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December 2011
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You’d think it would be hard to steal a motel

After all, you can’t load it in the back of a truck, or sneak it out after dark. But apparently motel theft isn’t as unlikely as you might think.

Tewksbury Owner Fights Feds’ Attempt To Seize Alleged Drug Motel

Caswell’s lawyers say a comparable amount of drug activity happens at any budget motel, but the Motel Caswell was seen as an easier candidate for forfeiture because it is not part of a large chain. It’s also family-owned and mortgage-free, says Scott Bullock, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, a Washington, D.C., libertarian public interest law firm representing Caswell.

While criminal forfeiture laws require someone to be convicted of a crime before property can be taken, civil forfeiture allows prosecutors to take properties without convicting anyone.

So what’s the deal, here, has the owner been involved in drug trafficking? No.

Have the police been repeatedly asking the owner to help them stop drug trafficking at the motel?

Caswell said he has tried repeatedly to get information from police about drug activity, but they always tell him they can’t talk about investigations.

So, no.

They just want to seize the motel from him, sell it, and pocket a cool million.

That’s how you steal a motel in broad daylight.

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42 comments to You’d think it would be hard to steal a motel

  • iDub

    i guess that’s why Ron Paul is leading polls…

  • claygooding

    Every day brings more horror stories about our rights and now private property being stripped from us,,I am tired of waking up to a new nightmare every day.

    I keep thinking that people will awaken and find out that during the night the government decided if you don’t have property for them to seize you must be a terrorist.

  • Servetus

    These kinds of aggressive tactics on the part of law enforcement serve merely to illustrate the levels of corruption residing in a faltering American empire, thanks in great part to an inglorious and hypocritical judicial system.

    From the charges proffered I gather that the police believe it is the duty of a motel owner to enforce the law. I don’t think it says that on the motel guy’s business license, but then in a police state, the police make their own stupid rules and charge whom they please.

    There is no reason for a motel owner to risk life, limb and property in the pursuit of antagonizing gang members or those involved in a discrete and voluntary drug transaction happening in the shadows of ill-kept cityscapes near his motel.

    Rather, it is the duty of law enforcement to enforce the law. If the cops have a problem with drug dealing in the vicinity of a business establishment, it is their job to come up with clever means to fight the crime, and not that of some family business owner who pays his taxes every year specifically for that and other purposes.

  • Francis

    “You’d think it would be hard to steal a motel.”

    Hell, you’d think it would be hard to steal a country, but somehow those bastards managed it. I say it’s time we took it back. (Would closing this post with a “Ron Paul 2012” be too obnoxious? ;))

  • Benjamin

    It makes perfect sense that if there are drug deals happening at Motel Caswell that it should be seized and shut down, because then people in the area will no longer deal drugs.

  • Bruce

    Ten says it’ll be charred smoking slab within a month of the new ‘owners’ pocketing the deed.
    Burn plastic , insecticide, and tires when the wind is blowing towards the thieving forfieture Zombie frothing fanatic fascists.

  • pfroehlich2004

    Any registered Michigan voters on here? Looks like we may have another legalization initiative to look forward to in 2012.

    https://help.repealtoday.org/

  • David Hart

    Who would buy a motel in these circumstances, knowing that the police could easily pull the same trick again? Or do the police themselves intend to operate it as a going concern?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Why in the world would anyone own a fully paid for commercial property? Well it’s a good object lesson, and one everyone should take to heart. If you own something substantial there are people who will take it away from you if you give them the chance.

      Oh well, it really is starting to look like the Long Count Calendar is on short time so it really doesn’t matter anyway.

  • JDV

    I imagine they’ll just sell the property to someone who will tear down the hotel and build something else there.

  • Paul

    This sort of thing ought not to be possible in America.

  • Justin Auldphart

    Actions such as this certainly give lie to some once cherished notions in the country…and not a peep from those who wave the flag and flaunt the Constitution..

  • […] interest, since I used to work as a weekend night auditor at a budget motel. Per DrugWarRant.com, a story of a budget motel getting seized by law enforcement because patrons used it for drug […]

  • Dante

    I worked for over 10 years in the hospitality industry (hotels, food & beverage).

    Holiday Inn, Marriott, Best Western, you name it…. they all have some crime occur on their property. Drugs, domestic violence, murder – all of it.

    Health Inspectors, Cops, Government Agents, we had every form of public servant crawling all over us every day in order to write up some “payin’ paper”. Every single day. If you pay, they go away. We paid.

    Nobody ever tried to take our property. They only go after the ones who have no money, the ones they can bully. They change the rules so they never lose, and you never win.

    They (Feds, cops, inspectors) were only after the money. They didn’t give a rat’s butt about the law or our safety. Just the money. Always the money.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  • ezrydn

    Wha’d you expect from Slick Willys and ambulance chasers??

  • I wonder if Jack Marshall approves of this as a tactic in the WOD?

    Could it be that when folks get high on WOD that they don’t come down? W/o intervention I mean? To not grasp the stupendous nature of this failure… that WOD is some dangerous shit Mateys! I mean LSD lasts 8 – 12 hrs or so, but that WOD… is there a limit to how long they stay high? Does WOD have an LD-50? I know so little about it but it’s been on the streets for decades and decades.

    • Francis

      I wonder if Jack Marshall approves of this as a tactic in the WOD?

      That’s really the critical question, isn’t it? He is, after all, a professional ethicist. I mean, you or I could try and weigh in on it, but what the hell kind of qualifications do we have? (BTW, I just got one of those WWJD bracelets, but my ‘J’ doesn’t stand for Jesus.)

      Does WOD have an LD-50? I know so little about it but it’s been on the streets for decades and decades.

      Unfortunately, this is one drug that just keeps getting deadlier. (This really isn’t your father’s WOD!) And damn is it expensive! (When are they gonna come out with the cheaper “crack” version?) The good news is that people are waking up to how destructive and useless this particular drug is. I think the country is finally ready to get clean. And it won’t even require 12 steps, just one! (Ok, would closing this post with a “Ron Paul 2012” be too obnoxious? Aww, screw it.)

      Ron Paul 2012!

      • darkcycle

        Well, maybe a little obnoxious…. that can be forgiven. Now if I were to say it again, say, in a response to your post… that would be obnoxious AND repetitive. And it might even rise to the level of annoying. Depending, of course just how hard I worked at belaboring the point before a repetitive response. What do you say? Shall we conduct an experiment? If you found this post annoying, give it thumbs up. If you found it only a little repetitive and obnoxious, give it thumbs down. If you think this was a null result, ignore this altogether.
        RON PAUL 2012!

  • claygooding

    New petition from NORML:

    Write a Point-by-Point Rebuttal to NORML’s Point-by-Point Rebuttal of the White House’s Reply to the Marijuana Petition.

    http://wh.gov/Dfn
    This Administration’s response to the “Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol” petition has been criticized by many to be both patronizing and insufficient.
    The most notable critique, perhaps, has been published by Russ Belville of NORML, The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, as linked below:

    http://blog.norml.org/2011/10/29/white-house-response-to-normls-we-the-people-marijuana-legalization-petition/

    Back into the breach dear friends.

    • Francis

      Damn, that Belville piece is a good smack-down! I’d been thinking that these petitions might be more useful if they focused on process as opposed to substantive outcomes. That’s basically what this petition is doing, but unfortunately I think we all know that they’ll just respond by slightly reorganizing their usual boilerplate, non-responsive gibberish. How about calling for a nationally televised debate on cannabis legalization between Gil and one of our guys?

      • I’ve been poking that stick for awhile… who better than Gil vs Norm? Equitable careers (tho’ Gil is going out on a really loooooow note, Norm keeps moving up) and Norm would do us all a service by delivering a serious knockdown on Droop Doggy Dogg…

        And yes, Russ does us NWers proud.

      • claygooding

        Rather than have to answer all those statistics that point out just how much of a failure the drug war has been and exposes two or three of Kerli’s favorite propaganda points on addiction levels,hospital reports and drugged driving rants,they will just say they have already given their answer on marijuana reform and refuse to respond.

        I signed it anyway,,oh please master,can you beat me some more,I do so love it.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .
          Well this is hardly a fair fight. Russ gets all the facts and poor Gil has to form an argument with nothing but the spatter from projectile vomiting after a night dedicated to the heavy consumption of drinking alcohol.
          ———-
          Say, yesterday I linked a story about several busloads of people on a ski vacation getting their pot stolen and being forced to listen to an extended lecture by a less than sentient LEO from Elko, NV. As if that wasn’t amusing enough today we learn that the trip was sponsored by Costa Mesa-based SWAT. http://www.swatup.com/about

      • darkcycle

        We’d been hoping for a debate ever since Walters. I think the calls for a debate started in about 2003, and IIRC, it was Walters who SUGGESTED a “National Debate on Marijuana policy”. He did so in an ill thought out attempt to deflect a hard question. He FINALLY debated Glen Greenwald and predictably got his ass kicked in November of this year at Brown University.
        We been standing on the drug Czar’s lawn, calling him out to come and fight us fair and square, for nine years now.
        He’s chicken. And Norm’s about the last person I’d wanna engage in debate. Norm’s a sharp cookie, quick on his feet, personable and really, really hard not to like.
        The Drug Czar won’t debate us. Would you? He won’t even answer us directly.

        • pretty close to how I’d describe it…

          I mean they won’t even play us a softball game! Debate? Testicularly Challenged Bureaucrats (TCBs) ain’t worth a shit. I mean really Gil… how does it feel to be a neutered shill in a really nasty, low-life scam? If you were still a cop Gil, you’d arrest yourself for fraud.

          Look… here’s what happens in the real world… Verizon says we’re gonna charge you $2 to pay your own bill. 2 days later, after a sweeping avalanche response from the interwwweb, they uh… say “oops” and w/draw their stupid idea. That’s how this election should go. They wanna talk shock and awe? Wait’ll they get their butts exited from the hallways, offices and edifices (and occasionall orifices) of gummint.

          We need to uh… do a major R&R – and then take an R&R.

          For years my kids thought Kermit the Frog was lead singer on Canned Heat’s “goin’ up the country”… which is totally unrelated to anything, but there it is.

        • darkcycle

          Wait…that wasn’t Kermit? Wow, that WAS good acid I got at the Canned heat Concert! He sure did look small and green….and that voice??

  • claygooding

    I have my worries about his reasons for legalization because his boss owns Monsanto but I think Nadelmann would make a good debate opposite droopy dog.
    He did an excellent job at last years budget hearing and at the recent legalization seminar.

  • SubAuspiciisMrBrainwash

    .

    “The general public doesn’t realize that tons and tons of narcotics and hallucinogens smoothly pass through New York City and many of its residents every day,” he said. “That doesn’t happen without the assistance and cooperation of a dedicated police force.”

    http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s2i103075

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      If they did a pee test on their sewage they’d know precisely how many “tons and tons of narcotics and hallucinogens smoothly pass through” the residents of New York City every day.

      Let’s stop the inefficient urine testing of individuals in this country. What’s the point of such an ad hoc approach? Let’s see just how many cities in American can pass a pee test. We have the technology. What are we waiting for?

  • Peter

    Elephant in the room time: Independent article on use of a vapouriser to inhale nicotine for “harm reduction” to smokers. Calls for “light touch” regulation of marketing of the product by (gasp) tobacco company BAT.
    No mention of the use of vapourisers, harm reduction, or safer smoking in regards to cannabis. How might this play with the prohibs excuse that one joint equals the smoking harm of 20 cigarettes?
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/revolution-in-smoking-aims-to-stub-out-cigarettes–with-the-help-of-tobacco-firms-6283415.html

    • darkcycle

      Here’s a dirty little secret. One of the reasons they are trying to ban e-cigs is that they can very efficiently vaporize hash oil or properly prepared kif mixtures. Odorlessly and discreetly. But you know that already, right? 😉

  • darkcycle

    Here it is in writing: Court ok’s rejecting cops who are smart. It’s true.
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95836

    • darkcycle

      There’s a caveat that goes with this information….when you are dealing with a cop, it is a given that you’re not dealing with a particularly smart monkey.
      My favorite cop incident: smoking with my friend Dave in the dorms at school one night, on the external stairwell of the dorm we were surprised by an undercover. I tossed the pipe off the fire escape (which predictably enraged him). No evidence. But he runs our ID’s and discovers my buddy has a warrent. On go the cuffs. They take him in to the elevator (I’m free) and I got on too. Everybody’s watching the numbers (like good little elevator riders, not looking in anybody’s eyes…just a looking at the numbers). While everybody (but me) is observing elevator etiquitte, I reached into my friend’s jacket pocket and retrieved a half ounce of good bud, and quietly slide it into mine. Right under their noses. Dave got a real surprised look on his face, but otherwise didn’t react. I picked him up at the police station and returned his pot after they released him.

  • claygooding

    I find it a boost to my ego that NatGeo,Discovery and the History channel are all showing marijuana shows on New Years Eve and Day,,,and Washington doesn’t think legalization is an important an enough issue to talk about.

  • […] Massachusetts cops target family-owned motel for forfeiture. “…The Motel Caswell was seen as an easier candidate for forfeiture because it is not part of a large chain. It’s also family-owned and mortgage-free […] Civil forfeiture allows prosecutors to take properties without convicting anyone.” […]