Traffic stop on US 59 results in $1 million seizure by sheriff’s deputies

A routine traffic stop on US 59 in the Cleveland area by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Unit resulted in a $1,045,893 seizure of cash that reportedly was found in a hidden compartment of the vehicle, according to Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader.

Deputies stopped an out-of-state 2011 white Ford Ranger and became suspicious when the driver’s account of his travel plans allegedly had discrepancies. A consensual search of the vehicle was conducted and deputies suspicions were further raised when they found non-factory work in the bed area of the pickup.

After further inspection, the deputies reportedly found vacuum-sealed packages of U.S. currency hidden inside an after-market false compartment.

“Prior experience taught the deputies that this type of compartment is commonly used by criminal organizations to smuggle illegal contraband past law enforcement officers,” said Rader in a statement.

The deputies were not able to access the compartment along the roadside. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic shop for assistance, which proved to be very valuable.

“The truck bed had a false bottom with aftermarket wiring. When power was provided a hydraulic lift raised the truck bed and the compartment was exposed. The deputies found 33 bundles of U.S. Currency in vacuum sealed packaging. Again, this is a common way that criminal organizations attempt to conceal the currency so that narcotic trained K-9’s have a difficult time detecting the contraband,” Rader said.

The currency was confiscated and placed in a seizure account. The name of the defendant is being withheld due to the continuing investigation. A check of his criminal history reportedly shows that he has multiple cases of money laundering. Criminal charges will be filed on this case and more charges are possible.


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