by Brittany Hunter
USA Today recently released findings from an investigation it had been conducting on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) use of civil forfeiture in airports around the country.
As it turns out, over the past decade the DEA has used domestic travel records to seize more than $200 million from over 5,200 individuals in 15 of the busiest airports around the country. Looking for specific travel patterns (like buying a one-way ticket or purchasing an airline ticket in cash) the DEA used this information to profile individuals who may potentially be involved with drug trafficking.
Since the information gleaned from profiling offered no substantial proof that these individuals were involved in any drug-related activities, the DEA had no real authority to detain those it flagged as potential suspects.