Officers make another cash seizure
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

May 12, 2006 -- County officers seized $22,700 during a traffic stop in which two North Carolina men were arrested on felony drug charges for possession of "ice" methamphetamine and paraphernalia found in their car early Friday morning.

Hopkins County Sheriff's Cpl. Eddie Moon and Deputy Daniel Winn, along with Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Trent Price, were credited with the money seizures and arrests.

The officers stopped a westbound Eagle Talon at 12:51 a.m. at the 124 mile marker for a traffic violation. The driver was identified as Ricky Charles Howell, 52, of Hays, N.C., and the passenger as 33-year-old Jonathan Carlton Edsel of North Wilkesboro, N.C.

According to reports, Howell and Edsel exhibited signs of nervousness and gave conflicting stories. The officers became suspicious of illegal activity and asked Edsel for permission to check his car for contraband. He at first hesitated, but did agree to a search.

Upon opening the glove compartment, the officers found what appeared to be a large sum of currency, a quantity of ice methamphetamine, measuring scales and a pipe. At that point both Edsel and Howell were arrested for possession of a controlled substance. The drug paraphernalia was seized as evidence, and the money collected for counting before the vehicle was released to a local towing service to be impounded.

While neither Edsel nor Howell were charged in connection with the money, it was seized due to the illegal substances and the fact that there was no proper bank documentation, as required per every $10,000 cash transacted. Authorities plan to work with the district attorney’s office to begin forfeiture proceeding in hopes of winning a petition to obtain a portion of the funds for law enforcement purposes.

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