Creek County Couple Says Deputies Confiscated Items From Wrong House
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Creek County couple says they’re victims of an Oklahoma law that allows law enforcement to take your property even if you aren’t convicted of a crime. A state legislator is working to change the law.
The Goss family says in March 2012, Creek County Sheriff's Deputies came to their home, took their property and arrested them for drugs they didn't have.
Their charges eventually were dropped due to lack of evidence, but the couple says the incident ruined their lives and cost them more than just their property.
Linda Goss, 62, says she and her husband never have done illegal drugs in their lives. Imagine her surprise when deputies searched their home and arrested them, claiming they had meth.
"The officer in charge said, ‘That's high-grade meth right there,’” she said. “I believed him, I didn't know any better."
The deputies took her husband's firearms, fishing boat and truck, which is legal under the state's civil asset forfeiture system. The Gosses then spent three days in jail.
"Right before we were arrested, the arresting officer said, ‘do you own this truck?’ I said ‘yes we do,’ and he said, ‘it's good. I'm taking it.’"
After coming up with $10, 000 for bond. The Gosses learned the whole thing had been a mistake. Their lawsuit claims the address on the deputies' search warrant was wrong.
"The lawyers went back to court and said, ‘you raided the wrong house. You raided the wrong house. They were innocent,” she said.
The charges were dropped as prosecutors couldn't find enough evidence to support them. The lawsuit says that tests showed there were no illegal drugs in their home.
"The results came back on that, and that was negative,” Goss said. “There was no drugs in the baggie. We took hair follicle tests, those came back negative."
But it didn't stop there.
The Gosses lost their truck because they couldn't afford the impounding fees. They got their boat back but claim it was so damaged it wouldn't float.
Goss says she's in favor of changing the law, because this ordeal turned her life upside down.
"It stuns me,” she said. “It, it stuns me. I mean, at least they ought to find out if they're really innocent or not."
The Gosses lost their case in Tulsa federal court but appealed it to the 10th circuit court in Colorado.
We called the Creek County Board of Commissioners and the District Attorney's Office for comment but neither have returned our messages at this time.