EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 26, 2013

Motel owner wins fight to stop its seizure by feds

(Continued)

Dein found that Caswell didn’t have actual knowledge of any illegal conduct, was not “willfully blind” to it and did all that “could be reasonably expected” to prevent illegal use of the property when he became aware of it. The magistrate said Caswell’s motel had security lighting and surveillance cameras, and its desk was staffed 24 hours, among other things.

She also said the government’s argument was undermined by evidence that police drove through the property routinely, knew its owner’s identity and never contacted him directly to work with him on controlling crime there.

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