More than $21,000 seized in road check
During the month of October, the Southwest Traffic Enforcement Network gathered together in Bainbridge for a training seminar on evidence collecting that was put on by the GBI Division of Forensic Science.
Once the training seminar was completed, the coordinator dispersed the officers into groups to conduct safety and road checks throughout the county and city. Investigator Chip Nix, Officer Pat Bryant, and Sylvester K-9 unit officer, Leonard Davis were stationed at the intersection of Scott Street and Green Street. During the course of the road safety check they came across driver, Gerardo Adolfo, who did not have a driver’s license.
During Adolfo’s arrest, Officer Bryant noticed a large knot wrapped in several blue rubber gloves and asked Adolfo what it was. Adolfo replied it was “denero” and Investigator Nix was called over to further investigate. Nix unraveled the knot and found a large sum of cash. He asked Officer Davis to deploy his K-9 Bieko for a search inside the van.
Bieko alerted on the rear passenger door and driver’s side door. No narcotics were found, but officers did find Adolfo’s wallet containing $1,672 and they also found that the interior paneling of the vehicle had been removed several times.
After totaling the sum of money found in the gloves, Nix revealed it was $20,000 all in hundreds. They concluded the van had been used to smuggle narcotics, which is why Bieko was barking at the money. The money still had drug residue from being used in transactions.
When searching the van, officers found multiple air fresheners they believe Adolfo was using to mask the smell of any drugs.
Nix ran Adolfo’s criminal history and found that he went before a judge in 1999 for being an illegal alien and signed a volunteer deportation and agreed to leave the country.
Nix was particularly interested in this case because he had just gone to a training seminar where drug trafficking money and methods were discussed. Adolfo violated 31 U.S. Code 5332, which is bulk cash smuggling. The code requires the subject to forfeit any property involved to the United States. Adolfo signed a consent form to turn over all money to BPS if he could keep his van. BPS settled upon that and will be giving the money to the clerk for filing fees, the court for filing fees, 10 percent to the district attorney and the remainder to the city’s drug combatant fund.
The total money seized was $21,672.00