Ozella Scott owned 25 acres of land in Oklahoma appraised at about $30,000. Scott allowed her son, Mark, to live in a trailer on the property. Mark decided to grow marijuana plants on part of the property.
In August 1995, a helicopter looking for drug crops crashed over Scott’s property, killing the pilot and a federal Bureau of Indian Affairs agent. Even though Ozella Scott was never charged with a crime, the feds decided to try to seize her land anyway.
Ozella maintained that she did not know her son was growing marijuana on her land, but a panel made of two judges decided that she should have known about the marijuana crops but had chosen to turn a blind eye to her son’s activities. Thy ruled the federal government could seize her land under civil forfeiture provisions of the law.
On January 10, 2002, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ozella Scott’s appeal of that decision, clearing the way for the government to seize her land.
I bet people in Oklahoma and the rest of the country feel a bit safer knowing this hardened criminal has been dispossessed of her property.
Court rules feds can take widow’s land. Associated Press, January 11, 2002.
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