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Forfeiture Insanity: Three Cars for Oxycontin Possession

Submitted by smorgan on

That’s right possession. Via The Agitator, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey has gone crazy, drug war style. They’re cracking down on prescription drug abuse, primarily by indiscriminately confiscating automobiles from all sorts of people, including a cop.


Parent Gerard Trapp, a Bloomfield police officer, said the seizure of three family cars is extreme, since neither he nor his wife knew of any alleged drug use by their son, and Trapp Jr. was charged with a relatively minor offense. He was never accused of being a dealer or supplier.

This sort of mind-numbing injustice comes naturally to many local-level drug warriors. I’m shocked, but only sort of, having been recently shocked over and over again by equally horrible tales of forfeiture abuse.

The Trapp family’s lawyer calls it extortion, probably because of this:

The prosecutor's office seized in July the family's 1992 Cadillac SDV, a 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and a 1994 Toyota Camry. Trapp said the prosecutor's office initially told him the three cars could be bought back for $3,000 and have since lowered the amount to $1,500 for all three vehicles. But the Trapps have not bought back their own vehicles.

Good for them. Most people would just cut their losses and get those cars back before they end up in the prosecutor’s garage. But apparently, the Trapps found their son’s minor indiscretion an insufficient justification for having police confiscate their property and demand cash for its return.

Alas, forfeiture thuggery and unscrupulous profiteering just go with the territory. Only by ending the drug war in its entirety can we do away with the daily injustices that too many Americans take for granted.

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