by Claire Bernish, Activist Post:
An intensely troubling report proves the DEA pilfers millions in cash from travelers with little, if any, evidence they committed even minor crimes — and virtually never return any of the money, even if charges are never levied.
Worse, simply purchasing a one-way ticket — or even flying to California — constitutes sufficient reason for the DEA to target someone for a potential cash seizure.
“We want the cash,” George Hood, a now-retired agent who supervised a drug task force assigned to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, arrogantly boasted of supposed attempts to bring down cartels via their wallets. “Good agents chase cash.”
USA Today studied the DEA’s airport operations, and though information was difficult to obtain — due, in large part, to the rarity cash seizures led to arrests or even detainments by agents — it’s clear the agency has reaped an astonishing profit by regularly mining the travel records of millions of people.
As USA Today wrote of the cash-grabbing operation:
It is a lucrative endeavor, and one that remains largely unknown outside the drug agency. DEA agents assigned to patrol 15 of the nation’s busiest airports seized more than $209 million in cash from at least 5,200 people over the past decade after concluding the money was linked to drug trafficking, according to Justice Department records. Most of the money was passed onto local police departments that lend officers to assist the drug agency.
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