Humboldt County Deputy Accused of Wrongful Seizure - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Humboldt County Deputy Accused of Wrongful Seizure

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RENO, Nev. (AP) -- According to two federal lawsuits, a rural Nevada sheriff's deputy is accused of stopping travelers on a lonely stretch of U.S. Interstate 80 and confiscating tens of thousands of dollars for the county without bringing charges.
 
Two men who were traveling alone through northern Nevada's high desert last year offer strikingly similar accounts of their stops by the same Humboldt County deputy near the town of Winnemucca, about 165 miles east of Reno.
 
The lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Reno say neither search produced drugs or an arrest, but in one case Deputy Lee Dove took a briefcase filled with $50,000 and in the other he seized $13,800 and a handgun.
 
Both men say they were told they'd be released with their vehicles only if they forfeited their cash.
 
The lawsuits say the cash seizures are part of a pattern of stopping drivers for speeding as a pretext for drug busts, which violates the Constitution. They maintain Dove, Sheriff Ed Kilgore, Humboldt County and its prosecutors condone the practice of seizing assets regardless of criminal prosecution.
 
   Two Reno lawyers representing the county did not immediately respond to telephone or email messages seeking comment, nor did Kilgore or Dove.

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