Railway Bandits.Amtrak Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corp., authorized to operate virtually all intercity passenger railroad routes in the United States. Amtrak was created by Congress in 1970 in response to more than two decades of continuous operating deficits by privately run manages to lose money on 39 of its 41 routes, but that doesn't stop it from making a killing off some of its customers. In Albuquerque, New Mexico “Albuquerque” redirects here. For other uses, see Albuquerque (disambiguation).
Albuquerque (pronounced [ˈæl.bə.kɚ.kiː], Spanish: [al.βu. , Amtrak officials cut a deal with the Drug Enforcement Administration The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was established in 1973 by President richard m. nixon as part of the Justice Department, thus uniting a number of federal drug agencies that had often worked at cross-purposes. : In exchange for giving the drug police access to its booking system, Amtrak gets 10 percent of any money the cops take from hapless passengers.
In February 2000, the deal helped Amtrak make $14,700 off Sam Thach, who was traveling from Fullerton, California Fullerton is a city located in northern Orange County, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 126,003.
It was founded in 1887 by George and Edward Amerige and named for George H. , to Boston. When the train pulled into the Albuquerque station, DEA DEA - Data Encryption Algorithm agents relieved him of $147,000. Did Thach possess any drugs? No, but he purchased his one-way ticket with cash, and he failed to give Amtrak his phone number. So the DEA seized his cash under forfeiture rules that have since been changed. Thach is now suing in federal court to get his money back.
More recently, on April 5, 2001, the DEA seized $640,000 from Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer "Jennicide" Leigh (born August 10, 1983 in Wilmington, Delaware) is an American professional poker player. Ames, who was traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. . Apparently, she had looked nervous and-worse yet!had refused to grant agents permission to search her belongings.
Since Amtrak's deal was first reported earlier this year in the Albuquerque Journal, the railroad has been on the defensive. It claimed the bargain is one of a kind, but in an e-mail to the Journal, Amtrak said it "will, on request, participate in and provide information for law enforcement." (Amtrak didn't return REASON's calls for clarification and won't cop to how much it has earned from its train heists.) On April 25, the railroad announced it would no longer provide the DEA direct access to the reservation system. Amtrak will do the snooping itself, and exchange tips on its passengers for 10 percent of the DEA's take.
For its part, the DEA sees nothing wrong with the arrangement. Spokesperson Rogene Waite says the agency has similar deals with bus companies and airlines, but she won't discuss them.
Waite's also mum on whether the DEA's infiltration of Amtrak's reservation system is nationwide or limited to New Mexico. Evidence suggests the former. A September 1999 story in the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger explains how DEA investigators in Washington, D.C.,
figure out who
Investigators told the paper, "Suspicious signs include people who pay cash for expensive, one-way tickets at the last minute, or whose phone number turns out to be bogus. Getting a sleeper car but not checking any luggage is on the list." Without access to travelers' booking information, how would the cops know any of this information?
The American Civil Liberties Union American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), nonpartisan organization devoted to the preservation and extension of the basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution. worries that the police are targeting minorities (which the cops of course deny). Still, sometimes they target the wrong minorities. Carlos Hernandez, a former Newark policeman, knew his rights when he found officers inspecting his sleeper cabin on July 22, 1999. The cops told him they wanted to search his luggage because they had been tipped that he had a large amount of narcotics narcotics n. 1) techinically, drugs which dull the senses. 2) a popular generic term for drugs which cannot be legally possessed, sold, or transported except for medicinal uses for which a physician or dentist's prescription is required. . "I'll bet my kids' life they looked at the train's manifest, saw a Hispanic riding first class, $694 roundtrip ticket, and they just wanted to shake me down," Hernandez told The StarLedger, noting that the police broke the law by entering his cabin without a warrant and without his permission. "You went into my cabin, that's burglary," he said.
It certainly is, except when
the burglars have badgesand conductor's watches.