Man fights back on social media after DEA confiscates $16K

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ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An aspiring music producer who claims the DEA stole his life savings is now using social media to fight back.

More than $6,000. That’s how much money people have donated to Joseph Rivers since his dream of making it big in the music industry came to a screeching halt earlier this year.

It all happened at the Amtrak station in Albuquerque. In a video posted online, Rivers explains.

“Me and my mother we pulled together all of our resources for me to go to LA and shoot a music video and upon my journey I was approached by two DEA agents,” said Rivers.

Rivers, 22, was traveling by train from his hometown of Detroit, Michigan to Los Angeles with $16,000 in cash.

He said when his train took a quick pit stop in Albuquerque DEA agents searched his bags. They found the money, then questioned him again and again.

“Asking me where I was going and what I was doing and why I was going to LA,” said Rivers.

The agents eventually confiscated all his money claiming Rivers was in violation of the Controlled Substance Act. He has not been charged with a crime, though.

Rivers has now started a gofundme me page in the hopes of getting the word out about what happened and to raise the money he said he had stolen from him.

So far, it’s working. Nearly 120 people have donated.

His attorney said it’s because Rivers never have up hope on fulfilling his longtime music dream. Rivers’s Attorney Michael Pancer. said top music producers have gotten in touch with him because of the way he’s handled the situation.

“This could have been a terrible tragedy for him given his dream, right? But instead because he has handled himself right, it’s turning out to be a positive thing,” said Pancer.

Pancer declined to answer when asked if Rivers has a criminal history.

KRQE News 13 reached out to the DEA. A spokesperson said the investigation is ongoing.

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