August 31, 2020

Stacy Jones had flown with large amounts of cash occasionally and did not expect it would be a problem when she did so earlier this year. She had been looking forward to a trip to North Carolina to visit a newly reopened casino and set aside money for gaming. She added to that amount of cash when friends she was staying with offered to purchase a car she owned with her husband. But when a close family member passed away, Stacy decided to fly home to Tampa rather than visit the casino. Without concern, she packed the cash in her carry-on bag. Unfortunately, she did not make it home with her money; even though she has done nothing wrong, the federal government is fighting to permanently take what is rightfully hers through civil forfeiture.

When Stacy went through security screening at Wilmington International Airport, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners noticed the cash and held onto her carry-on bag. Sheriff’s deputies and then Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents interrogated her about the source of the money. She explained the legal sources of her money, but the DEA agents seized it—without any allegations of criminality. Now, Stacy is teaming up with the Institute for Justice, fighting to end these unconstitutional and unlawful practices by the DEA and the TSA.

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