A rural Nevada county has settled lawsuits with two men who said a sheriff’s deputy violated their civil rights when they were stopped for speeding on Interstate 80, searched for drugs and forced to forfeit tens of thousands of dollars even though no drugs were found and no charges filed in either case.
The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office also confirmed in a statement late Friday that it has launched an internal review of the county’s “forfeiture program” but that there is no indication there have been any illegal stops or any wrongdoing on the party of Sheriff Ed Kilgore or his deputies.
Tan Nguyen of Newport, Calif., and Michael Lee of Denver said in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Reno they were stopped last year on U.S. Interstate 80 near Winnemucca about 165 miles east of Reno under the pretext of speeding. They said they were subjected to illegal searches and told they wouldn’t be released with their vehicles unless they forfeited their cash.
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