What will happen to $4 million in seized cash

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Interstates 75 and 40 are two main routes running right through the heart of Knoxville. Both highways see thousands of vehicles daily, including drug runners.

"Just the traffic alone is enough, then you add the criminal activity that's taking place on the roadway, and it adds another factor to it," said Sgt. Randall Martin of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

That's what happened one week ago when troopers pulled over a tractor-trailer for a routine violation. They found over $4-million dollars in cold hard cash stuffed inside the cargo.

"Through the conversation that we have, one thing leads to another, and then you find out there's a greater picture here," Martin said.

The driver and a passenger were arrested on federal conspiracy charges. Troopers say while the amount seized is uncommon, Knoxville's nickname as a drug pipeline is not. "It's just like a main corridor, like a bowling alley. It's a free run from point A to point B," said Martin.

The seized money now sits in a U.S. forfeiture account while the criminal case against the suspects moves ahead. If a judge agrees, the money will be divided up among area police agencies.

Said Martin, "Tennessee has 300 fulltime officers statewide that do nothing but interdiction."

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  • by Tubba Location: Knoxville on Mar 25, 2011 at 05:17 PM
    Dobber you must always ship your money hidden in semi trucks. Or have no record of how you got it. How do you know they weren't connected to cartels, human trafficing, or drug proceeds. I'm sure the money was being shipped by the Girl Scouts from there cookie sales back to Nogales. It's not a crime to have money. Only if it doesn't come at the price of peoples family from addiction and the death of people. Open your eyes.
  • by Claude Location: Ohio on Mar 23, 2011 at 08:58 PM
    I guess I do not understand how being pulled over for a routine stop gets your cargo searched. Is that "routine"?
  • by dobber on Mar 23, 2011 at 07:34 PM
    some one please tell me when it became a crime to have cash??? yes i understand 4 million is a lot of cash , but what was illegal about it??no drugs drivers or trucking co. not connected to any drug cartels, how much cash can one carry that doesn't make hom a criminal??? how about answering that Mario.
  • by Timbo Location: Blaine on Mar 23, 2011 at 07:29 PM
    It sounds like to me that 4 million in seized cash will go to some good use being divided equally amongst local law enforcement agencies if a judge agrees. I know that if that happens, law enforcement agencies will most likely use the money to fund their task forces, new vests, and other much needed equipment which is a good thing, but I would like to see some of the money go toward community services and programs that need the money direly also. Whenever a bust of this magnitude happens, I think that the community as a whole should benefit from it. Not to mention that there is going to be one PO'd drug lord somewhere missing it! My congrats to law enforcement officials for making such a huge seizure!
  • by Big Dan Crum Location: Happy Holler on Mar 23, 2011 at 07:25 PM
    The THP has already talked about doing away with several positions. This money could save those positions for several years. Enough said.


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