accidentally dropped by an assailant during the scuffle, or perhaps "planted" there to get rid of a "hot" item or to divert the attention of investigators, does not seem to rise to the dignity of transportation. The maxim de minimis non curat lex applies.
The Government perhaps contends that Draper had the gun in the car when he returned from his home to the parking lot, and that it was he who fired the shots at the tavern. But we do not draw this inference, as it is not supported by any testimony, and is contradicted by the testimony of Dr. James B. Medlock, who treated Draper, to the effect that he could not have driven the car in his condition after receiving the three blows to his head with a blunt instrument.
From incidental remarks made at the trial, it seems that Draper was charged with, but acquitted of, some offense in the State courts. This circumstance perhaps suffices to negate any supposition that Draper may have fired the shots, and hence may have transported the gun in his car from his home.
The only transportation actually shown by the testimony is the local movement in the parking lot, and this is too interstitial in character to constitute a violation subjecting the vehicle to forfeiture.
This opinion shall be deemed to constitute the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law.
And now, this 1st day of December, 1966, for the reasons set forth in the foregoing opinion,
It is ordered that the suit of the United States for forfeiture of one 1965 Cadillac 2-Door Coupe, Serial No. G51-11096, be and the same hereby is dismissed, and that said vehicle be delivered to the claimants, John L. Draper and Mary Lou Draper, the owners thereof, free of any and all claims of the United States arising out of the seizure thereof.
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