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United States v. Approximately $21

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 5, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
APPROXIMATELY $21, 700.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, Defendant.

BENJAMIN B. WAGNER, United States Attorney, KEVIN C. KHASIGIAN, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Sacramento, CA, Attorneys for the United States.

CONSENT JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

MORRISON C. ENGLAND, Jr., Chief District Judge.

Pursuant to the Stipulation for Consent Judgment of Forfeiture, the Court finds:

1. On March 29, 2013, agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") were contacted by the Federal Express facility located at 6775 Woodrum Circle in Redding, California regarding a package that had been administratively opened by Federal Express personnel. When agents investigated the suspicious package, they found approximately $21, 700.00 in U.S. Currency ("defendant currency"). The DEA commenced administrative forfeiture proceedings, sending direct written notice to all known potential claimants and publishing notice to all others. On or about May 3, 2013, the DEA received a claim from Kristy Hammeke asserting an ownership interest in the defendant currency.

2. The United States represents that it could show at a forfeiture trial that on or about March 29, 2013, Federal Express personnel administratively opened a package and forwarded it to the DEA. When agents received the administratively opened parcel, it was placed among other parcels at the Federal Express facility in South San Francisco and a drug dog positively alerted to the presence of the odor of narcotics on the parcel containing the defendant currency.

3. The United States could further show at trial that when DEA agents opened the package, they found three heat-sealed food saver bags containing the defendant currency. The three food saver bags were contained within a Universal Serial Bus ("USB") adaptor box. The shipping box containing the USB box listed the sender as Bobby Brown c/o Office Max 302 Custer Street, Belle Fourche, S.D. 57717 with no contact telephone number. The recipient was listed as Daniel Hammeke, 3203 Camellia Street, Anderson, CA 96007. Federal agents confirmed that the 3203 Camellia Street address in Anderson, CA is not associated with Daniel Hammeke. Subsequently, Kristy Hammeke contacted law enforcement regarding the delivery of the parcel, which she claimed contained loan proceeds. According to her, she and her husband, Daniel Hammeke, advanced $22, 000 to Mr. Bobby Brown to open a plumbing or solar business in South Dakota. Mr. Brown, an electrician by occupation, has a drug-related criminal history, including a 2012 arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia.

4. The United States could further show at a forfeiture trial that the defendant currency is forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6), based on the totality of the circumstances.

5. Without admitting the truth of the factual assertions contained above, Kristy Hammeke and Daniel Hammeke specifically denying the same, and for the purpose of reaching an amicable resolution and compromise of this matter, Kristy Hammeke and Daniel Hammeke agree that an adequate factual basis exists to support forfeiture of the defendant currency. Kristy Hammeke and Daniel Hammeke acknowledge that they are the sole owners of the defendant currency, and that no other person or entity has any legitimate claim of interest therein. Should any person or entity institute any kind of claim or action against the government with regard to its forfeiture of the defendant currency, Kristy Hammeke and Daniel Hammeke shall hold harmless and indemnify the United States, as set forth below.

6. This Court has jurisdiction in this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345 and 1355, as this is the judicial district in which acts or omissions giving rise to the forfeiture occurred.

7. This Court has venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1395, as this is the judicial district in which the defendant currency was seized.

8. The parties herein desire to settle this matter pursuant to the terms of a duly executed Stipulation for Consent Judgment of Forfeiture.

Based upon the above findings, and the files and records of the Court, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED:

9. The Court adopts the Stipulation for Consent Judgment of Forfeiture entered into by and between the parties.

10. Upon entry of this Consent Judgment of Forfeiture, $14, 200.00 of the $21, 700.00 in U.S. Currency, together with any interest that may have accrued on the total amount seized, shall be forfeited to the United States pursuant to ...


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