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Victory in Caswell Motel case

Owner wins court battle against feds trying to seize his Tewksbury motel

A federal magistrate judge has rejected federal law enforcement officials’ attempt to seize a Tewksbury motel due to drug activity that had taken place there over the years.

“After careful consideration of the evidence, pleadings, and argument of counsel, this Court concludes that the Government has failed to meet its burden of establishing that the Motel is subject to forfeiture,” US Magistrate Judge Judith Dein wrote in a ruling today.

This was one of the textbook cases of outrageous overreach (AKA federal theft of valuable property) in forfeiture, and fortunately, this judge saw through it.

My thanks go to those who represented the Caswells and thereby represented the American people against the corruption of their government.

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62 comments to Victory in Caswell Motel case

  • claygooding

    The proof of claims by people that have unjustly lost properties and pov’s of the over-reach using seizure laws by law enforcement just gained more credibility,,now if more magistrates and judges need precedents they have a good one.

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  • Thud!

    Asset forfeiture sucks. When Kev-Kev, Kleiman and the rest of their “middle-way” clique actually begin addressing the specific atrocities of Prohibition (like asset forfeiture) and condemning them as vociferously as they publicly excoriate us, they might gain a modicum of respect from this side of the as-yet-still-missing public debate.

    And that it’s Ms Ortiz again for the feds makes it that much mo’ betta. Despicable is as nice as I can say it, beyond that it’s all profanity.

    And a hat tip from this old man to the judge…

    Well-liked Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

    • aussidawg

      Why they call it “asset forfeiture” is beyond me. Well, no it isn’t…it just sounds a lot better to the sleepy public since Joe or Jane Sixpack might begin to smell a PIG if it were called what it is…Asset Theft!

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  • Tony Aroma

    What do you bet the feds appeal that decision?

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    • Whaddaya wanna bet that many illegal drug transactions have taken place in the halls and stalls of govt in DC?

      Well-liked Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

      • n.t. greene

        Hey, they have MM in DC. Ironically this means there are probably more hard drugs in Congress than we could ever even dream of. I hear they still have ludes, man.
        Of course it is illegal to drug test them, so how would we ever know?

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      • darkcycle

        I seem to recall a tell all by a former D.C. lobbyist (there are so many I can’t recall which) that made that explicit. And also while not naming names, gave enough clues that someone familiar with the politics of the time could easily identify the consumers to whom he sold.

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      • claygooding

        I thought that was why they used college students as helpers,,like Lewinski(sp)was to the Whitehouse,,only instead of blow she provided suck.

        Well-liked Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

        • stlgonzo

          If I would’ve realized that was one of the perks of public office, I mighta gone into politics.

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  • claygooding

    I see they are trying to keep Toke of the Town going,,but it is reported that Steve Elliot was fired.

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  • Servetus

    Drug enforcement crimes need greater attention by the MSM. Had the MSM focused on U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s actions at the very start of her Caswell Motel forfeiture schtick, it might have stopped her self-aggrandizing crime spree in its tracks, and Aaron Swartz would be alive today.

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  • Hope

    I’m so happy. So thankful. Yet I know the whole debacle had to cost these people a fortune in lawyer’s fees and grief.

    Still… they won. They didn’t let the thieves get away with their property.

    It didn’t say anything about the government being forced to repay the victims legal costs. I hope they have to, though. It’s only right.

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  • OT… I just saw Cornel West and Newt Gingrich agreeing. It really is the end of the world (as we know it).

    Tavis Smiley, panel on poverty:

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/TavisSm

    Held at Georgetown U:

    http://gwtoday.gwu.edu/tavis-smiley-moderates-panel-discussion-poverty

    Participants in last week’s panel discussion, “Vision for a New America: A Future Without Poverty,” included: U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, newly elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House of Representatives; John Graham, dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs; Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United; Jonathan Kozol, a public education expert and author; Mariana Chilton, director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities; Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; and Cornel West, democratic intellectual and professor at Union Theological Seminary.

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    • claygooding

      Since our nation seems bent on imprisoning everyone they can,,we can put 1/2 the population in prison for 6 months per year and the other half can be the guards for six months,,then switch plaees for the next period.

      That way no one is poor because you are either an inmate getting medical,food and lodging provided or a guard being paid and living in the prison furnished housing for guards.

      No more homeless,,everyone is employed/imprisoned and we have no more poverty.

      Or we can keep making laws that poor people can’t afford to defend themselves against and eventually we will get all the poor locked up,,hmm,sounds familiar.

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      • Duncan20903

        .
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        clay, that sounds like a very expensive variant of my plan to completely wipe out crime in our Country. It’s not that your plan won’t work, but it still requires us to build an maintain prisons, which my plan eliminates. In my plan we swear in half the population as LEOs and handcuff them to the other half of the population. This ensures the presence of LEOs at the location of any potential crime. Nobody commits a crime if there’s an LEO present. So no crime, and no expensive prisons needed. You really do need to think these things through all the way to the end.

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  • Peter

    im sure martha cokely is the corrupt role model for ortiz. they even made a hit movie about cokelys politically motivated prosecutions and the sheeple of mass still re elected her

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    • Windy

      In cases like that, where obviously corrupt politicians and prosecutors are re-elected, it seems clear to me that elections are rigged.

      After all, if voting ever changed anything about politically corrupt people being elected over and over again, it would very quickly become illegal to vote.

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  • Dante

    How much of the People’s money was spent in a futile effort to snatch this motel?

    How much will be spent on the (inevitable) appeal by the government? You know they will appeal, because it’s not their money being spent.

    How much did the owner spend to defend himself?

    Now, what good came from the government’s actions? The owner keeps what was already his. Crime is not impacted one bit. The government walks away looking for another target, having wasted years on this one. The courts wasted years of their time on this, only to keep everything exactly the same as it is now.

    What good came from the government’s actions? Did the government’s actions actually cause harm?

    Why isn’t anyone in the government being held accountable? What is this, communist Russia?

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    • Peter

      we know that the cut of forfeited assets which goes to prohibitionists is an incentive in these prosecutions… I presume that,win or lose, the cost of such a prosecution is always picked up by the tax-payer so it’s heads they win, tails we lose… what a scam

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  • claygooding

    Google now demanding probable-cause warrants for police to access Gmail accounts

    http://tinyurl.com/atz4ovn

    Google demands probable-cause, court-issued warrants to divulge the contents of Gmail and other cloud-stored documents to authorities in the United States — a startling revelation Wednesday that runs counter to federal law that does not always demand warrants.

    The development surfaced as Google publicly announced that more than two-thirds of the user data Google forwards to government agencies across the United States is handed over without a probable-cause warrant.

    A Google spokesman told Wired that the media giant demands that government agencies — from the locals to the feds — get a probable-cause warrant for content on its e-mail, Google Drive cloud storage and other platforms — despite the Electronic Communications Privacy Act allowing the government to access such customer data without a warrant if it’s stored on Google’s servers for more than 180 days.

    Sounds like deleting all the info in 179 days would stop the govt also.

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    • atrocity

      I thought one of the charming “features” of gmail was the fact that deleting a message from your side did not actually delete it on Google’s servers. For some reason Google was into infinite retention.

      Has that changed or am I mis-remembering?

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  • Duncan20903

    Now how the heck did we miss this one?!?!?

    230 Pounds of Cheese Seized at U.S./Mexico Border

    /snip/
    The reason for the cheese seizure, according to CBP, is that it was just too much friggin’ cheese.

    Joane Thale-Lembo, the director of the port in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, says in a statement that people are only allowed to bring in “personal quantities” of cheese, which is “something in the 10 pound range.
    /snip/

    /snip/
    Officers found “numerous bundles of undeclared cheese,” according to CBP.

    Don’t worry, folks, the cheese has been “destroyed,” according to the agency.”
    /snip/

    One metric shitload of cheese.

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    • claygooding

      “One metric shitload of cheese.”

      Eat enuff and it will be One metric no-shit of cheese.

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    • War Vet

      I’m glad you showed us that one Duncan. For a minute, I thought our tax dollars were being wasted at border checkpoints. This show that the system works –that is if the system was meant to be flawed.

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  • War Vet

    I wonder if this case will be precedents for the chunk of land seized in Missouri, where outdoor concerts are held. Camp Zoe should look into this same happening. If Camp Zoe gets seized, then we should demand that every large concert hall and college football arena be seized as well . . . should we not demand the farm on which Woodstock was held on be seized as well?

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  • Peter

    Hilarious Joe Biden spoof at the Onion:
    http://tinyurl.com/atqbnsc

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Every time I hear about Mr. Biden I can’t help but think of a particular Realtor® who I had occasion to work with who had also been Mr. Biden’s selling agent. Apparently she had to hire someone to clean up the mess in his home which included his used underwear complete with skid marks. Eeeewww! Yick!

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  • darkcycle

    Hey Pete, here’s an O/T that I find very cool. I have found over the nearly two years I have owned my Official DrugWarRant 4:20 clock, it has been by far the MOST accurate timepiece in my entire house! Never mind that it says “Made in China-Uncalibrated” on the back. By my computer’s Clock, hooked up to the atomic clock thingie in Colorado, it has lost nary a nanosecond! At ACTUALLY blows my light timers (calibrated and stamped) out of the water! (Fact!) So…here’s a shameless plug…if you want a SUPER high quality clock, so that you can 4:20 and never be worried that you missed it by two minutes, AND know apporoximately what time it is any other time of day, RUSH over to the DrugWarRant Cafe Press store and order one of these babies RIGHT NOW! My clock says it’s 4:20…gotta run!

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    • claygooding

      I have missed 4:20 several times because of faulty clocks so now I start at 4:10.

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      • primus

        Taking no chances, I start on awakening. Our clocks are only approximations of solar time. Going by solar time, at any given moment, somewhere in the world it is 4:20.

        Well-liked Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

        • Byddaf yn egluro:

          I tend to smoke at least a month in advance.

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        • Freeman

          I smoke two joints in the morning, I smoke two joints at night
          I smoke two joints in the afternoon, it makes me feel alright
          I smoke two joints in time of peace, and two in time of war
          I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints, and then I smoke two more

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        • claygooding

          My mornings usually start with me finishing the joint I was smokin when I went to bed,followed by a bowl every every hour or two all day and night long interrupted by a joint when a friend drops by,with an oatmeal chocolate cookie at 10,2 and 4 for my arthritis,,I would venture to say I will never pass a 5 nano limit.

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  • Duncan20903

    It appears that the NCAA is an early adopter of the SAM scam:

    NCAA alters marijuana testing threshold

    The NCAA’s marijuana testing threshold will become stricter to “more accurately identify usage among student-athletes,” the organization’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports announced Friday

    The NCAA currently tests for marijuana at its championships and bowl games at a threshold of 15 nanograms per milliliter. But following new research that shows intentional use of marijuana can be determined at a much smaller threshold, the NCAA will now test at five nanograms per milliliter starting Aug. 1, 2013.

    In a corresponding move, the CSMAS is also recommending that the penalty for positive marijuana tests be knocked down from a full season to a half season. The NCAA penalty for marijuana usage is the same as the penalty for performance-enhancing drug, but the CSMAS doesn’t consider that to be fair. Instead, the organization would prefer to offer student-athletes counseling and treatment while allowing them to remain in their athletics program.
    /snip/

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  • claygooding

    http://tinyurl.com/awarf67

    Obama’s Drug War: After Medical Marijuana Mess, Feds Face Big Decision On Pot

    “”In the summer of 2007, the owners of Harborside Health Center, then and now the most prominent medical marijuana dispensary in the U.S., were reflecting on their rapid rise. Steve DeAngelo had opened the center with his business partner in October 2006, on a day when federal agents raided three other clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area. “We had to decide in that moment whether or not we were really serious about this and whether we were willing to risk arrest for it,” DeAngelo said. “And we decided we were going to open our doors. And we did, and we haven’t looked back since. The only way I’ll stop doing what I’m doing is if they drag me away in chains. And as soon as they let me out, I’ll be back doing it again.”" ‘snipped’

    Take a lunch and a bowl,,popcorn,,eyedrops,glasses cleaning tissues,,it’s a day’s read,,one comment: “I was 21 when I stared reading this and now I am middle aged!”

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  • claygooding

    That damn hemorrhoid medicine ain’t worth a shit,,I ate the whole tube and I had just as well stuck it up my ass.

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    • Good thing you ate it. It can really mess up a vaporizer.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Quit being a victim of mass media advertising and buy a hemorrhoid medicine that actually works. I’ve seen suppositories for sale at a limited number of California dispensaries but have heard that it wasn’t a big seller. Why in the world wouldn’t people like cannabis infused medicine that sneaks in through the back door? It’s such a very neat and elegant solution.

      On a truly serious note colonic delivery is much more efficient than edibles. IIRC more than 65% of the the most popular ingredient in merrywanna is never digested and just passes through. That ratio is reversed when you use the rear entry option. Lots and lots of tiny blood vessels and capillary action where the sun never shines you know.

      For more details about the general subject and the importance of taking care of your bunghole:
      http://www.greenspringcolonhydrotherapy.com/

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      • claygooding

        In the late 70′s a friend acquired some sure enough opium suppositories and gave a couple to me and a buddy. By the time we got home with them they were softened beyond application,,so into the fridge they went to harden them back up,,,when I turned to my buddy and said “you know we are sitting here waiting for something to get hard so we can stick it up our ass”?
        We gave them to a friend that needed them for pain.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Darn it, I can’t believe I missed that golden opportunity to gratuitously insult “Dr.” Sabet. There I am, waxing poetic about the human rectum and his name doesn’t even cross my mind.

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  • War Vet

    Anonymous hijacks a federal website over the death of Aaron Swartz.

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  • Getting rid of asset forfeiture, plea bargaining, mandatory sentences, the drug war and the DEA would set this country back on its rails if you ask me.

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  • Jim Jeppson

    First time today Doonesbury tackled Obama’s drug war blindness. Pete can read about it when he gets back from the beauty spa.

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  • Duncan20903

    What kind of message does breaking your word send the children? Tom Tancredo welches

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Upon further reflection I think that Mr. Tancredo’s welching sends a much needed message to our youth. Sooner or later they have to figure out that politicians are bald faced liars. While we may not like the message, there’s no reason to shelter the children from the reality of American politics.

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    • Peter

      credit where it due. At least he’s sent this message to the country:
      …Tancredo launched a radio ad in October that compared marijuana prohibition to alcohol prohibition and said keeping pot illegal “steers Colorado money to criminals in Mexico.”

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