A Florida judge will decide whether police can keep approximately $200,000 in cash they seized from Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion Jr. The NFL player had his cash seized during an alleged drug possession arrest in early February. Police claim that the cash is drug money and that they are entitled to keep it.
The marijuana possession arrest happened on Feb. 3 when police in Starke, Florida, pulled over the NFL player in a routine traffic stop. Authorities allege that they detected a strong odor of pot emanating from the athlete’s automobile, which prompted them to search the truck. That is when they allegedly found a bag of marijuana.
Police say that they found nearly $200,000 cash inside the bag, which also contained approximately 357 grams of marijuana. Because the money was in the marijuana bag, authorities allege that they had every right to seize it and keep it. The player was also carrying a registered gun inside his vehicle, according to police.
The NFL player refutes police allegations that the cash was drug money. He maintains that he earned it fair and square through his Green Bay Packers pay check. Authorities seized his truck during the arrest as well, which the player also wants returned.
The Starke, Florida, police chief says that if his department wins the case, they will use the money to upgrade their police equipment and vehicles. He said that the man’s truck could be sold to buy three new police cruisers. Civil forfeiture disputes are not uncommon following a drug possession arrest. While authorities are permitted to seize and keep certain assets under the law, if police are unable to show that seized assets were part of drug activity, authorities will probably not be able to keep the seized assets.
Source: firstcoastnews.com, “NFL player wants cash, truck back seized during drug arrest“, Lisa Robbins, Feb. 17, 2015