United States of America v. Funds, $15,000.00 in US

Filing 26

ORDER granting 25 Motion for Forfeiture of Property. Ordered by Judge Hugh Lawson on 12/07/2010. (nbp)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA MACON DIVISION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v $15,000.00 IN UNITED STATES FUNDS, Defendant Property, PAUL MICHAEL WILSON, Claimant. : : : : : : : : : : : : CASE NO. 5:09-CV-369 (HL) FINAL ORDER OF FORFEITURE On October 16, 2009, Plaintiff filed a Verified Complaint for Forfeiture against the Defendant Property. The Complaint alleges that the defendant property constitutes money furnished or intended to be furnished in exchange for a controlled substance, in violation of Title II of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801, et seq., or constitutes proceeds traceable to such an exchange, and is therefore subject to forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 881(a)(6). Pending now before the Court is the United States' Motion For Final Order of Forfeiture. The Court hereby makes the following FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW: 1. Pursuant to a Warrant of Arrest this Court issued on October 16, 2009, the U.S. Marshals Service for the Middle District of Georgia arrested and seized the Defendant Property on October 19, 2009. 2. The United States perfected service of process of this action on potential claimants Paul Michael Wilson and Alfonso Pinkney. 3. The United States published notice of this action on an official government website, www.forfeiture.gov for at least thirty (30) consecutive days, beginning on October 30, 2009, as required by Rule G(4)(a)(iv)(C) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions. 4. On December 9, 2009, Claimant Paul Michael Wilson, through his counsel, Jill E. Pope, Esq., filed a Claim and Answer in this forfeiture action, asserting his interest in the Defendant Property, described as $15,000.00 in United States Funds. 5. On October 27, 2010, the Court entered an Order dismissing Mr. Wilson's claim, finding that its discretion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 permitted this result, after he failed to participate in discovery. 6. As of today's date, no other person or entity has filed a claim and answer in this action and the time for filing a timely claim and answer has expired. 7. Plaintiff had probable cause to commence this action against and to seek forfeiture of the Defendant Property. THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT: All right, title, and interest in the Defendant Property is hereby forfeited to and vested in the United States, which shall have clear title to this property, may warrant good title to any subsequent transferee, and shall dispose of the property in accordance with the law. SO ORDERED, this 7th day of December, 2010. s/Hugh Lawson HUGH LAWSON, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA Prepared by: s/Danial E. Bennett Assistant United States Attorney

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