Thieving Cops Steal Innocent Retired Marine’s Life Savings, $86K, Because It Smelled Like Drugs

Stephen Lara dedicated 20 years of his life to serving this country as a United States Marine. This father of two served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking his life to protect a political system only to be chewed up and spit out by that very system when he returned. Because this system is set up to extract revenue through various means of extortion and theft, when armed agents of the state robbed Lara of his life savings on the side of the road, everything they did was considered “legal.”

In February of this year, Lara was driving from Texas to California to visit his two daughters who live with his ex-wife. He had committed no crime, police had no probable cause for which to pull him over, he had had broken no traffic laws, yet still, a Nevada Highway Patrol officer decided to initiate a traffic stop.

This wasn’t an ordinary traffic stop that would end in a small extortion via citation, however. No, this was legalized road piracy in which police would steal an innocent father’s life savings.

As the video below shows, after Lara was pulled over, the cop who detained him actually complimented his driving. This psychopath, who was about to rob a man of his life savings was cordial and nice as he carried out his roadside theft.

Lara was completely honest with the officer and told him that he had a large sum of cash in his car because he had withdrawn his cash from the bank. He actually had the receipts from the bank to prove this, yet the officer claimed something nefarious was afoot and he called in his fellow officers to separate Lara from his life savings.

Because they can’t simply take the cash for themselves, these thieving road pirates have to go through a federal procedure via the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) known as “adoption.” If they steal his life savings in the name of the DEA, the DEA will “adopt” the money and then kick back 80% of that money back to the department through a program called “equitable sharing.”

“Adoption,” as the Institute for Justice points out, is a process by which federal law enforcement agencies can take over a seizure by state and local law enforcement. If the federal government is successful in forfeiting the property, its “equitable sharing” program guarantees the state or local agency that seized the property up to 80% of the proceeds for use in the agency’s budget.

It literally creates an incentive for cops to steal money from innocent people like Lara.

Since Lara had committed no crime, the officers on the scene needed to manufacture a reason to steal his life savings, so they called in a drug dog to smell Lara’s cash.

It is widely known that a large percentage (upwards 0f 90%) of U.S. paper money contains trace amounts of cocaine. Having a large amount of cash will most assuredly alert a drug dog.

In fact, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that government does not have probable cause to seize cash from individuals based only on a drug-detection dog’s reaction; stating specifically that the majority of money in circulation has drugs on it.

But court precedents and ethical enforcement of the law apparently mean very little the road pirates who targeted Lara that day and when the drug dog alerted to Lara’s cash, the officers used this a reason to steal an innocent man’s life savings.

As he had committed no crime, after they robbed him, the officers left Lara on the side of the road with nothing — not even enough money to get gas to make it home. Lara had to ask his brother to wire him money just so he could make it to see his daughters.

It would take Lara the remainder of the year to get his money back, only after he sued the DEA in federal court. Even though he’s gotten his money back, however, Lara is going to continue to fight and the Institute for Justice is helping him wage his war.

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In Massachusetts, you need a license to be a fortune-teller

Around Halloween time, Salem, Massachusetts, is a popular tourist destination among New Englanders.

The city has capitalized on the notoriety of the Salem witch trials, which creates jobs for the community at about this time of the year. One of the attractions in Salem is a host of different fortune-tellers. However, not just anyone can become a fortune-teller.

To be a fortune-teller in Massachusetts , you must live in the community in which you want to be a fortune-teller for at least one year before applying for the license; you also must pay the town a $50 fee each year for the privilege of being a fortune-teller.

The purpose of the license isn’t safety; the fortune-teller doesn’t conduct brain surgery or do something potentially dangerous. The practice is both ungodly and unscientific, but it’s not a public safety threat. If a fortune-teller touches someone’s hands to see and feel their palms, both people can use hand sanitizer afterward.

If someone wants to move to town and become a fortune-teller, why not let them? Why restrict the opportunity of people to earn a living just because they haven’t lived in town for as long as other people? Perhaps this kind of restriction made sense hundreds of years ago to make sure that people weren’t skipping town and swindling people, but it’s already illegal for a fortune-teller in Massachusetts to use trickery to steal money.

And while the fortune-teller license is not the most burdensome license there is, it’s part of a much bigger problem.

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Cops Forced to Create Crime in Quota Scheme of 4 Tickets Per Hour or Face Discipline

Most people reading this article know what it is like to have the blue and red lights pop up in your rear view mirror. The last thing going through your mind at this point is the feeling of ‘being protected.’ This feeling comes from the fact that the overwhelming majority of the time a driver sees police lights in their mirror is because they have been targeted for revenue collection—often the result of a quota system—and they are about to be given a ticket, or worse.

Police, we are told, are here to keep us safe and protect us from the bad guys. However, public safety all too often takes a back seat to revenue collection. Time and time again, the Free Thought Project has exposed quota schemes in which officers were punished for not writing enough tickets or making enough arrests.

The most recent ticket writing scheme to be exposed comes out of Hawaii and it implicates the Federal Government in the driving force behind it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) holds “traffic safety” grants throughout the year, which essentially require departments to meet certain numbers or they get no grant.

Though quotas are illegal in many states, they are just fine in Hawaii and the department has no problem implementing them to receive their federal handout.

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