Judge Matthew Brann is presently reviewing a complaint wherein he will rule on whether or not the federal government will be allowed to keep $850,594 in two “suspected” drug money seized earlier this year on Interstate 80.
The forfeiture money has been maintained in FBI custody.
- In the first stop Weil Lin was stopped and presented a Texas driver’s license that was only issued a few days before. She claimed to be going to see her father in Brooklyn who was returning from China. The court complaint notes there was no luggage in the vehicle except a backpack. When asked, Wei purportedly told law enforcement that it contained her clothing. Upon search in the vehicle, which federal complaint claims was “consensual”, they found that the duffle bag contained thousands of dollars in cash, and no clothing. Wei said the money came from one of her brothers as a result of a sale of family restaurant. The federal complaint claims among the $175k there were 10 counterfeit bills. Additionally a search of Wei Lin’s cell phone purportedly contained images of the cash, account bookkeeping receipts and a package “that was wrapped in the way cocaine is wrapped for bulk sale.” No cocaine was found in the car and no charges were filed against Wei Lin.
- Weeks later Jian Yang was stopped. The federal complaint notes an association with Weil Lin and Jian Yang, claiming the rental Wei Lin was driving during the first stop had been rented under the name of Jian Lang. A search of the vehicle found $489,994 in cash in a box in the trunk. Yang claimed that the cash was due to sale of his restaurant, gifts from his wedding, and the entire contents of his personal savings. The complaint alleges that Yang told federal agents he was trying to avoid taxes, and prefers to deal in cash. Police allege that there were trace amounts of cocaine found on “some of the bills”
Despite the allegations that this was drug trafficking money, there were no criminal charges filed against Jian Yang or Weil Ling.
The federal government would like to just keep their money, as in everyone knows it’s illegal to carry around cash currency.
This is WHY civil asset forfeiture laws MUST be reformed.
I hope Judge Brann rules the right way. With no criminal charges, there should be NO REASON why the government is entitled to this money. Sources confirm that there was a sale of a Chinese restaurant, and that Yang had a known history of preferring to deal in cash to avoid taxes. CITATION
Where is the proof? Or, do the feds just want the money, a life savings of a Chinese immigrant family?
CITATION: Federal CIVIL Complaint, United States vs. Jian Yang, et al.