Police find $161,000 hidden in truck

Published 1:47 pm Monday, December 21, 2009

Area law enforcement officers seized more than $160,000 in cash and two guns from a pickup truck they stopped traveling in Southwest Georgia early Sunday morning.

Bainbridge Public Safety received an out-of-state tip that a vehicle carrying a large amount of money would be traveling from Alabama into Early County late Saturday night, Chief Investigator Frank Green said Monday.

Georgia State Patrol troopers, Early County Sheriff’s deputies and Public Safety officers acted on the tip and stopped two vehicles on U.S. 84 near Jakin, Ga., about 28 miles west of Bainbridge, Green said. A drug-detection dog handled by Trooper 1st Class Jaa Tucker of the GSP’s Colquitt post alerted to the possible presence of contraband inside a white pickup truck, Green said.

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Officers searched the truck and found many stacks of cash tied up with rubber bands hidden inside. Officers also found a smaller amount of U.S. currency on the person of one the truck’s occupants. Also seized were two handguns.

Altogether, the grand total of the cash seized from the stop was $161,509, according to GSP Cpl. Kyle Duke, who was present during the search. Officers took the money to BPS headquarters for safekeeping over the weekend and took it to a local bank Monday morning for counting. The currency included bills of various denominations, as large as $100 and as little as $5.

No one was arrested in connection with the seized currency, although investigators are still looking into how and why the money got in the truck.

“We believe [the cash] is possibly drug-related,” Green said. “The drug dog only alerts to the scent of illegal drugs.”

The drug detection dog, “Jake,” formerly worked for the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office before being acquired by the State Patrol, state troopers said.