Cumby, SO officers seize $223K, lots of cocaine after traffic stop

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Apr. 30, 2007 - Cumby police and Hopkins County sheriff's deputies this morning seized $223,000 in cash and 12.7 pounds of cocaine.

Two women and a man from Michigan were being held for further questioning related to the incident at noon Monday.

A Cumby police officer said that unless one person claims the cocaine during interviews, he will file on all three Michigan occupants for possession of a controlled substance.

The seizures resulted from a routine traffic stop made around 3:45 a.m. Monday by Cumby Police Sgt. Charlie Walker. The officer said he stopped the Cadillac at the 111 mile marker on Interstate 30 east for traveling 70 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour speed zone. Hopkins County Sheriff's Deputies Aaron Hanna and Paul Fenimore arrived shortly thereafter as cover units. Cumby Police Chief Dewayne Evans was also called in later to assist, according to Walker.

Walker said the first thing he noticed about the trio was that the driver has a marijuana leaf tattoo on his upper left arm. After speaking with them, he received suspicious information, including conflicting information as to  where they were coming from. The man told him that they had visited his brother in the Dallas area but couldn't remember his name. Walker was told that

�they had been shopping in Houston and were on their way back from there. The man to appearred to be "real nervous, fidgeting" and that he avoided eye contact with officers, Walker noted.�

After detecting a sweet odor in the car, which he believed to be a "masking odor," Walker asked and was given permission to search the car. In the trunk, officers found a large department store shopping bag which contained a large amount of currency as well as a large black duffel bag containing what appeared to be 6 kilograms of cocaine and $120,000.

When counted and weighed, the cash from both bags totaled $223,000. The cocaine weighed in at 12.7 pounds.

The trio had yet to be officially charged at noon Monday. Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Special Crimes Unit investigators were assisting with the investigation as illegal substances were involved. Charges were still pending.

Officials were working with the district attorney's office to begin forfeiture proceedings in hopes of legally obtaining the vehicle and cash. Both agencies assisting in the stop, as well as the district attorney's office would receive a portion of the proceeds for law enforcement purposes if a court grants the cash and car to them.

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