Forged Documents & Unethical Behavior – Just Another Day In The War On Drugs

Let’s say you are a government employee. Through your line of work, you come across a citizen with a substantial amount of cash. Other than suspicions, you can’t prove this person has obtained the money illegally. Even a tip-the-scales-of-justice dog sniff comes up fruitless. You can’t charge the person with a crime. Yet you just KNOW this cash is drug-related.

So how do you go about seizing this cash? Just break the damn law:

According to a deposition given by the head trainer for the MTAP K-9 team, the police could not find the drug dog’s certification to support the forfeiture action. Instead, an officer—who claims he was acting under a “direct order” from officer Lambert—created a certificate on his home computer and the Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA), Stefan Cassella, passed it off to Ms. Banks’ attorney as “a reproduction of the original certificate.”

Here is how the head trainer for the MTAP K-9 team describes the document’s authenticity:

Q. Okay. Is this an actual authentic certification?
A. No.
Q. Is this a fraudulent certification?
A. I believe so. . .

And what about the prosecutors who turned over the document? Did they know how it was created?

Q. Okay. Did you—were you concerned about the production of this document?
A. Yes.
Q. And did you inform anyone about this document?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you inform the US Attorney’s Office of this document?
A. Yes.
Q. And you told them that you believe this to be an inauthentic document?
A. Yes.

More proof that the tactics used in the war on drugs are inherently more sinister than the use of arbitrarily-declared Schedule I narcotics.


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