Justice Dept. and ATF Sink to New Low
Update: I just accessed the court documents, now unsealed. The case was filed by the Government as USA v. Removable Cosmetic Dental Appliances. Here's the Application and Affidavit for Seizure Warrant. Here's the order granting the stay. Here's the actual seizure warrant. Scroll to the bottom of the post for my conclusion after reading the documents. The ATF agent who submitted the affidavit knew the grills might not be removable. There was no authority in the warrant to remove the defendants from the jail to take them to a dentist.
If this wasn't reported in a national paper like the the Seattle Times, I wouldn't believe it, but it's true.
A defense expert and the attorneys for two men facing federal drug charges in Tacoma are crying foul over efforts by federal prosecutors and officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to have the gold-capped teeth -- commonly called "grills" or "grillz" -- removed from their clients' mouths.
"I've been doing this for over 30 years and I have never heard of anything like this," said Richard Troberman, past president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and an expert on forfeiture law. "It sounds like Nazi Germany when they were removing the gold teeth from the bodies, but at least then they waited until they were dead."
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