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Drug dealer must forfeit lottery jackpot

Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Drug dealer must forfeit lottery jackpot

Texas man wins $5.5 million in a lottery, but must give it back after drug dealing conviction.

A Mexican citizen must forfeit about $2.75 million in Texas lottery winnings because of his drug-trafficking conviction, a federal appeals court said on Wednesday.

Jose Luis Betancourt, 52, was arrested after making a cocaine delivery shortly after accepting $5.5 million for having the winning ticket in the December 11, 2002, lottery drawing, according to court documents.

A jury convicted Betancourt, who was living in the border city of Brownsville, Texas, of conspiracy and two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in May 2003 and also found he must forfeit his one-half interest in the lottery ticket.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court judge's ruling that Betancourt bought his share of the ticket with drug proceeds because that was his only apparent source of income.

The court also upheld his punishment of more than 24 years in prison without parole.

"Mr. Betancourt's luck ran out, and appropriately so," said U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg.

Reuters

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70 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by Pair King.
Page 1 of 5
Avatar
New Mexico
United States
Member #12305
March 10, 2005
2984 Posts
Offline
Posted: August 18, 2005, 4:24 pm - IP Logged

Sort of a moot point, the forfeiture of the jackpot.  Guy's 55, with 24 years in prison ahead without possibility of parole.  That puts him 79 years old before he'll see daylight again.

Of course, he won't be alive to see the end of his sentence.

So the State keeps his 2.75 million.

Seems a bit troublesome that he got a far stiffer sentence for two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine than he'd have gotten for homicide one.  He could have gotten off a lot easier by killing half a dozen people, raping a few babies, robbing a bank, and spitting on the sidewalk.

Strange priorities we have these days.  Similar to the weirdness that has us making it a Federal offense with mandatory sentencing for killing a cop, but a killer standing a middling chance of doing two-to-five with good behavior for strangling some 3 year old kid.

Jack

Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

It's about number behavior.

Egos don't count.

 

Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

 


    United States
    Member #14188
    April 22, 2005
    21 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: August 18, 2005, 4:51 pm - IP Logged
    It is my take that the Federal boys saw an easy
    $2.5 million that they could get their hands on.  A lottery ticket
    cost  $1.00.  I've bought tickets before when I had no visible
    source of income.  I think the government is the thief here;
    And talk about racism.  A Mexican to boot.  I cannot agree with
    the outcome of this deal and it points up the dangerousness of
    our greedy government. Overthrow the bastards.

      Avatar
      New Mexico
      United States
      Member #12305
      March 10, 2005
      2984 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: August 18, 2005, 4:57 pm - IP Logged
      It is my take that the Federal boys saw an easy
      $2.5 million that they could get their hands on.  A lottery ticket
      cost  $1.00.  I've bought tickets before when I had no visible
      source of income.  I think the government is the thief here;
      And talk about racism.  A Mexican to boot.  I cannot agree with
      the outcome of this deal and it points up the dangerousness of
      our greedy government. Overthrow the bastards.

      Careful, amigo.

      Those are the kinds of words that can having them knocking on your door next.  These are the post 9/11 days.  Department of Homeland Security.  Ruby Ridge.  Waco.  Drug Enforcement Administration.  And the guy this story is about. 

      Words are cheap, but the price is going up.

      Likely you spoke in haste and regret your post.  You might be well served to call your mistake to Todd's attention and request that he delete your post and this one.

      Jack

       

      Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

      It's about number behavior.

      Egos don't count.

       

      Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

       


        United States
        Member #379
        June 5, 2002
        11296 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: August 18, 2005, 4:57 pm - IP Logged

        The lost winnings should be used to add to a future Lotto Texas jackpot.

          Avatar
          New Mexico
          United States
          Member #12305
          March 10, 2005
          2984 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: August 18, 2005, 6:21 pm - IP Logged

          I see where the BTK (Bind Torture Kill) serial killer who terrorized Kansas for a couple of decades just got a sentence not too different from this one, except he's probably eligible for parole at approximately the same time this Mexican winner/loser gets out of the slammer.    But BTK only killed a dozen or so people, whereas the Mexican did something really bad.

          Jack

          Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

          It's about number behavior.

          Egos don't count.

           

          Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

           

            JAP69's avatar - alas
            South Carolina
            United States
            Member #6
            November 4, 2001
            8797 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: August 18, 2005, 6:37 pm - IP Logged

            trial court judge's ruling that Betancourt bought his share of the ticket with drug proceeds because that was his only apparent source of income.

            And the next thing you know the Gov'ts going to take any lottery proceeds that were not bought with earned dollars.

            Hey I bought my winnig ticket with past due payments money. It was not my money it belonged to my creditors.

            Oo'Ka

              Avatar
              Blaine WA
              United States
              Member #17275
              June 15, 2005
              117 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: August 18, 2005, 7:34 pm - IP Logged

              trial court judge's ruling that Betancourt bought his share of the ticket with drug proceeds because that was his only apparent source of income.

              And the next thing you know the Gov'ts going to take any lottery proceeds that were not bought with earned dollars.

              Hey I bought my winnig ticket with past due payments money. It was not my money it belonged to my creditors.

              in the book 1984 was it much different

              the govenment makes the rules, sometimes after the fact. it is easy for me to believe this person involved in criminal activities loses his right to the ticket pretty much the same as the governments right to take property that was used in criminal activity.

               

              the odds do not mean much to those who win the jackpot

                Avatar
                Sparta, NJ
                United States
                Member #18331
                July 9, 2005
                1977 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: August 18, 2005, 7:48 pm - IP Logged
                It is my take that the Federal boys saw an easy
                $2.5 million that they could get their hands on.  A lottery ticket
                cost  $1.00.  I've bought tickets before when I had no visible
                source of income.  I think the government is the thief here;
                And talk about racism.  A Mexican to boot.  I cannot agree with
                the outcome of this deal and it points up the dangerousness of
                our greedy government. Overthrow the bastards.

                Careful, amigo.

                Those are the kinds of words that can having them knocking on your door next.  These are the post 9/11 days.  Department of Homeland Security.  Ruby Ridge.  Waco.  Drug Enforcement Administration.  And the guy this story is about. 

                Words are cheap, but the price is going up.

                Likely you spoke in haste and regret your post.  You might be well served to call your mistake to Todd's attention and request that he delete your post and this one.

                Jack

                 

                Great position - be afraid of your own government. Not terroists. Not criminals. Not Mexican Cartel. The U.S. Government. Sheeesh. The day I'm afraid to speak my mind is the day they can have my American borth certificate.

                Cheers

                |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

                I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

                  Avatar
                  Blaine WA
                  United States
                  Member #17275
                  June 15, 2005
                  117 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: August 18, 2005, 7:52 pm - IP Logged

                  amen chewie

                  US Flag 

                   

                   

                  the odds do not mean much to those who win the jackpot

                    Avatar
                    New Mexico
                    United States
                    Member #12305
                    March 10, 2005
                    2984 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: August 18, 2005, 8:19 pm - IP Logged
                    It is my take that the Federal boys saw an easy
                    $2.5 million that they could get their hands on.  A lottery ticket
                    cost  $1.00.  I've bought tickets before when I had no visible
                    source of income.  I think the government is the thief here;
                    And talk about racism.  A Mexican to boot.  I cannot agree with
                    the outcome of this deal and it points up the dangerousness of
                    our greedy government. Overthrow the bastards.

                    Careful, amigo.

                    Those are the kinds of words that can having them knocking on your door next.  These are the post 9/11 days.  Department of Homeland Security.  Ruby Ridge.  Waco.  Drug Enforcement Administration.  And the guy this story is about. 

                    Words are cheap, but the price is going up.

                    Likely you spoke in haste and regret your post.  You might be well served to call your mistake to Todd's attention and request that he delete your post and this one.

                    Jack

                     

                    Great position - be afraid of your own government. Not terroists. Not criminals. Not Mexican Cartel. The U.S. Government. Sheeesh. The day I'm afraid to speak my mind is the day they can have my American borth certificate.

                    We each speak from our own body of experience, chewie.  There's a difference between being 'afraid', and merely being realistic.

                    I've got a lot of respect for the ability of this government to decide a person needs special attention.  Such as they did at Ruby Ridge.  Such as they did at Waco.

                    By all means speak your mind. 

                     I gather from your attitude what's in your mind won't offend them, in any case.  You can speak with total confidence they won't do anything.  That's the cool thing about having attitudes unlike the one JPorter has.  You can speak your mind, wave your flag, and bluster about not being afraid to speak your mind.

                    However, having said that, I agree with you completely.  Nobody should be afraid of this government.  Everyone should feel completely comfortable about posting seditious, statements online.  Shouting them from the rooftops.  Do it with impunity, without fear.

                    Namely I can say that because I also don't hold those views.  It's none of my business what they do, nor what the government does to them in any acts of reprisal.  I strongly suggest anyone with views the government mightn't like go public with them.

                    Fortunately, I don't happen to have any of those kinds of views.

                    Jack

                    Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

                    It's about number behavior.

                    Egos don't count.

                     

                    Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

                     

                      Avatar
                      Sparta, NJ
                      United States
                      Member #18331
                      July 9, 2005
                      1977 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: August 18, 2005, 10:00 pm - IP Logged

                      You're confusing fact with fiction Jack.

                      I am not talking about blantantly violating the lawful direction of law enforcement officers, shooting at law enforcement officers, or spending my spare hours converting my rifles to automatic weapons in violation of Federal Law.

                      I lost a friend at Waco; he was a decent person, trying to raise a family, and live the American dream. He lost his life following the lawful direction of a Federal Judge. He was killed by some slime balls who NEVER did any thing to improve life in this country, by people who spent their evenings screwing children and beating women.

                      Both the clowns at Ruby Ridge, and those at Waco, had the ability to end their unlawful way of life and follow the same process as the other millions of Americans who drive between the white lines every day of their lifes. America became America because of those who do drive between the lines, not because of those who have no respect for anything but themselves. They wanted to make a point, and that is what they got - the point of a bullet.

                      Don't confuse the freedom of speech right with the stupidity of people who willing shoot Americans trying to enforce the law.  Those slime balls at Waco and Ruby Ridge were no different than the D.C. Snipers.

                      I spent twenty-two years wearing a uniform, and some of that time fighting a war, to enable people to speak their mind. I did not do that so some slime ball could shoot my neighbor in the back and claim they did it for God!

                       

                      Cheers

                      |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

                      I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

                        Avatar
                        New Mexico
                        United States
                        Member #12305
                        March 10, 2005
                        2984 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: August 18, 2005, 10:49 pm - IP Logged

                        Whew.  One of us has his facts entirely reversed as to what actually happened at Ruby Ridge and Waco.

                        I won't change your view, have no reason to try.  And my own facts are so accurate I'd never allow you to change them.

                        Plus, neither of us has any reason to give another thought to what the other believes.

                        We'll agree to disagree, Chewie.

                        However, if it helps, I'm willing to believe you spent 22 years in a uniform of one sort or another.  On the other hand, whatever war you might have fought in, you aren't old enough for it to have had anything much to do with protecting my freedom, nor anyone elses.

                        Jack

                        Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

                        It's about number behavior.

                        Egos don't count.

                         

                        Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

                         

                          weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
                          Mcminnville, Oregon
                          United States
                          Member #3013
                          December 13, 2003
                          3092 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: August 18, 2005, 11:54 pm - IP Logged

                          Do not "bet-on-court" Mr. betancourt cause you will lose basically everything! 

                            Avatar
                            New Mexico
                            United States
                            Member #12305
                            March 10, 2005
                            2984 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: August 19, 2005, 9:04 am - IP Logged

                            Do not "bet-on-court" Mr. betancourt cause you will lose basically everything! 

                            Timing is everything, weshar.  This guy had purely lousy timing.

                            If he'd had that money where he could get to it, say, and they'd come down on him with indictments from something he did pre-win, he could have upchucked enough money into the right places to walk.  In fact, probably never would have been arrested enough to reach the newspapers.

                            As it was, the guy evidently didn't have the good sense to clean up his life.... he was arrested for something he did AFTER he had a winning ticket and knew it.  Maybe he had some inseverable ties with the Mexican Mafia chewie believes he knows something about.

                            There's a high price to be paid for a certain type of idiocy.  Sometimes, anyway. 

                            Fortunately for most of us, a lot of forms of idiocy allow us to just keep on, no penalties involved.

                            Jack

                             

                            Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

                            It's about number behavior.

                            Egos don't count.

                             

                            Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser