GENEVA (STMW) — The two brothers who say Aurora police should not have seized $190,040 in cash from their vehicle have dropped their complaint against the city.
Tuesday morning in Kane County Court, the case was voluntary dismissed by an attorney representing brothers Jose and Jesus Martinez.
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On Oct. 18, 2010, an Aurora police officer stopped the brothers and searched their vehicle. Police used drug-sniffing dogs but found no drugs, according to court records. But police did find a bag with $190,040 in cash in the trunk.
The city released documents that showed the Martinez brothers were under surveillance as part of a drug investigation conducted by Illinois State Police.
Documents show police had court permission to tap the brothers’ phones, and investigators said they heard information about an Oct. 18 meeting between Jesus Martinez and another person. The brothers’ vehicle was stopped after that meeting and the cash was seized.
But as of Tuesday, the brothers have still not been charged with any crime or traffic violation.
Not long after the cash was seized, the brothers filed a civil suit against the city for not returning the money. In November 2010, a now-retired Kane County judge ordered the money returned to the brothers, but the city refused, saying it had turned the cash over to State Police.
Court records show that after seizing the money, Aurora police inventoried it and turned it over to State Police. The state then turned the money over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The brothers may have to go to federal court to get their money back. Attorney Patrick Kinnallay, who is representing the Martinezes, declined to comment on whether he would file a federal case and declined to comment on why the Kane County civil suit was dismissed Tuesday.
However, John Murphey, who was representing the city, said he had planned to have the brothers testify under oath about how they obtained the money as part of the forfeiture hearing.
“I believe they made a very wise decision to drop the suit and not testify under oath,” he said Tuesday.