In July of 2014, the Department of Homeland Security seized several dozen imported Land Rover vehicles located all over the country. Now, after an out-of-court settlement, all the vehicles will be returned to their rightful owners.
All of the vehicles were imported by a North Carolina Land Rover enthusiast, and sold as part of a business based out of Wilmington, North Carolina. DHS officials alleged that the trucks were improperly imported and thus subject to seizure. Many of the seizures occurred simultaneously in various states all over the country. Some of the vehicles had changed hands several times and were with owners who may not have even heard of the business, Rovers Out East or GB4x4.
Within days of the seizures, North Carolina attorney and long-time Land Rover enthusiast, Will Hedrick, decided to take on the government and agreed to represent, free of charge, any of the owners of the snatched SUV's who wished him to do so. Within a few weeks, Hedrick was able to secure the release of some 16 of the trucks. As Hedrick pursued the case further, he provided updates through the internet forum, Defender Source.
Eventually, with the government attempting to bury Hedrick in reams of paperwork, he decided to leave his full-time job in order to concentrate on the case. Finally, after a series of motions and filings, it appeared that he had the government backed into a corner. It appeared, from reading his updates, that the feds' best option was to dismiss charges against the vehicles and release them back to their owners. According to the settlement documents, all of the vehicles should be returned by July 1st of 2015.
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