WINNEMUCCA, Nev. (AP) - Humboldt County Sheriff Ed Kilgore is defending the practice of stopping suspected drug traffickers on U.S. Interstate 80 and confiscating tens of thousands of dollars even if no criminal charges are filed.
Kilgore sought to assure about 40 citizens at a public meeting in Winnemucca Tuesday night that the stops are legal and not intended to shake down unsuspecting visitors to the rural county 165 miles east of Reno.
One man from Colorado and another from California recently filed federal lawsuits in Reno accusing the same deputy of illegally seizing their money - in one case, a briefcase full of $50,000.
Kilgore said he can't discuss case details, but that civil forfeitures are legal if an arresting officer suspects the individual obtained - or intends to use - the money illegally.
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