Saturday, August 16, 2008

Customs Seizes $12,000 From NPR Personality

Sherman Oaks, California

Writer and NPR commentator Elvis Mitchell (pictured) is not a telegenic 12-year-old blond girl, but he'll do for now as a poster person for abusive and knuckleheaded law enforcement.

Mitchell recently had Cuban cigars and $12,000 in cash seized at the U.S.-Canada border, according to The New York Post.

Incredibly, it is de facto illegal in the United States to have more than $10,000 in cash. While Mitchell's situation is a little different (he reportedly failed to disclose the cigars and cash on his customs declaration), law enforcement officers feel free to seize any sizeable amounts of cash. Whoever you are, whatever you're doing, you will fit a profile of a drug courier or a terrorist financier or whatever other lame excuse the cops concoct.

Because this is "civil" forfeiture, the burden of proof then falls on you to prove that you earned the cash in a lawful manner.

The purpose of these laws: to reduce citizens' ability to engage in anonymous, unrecorded cash transactions.

Our government can't stand it when people do something and it can't watch.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, EM is an idiot. Has he never travelled to and from Canada before? Does he not know there is a U.S. ban on Cuban products? Does he not know how to read a U.S. Customs form? Can he not count to 10,000? I'm not saying the laws that "protect" the U.S. are right, but he should be at least smart enough not try to ignore them. (Also, as a journalist, he can fly to Havana any time he pleases so long as he's on a media assignment, so why the low-rent smuggling attempt?)

7:50 AM  

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