daughter drives Brooke’s car that is registered in her name. Her daughter has stated that she is petrified by officers who continue to harass her by following her to her high school and Brooke is extremely concerned for the safety of her children, as one Lima officer has already pulled a gun out during a traffic stop that her daughter was involved in.

Brooke also questioned Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin as to the events surrounding the warrantless entry of her establishment. Chief Martin stated that Brooke operates a “public liquor serving establishment and officers have a right to enter, anytime they want”. Hmmm. Even after hours when the doors are locked? Does this sound right to you? Either way, if Brooke or any of her other staff had violated the law or were in non-compliance of an ordinance or code, I would imagine this is more of a “constructive day job” for the ATF and not an illegal after hours raid by an “OPIE run police department” that just want to generate revenue and rob the citizens of this community.

As I continue with this story, the huge matrix behind all this goes even deeper. The police NOT ONLY lied to get a warrant to raid this pub, but they also confiscated almost $4000 dollars from several patrons and an in-house employee who was scheduled to deliver those funds to the owner, being Brooke. Only one patron was re-issued her cash, as police stated they were confiscating everyone’s money to cross-reference it with drug use! Am I dreaming here or is this reality?

I have seen and heard a lot in my lifetime, but nothing quite like this. Questions need to be answered by city council and the officials of this community. The continued harassment of Brooke Jones and her family, the completely insane cash forfeiture made by police, and every single solitary law that was broken in order to obtain this warrant should be investigated. ALL arrest of peaceful citizens without evidence of wrongdoing should be thrown out in court and lawsuits should commence against these officers who have violated the civil rights of these people!!! I am ashamed to be a member of this shitty community and to know that this is what OUR law enforcement officers have resorted to by using their badge and gun to operate under the color of authority and color of law.

Small Town Police Steal Money, Kidnap Child in Maury County, TN.

Grant Shields shared the content below, regarding a case in which Bob Zadan, of the Maury County Sheriff’s Dept. (TN) Drug Task Force and an unnamed member of the Tenn. Dept. of Children’s Services stole from them and later kidnapped their child after they were accused of “committing” a victimless crime, via the Cop Block Submissions page.

image3Mitchell Shields, Sarah Feron and their son Logan were a great family. Both were great parents. Worked hard and went to community college to better their lives that much more. That is until tragedy struck in their small town lives.

On  Feb. 5, 2015, the Maury County Sheriff’s Dept. Drug Task Force, obtained a warrant to search Ms. Tonya Feron’s home, in which Mitchell shields and his family were living. That warrant was actually obtained based on false information. The information for the warrant came from a phone call between Mitchell Shields and his friend Bill, who is in prison near Memphis Tennessee. In the conversation, Bill spoke hypothetically about having Mitchell give somebody marijuana to sneak into the jail for him. Mitchell obviously said no. The cops must have been thinking they were talking in code. And took this information to Maury county so they could get a search warrant for the house, in which Mitchell and his family lived in, in hopes to find a large amount of marijuana. They tore the house up to find nothing but personal hallucinogenic mushrooms, personal dabs, and personal marijuana. No more than 20g of marijuana was found, which isn’t what the warrant was for.

This upset the DTF (Drug Task Force) agent in charge, Bob Zadan, and he filed charges against everybody for the mushrooms and marijuana, as well as made up charges like the manufacturing and distribution of BHO, even though only a small amount of BHO was found in the house. They based this off of Mitchell owning two very small bottles of unrefined butane for lighter refills and dab wizard containers. Logan, their son, went home with George Shields, his grandfather. Mitchell and his family thought this was the end of it and they would just fight it and have the charges dropped.

In reality, it was just the beginning. On Feb 20 2015, the Maury County Sheriff’s Dept. DTF showed up at Ms. Tonya Feron’s house again, but this time with no warrant. They showed up with Sarah’s probation officer for a “routine” home check. Agent Zadan orchestrated the entire ordeal intentionally in order to steal their son. They brought an agent with them from the Tennessee Dept. of Children’s Services. After they showed up, they destroyed Sarah and Mitchell’s room, and stole almost $6,000 from George Shields’ lock box that he had taken out of his jeep to keep with Sarah in her room, in case she needed it. They even stole George’s pistol that he let Sarah hold onto, which she is legally allowed to own, and illegally searched his truck that was in the yard without his permission.

They found nothing besides George’s money and pistol in the house, but they still re-arrested Sarah and her mother saying they had a warrant for Ms. Tonya and Sarah. While Sarah attempted to inform her mother of her rights another agent told her to shut up and stop playing lawyer. When Sarah went to call George so he could get Logan (protocol is to give the child to the next of kin), agent Zadan snatched her phone and not one officer or agent would call George for her. They took Ms. Tonya and Sarah to the jail. Ms. Tonya was interrogated for three hours and waited even longer to be booked, because there was no such arrest warrant for her. They had to get an arrest warrant while at the jail, so they could hold her. The initial arrest was illegal. They also stole both Sarah’s cell phones and Tonyas cell phone, neither of which are logged into evidence. They did this just so Ms. Tonya could not take Logan home. Logan is now in the hands of a foster family and his parents aren’t even allowed to see him.

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