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September 2005
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Asset Forfeiture Abuse

The Las Vegas Review Journal nails Boulder City Attorney David Olsen in this scathing editorial

Southern Nevada has a new general in the drug war: Boulder City Attorney David Olsen. And Mr. Olsen isn’t concerned about sacrificing freedom to wage his campaign.

Mr. Olsen is attempting to use the state’s civil forfeiture laws to seize the home of Cynthia Warren, a Boulder City resident who pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor drug charge for possessing six marijuana plants. Although Ms. Warren has not been convicted of selling illegal drugs, Mr. Olsen is convinced she’s a six-figure drug dealer with a home-based operation that threatens his community.

So why isn’t Mr. Olsen making sure this 55-year-old woman is locked up with pushers from the Rollin’ 60s and the Kingsmen? Why didn’t the city orchestrate a sting to ensnare this dealer during a big sale? Because the evidence wasn’t there.[…]

No matter. Mr. Olsen wants her house. “I’m not concerned about the criminal charges against her,” he said. “This doesn’t have anything to do with her criminal case.”[…]

Mr. Olsen should drop the civil case. If he won’t, District Judge Michael Cherry should shred it for him. Then lawmakers should reform state forfeiture laws to prevent such blatant abuses in the future.

A good start. David Olsen may just end up being such an idiot that he’ll help the cause of asset forfeiture reform.

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