BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - The Interstate Interdiction Task Force said the driver of a semi containing more than $1.4 million in cash was known to law enforcement.
Task force said the largest money seizure in Baldwin County history, $1.44 million, took place on I-65 Thursday, September 5. It took four large duffel bags to hold all that cash.
$1.44 MILLION SEIZURE
“This was not your typical traffic stop,” Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack said.
Mack said it was the largest cash seizure he’s aware of here or anywhere in the state of Alabama. He said due to the amount of cash found, he suspects a connection with drugs.
“You could be talking about, volume-wise, a significant amount of drugs,” Sheriff Mack told us. “This is what we’d call a tier one type level of drug transaction.”
FOX10 News wanted to know the law when it comes to seizing money.
Spokesperson for the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office Anthony Lowery said, “The only burden we have to meet is that we have reasonable suspicion this money was gained by illegal means, drug use, drug sales or grabbing proceeds or something to that nature.”
Defense Attorney Bob Clark has a different view.
“What right does the government have to seize anything? I think it's outrageous,” he said.
DRIVER KNOWN TO LAW
Mack said the reason officers searched the semi was because the driver was known to law enforcement.
“The deputies were aware that the individual who was driving the vehicle had some connection to drugs and transportation of drugs in the past,” Sheriff Mack said.
DRUG CONNECTION INVESTIGATED
The driver has not been charged or arrested because carrying money is not illegal. Now, authorities said it’s up to the investigators to connect the cash with illegal activities.
“We believe that we have a nexus leading back to illegal drug activity. We have to now prove that,” Sheriff Mack said.
TRACKING THE CASH
To make a drug connection the investigators are testing the cash for drug residue. Keep in mind, according to a CNN research article, 90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine.
They are also tracking the serial numbers to try to trace the money back its source.
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