Nevada Sheriff Ed Kilgore recently defended his office's policy of stopping suspected drug smugglers and taking their money without issuing criminal charges.
According to the Associated Press, the stops occurred on U.S. Interstate 80 in Humboldt County, Nev.
Two men have filed federal lawsuits over what they claim were illegal searches and seizures.
Sheriff Kilgore won't discuss the details of those cases, but claims the money confiscation is legal if a deputy suspects the person got or plans to use the money illegally.
"What I'm hearing on the street is that we stop you and ask you for your license, registration and your insurance, and how much money do you have? That simply is not how it is ever done," Sheriff Kilgore said on Tuesday night.
The two men, who are suing, claim they were told by the sheriff that they'd be released with their cars only if they forfeited their cash, $50,000 and $13,800, reports Inquisitr.com.
Humboldt County District Attorney Michael Macdonald claims people can simply go to court to prove the money is legally theirs and it will be returned.
But critics say that's an assumption of guilty until proven innocent.
"We're trying to combat crime in our own little way in the war on drugs," added Sgt. Chris Aker. "We're not just talking about people driving to buy medical marijuana. These are drug traffickers with guns who may be staying in our hotels."
However, a suspect is not the same as a convicted drug trafficker.