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United States v. Approximately $8

United States District Court, E.D. California

January 10, 2020

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
APPROXIMATELY $8, 800.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $8, 800.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $2, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $9, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $9, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $9, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $8, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $8, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $4, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $9, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $9, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $9, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $9, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $9, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, APPROXIMATELY $9, 000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, Defendants.

          McGREGOR W. SCOTT United States Attorney KEVIN C. KHASIGIAN Assistant U.S. Attorney Attorneys for the United States

          CONSENT JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

          MORRISON C. ENGLAND, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRTCT JUDGE.

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

         1. On April 2, 5, 9, and 10, 2018, inspectors with the United States Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”) seized fifteen parcels each containing U.S. Currency and totaling $120, 600.00 (hereafter “defendant currency”). The basis of the Inspection Service investigation was a review of the U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail records in Sacramento, California.

         2. USPIS commenced administrative forfeiture proceedings, sending direct written notice to all known potential claimants and publishing notice to all others. On or about June 8, 2018, USPIS received claims from Robert Kurtz (“Kurtz” or “claimant”) asserting an ownership interest in the defendant currency.

         3. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could show at a forfeiture trial that on or about April 2, 2018, USPIS conducted a parcel interdiction at the Post Office located at 2000 Royal Oaks Drive, Sacramento, California. During the interdiction, law enforcement officials identified a parcel that bore markers consistent with parcels used for shipping contraband, Priority Mail parcel # 9505 5110 2717 8087 2090 58 (Parcel #1), addressed to Robert Kurtz, P.O. Box 1440, Rocklin, California 95677, with the following return address: Andrew Shore, 6505 Eagle Nest Drive, Summerfield, NC 27358. Law enforcement searched public records databases and could not identify Andrew Shore (“Shore”) as a mail recipient at 6505 Eagle Nest Drive and called him to confirm the address on the parcel. Law enforcement searched public records databases confirmed Kurtz received mail at P.O. Box 1440, Rocklin, CA 95677. Contact was made with the Post Office that delivers to this address. The Post Office provided an application that revealed Kurtz had applied for the box with a listed address of a residence in Rocklin, California.

         4. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could further show at a forfeiture trial that Parcel #1 was presented to a drug detection dog, who positively alerted to the presence of the odor of narcotics.

         5. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could further show at a forfeiture trial that on April 2, 2018, Shore consented to law enforcement searching Parcel #1. Inside Parcel #1, law enforcement found packing peanuts and a plastic bag containing carbon paper and $2, 000.00 in cash. Parcel #1 did not contain any notes, receipts, or instructions.

         6. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could show at a forfeiture trial that between March 23, 2018 and April 4, 2018, the USPIS identified eight additional priority mail parcels being shipped to Kurtz' P.O. Box and other residences in Northern California. On April 2, 2018, law enforcement made several calls to Kurtz and Kurtz told law enforcement he was not expecting any parcels. Kurtz declined to give law enforcement consent to search the parcels and said he would call them back after consulting with his lawyer. Law enforcement did not hear back from Kurtz.

         7. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could show at a forfeiture trial that Priority Mail parcel # 9505 5104 5912 8086 3045 11 (Parcel #2) and Priority Mail parcel # 9505 5104 5912 8086 3045 28 (Parcel #3) were both addressed to Robert Kurtz at 2358 Amber Falls Drive, Rocklin, California 95765, with the following return address: Nicholas Tollefson, 76 Patriot Circle, Mountain Top, PA 18707.

         8. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could further show at a forfeiture trial that on April 2, 2018, Parcels #2 and #3 were presented to a drug detection dog, who positively alerted to the presence of the odor of narcotics.

         9. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could further show at a forfeiture trial that on April 2, 2018, law enforcement obtained consent from Nicholas Tollefson to open Parcels #2 and #3. Inside Parcels #2 and #3, law enforcement found vacuum-sealed bundles of carbon paper containing each $17, 600.00 in cash-$8, 800.00 in cash in each parcel. Neither parcel contained any notes, receipts, or instructions. The currency consisted mainly of $20 bills.

         10. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could further show at a forfeiture trial that April 5, 2018, law enforcement obtained federal search warrants for six Priority Mail parcels addressed to Robert Kurtz: # 9505 5148 4704 8082 2727 08 (Parcel #4); # 9505 5148 4704 8082 2727 15 (Parcel #5); # 9505 5139 4269 8087 4016 71 (Parcel #6); # 9505 5139 4269 8087 4016 95 (Parcel #7); # 9505 5141 2594 8087 2108 71 (Parcel #8); and # 9505 5139 4269 8087 4016 88 (Parcel #9). All of the parcels, except Parcel #8, had the following return address: Brian Johnson, 8215 Stoner Rd Lot 810, Riverview, FL 33569. Parcel #8 had the following return address: M. Jones, 46 Oxford Ave, Apt. #4, Buffalo, NY 14209.

         11. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could further show at a forfeiture trial that inside Parcels #4 through #9 were vacuum-sealed carbon paper containing various amounts of bundled cash. Parcel #4 contained cash totaling $8, 000.00. Parcel #5 contained cash totaling $8, 000.00. Parcel #6 contained cash totaling $9, 000.00. Parcel #7 contained cash totaling $9, 000.00. Parcel #8 contained cash totaling $4, 000.00. Parcel #9 contained cash totaling $9, 000.00. None of the parcels contained any notes, receipts, or instructions. The currency seized from Parcels #4 through #9 mostly consisted of $20 bills.

         12. Claimant does not contest the United States' representation that it could further show at a forfeiture trial that on April 2, 2018, Parcels #4 through #9 were separately presented to a drug detection dog, who positively ...


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