West Virginia police take $10K in casino winnings from couple who didn’t commit any crime

A New Jersey couple last week finally retrieved about $10,500 worth of casino winnings that West Virginia state police took from them in a June traffic stop, according to a report.

The Dimitrios Patlias and Tonya Smith were taken away their money for allegedly from their lane on the highway. After two hours, police finally left them off with a warning but it took all their money and just left $2 with them.

The police of West Virginia was able to confiscate the money from the people under what is called asset forfeiture, a decades-long practice spanning administrations of both political parties.

The couple were heading back to their home after winning in to the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, so when West Virginia snatched away their money, it also deprived the Penn National Gaming casino of some revenue.

“They took my pregnant wife and me out of the car on a highway, and they left us with $2 to get home,” the husband said.

According to the report, a local lawyer defended the incident by blaming heroin.  The couple have got their money back but they do not plan ever to give business to West Virginian casinos.

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