I know I shouldn’t be surprised – but it sure seems like every time I research the history behind some of the worst, unconstitutional federal police-state programs – I find a connection to Joe Biden. And that happened yet again last week, when I was digging in to learn more about a federal civil asset forfeiture program called “equitable sharing.”
More on the criminal Joe in a moment, but first a little background.
Unlike criminal asset forfeiture, civil asset forfeiture does not require a guilty verdict before government permanently seizes property. In some states (and the feds), it doesn’t even require the owner to face criminal charges of any kind. In this process, the property itself is literally charged with a crime and is the subject of the legal proceeding.
This process has produced some odd-sounding court case names like State of Texas v. One 2004 Chevrolet Silverado or United States v. One Solid Gold Object in Form of a Rooster.
Property owners must then prove that the property wasn’t involved in criminal activity in order to get it back. This flips due process on its head, forcing the owner to establish the property’s “innocence.” This shifts the burden of proof from the state to the citizen. It’s basically legalized government robbery.
In response, there is a growing movement to reform asset forfeiture laws. Several states have ended civil asset forfeiture altogether, replacing it with a criminal forfeiture process.
And that’s where our criminal-in-chief comes in.
Almost 40 years ago, a certain Senator from Delaware was the first cosponsor of what became the “Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984,” which established a federal asset forfeiture program called “equitable sharing.”
“Equitable Sharing” incentivizes prosecutors to bypass more stringent state asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the federal government. Both the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury operate the program.
It works like this: state and local police work the case and then claim it involves federal law or crosses into federal jurisdiction. Through a process known as “adoption,” the federal government prosecutes the forfeiture case under federal law and splits the proceeds with the local police. Through this program, state and local law enforcement agencies receive up to 80 percent of the take.
Why does it exist? To – in practice – ensure that state and local police are working more closely with federal agencies that shouldn’t exist in the first place – helping them enforce unconstitutional federal laws and regulatory programs.
For example, the ATF – says that Equitable Sharing serves “to encourage further cooperation between the recipient state or local agency and Federal law enforcement agencies.
But, it’s also the DEA, the FBI, and parts of the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, State – the FDA and USPS that all participate in this federal rip off.
DOJ points out that the program throws this stolen money at state, local, and tribal law enforcement to “enhance cooperation.” In other words – the goal is to get local law enforcement to do federal enforcement, a de facto effort to nationalize local police.
Totally Unconstitutional. Immoral. Unjust.
And while Joe Biden was far from alone in giving us this program, he’s still with us today, giving us more and more programs that rip us off and destroy our liberty.
I covered this federal “equitable sharing” civil asset forfeiture program in much more detail in a recent episode of the TAC’s Path to Liberty Podcast
At this link you can find the audio and video versions of the show, and some important reference links for you to check out:
I hope you find all this interesting and educational – even though it’s not good news. But the more we understand what it is we’re facing, the better the chance we’ll have of defeating it.
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