Drug task force wants to keep confiscated car

January 13, 1994

The Carroll County Narcotics Task Force is seeking to keep a 1989 Ford Escort owned by a drug defendant who balked at paying the task force $500 to get it back.

In forfeiture papers filed yesterday in Carroll Circuit Court, the drug group says the Escort owned by Michael D. Magruder was used to "transport . . . controlled dangerous substances . . . and the owner of the vehicle knew or should have known that the vehicle was being used in such a manner."

Mr. Magruder was arrested by Westminster police Dec. 1 and charged with possession of cocaine and cocaine paraphernalia. Officers stopped his car after they said they witnessed a suspected drug deal in it, and seized the car.

After the arrest, the task force offered to sell the car back to Mr. Magruder for $500, payable in two installments to Westminster Police Chief Sam Leppo. Chief Leppo is responsible for tracking task force finances.

Mr. Magruder filed suit challenging the task force's authority to sell his car back to him. A $300 deposit made by Mr. Magruder was returned after he filed his suit.

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