I-Team: Controversial traffic stops on I-80 suspended - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Controversial traffic stops on I-80 suspended

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Deputy Lee Dove Deputy Lee Dove

LAS VEGAS -- Controversial drug interdiction stops have been suspended in Humboldt County, and the Nevada Attorney General has been called in to review the practice.

The news comes after an I-Team investigation exposed a police dash cam video that shows a deputy confiscating $50,000 cash from a motorist who is never charged with anything.

It is a video that shined a light on what has been going on, on the side of the road along I-80 near Winnemucca. The video shows a sheriff's deputy telling a motorist he is seizing the motorists money, because the officer suspects it is drug money.

The officer then offers the motorist a deal, abandon the cash and leave with some travelers checks the driver also had, or the deputy will confiscate all the cash and have the man's car towed as well.

"I don't have to prove my case on the side of the road. Ok, I don't have to prove that all right? You can take these and the car and the luggage and your written warning and you proceed and I will give you a receipt for the money and you abandon it and you walk away and you chalk it up to don't do this no more, all right? That is what it amounts to," Deputy Lee Dove said.

The driver in this case was never cited or charged with anything. Eventually, he sued and got his money back. A class action lawsuit was also filed against the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department alleging other unlawful stops and improper cash seizures.

The I-Team story about the dash cam video apparently fueled public concern over what was going on and the sheriff suspended the program for review.

On Friday, he confirmed in a Facebook posting that he has invited an outside agency to conduct an independent investigation of the entire drug interdiction program.

"The public confidence has eroded in the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. I want the citizens that we serve to know we are lawful. Therefore, I contacted the Nevada Attorney General's Office to ask for an independent review of our program," Sheriff Ed Kilgore said.

The sheriff also indicates the deputy in the video has been disciplined, but he can't reveal the punishment because it's a personnel issue.

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