Saturday, January 31, 2015

Taken

By Sarah Stillman, August 12, 2013 Issue

…..Jennifer Boatright..…drove with her two young sons and her boyfriend….to buy a used car…. officer named Barry Washington pulled them over……The county’s district attorney, a fifty-seven-year-old woman with feathered Charlie’s Angels hair named Lynda K. Russell, arrived an hour later. Russell, who moonlighted locally as a country singer, told Henderson and Boatright that they had two options. They could face felony charges for “money laundering” and “child endangerment,” in which case they would go to jail and their children would be handed over to foster care. Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha, and get back on the road. “No criminal charges shall be filed,” a waiver she drafted read, “and our children shall not be turned over to CPS,” or Child Protective Services…… Later, she learned that cash-for-freedom deals had become a point of pride for Tenaha, and that versions of the tactic were used across the country. “Be safe and keep up the good work,” the city marshal wrote to Washington, following a raft of complaints from out-of-town drivers who claimed that they had been stopped in Tenaha and stripped of cash, valuables, and, in at least one case, an infant child, without clear evidence of contraband…… you needn’t be found guilty to have your assets claimed…..in some states, suspicion on a par with “probable cause” is sufficient. Nor must you be charged with a crime, or even be accused of one……To Read More…..

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