NYT: Former Shoe Shiner Wins Back Nearly $30,000 Seized by Federal Agents

NYT: Former Shoe Shiner Wins Back Nearly $30,000 Seized by Federal Agents by Michael Levenson (“Authorities at an airport last year seized a bag of cash that Kermit Warren was carrying to buy a truck. It was his life’s savings but prosecutors contended the money was linked to drugs.”):

When Kermit Warren lost his job shining shoes during the Covid-19 pandemic last year, he and his son took his life savings of nearly $30,000 to buy a tow truck to support Mr. Warren’s longtime side business of collecting scrap metal.

But after flying from New Orleans to Ohio to buy the truck, Mr. Warren and his son discovered that it was the wrong kind — it was designed for hauling heavy equipment, not scrap metal — so they returned home with $28,180 in cash in a pink gift bag.

As Mr. Warren walked through security at the airport in Columbus, Ohio, the screeners asked him about the money and then let him continue on.

At the gate, just before Mr. Warren and his son boarded their flight, three agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration asked Mr. Warren about the cash. He “stammered” that he had flown to Ohio to buy a truck but could not give the year, make or model, or show an ad or a picture of the truck, federal prosecutors later said in court papers.

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