A routine traffic stop along Interstate 80 in western Iowa Wednesday netted a large amount of cash and a small amount of drugs. Trooper Tom Clark with the Iowa State Patrol K-9 Unit says Trooper Aaron Taylor made the stop about six miles east of the Atlantic exit in Cass County.
“The driver and passenger didn’t know the owner of the vehicle, they had suspicious travel stories and appeared extremely nervous,” Clark said. “Due to those factors, (Taylor) requested consent to search and they granted him consent.” During the search, Taylor discovered a false compartment built into the dash.
Clark says the compartment contained six large bundles of cash worth more than $100,000. The driver of the vehicle, Jesse Locke of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is facing a felony charge of money laundering. The passenger has not been charged with any crimes, though a small amount of drugs were found in the SUV.
Clark says the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement will follow-up on the investigation. He says it’s not usual for large sums of money to be found during traffic stops along I-80. Clark says the cash recovered Wednesday is actually small by comparison to other cash seizures that have netted up to $1.5 million. “They just keep getting bigger and bigger,” Clark said.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic