Police confiscate $10,478 in cash from couple & return it after receiving media attention


Posted on the 6th of September 2018

Police confiscate $10,478 in cash from couple & return it after receiving media attention

On the 9th of June, Dimitrios Patlias and his pregnant wife, Tonya Smith, were driving to the Hollywood Casino in Jefferson County when they were pulled over by West Virginia State Police for allegedly crossing into another lane. The police searched the couple, their car and Smith’s purse before backup officers brought dogs to sniff the area for narcotics. During the search, police found $10,478 in cash and 78 “gift cards” which the couple explained belonged to them as they have just returned from Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore and were on their way to the Hollywood Casino in Jefferson County.

Unable to find or prove any form of illegal activity or wrongdoing on the part of the couple, the police issued Patlias with a warning citation for crossing into another lane, before seizing the $10,478 in cash, the gift cards and Patlias’ smartphone.

In a civil forfeiture, the government can permanently take a person’s property if a police officer suspects it’s connected to a crime. In civil forfeiture, even if the rightful owner is not charged with any crime, the person stands to lose the property permanently. However, in this case, the cash and the gift cards were eventually returned to the couple on August 23, after their story started receiving media attention.

“I felt like I was in a movie. This is not the kind of law we should be living with in our country.” Smith told the Washington Post.

  • Comments Off on Police confiscate $10,478 in cash from couple & return it after receiving media attention

Comments are closed.