Beware of similar Iowa laws impacting your bankroll
As a lawyer, I was not shocked to read the story about the bankroll confiscation in Iowa. Players need to be aware of the State and Federal confiscation laws put in place by the government. These policies were supposed to fight drug trafficking and terrorism but they are being exploited by law enforcement to make up for growing budget deficits. Anyone traveling with large amounts of cash is vulnerable and the worst thing is, even if you haven't done anything wrong, you can be pulled over and your money confiscated under suspicion and you will have an incredibly difficult time attempting to get it back. There are several stories out there that are nearly identical to the two Iowa players. I would love to hear ideas about what to do in the alternative because wiring money through Instagram, making cash deposits at the bank and then withdrawing them at another location, and carrying large amounts of travelers checks also arise the curiosity of the police (all cash bank deposits over $9900 trigger an automatic notice from the bank to the IRS, FBI and Homeland..same with large amounts of transfers through wire services and purchasing large amounts of travelers checks.) This intrusive and abusive invasion cannot be tolerated and we all need to write, email and lobby our politicians to change these rules that are ineffective against criminals and ruining the lives of everyday people. My advice to avoid these laws are 1. Don't carry large amounts of money if you can avoid it. 2. If you can't avoid it, be smart. Cops target different things, some target out of state license plates (like the guys in Iowa), some target people who have multiple air fresheners hanging from their rear view mirror, and the list goes on and on, so be aware of indicators that will get you profiled. 3. Don't have anything illegal in the car, the guys in Iowa had a misdemeanor amount of pot, that was enough for reasonable suspicion in all States except CO and WA, if you have a gun, make sure it's registered and not concealed unless it's in the trunk. Don't have booze, drugs, pills or anything that will arose suspicion. 4. If your forced to carry cash, hide it well and DO NOT consent to a search. Consent is the #1 reason people get busted. If there is consent, the cops can basically take your vehicle apart but without it, they must get a warrant based on probable cause signed by a judge. Refusing a search is NOT probable cause for a search and most judges are very wary of signing off on warrant when you've just been pulled over on a traffic stop. This applies whether no matter the situation. NEVER consent to a search, it doesn't matter if there is absolutely nothing in there. Hiding your cash is tricky because cops are trained to know all the tricks. One good idea is to carry a emergency roadside kit in your trunk and hide your cash there. First, cops generally don't search things like this but most importantly, IF you are arrested, cops are allowed to conduct a search incident to arrest. This means that they can search the passenger compartment of the car. ONLY YOUR CONSENT will allow them to search the trunk. They will try and sweet talk you into consenting to the search with things like "Well, if there's nothing in there, why don't you let me search?"..DON'T BUY IT. 5. Always have a plausible destination in mind. Like, the nearest casino that is in the direction you're traveling or you are picking up someone then heading to a casino for a tournament. You do not want to have to make something up on the spot, so have a plan beforehand and if your riding with someone, make sure your stories match. The reasons are obvious. Hopefully these tips will keep you safer when your on the road. Feedback and suggestions are welcomed!