Charles Clarke was questioned because the U.S. Airlines ticketing agent told police that his checked luggage had a strong odor of marijuana. When his money was confiscated, Clarke had no guns, drugs, or any contraband on him or in his luggage.
According to the affidavit, this is what gives probably cause to steal $11,000 from a citizen:
Travel on a recently purchased one-way ticket;Eleven law enforcement agencies want a cut of his money:
inability to provide documentation for source of currency;
strong oder of marijuana on checked luggage;
positive hit by drug dog.
in Charles Clarke's case, agencies stand to receive payouts even though they had nothing to do with the seizure. "Law enforcement agencies are just scrambling to get a cut of the money and it has nothing to do with legitimate law enforcement incentives," said Clarke's attorney Darpana Sheth. "It's more about policing for profit." The small amounts that most agencies requested -- just a few hundred dollars -- represent what Sheth calls the "pettiness" of much of civil asset forfeiture. "It's really just the money, its not anything else that's driving the request," she said.So Clarke has to hire a lawyer to prove the innocence of his money. The case is titled: "United States of America v. $11,000 in United States Currency and Charles L. Clarke, II." I doubt he's going to win.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, passenger departures at CVG [the airport] have dropped by about 75 percent since 2005, from a high of roughly 11 million down to fewer than 3 million in 2013. Over the same time, the total amount of cash seized at the airport has increased more than sixteen-fold, from $147,000 to $3 million in 2012. So in stepping up their seizure efforts, authorities at the airport are squeezing more cash out of fewer passengers.