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I-80 drug stops: Rural Nevada sheriff defends tactics

I-80 drug stops: Rural Nevada sheriff defends tactics.
I-80 drug stops: Rural Nevada sheriff defends tactics.
CC Wikimedia Commons

I-80 drug stops in rural Nevada have seized tens of thousands from motorists. Humboldt County Sheriff Ed Kilgore defended the practice at an open house in Winnemucca recently. According to The Christian Science Monitor on Mar. 13, the sheriff attempted to calm citizens fears.

...He can't discuss case details, but he wants to assure residents the stops are legal and not intended to shake down unsuspecting visitors.

I-80 drug stops are a response to increased activity of Mexican drug cartels along the route between Nevada and California according to the sheriff. Residents fear illegal search and seizure by the sheriff and his deputies. Sheriff Kilgore sought to assure the citizenry that the stops were indeed legal.

Two men have filed suits about the I-80 drug stops in federal court so far. The plaintiffs say that even though they were never arrested and no drugs were found, they did need to forfeit their cash. One was relieved of $13,800 including a handgun and the other relinquished $50,000 in a briefcase.

This practice sets a very dangerous precedent and may indeed be found to be unconstitutional by the courts. It at least gives Humboldt County and the town of Winnemucca a bad reputation that could have the chilling effect of driving away legitimate business and tourism.

What do you think about the I-80 drug stops story? Please drop in your comments below.

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