Man Has Life Savings Taken at Airport Because His Luggage Smelled

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Law enforcement at the Cincinnati Airport seized Charles Clarke’s life savings, $11,000, earlier this year because his checked luggage smelled like marijuana. According to the Vox article, Clarke admitted to smoking marijuana on the way to the airport when questioned, but had no drugs in his possession and wasn’t charged with a crime.

He’s not getting his money back though. The $11,000 intended for college tuition and expenses can be kept by the police.

law enforcement officers can seize someone’s property without proving the person was guilty of a crime; they just need probable cause to believe the assets are being used as part of criminal activity, typically drug trafficking.”

Though carrying large amounts of cash probably wasn’t the best means of transporting one’s savings (though it might have been the only one available to Clarke) and smoking pot is illegal, the punishment seems excessive, and disturbing for travelers in general.

What if your Uber or cab driver was transporting something illegal in the trunk before he handled your luggage? What if you’re on your way back from a funeral with your grandmother’s jewelry?

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  1. Pingback: Man's Life Savings Confiscated at the Airport Because His Bag Smelled of Pot - And He's Not Alone. - View from the Wing

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