Merced CHP: K-9 Officer Beny uncovers suspiciously large amount of cash during traffic stop
Photos: Merced CHP
Originally published 12-28-20 via Facebook
by Merced CHP:
“On December 21, 2020, at approximately 1430 hours, a California Highway Patrol Officer conducted an enforcement stop on a 2020 Chevy Tahoe for a violation of 21703 VC (Following too close).
During the course of the contact the officer noted several factors that led him to suspect the driver was engaged in criminal activity. CHP K9 Officer “Beny” was asked to conduct a sniff of the Tahoe’s exterior and he gave a positive alert to the odor of narcotics. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a large amount of U.S. currency inside a suitcase and a backpack. An official count is pending from a financial institution, but officers estimate the currency to be $300,000.
Further investigation led investigators to believe the currency was derived from the sale of drugs. The currency was seized, and asset forfeiture proceedings are pending. The driver was arrested and a charge of 11370.6(a) of the Health and Safety Code is pending.
We have had many inquiries regarding asset forfeiture and what happens to the money. California has some of the strictest asset forfeiture laws in the country. No officer can seize currency without prior approval from the district attorney’s office.
The Officer prepares a report outlining the incident and why it is believed the currency was derived from the sale of narcotics or certain other illegal activities. If the district attorney’s office believes a seizure is justified, they will serve the owner with a notice of seizure and instructions on how to challenge the seizure.
The owner of the currency has the option of disclaiming the currency or challenging the seizure. If the seizure is challenged a hearing is scheduled before a judge who will determine if the seizure is justified or if the currency should be returned to the owner. If the judge orders the currency returned, it is returned with interest. If the money is forfeited, it can only be used for training and equipment.”
Merced CHP: K-9 Officer Beny uncovers suspiciously large amount of cash during traffic stop was last modified: January 7th, 2021 by