Oregon State Police seize $471,325 during traffic stop

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers, assisted by a Salem Police Department canine unit, seized what is believed to be the largest amount of cash during an Oregon traffic stop Sunday afternoon on Interstate 5 near Salem. Investigators believe the cash is associated with narcotic trafficking activity and the investigation is continuing.

On February 12, 2006 at approximately 4:48 p.m., an OSP trooper and recruit were working together on Interstate 5 just north of Salem near milepost 260 southbound when they stopped a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche utility vehicle displaying Washington plates for going 80 mph in a 65 mph posted speed area. During the contact, troopers became suspicious and conducted a search of the vehicle with the assistance of a Salem Police Department trained canine. The canine alerted to the bed's exterior of the utility vehicle.

Closer examination revealed a false compartment in the vehicle's bed area above the rear axle where troopers found a large amount of cash.

The vehicle and cash were seized. Preliminary count of the seized cash was approximately $471,325.00.

The driver, a 22-year old female from Seattle, Washington, has not been arrested and the investigation is continuing.

Initial review of previous OSP traffic stop-related cash seizures indicates this may be the largest in the Department's history.

"The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration has previously identified Interstate 5 as one of the top 5 major drug corridors in the nation," said Major Dan Durbin, Commander of OSP Operations Services Bureau. "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."

No further information will be released because this is an ongoing investigation.

Source: Oregon State Police

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