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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