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Posted: 6/4/2003 7:20:57 AM EDT
Jun 4, 5:54 AM EDT Man Sues After Buying Car With Drugs PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- A car purchased at a U.S. marshal's auction four years ago had a hidden surprise for its new owner: 119 pounds of marijuana hidden in the bumpers. The buyer, Jose Aguado Cervantes, didn't know about the hidden stash until he was stopped at the U.S.-Mexican border three months later. Cervantes, 67, spent three months in jail as a result. Cervantes is seeking damages for the government's error, alleging negligence, false imprisonment and false arrest. While an appeals court in Pasadena said Monday that he cannot recover damages for false arrest and imprisonment, his negligence claim against the federal government "is an entirely different matter." The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the government's argument against Cervantes' negligence claim is "patently without merit" and "so off-the-mark as to be embarrassing." "Cervantes remained similarly unaware of the contraband until its discovery by U.S. customs agents as he tried to cross the U.S. border on Oct. 22, 1999," the appeals court said. "Although Cervantes denied knowledge of the marijuana and informed agents that he had purchased the vehicle at a U.S. marshal's auction, he was arrested and incarcerated." Government officials eventually dropped the charges, but not before Cervantes spent time in jail awaiting trial.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 7:30:13 AM EDT
Question: Assuming that the drugs really were in the bumpers when he bought the car, how the hell is he going to prove in court that was the case? I imagine any decent attorney would accuse him of smuggling drugs and then trying to cover it up when he was busted by saying the drugs were always there. Something doesn't add up. -Nick Viejo.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 7:39:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By N_Viejo: Question: Assuming that the drugs really were in the bumpers when he bought the car, how the hell is he going to prove in court that was the case? I imagine any decent attorney would accuse him of smuggling drugs and then trying to cover it up when he was busted by saying the drugs were always there. -Nick Viejo.
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The fact that the charges were dropped indicates that he was indeed innocent of the crime. I've heard about this case. He only had the car something like a month, and he bought it from a US Marshals seizure auction. He apparently spent 3 months in jail. Yet another piece of "acceptable collateral damage" of the drug war. I hope he tears them a new one in court!
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 8:01:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By N_Viejo: Question: Assuming that the drugs really were in the bumpers when he bought the car, how the hell is he going to prove in court that was the case? I imagine any decent attorney would accuse him of smuggling drugs and then trying to cover it up when he was busted by saying the drugs were always there. Something doesn't add up. -Nick Viejo.
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Burden of proof rests with the prosecution, not the defense. This is presuming that he was arrested on the U.S. side of the border.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 8:20:44 AM EDT
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=189537&w=myTopicPop I posted this yesterday it has a little more info
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 8:26:17 AM EDT
I travel on business frequently, so they've used the bomb sniffer machine on my stuff a few times at the airport. I'm always worried that my Pakastani cab driver or the bell hop at the hotel might have trace explosives on their hands and transfer it to my bags.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 8:27:52 AM EDT
I think the drugs were an aftermarket accessory installed in Mexico. Those auction cars are routinely screened by dogs before they are auctioned. Even if they aren't, the buyer shoudl have demanded the car be checked...
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