This article is nothing new to us, but it’s a story that needs to be continually circulated so the rest of the population starts getting a little bit more pissed off about it.
All the money â€“ $16,000 in cash â€“ that Joseph Rivers said he had saved and relatives had given him to launch his dream in Hollywood is gone, seized during his trip out West not by thieves but by Drug Enforcement Administration agents during a stop at the Amtrak train station in Albuquerque. […]
Agencies like the DEA can confiscate money or property if they have a hunch, a suspicion, a notion that maybe, possibly, perhaps the items are connected with narcotics. Or something else illegal.
Or maybe the fact that the person holding a bunch of cash is a young black man is good enough.
I have hopes that Joseph will get his money back eventually – a good samaritan at the station helped him get home and contacted attorneys and the press about this situation.
This continued rampant theft by government agency cannot be allowed to go on. As the article notes, New Mexico has recently passed a law prohibiting this kind of thing, but that wouldn’t stop the DEA from continuing to steal money even in New Mexico.
And at some point, we have to put the DEA on some kind of watch list – you know, like a terrorist group watch list – where simply being a member of the DEA results in travel restrictions and possible arrest and trial for the world-wide destruction caused by this rogue agency.
During an obscure Senate hearing on Tuesday morning, lawmakers vented their frustrations with the Drug Enforcement Administration for failing to answer questions about an incident that saw a man almost die of dehydration while in its custody.
â€œAt what point do I have to conclude that the [Drug Enforcement Administration] is hiding something about what happened here?â€ asked Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, unsuccessfully prodding a DEA witness to explain why Senate inquiries into what happened to Daniel Chong have been met with silence. […]
Itâ€™s been now eight months â€” I still donâ€™t have a response from DEA to these questions,â€ Sen. Grassley said on Tuesday. He asked DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator of Drug Diversion Joseph Rannazzisi to commit the agency to responding to his inquiry by the end of the month.
Rannazzisi responded that â€œThis was a regrettable tragic event,â€ before admitting that â€œI canâ€™t speak for DEA or the department when the letter is going to come to you.â€
Also lamenting the agencyâ€™s lack of transparency was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Her office sent two unanswered letters to the DEA last year in July and August seeking answers about the detention of her constituent.
â€œWhen we donâ€™t get responses to our letters, that colors our view of the agency â€” particularly when weâ€™re writing about a constituent who suffered from a real lapse in process,â€ Sen. Feinstein said during the hearing.
On Tuesday the Los Angeles Times revealed that the most severe punishment meted out to the agents responsible for Chongâ€™s nightmare was a seven-day suspension.
â€œIt blows my mind,â€ Sen. Feinstein said during the hearing, referring to the leniency afforded to the agents who were involved in what she described as a â€œserious infraction.â€
Those of us in drug policy reform are almost used to the DEA’s maddening non-responsive tactics (when it comes to rescheduling, etc.). The Senate definitely isn’t enjoying it.