On Friday, September 20, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Unit had stopped a vehicle on I-10 at the 83 mile marker for a traffic violation for following to close to another vehicle. After making contact, Deputy Key detected signs of deception and nervousness exhibited by the driver. Due to Deputy Key’s extensive training, he was concerned that the driver was involved in criminal activity and deployed K9 “Ella” who alerted on the vehicle. Deputy Key located $103,820 US dollars along with a small amount of marijuana. The manner in which the currency was packaged and based on other factors present during the traffic stop, Deputy Key suspected the currency was being smuggled and was intended to be used to conduct narcotics related transactions. The case was immediately adopted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The money was seized and placed in evidence. The driver of the vehicle was tied to a multi-state Drug Trafficking Organization and admitted that the money was proceeds from criminal activity.
Information obtained during the investigation led to search warrants being executed in Orlando, Florida. The Orlando Police Department in conjunction with the DEA conducted search warrants resulting in the seizure of 58lbs of hydro marijuana, $186,766, 1 gram of cocaine, 2 grams of MDMA “Molly”, one handgun, two vehicles and the arrest of three individuals.
The DEA has closed the case and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office will receive money from the investigation which will be utilized for future law enforcement training and equipment. The driver who was pulled over on I-10 is one of the three individuals arrested.
($103,820 seized on Friday, September 20th, on I-10)