The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s bank account got a 400-thousand dollar boost today (Wednesday) from a seizure back in January 2002. The attorney for the U.S. Southern District, Matt Whitaker, presented the check to Colonel Robert Garrison, commander of the Iowa State Patrol.Whitaker presented Garrison with a check for 447-thousand-622 dollars. Whitaker says the money was the state’s share of some 740-thousand dollars seized by a State Trooper after a traffic stop on Interstate-80 in Pottawattamie County. Whitaker says the trooper became suspicious when the driver and his passenger’s stories didn’t match. They called in a drug dog from Nebraska, which indicated there were drugs in the care. Whitaker says they didn’t find any drugs, but they did find the money that contained traces of drugs.He says there was a strong suspicion that the money was related to drugs, and he says the way the money was bundled up was another indication. The Michigan man who drove the rental car claimed his father gave him the money, which he says his father found in a building. Whitaker says his office did an extensive investigation and couldn’t find any evidence to back up the man’s story.He says most law-abiding citizens can demonstrate through pay stubs or tax returns, or in this case, the man’s father had died and there should have been a probate of his estate to prove his legal claim. Whitaker says the man could not establish that claim. Colonel Garrison says the forfeiture was a team effort. He says it’s a prime example of the “outstanding law enforcement cooperation we’ve experienced between Iowa and Nebraska.” He says they’ve worked many, many cases with the Nebraska State Patrol, the D-E-A and the Iowa Division of Narcotics enforcement. Garrison says the money will go into a forfeiture fund that the state uses to buy needed equipment for officers.He says they’ve purchased some new radars, replaced holsters and other equipment for officers. He says they also have used the fund to send people to training schools and used some to bring a criminal interdiction training school to Iowa. Pottawattamie County and the Nebraska State Patrol each recieved 75-thousand dollars of the seized money, and the rest was kept by the federal government.
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