Unreal: Tennessee cops can seize wads of your cash solely on suspicion

If you are driving through Middle Tennessee make sure you don’t have wads of cash sitting in your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you have a legitimate reason to carry wads of cash, the police in Middle Tennessee will take it solely based on the suspicion that it could be drug money. You heard me right. Even if they don’t charge you with anything or arrest you they can still take it. And according to the report below, there are competing law enforcement agencies in MT whose only job is to pull vehicles over and confiscate wads of cash…or they’ll lose their jobs.

It’s unreal, like something you’d hear happening in Mexico or other lawless states.

You can read more about it here.

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63 thoughts on “Unreal: Tennessee cops can seize wads of your cash solely on suspicion

  1.  Why would anyone be surprised at this?  A little free-enterprise in the criminal justice system.  One should never let the police search anything without probable-cause or a warrant — always ask for the supervisor.  These criminals in uniform are only limited by the strength in ones opposition to the corruption.  One of my close friends is the head of Internal Affairs at one of the biggest cities in Californication, and the corruption is huge, which they hide very well.  The “blue code” is very understood within the departments. 

    1. I don’t care what the state’s laws say on matters of this nature.  The Constitution is and will always be the Supreme Law of The Land as far as I’m concerned.  Having physical money is not probable cause for searches…period.  I also dare them to bust down my door just because they smell the incense that I like to burn under suspicion that I’m “covering up the pot smell.”  I have no problem defending myself no matter what kind of artillery they possess.

    1. The drug “war” is the justification, so I wouldn’t call drugs a side issue whatsoever…and it most certainly did…by allowing lawmakers to actually allow technology to detect amounts of cash in vehicles.  They don’t use thermal technology to detect kidnap victims in the back of vans…but they sure are more than willing to stop you if you have money.  What the heck?

  2. Surprised no one has linked the law allowing mexican trucks into the US to this. One or both parties are squarely in the cartels’ pockets, so the cartels were allowed to purchase a law to make it easier for them to smuggle drugs & jose in and cash out of the US.

    If mexican trucks were the only stops, I’d have no issue with this…but, as usual, the rights of the many are trampled for the violations of the few. The cops should be disbanded and imprisoned for their conduct, but the real problem is the Congress and the courts. Another fine example of 300M people being punked by 545 corrupt politicians in DC.

    1. Rights being taken away always starts with “Oh…they’re not going after me.”  It just escalates until you’re the one who they come after.  Then…there’s nobody left to defend you.

  3. Obama socialist government at work. The fools who elected this muslim who hates america should be proud of them self.  A thief we put in jail but Obama runs free. Americans are just lazy and stupid.

    1. You have to look much further back than Obama or even Reagan’s or even Nixon’s tightening grip on the drug “war.”  This has practically been going on since the “war” even began.

  4. Where have you been?????  This has been SOP of LEAs nationwide since they created the money laundering statutes back in the 1990s.  Haven’t you ever heard of the Treasury Dept.’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)?  Gov’t at all levels have become addicted to asset forfeiture.

  5. This theft by police has been going on for decades and is the result of a federal law, which has been supplemented by state laws. Here’s a clip about the 1970 federal drug law that is the illegal basis for cops stealing money from people. The anecdotes of abuse in many states is enough to make anyone sick – unless you profit from this piracy.

    Congress introduced the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control
    Act (Act) in 1970 as a powerful new tool in the drug war. 8 The Act includes a civil forfeiture provision that allows for the seizure of property linked to illegal drugs. 9
    Congressional amendments to the Act in 1984 provided two new sections
    that have had a profound effect on the employment of the statute. 10 One of the sections allows federal seizing agencies to retain and use proceeds of forfeiture actions. 11
    The other section initiates the “Equitable Sharing” program, which
    allows a seizing state, municipal, or multi-jurisdictional agency to
    petition the federal government to adopt the seizure. 12 Federal agencies may then pursue a forfeiture action under the federal statute. 13
    The federal government then returns the bulk of the proceeds from the
    forfeiture directly to the state or municipal seizing agency. 14

    amendments provide an economic incentive for policing agencies to seize
    and forfeit property believed to have a connection to illegal drugs. 15 This economic incentive profoundly effects the enforcement agenda of numerous policing agencies. 16 Critics charge that police agencies have shifted their focus from enforcement to exploiting opportunities to seize assets. 17
    A popular means of accomplishing this goal is the “reverse sting”
    operation, whereby officers pose as dealers to apprehend drug buyers. 18 This method is favored because it allows police to seize money instead of valueless contraband.

  6. I’m surprised by the comments here.  I’m surprised more people don’t know about forfeiture laws and how they work.  These types of stories have gotten featured in the news for years now.  The first time I heard about them was about 25 years ago when 60 Minutes did a piece on them.

    You don’t have any rights because YOU are not the issue.  The property is the issue.  Once authorities take it, it has nothing to do with you anymore.  The cops can take not only your cash, but your business, your house, boat, plane, jewelry.  They can take anything.  It’s then up to you to try to get it back.  Not only do you have to prove it’s your property, you have to prove it wasn’t the result of illegal activity.   Ill gotten gains.  You have to hire a lawyer and post a bond for a percentage of what the property is worth.  It doesn’t matter if you were arrested or charged with any crime. 

    True story:  I used to hang out in a bar that had an illegal poker game every Friday night.  High stakes.  Big bucks on the table.  The place got raided one Friday night and the state cops let everybody go except for four or five guys.  I was there with a friend of mine who had thrown her fur coat over the back of a chair behind the pool table.  The pool table was used as a makeshift poker table and there was tens of thousands of dollars cash on it that night.  She tried to get her coat and the cops wouldn’t give it to her.  I refused to leave without it because it was December, colder than hell outside, and my car was parked about a half mile away.  I wasn’t leaving without that coat.  After awhile I walked down to the pool table and asked one of the cops for it.  He picked it up and started caressing it.  He checked the pockets and then ran his hands over it with a sh*t eating grin on his face.  I said “it’s beaver.  It’s not worth anything.”  He threw the coat at me and we walked out.

    The day bartender, who wasn’t part of the poker game and just happened to be sitting at the bar that night, had $2200 on him.  The cops took it.  He hired a lawyer to try to get it back but he never did.  He gave up eventually because he didn’t have the money to keep fighting it. 

    1. Thanks, Jaynie.  I actually already was well-aware of that…especially when it comes to seizing the assets of people whose place(s) illegal drug use happens to be going on at.  My dad’s been trying to fix that small little problem for decades now through our state’s representatives with no real success unfortunately.  The “War on Drugs” wins every time against personal freedom and property rights which is just more reason why it needs to stop.

    1. No…the government which allows this to happen hates our freedoms.

      That’s why it pissed me off to hear Bush continue telling us that the terrorists hated our freedoms.

      What our own government has been doing to us since 9/11 is the very dictionary definition of terrorism.  

      By keeping the masses living in either fear of Islam, fear of financial Armageddon, fear of the big bad corporations or whatever other boogie man they can distract us with…we do not pay attention to the shackles tightening on our wrists.

      1. OMG, someone that actually gets it. Just WOW. Thats right folks, you want your Gov’t to protect and brainwash you with these scary news stories, go ahead and be weak just what they want so they can take more rights away from you. 

        1. That’s what the “War on Drugs” is all about too.  They show you footage of the Mexican drug cartel violence, so you would think “Those who support legalization support those guys.”  Wrong.  Legalization would shrink that type of market down to almost non-existent.

  7. Not only is this illegal, unconstitutional, and the people behind it should be in jail… but man, i really felt like I was watching something from The Onion.

  8. Who needs pirates when you have Tennessee troupers? They are literally becoming a bunch of highway robbers. The way to stop it is to not allow their department to keep any of the cash they confiscate. It should go to paying down the deficit or something unrelated to law enforcement. That way they would have no vested interest in looking solely for cash, and then maybe they would attend to some of their other law enforcement duties.

    1. If they would fight real crime instead of looking for loot…we wouldn’t even have this problem.

      How about not allowing them to keep the cash based just on suspicion without charging you with a crime?

      How about returning to 4th Amendment rights instead of allowing these guys to somehow know if you have money stashes in your car. They don’t use the same technology to detect kidnap victims and pull over those criminals.

      This “war” may very well be the most absurd one there really is. It’s a war on a victimless crime…plain and simple.

  9. HaHa…. This is so funny….. you all think you are free….. Wake up and smell the roses. This country has not known freedom for a long time now…. And still you people gather together to tax the smokers… tax the fat… tax the rich… tax the ammunition if you can’t outlaw guns…fine those who don’t wear seat belts….What is your cause? As long as they are not coming after you right….  well your days are coming if it has not came already. Cut Government but don’t touch medicare….. Cut Government but don’t touch Social Security…. Cut the Government but don’t cut law enforcement.

    If I make stupid choices in my life it is none of the Governments da..ng business!

    Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death!!!!

  10. This would be along the infamous “corridor” that runs from Florida to New York. I recall a number of years ago the profiling stink that was raised about the conducting of “random” vehicle stops being done by Federal and State agencies all along the corridor.

    1. It’s also a good argument for not allowing our police to just be able to stop people for such petty nonsense such as carrying large amounts of cash as well as a good argument against this absurd “War on Drugs.”

        1. Doesn’t make it any less immoral.  Doesn’t make the “War on Drugs” anymore viable.

  11. Amendment IV:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
    effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,
    and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
    affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
    persons or things to be seized.

    Amendment V:
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous
    crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases
    arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service
    in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in
    jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be
    a witness against himself, nor be deprived

    of life, liberty, or property, without due
    process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without
    just compensation.

    To me, this is clear: “due process” means the police and prosecutor have to take their case to a judge to get that warrant (in some emergencies they could hold property for an hour or two while tracking down the judge, but if he denies the warrant, they have to let go immediately), then to a grand jury to get the indictment to continue to hold the property pending a trial before a petit jury. If the case is dropped or an acquittal is rendered, all property thus held must be immediately released to the defendant, who would also have a claim for any loss he might suffer from being deprived of his property.  (Imagine a businessman not being able to pay his bills because the government has frozen his assets.  He may win acquittal, but by the time the thaw comes, he could be bankrupt.)   Allowing the executive branch to seize property unilaterally is not “due process”.

    The mere possession of “a suspiciously large amount of money” is not probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed.  There must be some other evidence to justify that determination.

    1. With a Supreme Court which believes it’s perfectly fine for a cop’s nose to be probable cause to search someone’s home or vehicle…good luck convincing them of the cash argument here.

    2.  People can quote laws any day of the week, they don’t matter unless you’re wealthy enough to fight them.

  12. When the tour bus I was on went to 8-28 last year, I remember seeing @ least FOUR pairs of TN highway police vehicles along I-40 as our group travelled from Little Rock, AR to Monticello, VA.  All of them were pointed towards the WEST-bound lanes of the interstate.  $$$$$$!

  13. You still think your “War on Drugs” is just, social conservatives?  I already mentioned it on another thread, but if the cop smells anything that they even suspect might be pot or another form of drug…the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that they can go into your house without a warrant and look around.  This crap has gotten out of hand.  What will it take for people to realize that at least decriminalization if not full-out legalization will benefit the whole of our country in the long run?

  14. Strange:  Just before I clicked to come over here, this message happened to be the latest post on my FB page.  It had the following comment made by James Otis in 1764:

    “Can there be any liberty where property is taken away without consent?”


    1.  There is the most fundamental point-  Property rights-  We are not taught this in school….  It’s hard to imagine that the most fundamental principles (or debates) of the establishment of our own country aren’t even considered anymore.

  15. If the govt can’t pass tax increases then have the police just confiscate it!  Brilliant!  What a country we live in. 

    1. How is this different from taxation at all?  Oh yeah, it’s more honest/upfront, got it.

  16. Since they do not charge, do you get a receipt and instructions how to recover your money? I thought most traffic law enforcement was about generating revenue. 
    Guess this is a way around bank deposit over $10,000 being reported.

    1. This is absurd no matter how you look at it.  You cannot possibly defend this in any light whatsoever.  Why should you…I…or anyone else be forced to take action to get back what was rightfully our’s to begin with…ESPECIALLY if we BROKE NO LAW.

  17.   This is what happens when you have uneducated degenerate white trash with power . 

    1. The “War on Drugs” has created this problem.  There’s a group called Corporate Avenger who does a song called “Fault The Police” where they say that they DON’T and say that they “enforce rules…made by fools.”  That’s the real issue.  Heck…on Freedom Watch the other night, The Judge interviewed a retired cop of 34 years who is advocating for drugs being legal because he admits that the police are true soldiers in the sense that they’ll just enforce the rules presented to them.

      That being said…there’s also plenty of corruption and this is obviously proof of that.

  18.  Just spent all morning in court as a witness for a friend of mine…. so sick of the shenanigans-

    It basically always is, whatever they want to be the truth, is the truth— unless you can prove otherwise.

    Sickening day- will have to watch the video later in hope that it’s not as bad as it sounds.

      1. Politically, I have began to lean so far libertarian that I hesitate using the conservative label anymore because of the negative ~Republican (party) connotation— the difference between me and you is probably more in the methods and what is acceptable, than the outcome.

          1. It’s always been there— a few things have been lacking, and I think that the credit is due, in large part, to Beck-  Not in support of his political leanings, but in the support he is helping create for people that normally would confine themselves to think only within what’s socially acceptable.

            1. Everyone’s got their own “trigger” so-to-speak.  If Beck’s your’s…then that’s still a good thing.  My dad claims that Reagan was his…and he also support Perot’s campaign…but then started to veer off the path again with Bush II and the “War on Terror.”  It’s kind of sad.  My dad even used me as a “trigger” on this saying that he thinks drugs should be legal, but with an extra tax.  A move in the right direction…but I gotta convince him now that the extra taxes are not necessary.

  19. This brings new meaning to the words “highway robbery”. This is a complete abuse of power and unconstitutional as it is a flagrant violation of a person’s rights.

    The cops should add “SS” to the side of their cars.

    Worried about drug cartels in Tennessee? – Yeah right

    Just remember folks, one nation under arrest!

    1. At least the SS were honest about what they did.  These guys are like the waiter who’s all smiles but spits in your coffee.

  20.  And the drug war continues to cost honest, hard working americans more money.  I wonder how slippery this slop will be??  How big does the wad have to be?? If i had 5 100 dollar bills would they take it? or how about 500 1 dollar bills?  

    Protect and serve?  More like rob and plunder.

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