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October 18, 2007
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Ind. police find $440,000 hidden in car

Related: Six vehicle concealment alerts shared by P-1 members

Associated Press

CROWN POINT, Ind. — A secret compartment found in a sport-utility vehicle pulled over for speeding contained $440,000 in cash, money the driver said she didn't know was there.

Lake County Sheriff Rogelio Dominguez said Monday's discovery during the routine traffic stop on Interstate 94 was his agency's biggest ever single cash seizure.

Detective Ed Kabella, a member of the county's drug interdiction unit, said the driver of the Ford Explorer seemed nervous when he stopped the vehicle for speeding.

A police dog trained in sniffing out narcotics indicated something suspicious was hidden in the back of the SUV, leading Kabella to the secret compartment with the $440,000. No drugs were found in the SUV.

The vehicle's driver, a 27-year-old Detroit woman, was released pending further investigation, Dominguez said. The woman said she did not know about the money, police said.

The cash and the SUV have been impounded, with the sheriff's department perhaps keeping 75 percent of the cash once it has been legally forfeited.

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