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Douglas County judge denies return of seized money

Making liberal use of the Fifth Amendment, a Superior man avoided discussion of his alleged drug activity Thursday in Douglas County Court while requesting the return of money seized during a police search of his home. Judge George Glonek denied ...

Making liberal use of the Fifth Amendment, a Superior man avoided discussion of his alleged drug activity Thursday in Douglas County Court while requesting the return of money seized during a police search of his home. Judge George Glonek denied the motion.

Kyle McDonald, 25, faces three felony counts of delivering marijuana and one felony count of possession with intent to deliver marijuana. The case remains open.

McDonald said a portion the money seized by Superior police while executing a search warrant on March 26 had nothing to do with illegal activity. The $1,875 was from a car title loan he had received a day earlier on his '99 Buick Century.

"They've called every day this week to repossess it," McDonald told Glonek. The $1,875 would not pay off the loan -- which has a 300 percent annual percentage rate -- but, he said, "would put a nice dent" in it.

Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Lovejoy argued that the money was mingled with recorded drug-buy money. The thousands of dollars seized by police were what McDonald owed his marijuana supplier, who provided him with the drugs "on a front. ... Somebody gives you marijuana without you purchasing it."

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McDonald testified after originally invoking his Fifth-Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Public Defender Leslie Dollen, McDonald's attorney, entered into evidence copies of the $2,000 check from Loan Max Title Loans and the loan agreement itself.

McDonald testified that he took out the loan to make repairs to his residence. He said he spent about $100 at Wal-Mart and brought the rest home. He planned to repay the money by working in construction. When asked the source of other seized money -- approximately $1,900 -- he again invoked his Fifth-Amendment right.

Glonek said that the money was found near large amounts of marijuana, according to the criminal complaint. As such, he ruled, it could be needed as evidence in the case.

According to the criminal complaint, McDonald sold 2ยฝ pounds of marijuana to police informants during controlled buys -- 1/4 pound in December, 1/4 pound in January and 2 pounds on March 26. If convicted, McDonald could be sentenced to 16 years and six months' imprisonment and fines totaling no more than $40,000.

Other items collected during the search included financial transaction sheets, scales, packaging material and a number of guns including an AK-47 assault rifle, a short-barrel shotgun and a loaded .357 revolver, the complaint said.

The case is scheduled for trial in July.

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