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Motel Owner Fights Feds’ Attempt To Seize Property

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posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 11:53 PM
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Russ Caswell remembers driving a bulldozer at age 11 to help clear farmland for his father to build the Motel Caswell in the 1950s.

Six decades later, the family’s $57-per-night budget motel is a sought-after property, not because of the cheap accommodations, but because the federal government says it is a magnet for drug deals.

Caswell is fighting a move by the U.S. Department of Justice to take his motel under a law that allows for the forfeiture of properties connected to crimes.

If the government wins, under a provision of the law known as “equitable sharing,” the Tewksbury police department could collect up to 80 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the motel. That would amount to more than $1 million, if the motel sells for the most recent town assessment of just over $1.5 million.


$1 million seems like a pretty nice incentive for the police department don't ya think? That would probably cover some of the budget shortfalls they're surely experiencing.

boston.cbslocal.com...

How this case differs from other seizure cases is that the owner himself is not accused of any crime and is, on the contrary, cooperating with police to report and investigate the crimes that happen on his property.


In the past 20 years, the Caswells have rented out approximately 125,000 rooms. Of the renters, about .05 percent have been arrested for crimes. As "good" citizens, the Caswells have meticulously reported any suspicious activity on the part of renters to the police, including possible drug use.


That doesn't seem like an awful lot of crime in proportion to the penalty to Mr. Caswell is being asked to pay.

www.eauclairejournal.com...

This is outrageous and just another example of the federal government's overreach in their arrogant, saving us from ourselves attitude. What happens when police departments across the country catch on to this idea for a nice little windfall?

www.ij.org...


edit on 31-12-2011 by Maluhia because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 11:59 PM
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reply to post by Maluhia
 


Whatever became of Our right to be safe from unreasonable seizure...?

That pesky Bill of Rights is dead, dead, dead.

Thanks for this one (of MANY such stories of seizure - 80% of those who have property seized are NEVER CHARGED WITH A CRIME!).



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:03 AM
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reply to post by Maluhia
 


Geeze, doesn't sound too different than trying to shut down an arms manufacturer that is known for "Saturday Night Specials."

With legislation like SOPA these days that would allow the owners of a website to be held completely liable for anything and everything being posted on their site, it doesn't surprise me that the DoJ would be going after a Motel simply because it's known as a location for drug deals.


The police kick-back just adds insult to injury.
edit on 31-12-2011 by FTD Brat because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:06 AM
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Just a precursor to what is coming to a neighborhood near you. The Govt. needs money since they have squandered it on everything else but the good of the people.

Police Departments are in need of cash so under the law, anything "connected" to crime is fair game to seize and sell. Even if they have to fabricate such claims. We can't win in their eyes.

I am getting to be that guy that looks at police on the street and sees nothing but a criminal in a freshly pressed uniform with a badge to stand behind and a gun to make them feel bullet proof.

Well, take off those guns and badges and meet us on neutral ground to see if we understand our rights or not.

I say fight...and fight hard. It's his property and no one has the right to take it if he didn't commit a crime. It's the same if a drug dealer sits on your lawn, sells a joint and you get your property seized because of that act.

IMO, all Americans should stand behind this man because if he can lose his lone fight, the entire Nation lose their rights to everything.
BS


edit on 31-12-2011 by jude11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:08 AM
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reply to post by Maluhia
 


Would it not be possible to simply take an entire city if there is any activity that isn't "legal?" I'm unclear where the line is drawn here, if the guy commits no crime but his place may, by its very nature, have unsavory people in it - then who is to say Walmart should not be taken. Walmart sells things that COULD be used in the course of a crime: guns, rope, hammers, car tires etc. Walmart is in fact facilitating criminal activity in exactly the same way.



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by Maluhia
 


Didn't you read? Over 40% of police stations require revenue from civil asset seizure to finance their operations. Meaning Police departments use these illegal seizures of property to fund themselves without having to go to the taxpayers. There-by eliminating civil oversight of their activities.



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:14 AM
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reply to post by crankyoldman
 

That's the scary thing about civil asset forfeiture - the lines are blurry to say the least.


Only three states demand that the government show "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the property was part of a criminal act.

Most states, 27, use a lower "preponderance of the evidence" standard - basically, the government must show it is more likely than not that the property was related to criminal conduct. This is also the standard in federal law.

This link explains it best -
www.eauclairejournal.com/news/story.phtml/129F1E43/constitution/the_american_nightmare_that_is_civil_asset_forfeiture/



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:15 AM
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Originally posted by Amaterasu
reply to post by Maluhia
 


Whatever became of Our right to be safe from unreasonable seizure...?

That pesky Bill of Rights is dead, dead, dead.

Thanks for this one (of MANY such stories of seizure - 80% of those who have property seized are NEVER CHARGED WITH A CRIME!).


The sad part is the police do not wait for you to be proved guilty in a court of law to seize your goods and property. So even though you may eventually be found innocent, your property is gone at that point and you will never get it back.



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:21 AM
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reply to post by groingrinder
 

And the burden is on you to prove your innocence -


Being innocent does not matter. Not being arrested or convicted of a crime is no protection. With amazing ease, the government can take everything you own. And to recover it, you must prove your innocence through an expensive and difficult court proceeding in which a severely lowered standard of evidence favors the government. This is civil asset forfeiture.


www.wendymcelroy.com...



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:48 AM
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WOW , i had to look up my name and password so i could comment here, as i have been wandering this site for years, I don't live too far from this place(known about this place for atleast 30 years) also worked on a new "high class" kinda cafe' right next door, (the motel doesn't "fit" now that the cafe' is there)as it's like a yuppy place to hang out! anyways it has been in the local papers many times about drug busts mostly, but right down the street (witch i don't understand) is a motel 6(about 3/4 of a mile) and there are many suicides there,(called the suicide motel by many townies)(mostly the fire dept...)and you don't hear nothin about it really except for a couple of news flashes here and there, also right next door to the "suicide motel" is a home depot where alot of drug dealers get busted and police patrol it and get lucky often(I don't get why any dealer would go to a home depot after it's been in the paper so many times for such actions!) I know this is alot of forstory but these people that own the motel seem like decent people(never met them) but the local paper paints them as good people(the lowell sun). and i've been watching this story for many years and it seems like BS!, also this place is located on a spot of land called RT. 38 which i would imagine is worth millions (a big area of land on a main route that gets jammed shut with traffic every ##snip## day ! and it extends quite a distance into taxachusetts. so i think that maybe alternate forces are at work here ! look this up and u decide i have no links but speak the truth!!!!!
edit on Sun Jan 1 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: Mod Note: Do Not Evade the Automatic Censors – Please Review This Link.



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:48 AM
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Maybe they should complain to their state governor - Mitt Romney LOL.

Sadly this is not isolated to just Mass. We have "nuisance laws" in my state as well, that allow the police to seize properties connected to crime - usually ones that involve them having to make repeated visits to shut down, like a crack house or bar/club with ongoing criminal activity.



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:49 AM
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reply to post by korathin
 


The U.S. Department of Justice paid out nearly $390 million in equitable sharing payments to law enforcement agencies in Fiscal Year 2010, up from about $207 million in 2003, according to figures provided by the DOJ.

The department said it does not keep statistics about how many properties are seized, only how much money is paid out to law enforcement agencies through the program.

mobile.boston.com...



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:54 AM
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reply to post by the5thcape
 



is a home depot where alot of drug dealers get busted and police patrol it and get lucky often(I don't get why any dealer would go to a home depot after it's been in the paper so many times for such actions!

Wow and yet the feds haven't gone after Home Depot?? hhhmmm.
/sarcasm
edit on 31-12-2011 by Maluhia because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:57 AM
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Originally posted by Maluhia
reply to post by the5thcape
 



is a home depot where alot of drug dealers get busted and police patrol it and get lucky often(I don't get why any dealer would go to a home depot after it's been in the paper so many times for such actions!

Wow and yet the feds haven't gone after Home Depot?? hhhmmm.


Wealthier investors involved with Home Depot .



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 12:58 AM
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if you look up home depot and lowell(or tewksbury, right on the line)but i think it's lowell, you will be amazed at all the busts( and the cops getten "Lucky") but the no tell motel gets busted, never mind Motel6....



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 01:02 AM
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also motel6 is a disgusting place to stay( as i have only seen this one and travel often in the summer and would never ever under any cicumstances ever stay at a motel6 after working at 1)but this location i discuss is only this 1 on RT> 38 in lowell (or tewksbury MA>) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(i think it's lowell))



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 01:16 AM
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More examples of abuse of forfeiture law -




edit on 31-12-2011 by Maluhia because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 07:35 AM
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This kind of thing should never happen. A person should not have to give up their business because people break the law on it. In the town I lived in, if someone left a bar and got busted for DWI, the bar was at fault, and if it continues the bar could be shut down. We live in a society where we NEED someone to blame for other peoples crimes.

In all honesty though, I doubt any court would uphold a seizure.


Originally posted by FTD Brat
Geeze, doesn't sound too different than trying to shut down an arms manufacturer that is known for "Saturday Night Specials."

With legislation like SOPA these days that would allow the owners of a website to be held completely liable for anything and everything being posted on their site, it doesn't surprise me that the DoJ would be going after a Motel simply because it's known as a location for drug deals.


The police kick-back just adds insult to injury.


It's much different. The quality of those guns were so low, it wasn't uncommon for the slide to blow right off one of them (when it even fired). The metal on those things could be cut with a knife it was so soft. I believe one of the cases that sent Bryco Arms out of business was when one of their handguns just went off. Sitting on the table and it fired... something an auto pistol should never be able to even do.

However, SNS guns are still made today under the name Jimenez Arms. Interesting thing to note, their "Safety" section of their website doesn't even work.

Cheap guns of a MUCH higher quality can still be had for low-income people.



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 08:12 AM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 




Whatever became of Our right to be safe from unreasonable seizure...?

That disappeared long ago with the war on drugs.



posted on Dec, 31 2011 @ 08:35 AM
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reply to post by Adyta
 


There are no cheap guns. I have looked a lot. Best I found was a .22 rifle for $100 and that is still not cheap. Guns are for rich people. And ammo? The price of ammo is outrageous. I can't even afford to target practice anymore.

Find me a pistol for less than $100 that is not stolen. I dare you. They don't exist.



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