Tag Archive: Deputy Lee Dove


A Driver Had $50,000 Seized By A Nevada Cop, But Wasn’t Charged With A Crime. Now He’s Getting His Money Back

 

 

 

 

” After Tan Nguyen was pulled over for driving three miles above the speed limit, he had $50,000 confiscated by a Nevada deputy.  According to Nguyen, that money was casino winnings.  As reported last week at Forbes, Nguyen“was not arrested or charged with a crime—not even a traffic citation.”

  He filed a lawsuit in federal court, arguing his civil rights were violated by an “unconstitutional search and seizure.”  In that lawsuit, Nguyen claimed Deputy Lee Dove, who had pulled him over for speeding, threatened to seize and tow his car unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.”

  But in a settlement reached last week with Humboldt County, Nevada, Nguyen was fully reimbursed for all of the cash that was taken from him.  He also received $10,000 to cover attorney’s fees.  In addition, the settlement fully reimbursed $2,400 to Matt Lee, who, like Nguyen, was pulled over and had his cash confiscated by Dove on I-80.  Lee slammed that seizure as “highway robbery.” 

  The settlement is certainly great news for Nguyen and Lee.  As the Institute for Justice noted previously, victories in civil forfeiture cases are rather rare, partially because “many victims of civil forfeiture simply don’t have the resources to defend themselves in court.  Since litigation can cost more than the property that was taken, many seizures aren’t even contested.”  When wins do happen, they can make national headlines, as did IJ’s successful defense of property owners in MassachusettsCalifornia and Michigan.”

 

 

   It’s a step in the right direction , but as the article notes , it’s a victory for those two men only right now as the law remains in place .

 

 

” Yet the settlement for Nguyen and Lee does not affect Nevada’s abysmal civil forfeiture laws.  The state’s current system allows police to “seize property under a legal standard lower than the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard used in criminal convictions.  Owners bear the burden of proof, meaning they have to prove their innocence in court.  In addition, law enforcement agencies keep 100 percent of the forfeiture proceeds.”  No wonder Nevada earned a D+ in IJ’s report, “Policing for Profit.” “

 

 

Read the whole thing at Forbes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cops Use Traffic Stops To Seize Millions From Drivers Never Charged With A Crime

 

 

Civil Forfeiture Nevada

 

” A deputy for the Humboldt County’s Sheriff Office in rural Nevada has been accused of confiscating over $60,000 from drivers who were never charged with a crime.  These cash seizures are now the subject of two federal lawsuits and are the latest to spotlight a little-known police practice called civil forfeiture.”

 

 

Here is a picture of the offending officer smiling with his stolen money .

 

Lee Dove

Photo Credit: AP

 

The Sheriff’s department even bragged about the “accomplishment” …

 

” County officials were not shy in the past about discussing their cash seizures. The day after Nguyen had his money taken, the sheriff issued a news release with a photograph of Dove pictured with a K-9 and $50,000 in seized cash “after a traffic stop for speeding.” “

 

 

A stop that resulted in no ticket being issued , mind you … Then the arrogant Sheriff compounded the deceit by making the baseless allegation :

 

 

“This cash would have been used to purchase illegal drugs and now will benefit Humboldt County with training and equipment. Great job,” the statement said. Dove’s report said he had the money counted at a bank, then gave it to the district attorney’s office “for asset/seizure/forfeiture.” “

 

 

   Can anyone think of a more Un-American way of police “upholding the law” than to be able to confiscate private property at will without benefit of a day in court ? What happened to “innocent until proven guilty” ? The 4th amendment ?

 

 

” Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property (including cash and cars) without having to prove the owners are guilty.   Last September, Tan Nguyen was pulled over for driving three miles over the speed limit, according to a suit he filed.  Deputy Lee Dove asked to search the car but Nguyen said he declined.  Dove claimed he smelled marijuana but couldn’t find any drugs.  The deputy then searched the car and found a briefcase containing $50,000 in cash and cashier’s checks, which he promptly seized.  According to the Associated Press, Nguyen said he won that cash at a casino.”

 

    So an Officer’s word that he smelled marijuana , a specious unprovable claim if ever there was one , is justification for illegal search ? That in and of itself is reason enough to legalize pot . The criminal behavior fostered in the law enforcement establishment by the “war on drugs” has reached the point where the authorities can just take what they want , wherever they want , whenever they want . Does no one see the tyranny in that ?

 

” Nguyen was not arrested or charged with a crime—not even a traffic citation.  In the suit, Dove threatened to seize and tow Nguyen’s car unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.”  That would have left Nguyen stranded in the Nevada desert.”

 

 

In order to avoid being stranded in the desert Mr Tran was forced to ...

 

 

” As a condition of release, Nguyen signed a “property for safekeeping receipt,” which indicated the money was abandoned or seized and not returnable. But the lawsuit says he did so only because Dove threatened to seize his vehicle unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.”

 

 

 

   This is banditry … Government sanctioned banditry … nothing more , nothing less , and we as Americans should be ashamed of a government that not only condones but facilitates and trumpets these kind of blatant civil rights violations . Copies of Tran’s and Smith’s lawsuits can be found at the links .

Read more here , here and here .