On November 1st, two members of our church, Victor Ramos Guzman and Jose Jeronimo Sorto were driving a rental vehicle on Interstate 95. The church had raised money to buy a trailer and a parcel of land and they were transporting $28,500 in church donations to make the purchases on our behalf.
They were pulled over on I-95 by a Virginia State Trooper, CL Murphy, after the officer ran parallel to them. The trooper did not issue any tickets or warnings but when the trooper asked if they had anything in the car, they informed him of the church donations. Trooper Murphy checked their papers, legal status, rental information, et cetera. Having found no violations, the officer decided to confiscate the cash and issue a receipt for it.
There is no reason that the government still has our donation money. Yet, two months after the seizure, the government retains the money.
It is commonplace for religious institutions to receive donations in cash from parishioners.
A recent Washington Post Editorial about this situation concluded with this statement: "... there is something very wrong when a law enforcement officer can simply take someone’s money while providing no evidence of illicit activity."
We agree. Our church has done nothing wrong and should be given our money back. Please sign and share this petition.
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