Judge: Police must return confiscated $1M to dancer
The judge ordered that the money had no connection to drugs and should be paid back with interest
By Geetika Rudra
Nebraska – A federal judge has ruled that Nebraska cops must return over $1 million confiscated at a traffic stop from a woman who saved the money $1 at a time during her 15 year career as an exotic dancer.
The money belongs to Tara Mishra, 33, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., who began putting aside her earnings when she started dancing at age 18, according to an opinion U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon wrote last week. The money was meant to start her business and get out of the stripping business, the judge wrote.
State troopers confiscated the money in March 2012 when they pulled over Rajesh and Marina Dheri, of Montville, N.J., for speeding in Nebraska, according to court documents. The state trooper found the money and after suspecting it was drug money took the Dheris into custody, according to the judge’s opinion. But police did not find any evidence of drug activity in the car and a K-9 analysis found only trace elements of illegal drugs on the cash.