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Currency Seizures at the Airport

The novel COVID-19 health crisis has dramatically impacted the airline industry as fewer and fewer people are traveling in fear of the virus. Although the number of people traveling at the airport has decreased, the number of currency seizures have increased.

Federal, state, or local law enforcement officers seizure U.S. currency in the busiest airports in the United States including the Denver International Airport (DEN).

Federal agents who conduct currency seizures work for the Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Federal agents can only legally seize cash if they have “probable cause” the money was involved in a drug trafficking or money laundering scheme.

For international flights into or out of the Denver International Airport, agents can also seize money if the traveler fails to disclose carrying more than $10,000 (sometimes called “unreported currency seizure”). The money must be disclosed on the FinCEN 105 form.

If your money was seized at the airport in Denver or the surrounding areas in Colorado, then you might receive a “notice of seizure” in the mail within 60 days.

Then you only have 35 days after the issuance of the “Notice of Seizure and Information to Claimants CAFRA Form” to file a verified claim for court action. Filing a verified claim is the ONLY way to contest the legality of the seizure.

Fighting to get your money back after a seizure at the airport is not a do-it-yourself project. One mistake or missed deadline could mean you’ve lost your only chance to get your money back.

You need an experienced attorney at every step of the process who can utilize their skills to fight for your rights.

Attorney for Airport Cash Seizure in Denver, CO

Was your money seized at the airport? If so, then contact the civil asset forfeiture attorneys in Colorado Springs, CO, at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.

We represent clients after incidents at the busiest airports in the Colorado Springs and the Denver area including the Denver International Airport. Our attorneys can prepare a verified claim and demand court action immediately after your money is taken.

Fighting a seizure for forfeiture can get quite complicated and most wouldn’t recommend you go into the fight alone. One missed deadline or missing detail could reduce your chances of ever having your money returned.

Instead, hire an experienced civil asset forfeiture attorney who can mount an aggressive defense. Our attorneys represent those who had their cash seized throughout Colorado, including El Paso County, Pueblo County, Fremont County, Teller County, Douglas County, and Elbert County.

We can help you file the verified claim immediately after the seizure (even before the notice arrives in the mail).

We can also send a preservation letter to the airport authorities to make sure any surveillance video is preserved. Otherwise, the airport authorities have a very short retention period before they destroy the video. In most cases, the attorney will need a court order to compel the video.

Getting the video of the seizure is one of the most important steps in the process because it is often the best way to show your detention was illegal from the beginning.

No matter your circumstances, contact us for a free and confidential consultation to discuss all of your options.

Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a consultation today.


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Typical Cash Seizures at the Denver International Airport

Did you know that in 2015 law enforcement officers seized more than 18 million dollars from travelers at the Denver International Airport?

Both federal and state law enforcement agents can seize U.S. currency if they have probable cause the traveler is involved in a drug trade or money laundering scheme.

Because they never get a warrant, federal agents are trained to conduct “consensual encounters” with random individuals in hopes of detecting contraband or illegal activity.

Often these encounters will include several agents asking the traveler for their boarding pass and I.D. Once they received that information, the agents will then question the traveler about the reason for their trip and whether they are carrying any cash.

Travelers are under no obligation to answer questions from the agents, but many people feel obligated to do so. Additionally, agents may use persuasive and coercive tactics to prolong the traveler’s detention and interrogation.

Often agents will search the traveler’s carry-on bag or checked luggage. If they find cash, they might seize it and issue a receipt.

The agent might tell the person to wait up to 60 days for the notice of seizure to arrive in the mail. Instead, the traveler should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney about immediately preserving the video from the airport and then filing a verified claim for court action.

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Busiest Airports in Colorado for Asset Seizures

The busiest airports in Colorado for cash seizures under federal law for civil asset forfeitures include:

  • Denver International Airport (DEN) in Denver
  • City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (COS) in Colorado Springs
  • Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE) in Aspen
  • Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) in Grand Junction
  • Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) in Durango
  • Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ) in Montrose
  • Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) in Eagle/Vail
  • Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) in Gunnison
  • Yampa Valley Airport or Yampa Valley Regional (HDN) in Hayden

The busiest airports for the seizures of money for forfeiture in the greater Denver and Colorado Springs area include:

  • Denver International Airport (DEN) in Denver
  • City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (COS) in Colorado Springs

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Unreported Currency on International Flights

Travelers are legally allowed to transport any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the United States.

If you carry more than $10,000, however, then you’ll be required to declare the amount you’re carrying by filing a Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments (the “FinCEN Form 105”).

Often travelers aren’t even aware they were supposed to fill out a FinCEN Form 105.

Our experienced civil asset forfeiture lawyers can demand your money be returned promptly by filing a claim for court action in order to bypass any administrative proceeding for mitigation, remission, or offer in compromise.

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Additional Resources

Asset Forfeiture Abuse | ACLU – Visit the official website for the American Civil Liberties Union to learn more about how law enforcement of all degrees has abused civil asset forfeiture laws in the past. Access the site to find information regarding civil forfeiture abuse in the United States.

CBP’s Fines and Forfeiture Office in Denver, CO – Visit the official website for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to learn more about Denver Port Office. Access the site to learn the contact information for the main port, CBP supervisor on duty, or their office hours.

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Attorneys for Cash Seizures at the Denver International Airport

If your cash has been seized at the airport, you must act immediately. Demand your money back quickly by filing a verified claim for court action with the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.

We have extensive experience with cash forfeiture cases and have assisted numerous clients in getting their money back. Don’t reduce the chances of getting your money back by fighting your seizure alone.

Instead, hire a skilled Denver cash forfeiture attorney with Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Contact the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC to schedule your first consultation.

Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC practices throughout the greater Denver and Colorado Springs area including Arvada, Boulder, Cherry Creek, Lakewood, Monument, Fountain, Peyton, Manitou Springs, and Calhan.

Call (719) 328-1616

This article was last updated on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.