“With current federal civil forfeiture laws, even compliant businesses can be targeted. Returning this money is the right thing to do.”
By Noha Taborda, Kansas Reflector
The U.S. Department of Justice agreed Wednesday to return all cash seized from an armored car company used by legal marijuana dispensaries during several traffic stops in California last year.
The California seizures occurred based on what authorities learned in Kansas during a May traffic stop of an Empyreal Logistics car. Conversations between state and federal law enforcement agencies stemming from this stop resulted in a series of events in which Kansas and California officers seized more than $1.2 million.
Soon after, the company filed a federal lawsuit detailing how a sheriff’s deputy in Dickinson County stopped one of their vehicles transporting cash from licensed marijuana dispensaries to banks and credit unions, seizing more than $165,000 on Interstate 70. In response, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas filed a civil forfeiture action against Empyreal, asserting that the cash was connected to sales in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
A firm representing Empyreal announced Wednesday the DOJ had agreed to return all funds seized by the San Bernardino County Sheriff—approximately $1.1 million—in exchange for