The Associated Press
SALEM, Ore.- State troopers discovered $471,000 in a secret compartment in an SUV traveling on Interstate 5, and they believe that's the largest amount they've ever seized in a traffic stop.
The State Police said they believe the money was used in drug trafficking.
Troopers stopped a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche on Sunday afternoon because it was clocked at 80 mph in a 65-mph zone on Interstate 5 north of Salem, the police said in a statement.
During the stop, troopers "became suspicious," the statement said. They called in a Salem Police Department dog, who homed in on an area above the rear axle, where the SUV has a short, pickup-like bed. There, troopers found the compartment, and inside was $471,325.
Police said the driver was a 22-year-old woman from Seattle, who has not been arrested. The vehicle, bearing Washington plates, and the cash were seized, the police said.
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"The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration has previously identified Interstate 5 as one of the top five major drug corridors in the nation," said OSP Maj. Dan Durbin. "This is further confirmation that Interstate 5 and the other major highways in this state are regularly being used to smuggle illegal drugs and cash."