Tearsheet: Asset forfeiture for the Wall Street Journal


Hard Times at the Motel Caswell - M. Scott Brauer for the Wall Street Journal

Hard Times at the Motel Caswell - M. Scott Brauer for the Wall Street Journal

I recently photographed an intriguing story for the Wall Street Journal. The article focused on a small, family-run motel in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, that is the center of a legal battle using federal asset forfeiture laws to seize private property. The laws were intended to be used to fight drug cartels, but conservative legal activists are targeting the motel–the cheapest place to stay for miles around–as a piece of property linked to crimes. The police are called to the motel periodically, mostly domestic violence and small drug offenses, and the legal challenge would use those small crimes to seize the property. The motel owner, whose father built the place in the 1950s, now stands to lose his business, despite not being charged with any crimes. You can read the story here. My pictures were used in print (including on the front page!), in a slideshow accompanying the article online, and at the Wall Street Journal’s photo blog Photo Journal (screenshot above). Thanks, as always, to Matt and the rest of the crew at the Journal’s photo desk.

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