Washington declined to be interviewed at any length for this story, he did say that he “provided a great service to this nation,” and stressed the importance of taking drug trafficking seriously. “There’s a good side and a bad side, and the good side will always win,” he told me. “Jesus knows who’s done what, and what was fair and what was unfair. And I would never do anything to embarrass Him. And that’s it. That’s the end of the story.”
Barry Washington, as deputy city marshal, received a ten-thousand-dollar personal bonus from the fund. (His base salary was about thirty thousand dollars; Garrigan later confirmed reports that Washington had received a total of forty thousand dollars in bonuses.)
“When it’s done right, civil forfeiture is one of our most valuable tools,” he said.
The investigation had drawn on resources from the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center—a so-called “fusion center” in Maricopa County meant to integrate mundane local crime data with federal intelligence streams, in search of clues about terrorism plots. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano once hailed the fusion-center initiative as “one of the centerpieces of our counterterrorism strategy.” It has since lost lustre. Last fall, a Senate report concluded that these centers have produced mostly “irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence reporting.” A Senate aide involved in the report told me that investigations prompted by the local centers often veer toward prospects with lucrative cash-seizure potential.
The Wikipedia entry on Asset Forfeiture says it is practised in one form or another in Canada, Ireland, the UK and the US. The Canadian provincial Asset Forfeiture laws sound similar to the US ones.
States that place seized funds in a neutral account, like Maine, Missouri (where proceeds go to a public education fund), North Dakota, and Vermont, have generally avoided major forfeiture-abuse scandals. Problems seem to arise in states—such as Texas, Georgia, and Virginia—with few restrictions on how police can use the proceeds.
Her faith in the power of forfeiture, too, appears unshaken. After the county and the state decided not to provide her with legal representation, she asked to use the county’s forfeiture fund to finance her own defense.
nor shall any person ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Some in attendance thought that they were the victims of an armed robbery.
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.
(2) Conduct which—
(a) occurs in a country outside the United Kingdom and is unlawful under the criminal law of that country, and
(b) if it occurred in a part of the United Kingdom, would be unlawful under the criminal law of that part,
is also unlawful conduct.
Based on a real-life Las Vegas anti-narcotics unit, the Nasty Boys are presented as society`s last best hope to win the war against drugs. If this is so, an immediate and unconditional surrender is an enticing alternative.
The Nasty Boys code of conduct makes Mayor Richard Daley`s cops at the 1968 Democratic Convention look like the Vatican`s Swiss Guard. Each time the Nasty Boys swing into action, a police riot ensues.
They operate virtually without constraints, especially from anything as trivial as the Bill of Rights; the only person to whom they have to answer seems to be a worse hooligan than they are; and they are allowed to keep whatever booty they can grab, except drugs.
The forceful invasion of a National Guard armory, the plundering of the facility for weapons and the Boys` unilateral decision on what is appropriate to seize are all presented as admirable activities.
Their tactics in raiding suspected drug houses, where no resistance is offered, make home invasion specialists look like Jehovah`s Witness pamphleteers. The key word is ``suspected,`` since these public guardians sheepishly laugh about occasionally hitting the wrong address.
The Nasty Boys do have one appropriate distinction. They wear hoods to conceal their identities -- just like the outlaws they are.
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