|$214,000 found in Ohio rental car|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Jan. 9, 2006 - A routine traffic stop on Interstate 30 near the Loop 301 overpass Saturday night proved profitable for city police, who ultimately seized more than $214,000 in cash found concealed in an Ohio rental car.
No arrests were made in connection with the stop, but officials have turned the money over to the district attorney’s office to begin civil proceedings to seize the cash for law enforcement purposes, according to Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk.
Cpl. Jason Ricketson assisted by Sgt. Buddy Williams, were credited with the money seizure. The drug interdiction officer was patrolling on I-30 west at 9:30 a.m. when he observed a car with Ohio license plates commit a traffic violation at the 127 mile marker.
Ricketson stopped the car for the violation, and noted the two occupants to both be “extremely nervous.” While speaking with the pair from Columbus, Ohio, Ricketson received conflicting stories from them. Based on their behavior and trouble keeping their stories straight he asked permission to search the rental car. The driver agreed and Williams was contacted to assist at the scene.
The officers, during their search, located 40 bundles of cash “wrapped in food saver packages” concealed under the back seat. When asked about the money, both denied any knowledge of the funds. The officers noted one man even expressed regret that he had not located the funds, stating “I wish I had found it.”
Overall, police said the cash totaled $214,331. Of that amount, 5,080 of the bills, or $101,600, were $20s. Narcotics interdiction officers noted $20 is the current price charged by drug dealers for a piece of rock cocaine on the street.
Both men claimed they had no knowledge of the money, and no further illegal actions or substances were determined to have been involved in the stop, the men were released without any charges being filed against them.