Police recover more than $400,000 cash during traffic stop

August 16, 2011 4:23:40 PM PDT
Nearly half a million dollars was found tucked away inside an old television and a propane tank during what turned out to be a very unusual traffic stop in Rosenberg last week.

Why would someone be carrying around so much cash hidden inside pieces of junk? That question is exactly why police decided to take the money.

There is no law against carrying such large amounts of cash, but the money containers are certainly raising some questions. The currency is now being held for safe keeping at the Rosenberg Police Department.

Highway 59 is a corridor that connects Houston to the Mexico border. Drug busts and human trafficking arrests have been made there over the hundreds of miles spanned by Highway 59. But last week came an unprecedented seizure for Rosenberg police. It all began with a traffic stop.

Lt. Colin Davidson with the Rosenberg PD explained, "He makes the traffic stop. He decides that he's going to have Casey do what they call an open air search, or sniff, so you're not invading anything."

Casey is Rosenberg PD's detection canine, and police say she detected a lot in the driver's truck.

"Jumps up on the bed and starts indicating an alert on this cardboard box," Lt. Davidson said.

In the box was a propane canister. Inside the canister were rolls of $20 bills. It was small pickings, compared to what was inside a large TV case, filled with even more cash. Between the two there was nearly $432,000 in cash.

Lt. Davidson said, "I've never seen where they were rolled up like this, or in a tank. But it just shows one more thing we need to be aware of."

The cash is now in a locked evidence room. The driver, who isn't being identified but is said to be from Houston, was released at the time. He is said to still be under investigation.

"If it's drug-related, if it's weapons-related, if it's human trafficking related -- you know, that's the key," said Lt. Davidson.

That's just speculation at this point. For now, police don't know where the money came from, or where it was going. They only know that the investigation is ongoing.


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