Ming Tong Liu had a suitcase with $75,195 (£46,000) he was going to use to buy a restaurant. For Mandrel Stuart it was $17,550 in proceeds from a barbecue restaurant. Benjamin Molina was going to use $18,000 to buy a car. Jose Jeronimo Sorto had $28,500 in church funds for a land purchase in El Salvador and a new trailer in North Carolina.
Each of these men was driving in the US with sizable amounts of cash when they were pulled over by police for minor traffic infractions. Mr Liu, for instance, was going 10 miles over the speed limit. Mr Stuart’s car’s windows were too dark.
Each of these men had the money in their possession confiscated by police despite not being charged with a crime. It was enough that the officers suspected the money was tied to an illegal activity.
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