CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

"These Cops Are Seizing Cash from People Who Smell Like Weed Before They Fly to California"

From Vice, via

According to a civil forfeiture complaint filed in Florida's Broward County Circuit Court, Simmons was stopped by deputies with a narcotics and money laundering task force led by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. As they peppered Simmons with questions, the complaint states, he granted the cops permission to search his backpack and his carry-on suitcase. It was then that police allegedly "smelled a strong odor of cannabis" emanating from Simmons and the clothing inside his suitcase. The JetBlue traveler said he had smoked weed earlier, but wasn't under the influence, and that although he didn't have a medical card, he used cannabis to treat work-related pain, according to the complaint.

Cops didn't turn up any weed, but they did find $6,290 in cash in Simmons's pocket and another $5,000 in a pair of jeans in his carry-on, according to the complaint. A canine would confirm the presence of "narcotics" on the money and, after asking Simmons "direct and simple" questions, cops said, they determined he was "exhibiting signs of deception and untruthfulness." The complaint claims Simmons lied about when he purchased his ticket, misled about how much money he had on him, and that he became visibly nervous, began to tremble, and continuously put his head down in an effort to avoid eye contact. Basically, that he started acting like a stoned teenager.

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