03/31/2006

$48,000 found in car's secret compartment

CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR.

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Police seized $48,000 from the electronic secret compartment of a car during a Wednesday traffic stop.

The stop happened at 3:30 p.m. on Interstate 85 near Bessemer City. Members of the Gaston County Police Highway Enforcement Team stopped the car for speeding and making an improper lane change and asked to search the car.

They and officers from Cleveland County found the secret compartment, which opened when officers hooked up a battery jump box to wires in the door jamb.

The car had secret compartments in both rear doors, and the second compartment was empty.

Police seized the vehicle, which is registered in Georgia, and the money pending their own investigation and one by the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

No charges have been filed against the car's occupants.

Charlotte Observer (http://www.charlotte.com/)

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