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‘The FBI is Trash’

Government

Federal Bureau of Investigation Headquarters | Image by Shutterstock

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Newly unsealed court documents suggest that the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles seemingly misled a federal judge to execute a sweeping invasion of privacy and confiscation of wealth from private citizens.

In 2021, federal agents raided U.S. Private Vaults, a safety deposit box company. During the raid, over 1,400 safety deposit boxes belonging to nearly 400 customers were forcibly opened through prying and drilling.

In total, FBI agents found and confiscated over $86 million in cash and millions more in other valuables throughout the course of the raid.

The safety deposit box holders that were the victims of this mass search and seizure have since filed a class action lawsuit.

In released FBI documents and depositions of agents involved, it has been revealed that finding and taking these citizens’ monetary assets was the target of the raid. Reportedly, this critical motivation was not disclosed to the judge who issued the warrant granting federal agents the authority to raid U.S. Private Vaults as a whole.

A senior FBI agent recently admitted that this confiscation of assets was central to the purpose of the raid and that the FBI had set a target of permanent confiscation of the contents of any box that contained at least $5,000 in cash or valuables.

The judge, in issuing the warrant, provided strict instructions to the federal agents that barred them from conducting any “criminal search or seizure of the contents of the safety deposit boxes.”

The judge ordered agents to only identify the owners of the safety deposit boxes and return their belongings.

In court documents, Robert Frommer, a lawyer who represents nearly 400 box holders in the class-action case, wrote, “The government did not know what was in those boxes, who owned them, or what, if anything, those people had done.”

“That’s why the warrant application did not even attempt to argue there was probable cause to seize and forfeit box renters’ property,” Frommer continued.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, however, maintain that they did not mislead the judge, arguing that these government agencies had no obligation to communicate their desire for indiscriminate confiscation of money and valuables within the individual safety deposit boxes.

“At no time was a magistrate misled as to the probable cause used to obtain the warrants,” an FBI spokesperson said.

The class action suit seeks to have the raid declared unconstitutional, which could force the return of millions of dollars in assets to the safety deposit box holders.

What led to the raid was a two-year investigation into U.S. Private Vaults itself. The business was charged with conspiracy to sell drugs and launder money and later entered into a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

And while the government has alleged in court documents that U.S. Private Vaults customers are “criminals,” none have been charged with a crime as of now. And yet millions of dollars in their assets remain in the possession of the government.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “box holders would liken the raid to police barging into a building’s 700 apartments and taking every tenant’s possessions when they have evidence of wrongdoing by nobody but the landlord.”

Sean Davis, founder of the news site The Federalist, retweeted an article about this story and wrote, “The FBI is trash. It is both a domestic terrorist organization and a criminal cartel, and it should no longer be allowed to exist in what used to be a free country with laws.”

This comes as the FBI and the Department of Justice more broadly have come under fire for allegedly acting in a partisan or inappropriate way, as reported by The Dallas Express.

Whistleblowers within the agency have recently approached members of Congress to shed light upon certain activities that seemingly suggest misconduct.

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

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Steve
Steve
1 month ago

What in the heck has happened to the FBI? While they were never fully trusted, they have lost all credibility. I used to think the US law enforcement is what separated us from third world countries, but we are no better off than other lawless countries.

Skip
Skip
Reply to  Steve
1 month ago

The politicalization of the DOJ under the Obama administration is precisely what happened

Djea3
Djea3
Reply to  Skip
1 month ago

Actually, the issue is asset seizure laws themselves. The assets are “arrested” and the owner has to SUE to prove the assets are innocent. Law Enforcement agencies regularly perform these kind of seizures as they get to use most of the money for “benefits” of that agency. It is unconstitutional on its face.
In the LA area a British National was MURDERED by police as they raided his 10+ million dollar home he purchased for cash. The intent was to seize the property and use the money.
No officer was arrested yet they admitted that the ONLY reason for the raid was cash purchase (meaning the asset was clear and free to sell or use).
It turned out that the murdered man used OLD FAMILY MONEY to make the purchase.
No one went to prison nor stood trial for that murder.

Keepin it real!
Keepin it real!
Reply to  Skip
1 month ago

Do show us some proof of your ridiculous assertion. Oh, by the way, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

ed lopez
ed lopez
Reply to  Skip
1 month ago

This happened during Trump’s tenure, while he was playing golf the entire US government was corrupted. there was no one in charge taking of care of business!

Button Harrison
Button Harrison
Reply to  ed lopez
1 month ago

TDS right here!

Missy
Missy
Reply to  ed lopez
1 month ago

This happened in 2021, read the article.

Pap
Pap
Reply to  Missy
1 month ago

Reading is not his forte, neither is comprehension of what he reads or hears. May as well be arguing with a brick wall.

S Ward
S Ward
Reply to  ed lopez
1 month ago

You mean Obama the one who golfed his entire presidency and corrupted the DOJ and FBI!

Get Real
Get Real
1 month ago

The Federalist Society has install its extremist puppet judges installed who views and legal interpretations are not in line with the majority beliefs and values of most Americans.

Djea3
Djea3
Reply to  Get Real
1 month ago

You mean the democrats. They are NOT federalists. Conservatives believe in the Constitution. Liberals do not.

Janet
Janet
Reply to  Djea3
1 month ago

The only thing Conservatives THINK they believe in about the Constitution is the 2nd amendment, and most don’t have a correct interpretation of that!

Pap
Pap
Reply to  Janet
1 month ago

The lack of interpretation falls to you. And if you think conservatives don’t believe in the first amendment, you need to see a psychiatrist.

Djea3
Djea3
1 month ago

Except that the FBI hid their true intent (the arrest of funds under seizure laws that are unconstitutional to begin with) and had no criminal investigation against any box holder, and were specifically restricted from seizure of anything in the boxes by the warrant. This by definition created a violation of Constitutional Rights, seizure without warrant. Now it is time to sue under RICO and name EVERY FBI agent involved as a co-conspirator. Once they win the civil side of the case, criminal prosecution will be warranted. These Agents need to be in a PRISON, they were organized crime itself.

Pap
Pap
Reply to  Djea3
1 month ago

This is EXACTLY what Hitler did to the Jews. Absconded with all their money and valuables. I guess the gas ovens are not far behind.

B. Steven Marshall
B. Steven Marshall
1 month ago

So our comments are expected to be “kind” (as opposed to your lopsided headline for this article?)

Jay
Jay
1 month ago

I love it when white people are harmed by the FBI and the response is disban the FBI. But the history of the FBI harming people of color gets a yawn.

Eva Marie Mitchell
Eva Marie Mitchell
Reply to  Jay
1 month ago

You assume because money was involved that no people of color were harmed? What a racial comment ! There are many successful people of all races, not just the “white” race.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
1 month ago

Here is what this trash site left out of their article:

After a two-year investigation that began in 2019, leaders of the FBI’s Los Angeles office said they believed boxes at US Private Vaults were being used by criminals to store illicit proceeds.

And

US Private Vaults has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder drug money, and the investigation is ongoing, Eimiller added.

Pap
Pap
Reply to  Bill Fox
1 month ago

So they’re supposedly looking for a few thieves, so it’s okay to break into law abiding citizens boxes as well. They’re supposed to have just cause to break into ANY box. That’s like suspecting a drug dealer is living in a house on a street and then busting down the doors of every house on the block. Wake up.

ed lopez
ed lopez
Reply to  Bill Fox
1 month ago

Who was in the White House in2019 ?

Pap
Pap
Reply to  ed lopez
1 month ago

The bigger question, is who was instructing the FBI behind the scenes in 2019. They certainly didn’t storm into the Clinton’s residence, although they had good reason. Her having a private server at home was “illegal”, and she was well aware. Destroyed phones and deleted over 33,000 emails after receiving a subpoena. They’d arrest your butt for that. But we’re just supposed to take her word for it that what she deleted was perfectly innocent. If that woman told me it was raining, I would go check.

Missy
Missy
Reply to  ed lopez
1 month ago

Who was FBI dDirector, that’s the issue then and now.

Steve Laegel
Steve Laegel
1 month ago

Would this be considered prosecution without arrest or representation, no evidence was put forth for the issuance of the warrant. What is the difference between this and theft by a common criminal. How can you expect anyone to trust the FBI as law enforcement after a stunt like this.

Pap
Pap
Reply to  Steve Laegel
1 month ago

You can’t trust the FBI. They are federal and right now , the federal government is being run by fascists.

David
David
1 month ago

Remember the FBI was not forthcoming about their intentions when they asked the judge for the search warrant, and they’re actions were outside the scope of that warrant.

US Private Vaults may have pled out, but their clients are not the company. Though the FBI claims the boxes’ contents were profits from illegal drug activities, none of the clients have been prosecuted. The Los Angeles Times reported that when one of the clients “produced records showing the source of his money was legitimate, the government dropped its false accusation and returned his money.”

Anyone who knows anything about the history of the FBI and its longest serving director, J. Edgar Hoover, would realize the FBI should be watched carefully at the very least, is not entirely trustworthy and never has been. For decades, Hoover routinely disregarded the
Constitution and the laws passed by Congress. This US Private Vaults action illustrates that even 50 years after Hoover’s death, that culture is still embedded in the FBI.

Sara
Sara
1 month ago

This is an old story. Private vault company found to have housed drugs and firearms. By now all property must have been returned. Can we have new news please?!

Missy
Missy
Reply to  Sara
1 month ago

And yet no one has been accused of a crime and no assets have been return, read the article.

Pap
Pap
Reply to  Sara
1 month ago

So you just think all is well, right? What about the upset and horror they caused innocent, upstanding citizens? But I guess because it didn’t affect you, it doesn’t matter.

John
John
1 month ago

It is not just the fbi the Cia is just as our of control. They both should be cleansed of anyone who took part in illegal activities and has not come forward told all of Congresmen and all of the house of representatives. And those congres people and Representatives should make it all public without going through the media. DO IT NOW!