Sheriff Defends Asset Forfeiture Law
Laramie County Sheriff Danny Glick supports Governor Matt Mead's decision to veto a legislative bill that would have tightened the requirements for the seizure of property under asset forfeiture laws.
Current law allows the seizure of cars, homes or other assets deemed to have been involved in drug trafficking without a conviction or any charges being filed. A bill that passed both houses of the legislature in 2015 would have required a felony drug conviction before someone's property could be seized.
Supporters argued the current law is open to abuse and forces a person to prove their innocence to get their property back.Governor Matt Mead vetoed the bill, and his veto was sustained in the Wyoming Senate
Glick says there is no reason to change the current law in Wyoming because it isn't being abused. He says law enforcement needs probable cause to seize property, and even then it must go before a judge to make sure proper procedure was followed.
Glick says "we're not breaking the law" in regard to property seizures.
Supporters of changing the law cite a 2008 incident in which a motorcyclist traveling through the state had $17,000 and a pistol seized after investigators found a few marijuana seeds among his belongings. The man hired an attorney and eventually got his money and gun back. No charges were filed against the motorcyclist.
But Glick says the fact is the man's possessions were returned, and the law actually worked as it should.