In August of 2012, one of my clients was stopped in Carson County for speeding. He was headed west on Interstate 40 to his home in Arizona. During the course of the traffic stop, the state trooper asked for consent to search the vehicle. My client gave consent to search. During the course of the search, law enforcement officers found approximately $45,000.00 in United States currency. The money was found inside luggage located in the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
My client was arrested and subsequently charged with money laundering. The State also filed a civil forfeiture action seeking to forfeit my client’s vehicle and the $45,000.00 found in the luggage.
In March of this year, the State dismissed the criminal charges and the civil forfeiture action. The vehicle and the $45,000.00 were returned to my client.
Although my client had an extensive criminal history, we were able to show the money was obtained lawfully. Factors that made these cases challenging for the State were: (1) no illegal drugs were found in the vehicle; and (2) there was no attempt to hide the money.