More than $4,000 in cash was seized on Friday from a vehicle on the Indiana
Toll Road in Liberty Township after the vehicle’s occupants were unable not
only to account for the large sum of money but also to say who owned it, the
Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.
According to police, at 4:23 p.m. an officer tasked to a drug interdiction
operation stopped the westbound vehicle, driven by an Elkhart man, at the 33
mile marker for a window-tint violation. Although a K-9 unit alerted to the
vehicle’s passenger side, indicating the probable presence of narcotics—and
the rear door’s inner panel was “uncharacteristically loose,” providing “a
relatively substantial natural void (in which) to conceal contraband”—no
illegal substances were found in the vehicle, police said.
What was found, in the center console, was $4,400 in cash bound by a rubber
band, police said.
The driver advised that the money didn’t belong to him but to his cousin—a
passenger in the vehicle—who had been given the cash as a gift from
“numerous friends” on his release from jail. The cousin, for his part,
advised that the money wasn’t his either. A third passenger also denied
being the money’s owner.
The officer then informed the driver that the cash was being seized, gave
the driver a receipt for it, and released all three at the scene, police
PCSP Sgt. Larry LaFlower told the Chesterton Tribune that, when the
totality of circumstances warrant it, an officer may seize large sums of
money in traffic stops. In this case, LaFlower said, the vehicle’s occupants
were unable to give a satisfactory explanation for the money, they gave
inconsistent accounts of their destination, their current employment status
would not suggest that any of them had earned the cash on the job, and the
K-9 unit had alerted to the presence in the vehicle, at some point, of
The money will be held by the PCSP until its owner can prove that its his
and that he came by it legally, LaFlower added.