Judge Orders Lying, Cheating Government To Return $167,000 To The Man They Stole It From

from the nothing-civil-about-this-forfeiture dept

A federal judge has just ordered the government to return $167,000 it took from a man passing through Nevada on his way to visit his girlfriend in California. The officers really wanted that money, too. They used two consecutive stops to jerry-rig some probable cause… even though at that point they thought they were only dealing with $2000. From the original stop forward, the entire situation was deplorable, indisputably showing that everyone involved was more interested in taking (and keeping) a bunch of cash than enforcing laws or pursuing justice.

The order is a jaw-dropping read. It begins with the flimsiest of "reasonable suspicion" and heads downhill after that. Straughn Gorman was driving across Nevada in his RV when he was pulled over for a "left-lane violation" -- driving too slow in the passing lane. (This itself isn't actually a moving violation, but the Supreme Court's Heien decision has ensured that law enforcement needn't be slowed by actual knowledge of the laws they're supposed to be enforcing.)

This lead to some questioning, because reasons:

Upon request, Gorman produced his license and registration and told Monroe that he was traveling to Sacramento, California to visit “his chick.” Id. at 60:9-61:5. Gorman told Monroe that his girlfriend lived in downtown Sacramento, but was not able to produce her exact address, noting that it was entered into his GPS system. Id. at 84:2- 22. Gorman’s use of the word “chick” aroused Monroe’s suspicion that Gorman’s answers were rehearsed because Monroe thought that “chick” was an unusual word for a person Gorman’s age—thirty-one at the time of the stop—to use.
Obsolete vernacular = "reasonable suspicion." That and State Trooper Greg Monroe felt Gorman's claimed employment with a "beach activities and paddle board company" sounded similarly "rehearsed." Monroe went back to his vehicle and tried to rustle up a K9 unit. But there were no units nearby, the records check was coming up clean and Monroe was running out of ideas. First, he told Gorman he was free to leave. Then he started fishing:
Immediately afterward, Monroe asked Gorman if he could ask some additional questions. Monroe first asked how Gorman could afford to drive a motor home cross-country when gas prices were over $3.00 per gallon. Monroe then asked if Gorman still sold paddle boards for a living, and asked about his compensation, to which Gorman responded “I don’t want to talk about how much I make.” At approximately 9:25 a.m., Monroe asked if there was anything illegal in Gorman’s motor home, or if he was carrying large amounts of U.S. currency. Gorman then told Monroe that he was only carrying about $2000 in U.S. currency in the motor home. At 9:25:45 a.m, Monroe asked Gorman “do you mind if we search the vehicle?,” to which Gorman said “I do mind, yes.” At this point, Monroe told Gorman that he was free to leave [for the second time], returned to his vehicle, and said “he’s carrying money” aloud to himself.
Monroe smelled money and he wasn't about to let $2000 travel across his state without being apprehended. So, he called the Highway Patrol and told dispatch his suspcions, stating that the only way the vehicle could be searched was with the use of a drug dog. Dispatch called Deputy Doug Fisher and informed him that Gorman did not consent to a search and that he "might want to follow up on the information." Here we have two different law enforcement entities basically colluding to perform a search simply because one entity experienced a refusal. The court isn't impressed.
The Court is particularly troubled that the officers’ belief that Gorman would not consent to a search, and his opposition to the canine sniff, appears to have contributed to the officers’ purported reasonable suspicion to extend the stop and continue the investigation. Individuals have a right to refuse consent for a search, and the existence of this right requires that denial of consent not be a basis to prolong a stop.
On top of this, Monroe called Deputy Fisher directly to "relay his suspicions." He also inflated the amount of money Gorman had admitted to be carrying with him -- from $2000 to $5000. Fisher left the Sheriff's Office ostensibly to perform a "roving patrol," but soon decided to park himself on the side of the highway in order to catch Gorman when his RV passed by. Fisher pulled the RV over after it "crossed the fog line" a few times.

Having been stopped for a second time in under an hour, Gorman was understandably annoyed. He told Fisher the same thing he had told Monroe during his twenty-minute stop earlier. Fisher ran the same records checks and received the same lack of anything actionable. Despite this, Fisher pushed for a canine search.
[A]pproximately twelve minutes into the traffic stop, Fisher released his drug-detection canine “Euros” from his vehicle. Fisher and Euros then approached the motor home and began walking around it in the clockwise direction, starting at the rear left-hand side of the vehicle. As Fisher and Euros circled the rear of the motorhome, Euros sat down near the vehicle’s back right compartment, facing the compartment. Fisher described this as a “committed sit and stare,” which he considered to be a positive alert.
Even if you believe -- like the Supreme Court does -- that drug dogs are mostly reliable and unlikely to respond to signals (unconscious or otherwise) from their handlers, Fisher's next statements indicate that bringing a drug dog onto the scene is just an easy way to generate "probable cause" where none exists.
Gorman then referred to the back rear compartment and said “I can open that if you want to look in it. It’s charcoal and stuff like that, do you want to look in it?” Fisher replied “do you want to talk to me now?” Gorman replied “if he alerted somewhere, look in it because there’s no drugs.” Fisher then noted that odor could come out anywhere on the vehicle, and that the rear back compartment was on the “downwind side of the vehicle.”
Armed with the drug dog's affirmation that drugs might be located somewhere in the RV, the deputy acquired a telephonic warrant and immediately began searching the entire interior of the RV. And while the drug dog continued to "alert" on objects inside the vehicle, no drugs were found. The only thing "illegal" in Gorman's motorhome was $167,000 in cash, stashed away in the freezer, microwave and bedroom. Gorman was (for the third time in under two hours) free to go. But his money wasn't.

Gorman fought back. Almost two-and-a-half years from the point the money was taken, it is now ordered to be returned. On top of that, Gorman will also be awarded attorney's fees. Why? Because the government lied every step of the way.

First off, two different law enforcement officers performed consecutive stops, with the second stop being predicated on the "suspicions" generated by the first. This is something law enforcement cannot do.
Here, Gorman was initially stopped for a minor traffic offense at approximately 9:03 a.m. and released at approximately 9:26 a.m. when Monroe concluded that he did not have probable cause to search the motor home. Gorman was stopped the second time, again for a minor traffic offense, at approximately 10:15 a.m., and held for more than nine minutes before Fisher asked if he could conduct a canine sniff. Fisher knew that Monroe had previously ran a records check and lacked probable cause to hold Gorman, but nonetheless two additional records checks were conducted in order to prolong the detention and make time for a canine sniff. The positive alert occurred approximately twelve minutes after the second traffic stop occurred.

All tolled, Gorman was detained for a total of approximately thirty-five minutes without convincing independent reasonable suspicion—before the officers conducted a canine sniff of the motor home and obtained probable cause for the search. Of course, “an individual who has already been seized can still be further seized for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.” Hopkins v. Bonvicino, 573 F.3d 752, 772 n.12 (9th Cir. 2009). But a second stop requires additional reasonable suspicion independent of the reasonable suspicion present in the first stop.
On top of that, the government -- when arguing for its "right" to take money just because -- claimed the two stops were entirely unrelated.
In its supplemental briefing, and after it became evident that the two stops were connected, the United States argues that “Monroe’s earlier traffic stop is wholly irrelevant to the Fourth Amendment analysis applicable to Gorman’s motion to suppress.” Specifically, the United States contends that “Fisher’s traffic stop was based on his own observations of traffic violations being committed by Gorman, without regard to any information provided” by Monroe. These statements cannot be reconciled with the testimony by Monroe and Fisher, or an independent review of the evidence before the Court.
Note the phrase "after it became evident." This wasn't evident at first. Deputy Fisher hid this fact from the magistrate judge when requesting a warrant over the phone and lied about what Gorman had actually told him.
[T]he warrant application never mentions Monroe’s original stop, that Monroe called Fisher with information about Gorman and Gorman’s vehicle, or that Fisher was dispatched to investigate Gorman. This omission thereby represented to the magistrate that Fisher pulled Gorman over solely due to his traffic violations, as opposed to having been encouraged to investigate Gorman by NHP and Monroe. Second, Fisher represents in the warrant application that Gorman “indicated he had no job.” This is unambiguously contradicted by the video of Fisher’s questioning of Gorman, in which Gorman states clearly that he works for a Maui paddle board company.
These lies -- kindly called "omissions" by the court -- sadly wouldn't be enough on their own to suppress the evidence obtained by the search. But the application of the Supreme Court's Rodriguez decision (officers can't unnecessarily prolong stops to perform [often dog-assisted] fishing expeditions) does call for suppression.

But Deputy Fisher wasn't the only one lying. The State's Attorney's office also lied to the court.
The Court is disappointed that the United States would aggressively pursue this forfeiture action while all of its moving documents for summary judgment and supporting affidavits contained material omissions concerning the history leading to the traffic stop and canine sniff at issue. The government’s Motion for Summary Judgment, with supporting affidavits from Deputy Fisher and the Assistant United States’ Attorney, made no disclosure of anything which would have suggested that Fisher’s stop was a follow-up on Monroe’s stop and was based upon suspicion of a drug related offense.
This is how the government portrayed Fisher's actions in its provided documents.
On January 23, 2013, ECSO Deputy Doug Fisher was monitoring west-bound traffic on Interstate 80 near Elko, Nevada.
But, as pointed out earlier in the order, Doug Fisher wasn't assigned to traffic patrol and wouldn't have just been "monitoring traffic" if he hadn't received a call from dispatch about Gorman's RV, as well as a direct call from Trooper Monroe himself.

On top of the deceit at all levels, there were problems with the search itself. The drug dog alerted on a rear compartment. But rather than search that area, the deputies searched the entire vehicle.
[E]ven assuming that the officers had probable cause to search the back right compartment where the canine alerted, the Court is not convinced that the dog’s positive alert to the compartment gave the officers probable cause to search the entire motor home. Despite Gorman’s consent to search the compartment, the officers did not even begin their search of the motor home with the compartment, instead beginning with a search of the motor home’s main cabin. “Probable cause to believe that a container placed in the trunk of a taxi contains contraband or evidence does not justify a search of the entire cab.” United States v. Ross, 456 U.S. 798, 824 (1982)
The court doesn't weigh this issue specifically (although it does express its skepticism) but it doesn't have to. The prolonged detainment without probable cause is enough to suppress the evidence under Rodriguez.

The court sums it up succinctly while ordering the government to hand over not only Gorman's original $167,000, but attorney's fees as well.
Gorman is undoubtedly the successful party here.
This order shows law enforcement at its ugliest: willing to lie and cheat to maintain control of what it stole.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 8:05am

    This order shows law enforcement at its ugliest: willing to lie and cheat to maintain control of what it stole.

    Why use guns when you can use your badge, no? These are the worst thugs of all. Because there's little you can do but hope the judiciary save you AND your money isn't drained in the process.

    And this ruling, while good, doesn't fix the broken asset forfeiture system. Where's the legislative to fix it?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      if these sorts of highway robberies continue people will start shooting instead of complying with the orders of dirty cops.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      R.H. (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 1:11pm

      Re:

      My state (Michigan) is currently moving to pass a law requiring charges to be pressed in order to keep any seized property. It won't protect against a federal seizure and, from what I've been able to discover, many police departments in the state already have this as standard procedure but, it'll be nice to actually see this as the law.

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      • identicon
        David, 30 Jun 2015 @ 2:07pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, "standard procedure" does not mean that they cannot make exceptions for particularly egregious amounts. Maybe they can then book the excessive cash for loitering or unlawful assemblage.

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      • icon
        Atkray (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 4:12pm

        Re: Re:

        Look for "resisting" charges to skyrocket.
        Until all seized assets are routed back to the public and out of their hands, this will continue.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 8:48am

    Don't talk, don't consent.

    It's a shame some of those who pledge to uphold the law think themselves to be above it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 8:51am

      Re: Don't talk, don't consent.

      It's more than a shame. It's criminal.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 11:20am

        Re: Re: Don't talk, don't consent.

        I bet you, if a civilian tried to do this to the police, they'd be shot first, and arrested later.

        These thieves should be fired from their jobs for cause. Because, if they're resorting to fraud and theft whilst on the job, they cannot be trusted to uphold the law.

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        • icon
          Bergman (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 7:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Don't talk, don't consent.

          Anyone else would be facing charges of perjury, which is a sufficiently severe crime to ensure that someone convicted of it is ineligible to be a prosecutor or police officer ever again.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon01, 30 Jun 2015 @ 8:52am

    Such

    These cops are such scumbags.

    Taking such an amount of money is clearly going to ruin someone's life yet they still went ahead and did it. Dregs of society.

    I hope they get fired for lying to the courts. But we all know that won't happen.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 8:54am

    This is why we could have another holocaust

    To invoke Godwin's law, this and other reasons are why another holocaust could easily occur today. Here you have armed government thugs fully willing to lie, cheat and steal from what appears from every angle to be an upright citizen. These are the same types of thugs Obama ordered to close open air memorials, run elderly people out of their home on federal land, close privately contracted hotels on the Blue Ridge Parkway and kidnap and sequester people in the lodge at Old Faithful. With the amount of demonization of people of all types in the media it would be easy for government thugs to justify doing whatever they are asked to do against a group of people.

    It is sad that in this day and time we are still so close to stuff like this and nobody recognizes it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:31pm

      Re: This is why we could have another holocaust

      It is sad that in this day and time we are still so close to stuff like this and nobody recognizes it.

      Oh come on, it's not at all the same. Jews are safe, we are now after the Muslims. Totally different religion, and the Arabs are an entirely different Middle-Eastern group.

      You don't get mistreated because of a crooked nose any more but because of dark skin.

      Home- and workless might get beat to death and/or disappear, that much is the same. But if they weren't so lazy, our diligent policemen would not be compelled to engage them for practising maiming and killing methods.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 5:57pm

        "Jews are safe"!?

        Just to clarify AC, it sounds like you're suggesting a new state-endorsed mass-execution program that did not include amongst its intended victims people culled for their Jewish heritage would not count as a holocaust. I don't know if you're being sarcastic.

        Regardless, it most certainly would be a holocaust. We differentiate the Jewish Holocaust from, say, the Armenian Holocaust or the American Indian Holocaust or a hypothetical nuclear holocaust.

        And yes, not only could it happen here, it could already be happening within the nation's penal system, given how long it has taken to see other crimes against humanity surface from within our prisons (such as the recently uncovered gladitorial fight rings). I expect that, like the Snowden revelations, a Vernichtungslager program in the US will stay quiet until revealed by a whistleblower, and then it can be several years after such a program has been in operation.

        We've already seen countless other specific similarities between US society and Germany circa 1929-1939. We've already seen numerous signs of state agencies regarding the people as an occupied enemy and law enforcement recognized as a privileged caste to whom ordinary law does not apply. Extermination camps are only step or two down this same gently sloping path the US has long been trekking.

        I wonder if the wardens of such facilities sleep well at night knowing as they authorize the the massacre of countless convicts that at least the Jews are safe.

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  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 8:57am

    What about 2 years worth of lost interest/profits?

    If I invested $167K in blue chip stocks for 2 years, that would add another $16-17K in gains - like the 4-5% per year I get from my Intel stock! That does not count the appreciation in the value of the stock itself!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 30 Jun 2015 @ 9:58am

      Re: What about 2 years worth of lost interest/profits?

      5th Amendment: ... nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

      I think he should take this judgement, and now go for a civil suit against the police departments. And he should be able to double his money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        MarcAnthony (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:33am

        Re: Re: What about 2 years worth of lost interest/profits?

        He could easily be awarded treble damages for the willful collusion that took place, and that's what he should be seeking. I don't understand why there even needs to be a legal challenge in cases like these. Simply carrying money is not a crime. If the authorities can't demonstrate that the chain of custody for funds relates to criminal activity, they should not be allowed to seize them. The assumption here is guilty until proven innocent.

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        • icon
          Jeremy Lyman (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about 2 years worth of lost interest/profits?

          Carrying money is not a crime, BEING money is a crime. Which is wholly absurd in itself. Why does the Government keep minting these criminal bills???

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            David, 30 Jun 2015 @ 1:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about 2 years worth of lost interest/profits?

            They weren't criminal to start with but then went bad. now the government is welcoming their prodigal sum back into its embrace and is slaughtering a citizen to celebrate.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Pragmatic, 2 Jul 2015 @ 5:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about 2 years worth of lost interest/profits?

            They've been cutting public services for years in a bid to turn them over to the private sector. Since "the market" hasn't stepped forward to resolve these problems the authorities have hit upon a novel way to increase funding: asset forfeiture citing the War on Drugs.

            So now you know what happens when you starve the beast; it gets VERY hungry.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Derek Kerton (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:07am

      Re: What about 2 years worth of lost interest/profits?

      Gorman should say: I was gonna put that $167k into Tesla stock. That's what I wanted to do once in CA.

      TSLA went from 33 to 267 over the period. Gorman could've driven home in a P85D AND had 7x his money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 5:46pm

      Re: What about 2 years worth of lost interest/profits?

      That's a fair argument. I mean, if we entertain "potential profit" arguments coming from the RIAA, why doesn't everyone else get the same treatment? Good for the goose...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 8:58am

    I can only assume that the criminal charges for the officers involved are coming soon. Right? Right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 9:02am

    "Successful" is very relative

    Gorman is undoubtedly the successful party here.
    I'll agree with that statement when the offending officers personally repay him the difference between his current assets and the assets he would have now if he had not been unlawfully deprived of his money for more than two years. That kind of money could have generated a nice return in the stock market, served as seed capital for a small private venture, etc. A very rough estimate based on S&P performance is he could've gotten ~33% return over those 2.5 years if the money had been in an S&P index fund. I cannot even begin to quantify how much (or little) return it might have made in a private venture. Instead, it sat in lockup for two years, earning nothing and declining in effective value due to inflation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 9:06am

    Hey NRA, what do you do when the "bad guy with a gun" also wears a uniform and is legally allowed to murder you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Derek Kerton (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:04am

      Re:

      I'm no NRA rep...but I'm pretty sure that's actually the constitutionally defined situation for which the authors wrote the second amendment.

      As written, it was never about shooting a home intruder or a criminal. It was about stopping an over-bearing government.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        OldMugwump (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:54pm

        Re: Re: stopping an over-bearing government

        Or, at least, making them think twice.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 1 Jul 2015 @ 5:05pm

        Re: Re:

        As written, it was never about shooting a home intruder or a criminal. It was about stopping an over-bearing government.

        If the founders were so interested in arming the populace against the government, why did they take such a dim view of treason and sedition?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Jul 2015 @ 11:26pm

          Treason and sedition

          Because those are natural things for a current regime to outlaw, especially since both are about taking up arms against the country.

          If the US system worked ideally, an armed populace would only have to make their representatives nervous. The presumption was that if it was easy for an angered populous to overthrow a current administration violently that they might tread carefully.

          We can't say this notion doesn't work. Our current government doesn't feel threatened by the people at all, whether they feel the people are unsuitably armed to make an effective uprising (in contrast to law enforcement and the National Guard), or they feel the people are easily swayed. Or maybe they regard the people as too disinclined yet to resort to violent insurrection.

          But of course any regime doesn't want to be overthrown and is going to have statutes against treason or sedition against them, even if they agree that some regimes are bags of dicks. It's very similar to the way an administration can approve of the general idea that whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing deserve protections, but they don't want to see those protections for whistleblowers who expose its own wrongdoings.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 2 Jul 2015 @ 7:25am

            Re: Treason and sedition

            The presumption was that if it was easy for an angered populous to overthrow a current administration violently that they might tread carefully.

            But how do you square that with the other parts of the constitution? If they really wanted to make it easy, why are all the relevant sections of the body of the Constitution (ie not the Bill of Rights) trying to make it difficult and discouraging it? From what I've read, they gave it all a lot of very careful thought, so it is strange that they would intentionally set up two parts of the Constitution against each other. It seems much simpler that armed revolution is not in fact the purpose of the 2nd.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Jul 2015 @ 1:23pm

              The purpose of the Second Amendment

              Based on his correspondence at the time, it is pretty certain that Thomas Jefferson, who penned the Bill of Rights, believed that facilitating insurrection was central to the purpose of the Second Amendment.

              All other implications aside.

              Feudalism was the usual government at the time, and civil war and insurrection were both regarded as necessary evils. And both Jefferson and Madison spoke to the notion that our new form of government wasn't designed to be perfect and permanent, but to prolong the system's viability (before it inevitably failed).

              And when it failed, they wanted the people to be ready to stand against tyranny. They talked a lot about tyranny and and how it was the ultimate threat.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 9:12am

    Shame

    I hope the judge ordered interest to be paid on the money during the time it was on the police possession.

    There should also be punitive damages to discourage such behavior in the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 9:17am

    Gorman is undoubtedly the successful party here.

    Only when all appeals processes have been exhausted, and only if the police leave him alone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 9:18am

    Lie, Cheat, Steal

    Lie, Cheat, Steal; the Trifecta!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Digitari, 30 Jun 2015 @ 9:21am

    and Still........

    ...people think voting counts!!!

    this is corruption at a local government level, imagine what is going on at the Federal Level.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jason, 30 Jun 2015 @ 9:46am

    Euros

    What, would naming your dog "Dollars" just be too on the nose?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:57pm

      Re: Euros

      Let me introduce the other dogs in the kennel:

      Yen, Pound, Franc (he's a St. Bernard), Peso, Krona, Ruble, Lira, and Rupee.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 30 Jun 2015 @ 1:59pm

        Re: Re: Euros

        Buck has passed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Derek Kerton (profile), 1 Jul 2015 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re: Euros

        Bad news. Drachma has started annoying Mark, and is likely to exit the Kennelzone.

        Buck only passed because they gave all his work and pay to Rupee, who worked twice as hard for half as much, but because of time zone issues, would only sniff RVs overnight.

        Pound was renamed because of confusion when she was referred to as "the dog, Pound". They considered new names, and almost threw out "Scottie" but kept that name by a narrow vote.

        In other bad news, Yen was washed away in a tsunami, Peso was put down by Donald Trump, Ruble was found planging polonium in RVs, Lira got distracted by doggie "Bunga bunga parties", and Franc was morally compromised by hiding the RV cash stash of neo-nazis for a cut.

        The next dog they brought in was Rand. He was not named after the ZA currency, but rather Ayn. No good either, selfish prick kept all the stashes to himself, saying sharing it with the other officers would just support "parasites". He oughta know, flea-addled mutt.

        With all the dogs gone, they took the radical decision to just let all the surf dudes in RVs keep their money. Crazy, no?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 9:54am

    these are not police officers they are organized crime and any cop that refuses to turn them in are just as dirty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:02am

    Don't Be Curious

    Note to readers. Inquiring and curious minds may still want to know: Why DID Gorman have so much cash? Where did he get that much money? How could he afford an RV, too? And, if he had a real job in Maui, why did he have enough time to drive cross country on the mainland? Was he actually involved in drugs or some other illegal stuff?

    But in answer to that curiosity, stop. Just stop. Whether illegal or legal, we have no right to know, and neither did these cops.

    I, myself, want to know at least how this guy had $167k, but that falls into the category of "none of my fn business." Whether he got that money from his dead dad's estate, or from smuggling heroin in SUPs is irrelevant. His right to privacy should supersede all suspicion and curiosity unless there is a legitimate probable cause.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:15am

      Re: Don't Be Curious... Don't Tread on Me!

      This country was founded on the principle of "keep your damn nose out of my business!" If you don't have REASONABLE suspiscion of illegal activity, you got NO RIGHT to pry at all! There's too damn much spying by the government these days - they want to know (and control) every second of your life... for the children! Oh, and TERRORISM!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 5:42pm

      Re: Don't Be Curious

      I don't know the answers to your questions. Neither do the cops. The cops don't care what the answers are, they just wanted the money. I don't care what the answers are, because it's none of my business.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Phil, 1 Jul 2015 @ 3:48am

      Re: Don't Be Curious

      Actually I want to know. I mean, I want to earn 167k in cash as well!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Manny, 7 Jul 2015 @ 8:15am

      Re: Don't Be Curious

      Excellent point perfectly stated. Too often lost or overlooked.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:29am

    I hope Gorman sues the PDs, the State's Attorney office, and the cops as individuals for civil rights violation as well as color of law violations. The dog also needs to be retired; it's defective.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:59pm

      Re:

      I'm quite sure the dog is the honest one of the bunch.

      That bitch surely did exactly what she was trained to do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:37pm

        Re: Re:

        What makes you think the officers didn't? This crap would not be endemic if officers had to come up with it independently. They don't have that amount of imagination as a rule. They are trained for serving in organized crime units.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:36am

    All TOLD, not tolled. Sheesh.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JustMe (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:49am

    How come none of these sworn protectors of the law

    Are themselves in jail? If not for the original lies, or for lying to the court under oath, then for perjury because they clearly aren't upholding the laws they are sworn to protect?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:47pm

      Re: How come none of these sworn protectors of the law

      Because that's perk #1 of being a cop, complete immunity from the law. Break any laws you like, no matter how bad, and as long as you're not unlucky enough to be the fall guy for your given precinct, you'll come out with at most a slapped wrist.

      No judge, and especially no DA, will prosecute a cop as it would 'set a bad precedent', namely that cops are actually responsible for their own actions and can be held accountable for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 30 Jun 2015 @ 2:03pm

        Re: Re: How come none of these sworn protectors of the law

        Break any laws you like, no matter how bad, and as long as you're not unlucky enough to be the fall guy for your given precinct, you'll come out with at most a slapped wrist.

        You misspelt "promotion". That's standard procedure when a crook gets actually cited: that way he is a "decorated police officer" and excelling in his duty.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    streetlight (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 11:03am

    Why carry large amounts of cash?

    I still don't understand why folks carry large amounts of cash in cross country trips. There are bad guys out there besides the police who will get the money perhaps with fatal consequences for the money's owner. Getting stolen money back from criminals would be pretty tough.

    With Internet banking it is easy to move money from one account linked to another account, taking typically three business days. Some Internet banks have a maximum withdrawal amount per day, but if one plans ahead, that shouldn't be a problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 1:00pm

      Re: Why carry large amounts of cash?

      Paranoia is not a crime.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 3:39pm

      Re: Why carry large amounts of cash?

      "I still don't understand why folks carry large amounts of cash in cross country trips."

      Perhaps he didn't want to go through the inevitable investigation that would happen when you deposit, transfer, or withdraw that much money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 3:57pm

        Re: Re: Why carry large amounts of cash?

        Learn from rush limbaugh with his addiction to prescription drugs, anymore than 10k gets flagged (fbi/irs). Unless that's changed to a lower amount after all these invasions of privacy

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        streetlight (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 4:48pm

        Re: Re: Why carry large amounts of cash?

        I understand that the guy may have been concerned about the IRS getting into the act because a large funds transfer would be involved. On the other hand, making use of tech, and even low tech, methods for moving money would avoid the situation discussed in the original post. A low tech method would be for the guy to send a check via Fedex overnight. People deposit large checks when they sell a house or car. A single, large transfer might not bring the IRS into the situation. They get interested if there are a lot of them. If there's no large amount of cash in a vehicle the cops couldn't have taken the cash. Even if the cash gets to the girlfriend, how will she use it? Likely she'll deposit it in a bank account. Paying the rent, mortgage, credit card debt, etc., in cash may be impossible or raise the interest of the IRS. There was the recent report of a small business man depositing multiple, less than $10k deposits to his bank account and running into trouble.

        I know the discussion here involves the interaction with the cops and the court, but all this could have been avoided.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 1 Jul 2015 @ 8:36am

          Re: Re: Re: Why carry large amounts of cash?

          "A low tech method would be for the guy to send a check via Fedex overnight."

          And how would he do this? He'd have to deposit the cash in an account to draw the check from, and then deposit the check in an account on the other end. Using a check doesn't change the equation.

          "People deposit large checks when they sell a house or car. A single, large transfer might not bring the IRS into the situation."

          True, but that doesn't eliminate the worry about other agencies.

          "all this could have been avoided."

          Yes, it could have. The cops could have been honest. Or, failing that, he could have hid the money a whole lot better.

          Money belts FTW.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ahow628 (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 11:10am

    The one silver lining...

    The one silver lining in all of this is that at least the officers who were in breach of their duties will be paying for this out of their own pockets and no tax payers will be on the hook.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Hilarious. Sorry guys, couldn't keep a straight face...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 11:19am

    The DOJ

    Get over it guys! Court orders will be ignored by law enforcement.

    Loretta Lynch and her cronies will get involved, and the guy is going to die of old age before he sees his money. At that point, the complainant is dead, and the government gets to keep the money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:00pm

    One tactic I'd love to see in these cases where they claim that a drug dog gave them the justification for a search;

    Ask the cop in court if drug dogs are reliable and when he says yes, bring in your own drug dog from a licensed private firm and have them make the dog alert on the cop and the judge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    1stworlder (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:02pm

    I hate to bring this up but the story you linked about drug dogs being unreliable involved finding drugs in the same compartment as the cash. Perhaps if you could provide a link to a story like the guy who didn't have drugs on him but admitted to smoking pot earlier in the day who had $2,000 taken from him at an airport it might have a better effect.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    the American public, 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:40pm

    charge and fire

    both the corrupt cops and liar piece of shit U.S. attorney belong in jail. People like this should be held accountable for their scumbag actions, fired and charged and forced to pay back the money

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dr. Morbius (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:54pm

    F@%! the police

    Every time I read one of these stories I go to youtube and watch "Fuck the police" by NWA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ScreaminMime (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 3:25pm

    He SHOULD HAD made the deputies pay him back... that would stop this type of action a lot faster.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 4:18pm

    I don't understand why anyone would carry that kind of cash, but even more so why anyone would have a conversation with a detaining or arresting officer.

    The only topic of discussion involved in a traffic stop is the traffic stop. Not where you are going or why. Not what your job is, or how much money you have with your. Nor how much you make.

    All of these and more, are cops fishing for a reason to search, seize, and or arrest the person they have stopped. This guy set himself up when he said he had $2K with him. Stupidity may not be a crime on the books, but cops will make it one on the street, and be enforcement, prosecutor and judge all rolled into one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 7:04pm

      Re:

      "This guy set himself up when he said he had $2K with him."

      No, I think he made the least bad choice is a shitty situation. If he'd admitted to having $167k up front he certainly would've lost it. The only chance he had of keeping it was to lie and hope they didn't find it. That didn't pan out, but it didn't leave him worse off either.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 4:49pm

    Thou shalt not steal, but I believe the high court doesn't believe in that, so why should those enforcing their laws. Damned radical Christians, we need to keep them in their place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 6:07pm

    Money and property fuels a class C fire.

    So long as the inquisition kept the property it seized, it found more Jews, heretics and witches.

    As long as the property of witches could be seized, the hunters always found new witches to burn.

    As long as the poice may keep the property it seizes, they will keep seizing property.

    Heh. The slang for a constable, copper actually comes from the word cop meaning to take or to seize as in to cop a feel. A copper is one who seizes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    feynman, 30 Jun 2015 @ 6:24pm

    this may be a stupid question, but with what right did they even take the money in the first place ? Since when is it illegal to have money ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Jun 2015 @ 6:34pm

    Sniffing dogs

    Lately I've heard nothing of drug dogs except how they are used to justify suspicions when there are no reasonable grounds. In the Gorman case, the dog signaled countless times, but failed to find any drugs. (I assume it wasn't trained to find money).

    It raises some concerns about the reliability of dogs for sniffing contraband at all. Certainly the dog in this case should be retired. His nose sucks. Or the handler sucks. Or both.

    Here we go. The Wikipedia article on detection dogs notes a report brought up in a New South Wales case saying that under test conditions, only 26% of tests in which the dog signaled positive there were drugs.

    In Chicago 2011, it was noted that 46% of positive signals yielded drugs, but when the target was Hispanic, only 8%.

    So yeah, these dogs are serving more as trick pony dogs, signalling when the handler wants it to, not when it's actually found something.

    There should be punitive damages for false positives. In the spirit of the forth amendment, any detection system that has more false positives than false negatives should require a warrant.

    Won't happen in this America, but a good tip for the next iteration.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 30 Jun 2015 @ 10:42pm

      Re: Sniffing dogs

      Certainly the dog in this case should be retired. His nose sucks. Or the handler sucks. Or both.

      The handler sucks his nose?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Jeremy Lyman (profile), 1 Jul 2015 @ 5:31am

      Re: Sniffing dogs

      I'd like to see the proliferation of 'artificial noses' with a verifiable number on the screen instead of a subjective 'my dog looked at a thing' analysis.

      "Do you know why I pulled you over today sir? My K9 indicated that you were 15 mph over the speed limit. He also says you weren't wearing a seatbelt and that you're hammered. None of that is slightly true, but wait here while I see if he smells any outstanding warrants on your license."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    brec, 1 Jul 2015 @ 12:34pm

    Doug Fisher's current position is Deputy - Patrol per this page:

    http://www.elkocountynv.net/departments/sheriff/sheriff/contact_us.php

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Jul 2015 @ 1:17pm

    Is this a promotion?

    Now, under Sergeant - Patrol.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    arthur, 6 Jul 2015 @ 1:22am

    Lying Prosecturors

    Legal question; So the attorney doesn't go to prison; that's a shame. But if the prosecutor remains in office, does every subsequent defendant in his jurisdiction get to impugn his work? Namely, if you are on trial for something and the prosecutor introduces some evidence, do you get to say that the submission is suspect because in County vs. Gorman said prosecutor tried to pass off phony evidence? if so, you can render the attorney powerless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Manny, 7 Jul 2015 @ 8:26am

    Lying thieving cops

    I wonder if the cops understand that in this particular case they are willing goons that work for the sheriff of Nottingham or if they see themselves as the good guys? I wonder if they comprehend that they are the ones who draw the line which divides a truly free society from one that compels revolt?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Groaker (profile), 7 Jul 2015 @ 11:30am

      Re: Lying thieving cops

      I don't think that is a concern of the cops. They are more likely to be interested in trying to determine just how much of the loot they can keep for themselves without attracting attention, or the wrath of the DA.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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