Deputy Accused Of Seizing Travelers' Cash Without Filing Charges

Associated Press
Mar. 12, 2014

A rural Nevada sheriff’s deputy is accused of stopping travelers on a lonely stretch of U.S. Interstate 80 and confiscating tens of thousands of dollars for the county without bringing charges, according to two federal lawsuits.

Two men who were traveling alone through northern Nevada’s high desert last year offer strikingly similar accounts of their stops by the same Humboldt County deputy near the town of Winnemucca, about 165 miles east of Reno.

Neither search produced drugs or an arrest, but in one case Deputy Lee Dove took a briefcase filled with $50,000 and in the other he seized $13,800 and a handgun, according to the lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Reno.

[...]Chief Deputy District Attorney Kevin Pasquale said the district attorney’s office would not discuss the lawsuits. “As a matter of policy, we never comment on pending litigation,” he told The Associated Press.

County officials were not shy in the past about discussing their cash seizures. The day after Nguyen had his money taken, the sheriff issued a news release with a photograph of Dove pictured with a K-9 and $50,000 in seized cash “after a traffic stop for speeding.”

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