State law allows seizure of drug-related assets

By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The retired heart surgeon accused of growing marijuana on his Jackson County land, claims law enforcers acted illegally in seizing his 50 acres.

Dr. David Allen's bond was revoked in court Thursday, as the doctor faces new charges of bribing witnesses in his pending drug case. The defendant told WLOX News his land was seized "without due process" by law enforcement officers he calls "thugs with badges."

The law which enabled Jackson County narcotics agents to seize that 50 acres is the same statute which enables police patrolling the interstate to seize and impound a vehicle if drugs are found inside.

The statute is detailed and specific. And it's designed to hit drug dealers where it hurts.

A heavy padlock secures the gate and a large warning sign lets everyone know that Dr. David Allen's property, known as "the blue hole," is now controlled by the government.

The property seizure is something the defendant strongly objects to and claims is illegal. Dr. Allen emphasized the point during his Thursday court appearance and in his various videos on the internet.

"I was being targeted by these professional thieves. These guys are nothing more than domestic terrorists. They want my property because it has a large body of water, fresh water on the property," said Dr. Allen, in one of the YouTube videos.

So, how can law enforcement seize such property before the defendant is found guilty? It's because law enforcers who raided the land, say they found marijuana plants inside a "grow house" on the property.

"If drugs are in close proximity to whatever you're seizing, whatever property you're going to seize, it's seizable," said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller.

Chief Miller doesn't know specifics of the Allen case.  But his 13 years in the narcotics division made him very familiar with Mississippi's drug seizure statute.

"41-29-153 is the actual seizure," Miller said.

The state law goes into great detail about what may be seized and the procedures to be followed. Chief Miller said the law is a great tool for narcotics officers.

"The seizure law was implemented for one reason. And that was to make it harder for drug dealers to carry on their business," Miller said.

Dr. Allen denies growing any drugs on his property.

The law enforcer who helped lead the raid on those 50 acres, said the facts will come out in court.

"He'll have his day in court like the sheriff said and he'll have the opportunity to plead his case," said Curtis Spiers, with the Jackson County Narcotics Task Force.

The eventual disposition of Dr. Allen's court case will determine what happens to his property.

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