This is Part 6 of my continuing coverage of the legal plight of Bruce Aristeo of Camden, New Jersey originally begun with a civil dispute with Jody Raines and subsequently escalated to the Camden County (NJ) Prosecutor’s Office.
(NOTE: Because I have written numerous articles on the Jody Raines – Camden County Prosecutors vs. Bruce Aristeo Legal Saga, there is now an article index I refer new readers to read and catch-up. I highly recommend you read the articles in chronological order to get the full, complete story with the proper context.)
I now uncover Camden County’s (NJ) Prosecutor’s Office filing for Asset Forfeiture and Seizure of Bruce’s Apple Mac Laptop.
The Camden County (NJ) Prosecutor’s Office filed and listed on their Asset Forfeiture form against Bruce (dated June 17, 2013) an “Apple Desktop Computer with wireless mouse and wireless keyboard serial number” assigning a value of $1,700.
Bruce is a victim of Asset Forfeiture Abuse. It has become such an issue of great concern that the ACLU has listed it on their national website. The ACLU defines Asset Forfeiture Abuse as (BOLD is my emphasis):
Police abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws has shaken our nation’s conscience. Civil forfeiture allows police to seize — and then keep or sell — any property they allege is involved in a crime. Owners need not ever be arrested or convicted of a crime for their cash, cars, or even real estate to be taken away permanently by the government.
Forfeiture was originally presented as a way to cripple large-scale criminal enterprises by diverting their resources. But today, aided by deeply flawed federal and state laws, many police departments use forfeiture to benefit their bottom lines, making seizures motivated by profit rather than crime-fighting. For people whose property has been seized through civil asset forfeiture, legally regaining such property is notoriously difficult and expensive, with costs sometimes exceeding the value of the property.
Keep in mind that one of Bruce’s supposed “crimes” and violations is that he humorously spoke on a YouTube about Jody Raines’ dog. In fact, the bulk of his “crimes” is that he made sarcastic, ironic, and parody remarks on his YouTube videos. For that, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office believes they have the right to take the computer, browse its entire contents, and subsequently sell his Mac Computer for cold hard cash. Does anyone besides me see the problem with this?
For those of you who have followed Bruce Aristeo’s story, it seems that the Camden County Prosecutors Office is engaging in prosecutorial misconduct and Bruce is a victim of prosecutorial abuse. I have heard of such things but never seen it so closely or so clearly documented.
In a future post, I will reveal the extensive inventory list of equipment seized from Bruce within his old apartment and the report summaries of what they found. I promise you will not be disappointed.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
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