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United States v. Approximately $53

United States District Court, E.D. Washington

November 16, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
APPROXIMATELY $53, 965.00 U.S. CURRENCY and a 2003 FORD MUSTANG COBRA, WASHINGTON LICENSE PLATE 309ZWW, VIN 1FAFP48Y73F332371, Defendants.

          FINAL ORDER OF FORFEITURE

          JUSTIN L. QUACKENBUSH, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         BEFORE THE COURT is the Government's Renewed Motion for Entry of Final Order of Forfeiture (ECF No. 55) and Motion to Expedite (ECF No. 56).

         In a Verified Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem, the Government alleged the Defendant currency and vehicle are subject to forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881. (ECF No. 1). The court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345 and 1355. Venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1355.

         The Defendant property being sought for forfeiture is:

(1) Approximately $3, 965.00 U.S. currency, seized by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) from Rodney Fisher, incident to his arrest, on or about May 22, 2015;
(2) A 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra, Washington License Plate 309ZWW, VIN: 1FAFP48Y73F332371, seized by DEA on or about May 27, 2014;
(3) Approximately $50, 000.00 U.S. currency, seized by DEA on or about October 28, 2014.

         On June 30, 2016, the United States Marshals Service executed the Warrant of Arrest In Rem. The returned warrant was filed on July 5, 2016. (ECF No. 5).

         In accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule G(4)(a)(iv)(C), Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions, notice of civil forfeiture was posted on an official government website from July 8, 2016, to August 6, 2016. (ECF No. 11). Based on the internet publication starting on July 8, 2016, the last date to file a timely claim, if direct notice was not received, was September 6, 2016. The Government states no claims have been received or filed in response to the internet posting.

         On or about July 6 and 12, 2016, Rodney Allen Fisher, Jr., was served via certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the Verified Complaint (ECF No. 1), Warrant of Arrest In Rem (ECF No. 5), and Notice of Complaint for Forfeiture (ECF No. 6-1 and 42). On August 9, 2016, Fisher filed a claim (ECF No. 7) and an answer (ECF No. 9).

         On August 11, 2017, the Government filed a Settlement Agreement and Stipulation for Forfeiture signed by Fisher. (ECF No. 36). In the Agreement, the Government agreed to return $16, 000.00 of the Defendant currency to Fisher and Fisher agreed to forfeit the remaining $37, 965.00 and the 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra to the Government.

         On or about July 6 and 12, 2016, Michael Schroder was served via certified mail, return receipt requested, with a copy of the Verified Complaint (ECF No. 1), Warrant of Arrest In Rem (ECF No. 5), and Notice of Complaint for Forfeiture (ECF No. 6-1 and 42). Based on the service date of July 12, 2016, Schroder's deadline to file a timely claim was August 20, 2016. No claim has been filed and the Government states it has not received any claim of interest from Schroder. On September 11, 2017, a Clerk's Order of Default was entered (ECF No. 47). On November 14, 2017, Default Judgment was entered. (ECF No. 53); (ECF No. 54).

         On or about July 6 and 12, 2016, Ray James Noel was served via certified mail, return receipt requested, with a copy of the Verified Complaint (ECF No. 1), Warrant of Arrest In Rem (ECF No. 5), and Notice of Complaint for Forfeiture (ECF No. 6-1 and 42). Based on the service date of July 12, 2016, Noel's deadline to file a timely claim was August 20, 2016. No claim has been filed and the Government states it has not received any claim of interest from Noel. On September 11, 2017, a Clerk's Order of Default was entered (ECF No. 47). On November 14, 2017, Default Judgment was entered. (ECF No. 53); (ECF No. 54).

         No other timely claims to the Defendant property have been received by the Government or filed with the court, and the deadline for filing timely claims has passed. All claims to the ...


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