St. Lucie County
Port St. Lucie Police Department v. Eliesky Sanchez, et. al., Case No. 2010CA003035(St. Lucie County). This was a case involving the forfeiture of a boat, a new truck, a van, a trailer, and 2 new motors. I represented the Defendants, Eliesky Sanchez and his family. It was alleged that the vehicles and materials seized were purchased with money that had been obtained through the illegal sale of drugs. The matter was litigated and resulted in a settlement as follows: The Port St. Lucie Police Department was permitted to keep the van (valued at approximately $2,000.00) , but was required to return all other items to Eliesky Sanchez and his family. Through our efforts, we established that the police department had a very weak case to justify that all of the material seized had been acquired through funds obtained from unlawful activity. Further, at the moment we arrived at the police department’s storage facility to collect all of the materials, we required the police department to open the van so that Mr. Sanchez could recover all of the tools and materials inside of the van because the settlement agreement between the parties only allowed the police department to seize the van, and did not specify its contents. As such, Mr. Sanchez was also able to recover thousands of dollars in work tools and materials. Although the case resulted in a settlement, it was significant because it was worked up very well. It was my first forfeiture case, and, based on our defenses and workup, we were able to recover approximately 85% of the value of the contents seized, a sizeable victory in this forfeiture case. The presiding judge was the Honorable Dwight Geiger. The matter was voluntarily dismissed on May 14, 2012.