2/21/2012 1:19:00 PM Deputy finds $60,000 in hidden drug money in vehicle
While checking the vehicle, deputies noticed non-factory modifications to the front passenger fender area of the vehicle. With the fender removed, deputies located a hidden compartment and during further inspection they found three bundles of wrapped US Currency inside, totaling in excess of $59,900.
CORDES JUNCTION -- Last Thursday afternoon, a Yavapai Sheriff's K9 deputy stopped a vehicle driven by 23-year-old Oklahoma resident Victor Robertson on Interstate-17 near Cordes Junction. The officer said the 2004 Ford Expedition was making moving violations, including an unsafe lane change and failure to signal.
Robertson was evasive about his license status and initially only produced an empty wallet. Eventually he located an Oklahoma license, but his behavior was consistent with a person under the influence of drugs. Robertson told deputies he was in the Mesa area to visit a sick relative but was confused about his timeline in Arizona. Deputies believed Robertson's vehicle possibly contained drug contraband and requested a search but Robertson refused.
As a result, a K9 deputy deployed his certified narcotics detection dog for an exterior sniff of the SUV. The dog alerted around the vehicle's right front fender and passenger door. Robertson became defensive but finally admitted deputies would find methamphetamine in the car.
Under the front seat, deputies located a light bulb modified for use as a meth pipe that still contained a usable amount of meth. A container found nearby held an additional gram of meth.
While checking the vehicle further, deputies noticed non-factory modifications to the front passenger fender area of the vehicle. With the fender removed, deputies located a hidden compartment and during further inspection they found three bundles of wrapped US Currency inside, totaling in excess of $59,900.
Deputies conducted a blind test using a certified K9 and received a positive alert that the seized currency was associated with drug contraband, and likely the result of payment or profit from drug sales. Both the currency and vehicle were seized pending forfeiture proceedings.
Robertson was arrested and transported to the Camp Verde Detention Center for booking on charges including Possession of Dangerous Drugs, Money Laundering, and DUI Drugs. He remains in-custody on a $100,000 bond.