A New Mexico federal class action alleges that the Albuquerque Police Department engages in a pattern and practice of illegally retaining seized drug money for its own benefit. The suit was brought by a group of individuals including Raymond Arguello, a suspected crack dealer who allegedly lost $2,636 in the scheme. Specifically, the suit alleges that the police department takes possession of the money without first filing a forfeiture action, and routinely fails to provide the defendants with any paperwork or documentation of the seizure. State law requires that the police department place the money in an interest-bearing account, and either file a forfeiture action within thirty days of seizure or return the money to the defendant. The case is Arguello v. City of Albuquerque, CV 201102077, and the plaintiffs are represented by Joseph P. and Shannon L. Kennedy. You can view a copy of the petition here.