ADOT officers seize $29,000 from an unregistered vehiclePosted: Updated:
Arizona Department of Transportation officers seized $29,000 hidden in a small cooler.
A truck driver and passenger arrived at an Interstate 40 port of entry near New Mexico with no registration, no trailer and a suspicious story, according to a news release from ADOT.
The officers on duty found the money on Tuesday after the truck driver and his passenger gave permission to search the cab for paperwork that would help identify the truck.
The pair told officers at the Sanders Port of Entry that they had no knowledge of the money even though it was in stacks tied with rubber bands.
They said that they had been sent by the truck's owner to pick up the vehicle because it had been abandoned in Gallup, New Mexico.
After officers checked the vehicle, they found that the semi's vehicle identification number and license plate showed that the truck set out from Sacramento, California and traveled through Utah, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico before arriving in Arizona.
This happened without any cargo pickups.
ADOT officers, along with the Navajo County Sheriff's Office, dispatched a drug-sniffing K-9 unit.
No drugs were found in the truck, but the dog did pick up the residual scent of drugs in various parts of the truck.
The dog also alerted officers that the money found in the cab had the scent of drugs.
ADOT officers seized the money and arrested the two men who were booked into the Apache County Jail on misdemeanor charges, including providing false information and commercial vehicle violations.
The semi was towed to a holding facility for the owner to retrieve.
ADOT officers are continuing to investigate the truck and the two individuals.
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