Judge OKs cops’ decision to seize Letroy Guion’s cash, truck

AP

A judge has ruled that there is probable cause for police in Starke, Florida, to seize $190,028.21 in cash from Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion, and to seize the new truck Guion was carrying the cash in.

According to First Coast News, the judge wrote in a decision that Guion was traveling in a known drug area and that Guion “carrying such a large amount of money itself is strong evidence that currency was intended to be furnished in return for drugs”.

It may be true that most people carrying that kind of cash on them are involved in nefarious activities, but Guion is not like most people. Guion has a job that legitimately pays him $1 million a year. And Guion reportedly has proof via bank statements that the money comes from cashing his Packers paychecks. If Guion is cashing his paychecks and carrying thousands of $100 bills around with him, that makes him foolish with his money, but it doesn’t make him a criminal. And concerns about police abusing civil asset forfeiture laws are real.

Guion has 20 days to respond to the judge’s ruling. In the mean time, police will hold onto his cash and truck. He is facing charges of felony possession of marijuana and felony possession of a firearm in connection with the arrest early this month.

89 responses to “Judge OKs cops’ decision to seize Letroy Guion’s cash, truck

  1. I’d bet anything he was going to make a buy, but the point is he hadn’t yet.

    These charges can’t stick, not on this side of the world anyway.

  2. So he was caught with drugs, a gun and almost 200K in cash. Why on earth would that make anyone suspicious? Are bank statements proof he wasn’t planning on a drug deal?

  3. Our forfeiture laws are just plain wrong it invites the police to be thieves, forfeiture is fine as the result of being found guilty of a crime but to confiscate ones property prior to their day in court is just wrong. It shames me as an US citizen that this practice is allowed.

  4. While you are right that civil forfeiture laws have been widely abused, you fail to mention that Guion was also in possession of 3/4 of a pound of weed. An amount that clearly indicates drug dealing not personal use. Put the drugs together with the cash (or comingled in law enforcement parlance) and the seizure is 100% justified.

  5. Guion was traveling in a known drug area except yeah, he was born and raised in Starke where his family still lives. The unloaded, encased gun is registered to Guion in Minnesota. Florida doesn’t recognize Minnesota’s carry law. The cash was all traced to his Packers paychecks.

    If the state doesn’t return the vehicle and cash as part of a fair plea deal, maybe this case will finally be the one that awakens people to governments legally stealing private property from citizens.

  6. Well he was probably going to use it for drugs, but that shouldn’t be the judges decision to make. Funny how in our society we can grant power to someone that can tell others how much money they can drive around with.

    But with a pound of pot already, he may have screwed himself. He was in for a big payday too.

  7. What we know at this time is that Letroy most likely is guilty of at least 2 felonies which consist of drugs and guns.

    The truck in question was transporting the drugs and the gun, so I can see the forfeiture of the truck as being fully warranted.

    There is no proof that the money in question is from his cashed paychecks – unless the bank gave him marked bills – which I doubt.

    The money could be legit, but I think it’s prudent to hold it until things are fully sorted out.

    There are many wealthy people that are involved in the drug trafficking industry.

  8. Since he makes the money, they can’t prove that it was or was not meant for anything. Besides, it would be spent on military weapons or a MRAP to use against the citizenry, all while coming up with a budget shortfall to ask same for a tax increase.

    Give him back his money. They have the pot. That’s the evidence.

  9. SSSHHHH! don’t mention he was carrying illegal drugs, just blame the cops for abusing civil rights.

    Michael David Smith replies: I guess you missed the part where I wrote, “He is facing charges of felony possession of marijuana”?

  10. The asset forfeiture laws were created to give law enforcement some power to stop criminal enterprise (see: Al Capone). Now, if another judge sees fit to declare that nothing illegal was happening while a person carried around $190k, drugs, and a firearm, then he will get his assets back.

    I noticed it wasn’t a final order of forfeiture. Therefore, Guion will get his day in court to prove he deserves his assets back.

  11. That’s just not right. Maybe dude was just picking up all the green he needs to roll blunts all offseason. I don’t see how this could possibly stick and seems more criminal than the petty crime they are booking him with

  12. So the lesson is, don’t carry a large sum of money and a large amount of an illegal substance at the simultaneously while in a vehicle you wish to keep.

    One should always ponder the worst case scenario…

  13. This smells of corruption. Starke, Florida is also the same place that recently had their police department disbanded for corruption linked to illegal practices and stops in their town along the US301 hwy. It is a tad suspicious having that amount of money on your person, but some people, especially those who have grown up in that area, have legitimate reasons to not trust the institutions around them.

  14. Police state? unfair seizure laws? C’mon this guy had a weapon and a pound of dope. That combo gets you a charge everywhere. The cash was just suspicious….but carrying a weapons during the commission of a crime is no bueno.

  15. We have these wonderful things called Banks – and they’ll even let you transfer money to other people without you having to take it out in cash. Incredible naivety on display here by many posters, he was caught red-handed folks.

  16. “If you speed, we take your car. If you jaywalk, we take your shoes ”

    There’s a reason liberal Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and conservative Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) are sponsoring legislation to stop these unilateral seizures.
    .

  17. Ok, let’s pretend Guion wasn’t arrested after being stopped by police. Hey, it’s just weed, right?! Hey, the gun wasn’t loaded, right?! Hey, the cash is from his paychecks, right?!

    Now, fast forward several hours. Guion is now killed while trying to buy more narcotics. There is now an outcry from the populace; “why didn’t the police do their jobs?!”

    It’s ok. I get most of society dislikes the cops. You know, until you need us. FYI: we don’t do the job to receive praise and recognition from you. Also fyi: if a judge gives Guion his assets back, that’s ok too. The officer already did his job, so he has no stake in the final outcome.

  18. It wan’t the amount of money that triggered the seizure, it was more dope than one person could ever use. With that much dope he had to be dealing, and the law was specifically designed to take drug dealers drugs and money.

    It isn’t like he works at Walmart. Thant money is 3 game checks. He’ll lose more than that after Goodell suspends him. for 4 games

  19. Just think of this as when an official isn’t quite sure if a ball carrier fumbled or not. Does he blow the whistle? No, he lets the play keep going and then relies on replay to determine what really happened.

    Well, the officer didn’t blow the whistle. He saw a large amount of cash, drugs, and a gun. Therefore, he seized it all and it will now go to the replay booth (Prosecutor and Judge) to determine if the play should stand.

  20. The problem isn’t the forfeiture laws. The problem is the judgment and good faith of those who enforce those laws.

    Forfeiture laws simply provide that the government can obtain title to property that is the proceeds of illegal activity or that was intended to be used to further illegal activities. Instead of investigating thoroughly and applying sound judgment, some prosecuting agencies simply seize any assets that they think might be subject to forfeiture and put the owner in the position of having to prove that the assets are legitimate. Since forfeiture is a civil action, there is no presumption of innocence as there would be in a criminal case. Because it’s a civil action, the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    We’ll see what comes out in court here. Even if Guion proves that this cash came from the Packers, I wonder if the prosecutor will claim that Guion intended to use it for illegal purposes, such as to buy more drugs. That would be a tough case to prove. On the other hand, Guion might want to settle because it gets expensive fighting a forfeiture action.

  21. Dude, what is wrong with you “CASHING” your checks from working for the packers?

    You would think that these guys would be smart enough with their money. Every week or so we read about another player that’s broke, or paying child support on 8 kids or something.

    When will these players realize they need to be smart with their money? That 1 mil a year salary they make is huge amount of money. Especially to us normal everyday people. If we could have that, it would be huge. Take that check you get every week Letroy, deposit all of it into a bank account except for a measily 1000 dollars. If you can’t survive on 1000 cash every week, then man, you better check your spending habits!

  22. Are bank statements proof he wasn’t planning on a drug deal?
    ______________

    Welcome to America, where we now ask people to prove their innocence instead of asking cops to prove their guilt.

  23. First off, it’s a small town. They make their own rules in these little podunk towns. Apparently he was smoking weed while driving. It probably didn’t help when he rolled his window down and asked them if they knew who he was. I’m sure that probably makes the police unhappy. Still, it does sound like they are doing a money grab.

    There’s a lesson to be learned there. Don’t put yourself in situations where something like this can happen in the first place and you’ll never have to worry about it.

  24. Two lessons to be learned here from someone else’s stupidity:
    1. Do not carry large amounts of cash, drugs and a gun when out cruising.
    2. Refer to (1) above

  25. The judge didn’t say he was a criminal, he only said there was “probable cause” to hold on to the money for now. Huge difference. No different than A. Hernandez, it is the probable cause that keeps him from being able to bail out of jail at this time.

  26. Are there really Americans still in existence who advocate for blind faith in law enforcement officials, the judiciary? Aren’t these the same folks who whine about activist judges when decisions don’t fit their ideology?

  27. Such nonsense, and an unchecked abuse of power. If they found $200k in Aaron Rodgers’ truck, they wouldn’t use some half-assed logic to seize it.

  28. I love your seizure laws. Cops and Robbers is a game and you can make a lot of scratch robbing so it is only fair that the proceeds of robbing should be looted upon arrest by the state. Your cash, your house and your car all belong to the state now junkie.

  29. Sorry, not going to feel too bad that they’re taking the assets of drug dealers. It’s one of the ways to, ya know, stop them from dealing. What should the do? Give him back his drugs and his gun too?

    And before anyone says “we don’t know if he was dealing”, open your eyes.

  30. If you stipulate that the estimated Florida wholesale price for a pound is approximately $2500, then he was on his way to buy about 75 pounds , or Snoop Dogg’s recommended daily allowance.
    .

  31. In Minnesota there is NO gun registration , only the federal 4473 form you fill out when you purchase one from a licensed firearms dealer as well as the state background permit to acquire. The brady law background check only lists it to be a handgun no serial number . If he bought it from a private party there is NO paperwork

  32. A. Guion had a permit to carry
    B. He says he was taking the money to his family to help them out. Lots of players do that.
    C. He was in process of moving to Starke for the offseason.
    D. Lots of people who can afford it make larger buys for personal use since buying any amount is illegal and they don’t want to put themselves at risk every week. And trying to buy weed in Starke is probably incredibly stupid.

  33. Kinda sounds like the old days of mob shakedowns. Only this is supposedly legal. Too much abuse is possible with these types of laws.

  34. this is how police fund themselves. it’s completely wrong and there’s no way an intelligent court could find it constitutional.
    ——-
    So you believe the police should return all assets to criminals that are seized? Taking their money is the only way to cripple criminal enterprises.

  35. Now out here in west Texas you only get stopped by corrupt cops and Border Patrol if you have California plates (kidding, sorta…but there is no way you get screwed if you are from this area or your spouse works for LE or EMS or the fire dept.) So yes west Texas is corrupt, but not Starke, Florida corrupt! This guy is from Starke and they STILL rob him blind? I knew the Fla panhandle was bad, but this is ridiculous! Wonder if they woulda done this if he played for the Jags? Anyway, folks above who write this is how the cops fund themselves and bribe judges are definitely telling the truth, and those above who yell “conspiracy theory” at those who know the truth are either cops or “give me safety and security over liberty” sheeple who won’t wake up until they are in FEMA camps!

  36. Yes, if police cannot prove the funds were from drug dealing they need to return the assets. Why is that concept so hard to understand? Police need to prove guilt – not the defendant proving innocence. Bust him on the pot, but the asset seizure laws need to be revoked or at least suspended until a proper process can be worked out. How about the poker players that lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on their way to Vegas (or reno) for a tourney? Yes, cops kept their cash because they thought carrying around that amount of cash was suspicious.

  37. He is just another knucklehead… by driving around in a known drug corridor with all that loose cash if he isn’t found guilty of dealing he is definitely guilty of being stupid. Thanks for filling in for Raji see you later.

  38. Civil Forfeiture is essentially state sponsored theft. Traveling in a known drug area? You mean he was in the United States? Civil Forfeiture must end. This is far far worse than a tax on Tea.

  39. In Guion’s defense, it’s well known that he’s not the brightest bulb on the tree, and he is also known for helping out his family financially. However, if you don’t want property seized by the cops, don’t carry around a gun, cash and a pound of dope at the same time. One at a time maybe, but not the seizure-prone combo. The only thing he was missing was a hooker and Johnny Jolly . . . .

  40. Civil forfeiture laws are being severely abused on the local level in many states. In some areas it is actually a line item in their budget.

    And yes, the Cops get to keep all the assets with the exception of 20% off the top which goes to the feds. Which of course are funneled directly to support Eric Holder’s criminal activity at the DOJ.

  41. He is just another knucklehead… by driving around in a known drug corridor with all that loose cash if he isn’t found guilty of dealing he is definitely guilty of being stupid. Thanks for filling in for Raji see you later………………..

    The Packers wouldn’t spend money for someone like a Terrance Knighton, who could actually make them better.. Raji it is..

  42. The proceeds of sales from seizures like these often go to the police departments involved. They have very little incentive to acknowledge things like bank statements showing withdrawals of legitimate income, and every incentive to ignore them and pretend the money was from a drug sale.

  43. Take the hit for the weed, and the gun…

    but give him his money back, there’s no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he was going to do anything with his money. The judge cannot assume what he might have done…where are we the Soviet Union? It’s HIS money, that he earned, at his job. He’s not required to keep it in a bank, if he wants to drive it around, put it in a mattress, in a coffee can–whatever the case…he can, it’s not illegal.

  44. “Well, ya HONOR, ya see, what had happened wuzz….

    It seems so easy to come to a biased conclusion when reports read like this one does, but I don’t trust banks and carry large amounts of cash on a regular basis. I trust my own safe more than a thieving bank, so I feel bad for this guy. What he might consider, is taking some of that hard-earned cash and getting his family out of the hood. On another sad note, if he’s a white guy, this isn’t a story – he would have been afforded his full rights.

  45. ghostof34 says:
    Feb 23, 2015 1:07 PM
    Take the hit for the weed, and the gun…

    but give him his money back, there’s no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he was going to do anything with his money.
    ———————-
    Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not required in a civil forfeiture action. Talk to your Congressman if you disagree with the law.

  46. harrisonhits2 says:
    Feb 23, 2015 12:37 PM

    The proceeds of sales from seizures like these often go to the police departments involved. They have very little incentive to acknowledge things like bank statements showing withdrawals of legitimate income, and every incentive to ignore them and pretend the money was from a drug sale.
    —————-
    Judges must issue the final order of forfeiture if the party that owns the asset contests. There is nothing in it for the judges, except application of the law.

    BTW: just showing that the money was originally obtained legally (paychecks) is not enough if he was using the money in an illegal activity.

  47. chukalukabus says:
    Feb 23, 2015 11:20 AM
    Civil forfeiture laws are being severely abused on the local level in many states. In some areas it is actually a line item in their budget.

    And yes, the Cops get to keep all the assets with the exception of 20% off the top which goes to the feds. Which of course are funneled directly to support Eric Holder’s criminal activity at the DOJ.
    ——————-
    None of what you just stated is actually true.

  48. falstaffsmind says:
    Feb 23, 2015 11:16 AM
    Civil Forfeiture is essentially state sponsored theft. Traveling in a known drug area? You mean he was in the United States? Civil Forfeiture must end. This is far far worse than a tax on Tea.
    —————-
    Yes, let’s make sure our law enforcement doesn’t get any money and let’s make sure that criminals get to keep all of their money. This is a great plan.

  49. Victim of the RICO law and a bit of stupidity. Virtually anyone carrying around huge amounts of cash is asking the police to take it. Heck, even in the wrong place police will take a wad of money from your pocket and claim it as drug money…

  50. I’ve learned a lot from this case already. I have learned that most of society and people here simply do not know how to apply the correct laws to any given situation.

    That’s ok though, since most of you also don’t understand the first amendment.

    Cliffs notes version: Our country is full of stupid people.

  51. did he have enough drugs to get charged with intent to sell? or just possession? intent to sell the cash should, lawfully get seized. only a possession charge shouldn’t result in seizure of property. not against the law to carry around cash or horde cash on your property.

    oh this happened in FloriDUH? nevermind then.

  52. People, he’s CHARGED with criminal violation that constitutes a FELONY–the truck, gun and cash are EVIDENCE–certainly the judge will allow county to hold the evidence until the case is determined one way or other. I expect Guion could plea down but likely lose the cash as part of deal unless he’s willing to fight it and gets a jury to agree with him. I KNOW the area of Starke, it’s drug haven regardless if Letroy lives there or not–his own surroundings make him look more guilty than not. I’m hoping he proves his case IF he wasn’t dealing, like to see charges dropped and Letroy a Packers NT next season at some point.

  53. tokyogasblaster says:
    Feb 23, 2015 8:25 AM

    They let him keep his packer stock that is worthless!!!
    ////////////////////////////////////

    Priceless! LMAO

  54. tokyofilthblaster says:
    Feb 23, 2015 12:45 PM

    These poor guys are never the same after that horror show in MN. They’ve seen hapless and tasteless things that no football player should ever have to see
    //////////////////////////////////////

    You’re right for once, most the team was at Teddy’s house watching the NFCC game and the biggest championship choke to be seen

  55. navyvike says:
    Feb 23, 2015 10:35 PM

    tokyofilthblaster says:
    Feb 23, 2015 12:45 PM

    These poor guys are never the same after that horror show in MN. They’ve seen hapless and tasteless things that no football player should ever have to see
    //////////////////////////////////////

    You’re right for once, most the team was at Teddy’s house watching the NFCC game and the biggest championship choke to be seen
    ____________________

    The Packers were huge underdogs on the road in Seattle. In the 1998 NFC Championship, the Vikings were huge favorites at home against Atlanta. No contest. Plus, going 0-4 in Super Bowls pretty much defines the Vikings as the biggest choking team in NFL history.

  56. Highway robbery. It is an abuse of the law. Seizure corridors are developing where law enforcement seizes cars, cash, and personal possessions because they “might” be used in illegal trafficking. It is highway robbery by the police who then spend the cash, sell the property and violate the rights of American citizens when no crime is committed.

    If I choose to buy a car with 12000 cash the police can stop me on the way and confiscate my money? If someone with a gun stopped you and tried to take your 12000 dollars would you consider it anything else but armed robbery?

  57. Typical Packers, that’s what they do. Perhaps the cops should do the same to all the Packers GM, coaches and players, as they are the ones who’s responsible and influenced him to do what he did.

  58. navyvike says:

    You’re right for once, most the team was at Teddy’s house watching the NFCC game and the biggest championship choke to be seen

    …………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Isn`t that where Viking`s players usually watch all championship games, at home?

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