Nevada Supreme Court: Can’t assume all money convicted drug dealer has is from illegal acts | NevadaAppeal.com
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Nevada Supreme Court: Can’t assume all money convicted drug dealer has is from illegal acts

Nevada State Supreme Court building in Carson City.
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

The Nevada Supreme Court this week ruled that police and district judges can’t automatically assume all the money a person has when arrested on drug charges is the product of illegal activity.

They sent the forfeiture case against the $2,187 Christopher Keller had when arrested back to district court saying he presented sufficient evidence to prevent summary judgment allowing Las Vegas Metro to keep the cash.

The high court panel also disagreed with Judge Gloria Sturman who had ruled that even if some of the money was from legitimate sources, it could all be forfeited because it was comingled with cash from drug dealing.

“This court has held that money will not be subject to forfeiture where there is no evidence it can be raced to criminal activity,” the panel wrote. Keller, they pointed out, provided a pay stub indicating he earned some of the money and had the testimony from his mother that she loaned him $1,800.

The panel consisting of Justices Mark Gibbons, Lidia Stiglich and Abbi Silver sent the case back to district court ruling that, “there is a genuine issue of material fact as to the source of Keller’s seized funds.”