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Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Chamberlin Neff said he pulled over a vehicle on I-80 at 8800 West Monday for a broken windshield and an illegal lane change, never suspecting he’d find over $100,000 cash in the trunk.
Neff let his police dog “Tank” out of the car to sniff around the vehicle and alerted the trooper he detected drugs. Tank, according to Neff, is trained to detect marijuana, cocaine, meth and heroine. Because Tank was involved, Neff said he didn’t need a warrant to search the car. When he opened the trunk, he found the backpack which contained bundles of cash totaling an estimated $100,000 to $200,000. Neff said the driver, age 30 and the woman in the passenger seat, age 24 could not give a straight story about the cash. “He was going to give it to the Catholic Church in Sacramento,” said Neff of the driver’s explanation. Neff says most people carrying cash can provide a reasonable explanation or a receipt of some kind. “I believe the money was going to California to purchase narcotics, “said Neff.
The two people in the car were not arrested and allowed to drive off. The state keeps the money until they can provide proof the money is legally theirs. Otherwise, a Utah Highway Patrol spokesperson said the money goes to the state – likely the agency involved – which is the Highway Patrol.
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