Sgt. Carmelo Crivello of Phelps County is a legend along the section of I-44 he has patrolled for 20 years. He focuses on the westbound lanes where cars carry cash. The money pays for jails and guns.
Every day, law enforcement agents strip Americans of billions of dollars in cash, cars, real estate, and other assets through civil asset forfeiture policies. These seizures happen during routine traffic stops and checkpoints, raids on homes and businesses, and other police operations. State and federal law enforcement agencies are permitted to seize property, often without due process, and in many states the laws allow them to keep the property, or more typically, the revenue from its sale.
Taken: Civil Asset Forfeiture is a collaborative, investigative reporting effort supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, that mobilizes regional investigative newsrooms in America’s heartland to scrutinize property seizures by law enforcement and also offers a deep dive into the complex state and federal data that reveals the seizure of private property without due process.