A vehicle pulled over on Interstate 85 for driving 85 miles per hour contained a boot-size shoebox crammed full of currency, the Commerce Police Department reports. And all four occupants of the vehicle denied ownership of the cash stash.
The box contained approximately $90,000, according to Lt. Ken Harmon. The money will go through the federal seizure program.
The driver of the vehicle, Estela Del Mar Juarez, 22, of 866 Briar Creek Court NE, Conyers, was charged with speeding and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Her three passengers, Adrian Lopez Martinez, 28, 1126 Old Covington Hwy., Daniel Alberto Mendoza-Valencia, 19, and Angelo Deon Weathersbee, 24, both of 2119 Kings Forest Drive, all of Conyers, were also cited for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Upon approaching the vehicle after pulling it over, the officer reported that he smelled marijuana and that a couple of the passengers seemed overly nervous. Two of the passengers lit cigarettes immediately, presumably to cover the scent of the drugs. A search of the vehicle turned up the box in the trunk, which the officer said contained “a very large amount” of bundled currency.
Juarez told police that she had picked up Mendoza-Valencia and he was carrying the box at the time, but Mendoza-Valencia and the other two passengers denied not just ownership of the box and cash, but also knowledge of them.
The arrest report indicated that the city police called in the Banks County Sheriff’s Office drug dog to check the currency, but the report gave no indication of the results of the dog’s examination.
For reports on all arrests made by the Commerce Police Department during the past week, see the March 26 issue of The Commerce News.