Whirlibird, I have to disagree. In this country people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Police need to build their case. If they know the guy is a drug dealer, then work to catch him with the goods. There have been too many innocent people caught up in this “I think you must be guilty of something so I’m taking your money but not charging you with anything” scenarios. The Constitution does not make police both judge and jury. What they are doing with this seizure stuff is crossing the line into our being a Police State. On the old white guy thing, certainly there are exceptions to anything, but he should have been able to drop his suspicion that I was a drug dealer to less than a 1% chance rather quickly in the absence of any other clues beyond having MA plates. The VT Civil Liberties Union has charged my county with discriminating against blacks on account blacks are arrested at something like 17 times the rate of whites. Bear in mind there are virtually no blacks in VT and so the population the arrest stats are being applied against is incredibly small. A friend works at the court house and he was incensed at that charge because he says virtually all of the blacks charged with crimes in this county are not residents but rather drug dealers from Holyoke & Springfield, MA, Albany, NY, and Metro NYC. Further the locally grown white drug dealers are virtually always young and poor. I didn’t come from Holyoke or Springfield, MA by the way so there wasn’t a clue there either.
Using your example of the guy having cash but no product, that cash is going to have to be laundered somehow and will eventually make its way into a bank. Banks are required to file SAR’s (Suspicious Activity Reports) to the feds for any transaction that fits certain criteria, even when the bank knows the cash transaction is 100% legitimate. By law they can’t tell the customer that they filed an SAR. I’m on the Board of a bank and each month the President reports to us on any SAR’s that were filed, and the criteria is far more complex than people who try to game the system think it is. So, if the guy is a known drug dealer, there is stuff going on the background that might be building the case against him without the police being judge and jury.