DEA asset seizure on SWC ($16,000)

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Guest, May 8, 2015.

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  1. May 12, 2015 #51

    Guest

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    If you are a frequent and saavy traveler you would have a bank accout at a bank that pays the ATM fees. One example: http://content.schwab.com/m/q310/schwab_bank_high_yield_investor_checking/ELC44427C-02.html

    As far as transfers you don't have to go to the bank. It can be done online.
     
  2. May 12, 2015 #52

    VentureForth

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    Have you ever tried to extract $16000 out of an ATM? Never mind the $3-$5 extortion fee they charge per transaction, but most have a daily limit. Even if you could bump yours up through your bank to $1000 (Mine is around $300), it'd take 2 - 3 weeks just to take the cash out.

    The asset forfeiture thorugh banks is just as bad. See what the IRS does.

    I could use a good pint.

    Oh - here's an example of "structuring" in today's news: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/12/nc-store-owner-on-hook-for-107000-with-irs-over-structuring-laws/

    Maybe, if Amtrak is really a government agency, they can just seize everyone's cash once they are on the train and then they will become profitable.
     
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  3. May 12, 2015 #53

    Ryan

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    Whomever you believe that to be. For some that is God, for others, not.
     
  4. May 12, 2015 #54

    pennyk

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    We will be temporarily locking this thread since it appears it needs a "rest."

    Thanks for your understanding and patience.

    This thread is being re-opened. Please keep posts on topic and civil. Thank you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2015
  5. May 19, 2015 #55

    Ryan

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    Another story, fortunately involving less money:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/05/how-the-dea-harasses-amtrak-passengers/393230/?utm_source=SFFB

    Of note:

    He relates a story from someone on Trainorders in his story, so I'm sure he'd like to heard from anyone else.
     
  6. May 19, 2015 #56

    CelticWhisper

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    This is really upsetting. I take Amtrak for the sole purpose of avoiding TSA, and now it looks like doing so is buying a lottery ticket for harrassment from DEA.

    I'm not a terrorist. I don't care about terrorism or stopping terrorism. I don't use drugs. I don't care about drugs or stopping drugs. I just want to travel and be left the @#$% alone. That's it. What's left for me to do?

    Also, that said, what do people (people who put civil liberties first) recommend doing in a case like this? DEA is bound by the Constitution like any other, right? So I should be able to demand they get a warrant. Is calling a conductor recommended if this happens? Also, I heard most of the cases of harrassment occur with people traveling alone in roomettes, but the mention of the bathroom sounded like this guy was in a full bedroom, which I will be also when I go out to PVD in August. I have severe anxiety problems and will be quite likely terrified out of my wits if this happens. Which means I'm prone to just fold and do whatever they ask, which in turn means I'll be stuck having to live with myself in the knowledge that I didn't stand up for my rights.

    I know I'm going to write to Amtrak and/or APD about this, but what else can I do?
     
  7. May 19, 2015 #57

    Devil's Advocate

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    If you're truly upset and you really want some ideas I would suggest supporting pro-liberty and anti-corruption candidates with your time and money. Many of these candidates never make it past the primaries but they do still run on occasion and if we ever got around to supporting them en mass they might be able to help turn back the clock on the corrupt and militarized surveillance state we're busy building.

    You can also call and email your current politicians and let them know you're fed up with this nonsense. My advice is to put them on speed dial. Then whenever you find yourself in a waiting room or stuck in a queue with nothing better to do make a call and let them know how you feel about their latest incident that rankled your nerves or how you want them to vote on the next amendment or bill.

    Many of these issues are national in nature but some can be resolved at the state and municipal levels. So load up your phone with federal, state, and local politicians and don't hesitate to remind them what their constituents actually think. Be sure to enlist help from others who share your same values and don't be discouraged by the patronizing replies you may receive from time to time. What's important is to keep the calls and emails coming in.

    None of us have enough power or privilege to push a politician around all by ourselves, but every time we add our voice to others we increase the length of the pry bar. The idea is that over a long enough timeline we'll eventually gain enough leverage to change course. Either by influencing the next vote or by replacing them with someone else.
     
  8. May 19, 2015 #58

    PaulM

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    Doesn't seem normal to me. My wife and I travel frequently, both domestic and Europe. I carry about $40 and my wife $100 (she's more reliable than me), a CC each, and a debit card each. We've never had a problem once we caught on to notifying the CC and debit card companies before leaving.

    My local small town bank does not charge fees for foreign ATM withdrawls; and the foreign (at least Austria and Germany) banks don't charge either. Domestically, all you have to do is use the debit car at a supermarket to get free (of fee, that is) cash.

    I can't picture a business man moving a business with all its net worth in his pocket. I think community banks have figured out a way to transfer money.

    Granted, bizarre doesn't equal illegal.
     
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  9. May 19, 2015 #59

    neroden

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    You haven't been paying attention to how bad the banks in the US have gotten lately. :p The consumer-protection regulations are much stronger in Europe. The local community banks in the US are better, but even mine, which is quite good, is subject to excessive ATM fees.

    By the way, debit cards are something nobody should ever have in the US. (They're OK in Europe because of stronger consumer protection laws.)

    Basically, if your account is cleaned out using a stolen debit card number, you are SOL in the US during the entire investigation; they aren't required to return your money during the course of the investigation. With credit cards, of course, you just refuse to pay the fraudulent bills.
     
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  10. May 19, 2015 #60

    calwatch

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    One item not mentioned here is how OFTEN this happens. For those who travel often or work for Amtrak, how many times have you been stopped, or there been mass searches of a train car or passengers (i.e., where more than 5% of the train or more than one or two berths in a sleeping car) occurred? Occasionally I see the Feds taking out targeted individuals in the Mountain West but they seemed to know who they were looking for. And compare that to the number of trips you have taken on the route.

    For me, I've done three round trips between Los Angeles and Chicago in the past five years on various routes, and no searches (of me or anyone in the car), and two instances where a target was pulled out. I do several train trips a year on the San Joaquin and never a search or a pullout.
     
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  11. May 19, 2015 #61

    Just-Thinking-51

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    I have seen it done twice. Once on the Southwest Chief, the other in the Texas Eagle.

    Just say no. No I don't want to talk to you. No I don't consent to your search with out a warrant. No I will not leave the train (goto the station) while you get a search warrant.

    You can't not be charge with a crime, just because your exercise your civil rights.

    Just say no.
     
  12. May 20, 2015 #62
    If you are willing to be put off the train by the conductor for exercising your civil rights, go right ahead. It's often best to complain to one's congressman and senator about the treatment. They do have clout with the DEA.
     
  13. May 20, 2015 #63

    Devil's Advocate

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    I think the key to turning the tide on overzealous search and seizure probably requires an end to civil asset forfeiture. The folks in charge have proven time and again that they simply cannot wield a tool this powerful in a mature and responsible fashion. Until this tool is taken away from them the conflict of interest will remain intact and the abuse will continue.
     
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  14. May 20, 2015 #64

    FormerOBS

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    To those who say this can be avoided by choosing your bank account carefully, or by being careful to behave in ways that do not set off alarms in some overly zealous DEA officer's mind, I'd like to remind you that the Constitution guarantees certain rights to us, whether we behave as the DEA wants and expects us to or not. Furthermore, I can understand the officer's suspicion of something that looks unusual to him. I can understand his belief that he needs to investigate. I cannot understand or condone the DEA's taking, i.e., stealing, of somebody's money without due process. That, in itself, is a violation of the Constitution.

    Tom
     
  15. May 20, 2015 #65
  16. May 20, 2015 #66

    Ryan

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    I posted that same story on the previous page (that's how the thread got unlocked).
     
  17. May 20, 2015 #67

    George K

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    Only one cup of coffee so far. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
     
  18. May 20, 2015 #68

    gmushial

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    Don't know why the Quote button has stopped working for me... :-(

    and now I can't even cut and paste what I was trying to reply to :-(

    my comment is in response to post #19... way back on page 1

    It could be... but then again, and very much more likely, it is a perfectly legal and legitimate activity.
     
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  19. May 20, 2015 #69

    FormerOBS

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    If it's perfectly legal and legitimate, maybe DEA ought to investigate it.

    Make sense to me, anyways.

    Tom
     
  20. May 20, 2015 #70

    Guest

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    I took the SWC from LAX to CHI in coach last summer, and while we were stopped in ABQ, I went and got something to eat from a neighboring location. After returning, I was approached by a man who flashed a badge (I believe it was DEA, but I don't remember for sure, it happened so fast.) He asked if he could talk to me, I agreed, he asked where I was going and asked to see my ticket, I had purchased it several months prior so after he saw that he went on his way without wanting to search my bag. It's a good thing he didn't, because I had a significant amount of cash that I used to buy a car and drive back. I had been saving up for the trip for some time and my bank doesn't have any branches east of the Rockies. Obviously it had nothing to do with drugs, but if he would have seen it I'm sure they're attracted to it like vultures to a dead body.
     
  21. May 20, 2015 #71

    Peter KG6LSE

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    untill the dung hits the fan. this is not gonna stop.

    Its just time when this will happen to some governers son and it will be game over for the DEA's train robbery.

    short term fix. Seal your cash in a envelope in small amounts 400 or so a time. Mail it to yourself . (use first class)

    they need a warrant to break mail seals .

    ( not that they respect our rights any ways )

    they may take the cash in your wallet . but if they tamper with sealed mail then its a whole nother ball game.

    On top of that. if you are gonna tote 16 grand . Pay a lawyer to put it in first class bubble envelope with the lawyers name and biz address on the outside..... put some mumbojumbo contract paperwork in the inside with the cash ..... plasable deny ability...

    make them think it's protected by lawyer client privilege ( get creative) ....
     
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  22. May 20, 2015 #72

    gmushial

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    looks like Quote button is still not working...

    Peter...

    Back in the '90s there was quite a bit of cooperation in the particle physics research world with ex-Soviet physicists in search of jobs...

    and a lot of this being searched and your suggestion to make it look like lawyer payment etc, smells so much like so many of the tales that saidsame physicists were talking about, or what was common life for them previously...

    ... America: the land of the (no longer) free; home of the (not) brave. Quite sad.

    ex-Kilowatt seven charlie ocean charlie
     
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  23. May 20, 2015 #73

    Bob Dylan

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    Shipping cash through any kind of mail service ,( USPS,UPS, FEDEX, Greyhound,/Amtrak Express etc.) is NOT a good idea for many reasons!

    The LE Cartels are on to all the tricks when it it comes to hiding Cash!
     
  24. May 20, 2015 #74

    Devil's Advocate

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    Since transporting cash is becoming de facto illegal in the United States perhaps it would possible to ship it in a lead lined bag?
     
  25. May 20, 2015 #75
    How long before your trip do you have to buy a sleeping-car ticket so the cops don't see a "red flag?" Two months? Three months? Six months?

    What about people who are sound sleepers (as well as people who sleep with noise-canceling headphones on)..if they're in a bedroom or roomette, and its locked, and they can't hear the cops knocking/pounding on the door, what then?
     

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