June 11th, 2009
07:04 PM ET

Photos from Kimble County, Texas

Editor's Note: Gary Tuchman is Keeping Them Honest on the Texas forfeiture law beat lately. He’s been visiting counties where law enforcement officials have allegedly misused public funds and state lawmakers have done nothing to stop them. Wait until you hear Gary’s report tonight. Cops in Kimble County seem to be making a lot of money off of pulling over drivers for speeding and other traffic violations. The cops then allegedly seize all cash and valuables from the driver’s car. The district attorney is supposed to use any seized funds for “official purposes.” But can a trip to Hawaii be considered an “official purpose?” Find out tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Gary Tuchman • Keeping Them Honest
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Trista

    I live in Junction(Kimble) too and have to say if you don't know how the "law" "works" then you're blind.These things happen all the time, but nothing is done to stop it.We have a beautiful county,it's a shame travelers are getting pirated on the interstate.Goes to show terrorists are everwhere.I'm sure this too will dissappear.

    June 12, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  2. Stephanie Lambring

    This is Texas...need I say more?

    June 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  3. david brumfield

    this same thing is happening in pineville louisianna. i was robbed
    by a pineville police officer. not only did he steal my money he charged
    me with being a drug dealer after finding my perscription medication
    that i am on because of injuries i sustained in an accident at work.
    I have had to retain a lawyer to recover my money. i have documents
    that show the money came from an injury settlement and my medical
    records show that i have been on the same medicines that they
    accused me of selling. the DA keeps telling my lawyer he will return
    my money but it has been four months and still no money. i saw your
    show on texas and wanted to let you know that this is happening here
    also.your show may be the only way people from the outside will know
    about this because there is nobody to report this to because all the
    agencies seem to be in on it.

    June 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  4. Ethel, Gun Barrel City, TX

    Same thing has been going on here in Henderson, Co. It's not just for minorities anymore. I am white, over 60 and so are most of my friends. I have experienced first hand the confiscatory nature of the local authorities from people who have committed no crime. Also,
    the female police chief of Log Cabin, TX was arrested in the police station a week ago for misappropriation of seized property

    June 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  5. Mary

    From Kimble County – please don't post this comment – but very glad you are investigating however you left out a main person in your piece – please contact me.

    June 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  6. OneChica

    While this forfeiture money was readily used for travel to Hawaii, the DA refused to use it for some actual prosecution efforts, i.e. to pay for the translation of documents regarding open cases of an indicted murder suspect who fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution. Another issue altogether but worthy of a look.

    June 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  7. Richard Ellison

    to respond to Terry – CNN has done a very good job covering the murder at the Holocaust Museum, and the murder at the recruiting station, and those are terrible crimes. The last two nights CNN/360 devoted at least half the program to those crimes and the hate groups that spawn them. As for the corruption in Texas law enforcement, it should make anyone sick to think that we could send our young men and women off to Iraq and Afghanistan, then if they are the "wrong" color," they come back home and get stopped, beaten and robbed by officials who are sworn to uphold the law. That is precisely the kind of government abuse that generates mistrust and contempt for government that can lead to violence.

    June 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  8. H Cutrer

    Hard to believe in this day and time.

    June 12, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  9. Terry, TX

    For those who do not know....or CNN was going to report on....in some counties drivers passing through have a choice....they can pay on site or go to the courthouse. If there has been misuse of funds thats another issue....This is like third article I have read on this subject....yawn...... anyone interested in soldier killed in a recruiting station by a Muslim Islamic Terrorist on home soil? How about the taxpayers monies being used and abused from all the pork bills...now there's some stories.

    June 12, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  10. Linda

    I wish you would investigate Calhoun County, Texas as well. The Sheriff's Department there is making a bundle from forfeitures and I am sure there is no oversight there either. That kind of money feeds corruption. The legislature should be called into special session if necessary to take care of this problem, unless of course they have been paid off as well.

    June 12, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  11. Anne

    I have family that live in Junction, TX and they had no idea this corruptioin was going on until they saw it on Anderson Cooper last night. It is never reported in the local paper. Unbelievable and very sad!

    June 12, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  12. john gendron

    oh and by the way almost every police force has that power u just dont hear about it ...yes in canada too....

    all over....but when no one beleves you.....who ya gona call the cops...

    dont make me laugh.....
    they are legal crimanals

    June 12, 2009 at 2:02 am |
  13. john gendron

    I was so happy in the last couple of weeks seeing not one but 2 stories on this kind of corruption.

    I know this because i grew up with, in a corrupted enviroment first hand., got passed it, but opened my eyes to behind the sceans going on`s, that most people dont even see or ever hear of.

    so yes; makes me happy, its a start when u think that every police force is about 8% corupt on average and higher in certain places like new orlens, texas, quebec canada, russia, mexico.... ect

    keep it up i bet u find whether its police or judges its just the tip of an iceburg

    June 12, 2009 at 1:59 am |
  14. Mary Jane

    This is an opportunity to expose and do away with this corruption. We, the people will not be scared, and justice will be served. We are Americans and all of these crooked cops and officials need to be exposed! Thank you CNN for bringing this to light and lets set things right.

    June 12, 2009 at 1:54 am |
  15. Colette

    I was stopped in Monroe County Georgia. Told to pay $300.00 on the spot or be arrested. Had no cash and offered to drive to the Sherriff's office to pay with a credit card. Officer decided to give me a break instead. My car had Canadian tags. Easy target!! Beware travellers.

    June 12, 2009 at 1:51 am |
  16. Mahi Das

    I went thru this even in Oklahoma on my way to Dallas from Chicago. Cop asked me if I had $100 cash. I told, I dont carry cash. Cop again asked, if I could draw the amount from a nearby ATM. In the end somehow he just let me go with a warning.

    June 12, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  17. Justin Fenton

    My wife and I are residents of Kimble County and have experienced first hand the lenghts they are willing to go in order to apprehend you with large amounts of cash. This should really be looked into alot more.

    June 12, 2009 at 1:40 am |
  18. Polly

    My friend was pulled over in Tenaha, Texas last week for driving a new car with tinted windows. It is summertime in Texas and tinted windows are advisable. I advised her to tell the officer that she blogs on AC360.

    I have other friends who can't leave their own house in their Lexus because they get pulled over regardless of driving patterns. They have to take their farm truck to town to get groceries, or go to the doctor.

    One would think that these local police who are fraudulently seaching cars would catch on that Anderson is watching!

    June 11, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  19. Shyfox

    The Judge, cops, and DA are getting fat pockets while the people of Texas are working at low paying jobs just to get by. It must be nice to be a part time DA and still be able to go to Hawaii and pay for the Judge's trip too. Maybe they should investigate the unanswered circumstances pertaining to the suicides and deaths of persons in Kimble county. Might see how corrupt the high powers in this little town can be.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  20. Luis

    States are allowed to make their own laws, no matter how absurd they may be. The great thing about living in this country is that those law which are absurd can be repealled. Remember Jim Crow?

    June 11, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  21. Brianna

    Texas is not the only state having problems with this type of situation. The town of Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, seems to stop one out of five cars that travels through the town, and is well known for tickets given daily!

    June 11, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  22. Gregory

    This is not just Texas, I was asked the same questions and illegally searched by the Arkansas and Louisana Highway Patrols.......so take notice.......beware.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:38 pm |
  23. nate key

    west monroe louisiana, ouchita parish sheriff's depo, $280.00 ticket
    for an out headlamp. no warning or fix it tickets, and no fighting it if the car is under warranty, will only cost you more

    June 11, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  24. dennis walker

    wow unreal.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  25. Pam

    This kind of corrupt behavior happens all over Texas! I live in a county north of Dalls with a new courthouse. Our DA bragged about using money taken from "criminals" to fund the top notch offices.

    Continue to investigate and you will find Texas has one of the most corrupt, biased, good -old- boy judicial system in the country. .

    You can bet something is very wrong here!!

    June 11, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  26. gilbert hernandez

    Texas is friendly only if you are white of course your report went ok. But if you are any other color you will have trouble making any report good like yours.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  27. Kenneth Cox

    Why not check out Kern County in California alone US5 North of Los Angles. I was stopped. The state recognizes that the local sheriff preys on travelers thru the interstate in that county. My stop cost me over 400.00

    June 11, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  28. Paula

    When my family would travel across country from California to Arkansas every summer when I was a kid, Dad would inevitably be pulled over in some little podunk town. It was customary after being pulled over to follow the trooper back to the station. I remember Dad emptying his wallet except for $20 before going inside because they always took everything you had. He'd always come back grinning and we'd be on our way.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  29. Somebody out here

    Gary Tuchman tonight stated that even though at least some of the Texas City's and Counties have a Law Inforcement Forfeiture Abuse Problem ...... Tuchman also stated that he thought Texas was a Friendly place.

    Wrong ! Texas like most of the Deep South is still Bitter about Losing the Civil War. The South refuses to call it the Civil War but instead calls it the War of Northern Aggression.

    Lastly Texas is allot like France is in Europe. It is Big. So Big that it thinks that it does Not Need any of the Rest of the Country. Texas has a pretty large Secessionist Movement compared to other Southern States which also has Splinter Group Secessionist Movements

    Lastly Texas is Conservative to a Fault. The Prevailing Attitude in Texas is allot like People in the Victorian Era. Texans are Very Friendly ..... until they find out that your from some part of the North. Then the Wall goes Up and the Friendliness is OVER.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  30. Marjorie

    Seems to me that Texas might as well secede from the Union, they think they can make their own laws no matter how absurd.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  31. Sherri

    What about the MSB bureau in Texas that's contracted by DPS to charge citizens a surcharge for tickets that already carry a fine! Isn't this double jeopardy? Someone should really look into this!

    June 11, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  32. robert

    I have been going through Kimble Co. for years and had no problems. I fish there every spring and fall and find the people helpful and friendly.
    What I say is; if you cant spend the time don't do the crime..in Kimble Co.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  33. dave

    this not the first time in tex this happened
    they made my brother max out credit cards years ago
    ga and fla also take any cash they find
    if challanged they offer half back with no fight..
    this tells me it is law enforcement for fun and profit..
    not for public safty

    June 11, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  34. Larry Maxey

    I just saw the news story on Junction, TX. Kimball county. Just letting you know there is a similar situation in Tenaha, TX. in East TX.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  35. Sue Moak

    Anderson, if you go to Kimble County, be sure and stop at Isaack's Restaurant and get the best fried onion rings in the country! Served up by Helen, who has been a waitress there for over 3o years.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  36. Josh Fox

    Been arrested here. Had to pay $700.00.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  37. Mary

    I sure wish the yahoos that run our state would get their act together. Unbelievable that "judges" and "district attorneys" don't get it!

    June 11, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  38. Gary Bank

    Several reports of these forfitures.

    The answer is simple – Don't drive in Texas.

    Maybe just stay out of Texas.


    June 11, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  39. Shorty

    Amazing this sort of thing is allowed to go on. If I were traveling, I would try to avoid going through the area, even if it meant using more gas.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:28 pm |