Florida police ordered to return almost $20K in cash to a stripper

Ras Cates and Lizmixell Batista were charged with “armed drug trafficking, among other crime costs,” according to police

(Miami-Dade Police )

The Miami-Dade Police were forced to return nearly $ 20,000 in cash to a stripper after officers illegally seized money during a traffic stop in May.

Ras Cates, 33, and his wife, Lizmixell Batista, 20, a stripper employed at Cheetah Gentleman’s Club in Hallandale Beach, were pulled over on May 25, by agents after the couple’s car cut off a police cruiser, the Miami Herald reported.

Officers searched the few cars and six seized weapons, including three assault-style rifles, the cash, suspected marijuana oil, and a few bottles of codeine cough syrup without a valid prescription. Cates and Batista were charged with “armed drug trafficking, among other crime costs.”

However, the defense lawyers challenged the arrest after the officers bragged about the weapons found during the traffic stop to the local media.


“It is amazing how something as simple as a traffic stop can lead to cracks in many cases,” a spokesman of the police told WFOR-CBS4. “A lot of serial killers are behind bars because of the traffic stop.”

Jude Faccidomo, a lawyer, said he found it “disturbing” that the police “went on TV and engaged in incendiary speculation without knowledge of the facts or even acknowledge the rampant violations of my clients’ constitutional rights.”

News of the past weeks, told officials that he legally owned the weapons and had a valid concealed weapons permit. Body-camera footage of the incident showed an officer never got Cates to ” consent to a search of his vehicle on the hull, but instead afforded defendant to pop the trunk,” prosecutors wrote.

“Search of the trunk was illegal,” Johnathan Nobile, an officer of justice, wrote in a memo.

It was not immediately clear who the owner of the marijuana oil, and codeine syrup, as both Cates and Batista refused to say. The police department also, never use the cough syrup to a lab to check if it was codeine.

Lawyers were still trying to get the weapons back to news of the past few weeks, but the money was returned to the couple. The money was coming from Batista after officials discovered it in her bag. She told me she was on the way to the bank to deposit the money that she got from her mostly cash-only profession.


“I had to go to the bank to get money. We got bills to pay, sweetie,” Batista told the police.

However, the Miami-Dade Police department legal bureau seized money was drug money and asked the civil court to the department to take over the money. The police said Roxie, the department, the dog alerted officers that the cash “, were in the vicinity of large quantities of narcotics.”

However, Haley Heath, Batista’s co-worker, said during the hearing that her friend earned “significant money tips” at the club.

“I had the feeling that the glitter on the seized money was convincing evidence, but apparently the police do not agree,” Faccidomo said.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Rodney Smith agreed, “there was no probable cause for the seizure” and ordered the money be given back to the couple.

Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for You can follow her via @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.

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