Appeals Court: Driving With Money is Evidence of a Crime
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that driving with cash is evidence of drug activity and may be seized. The money had been seized during an Indiana traffic stop.
Associates of Gonzolez testified in court that they had pooled their life savings to purchase a refrigerated truck to start a produce business. Gonzolez flew on a one-way ticket to Chicago to buy a truck, but it had sold by the time he had arrived. Without a credit card of his own, he had a third-party rent one for him. Gonzolez hid the money in a cooler to keep it from being noticed and stolen. He was scared when the troopers began questioning him about it. There was no evidence disputing Gonzolez's story.
The trial court had ruled for Gonzales. The 8th Circuit reversed:
"We respectfully disagree and reach a different conclusion... Possession of a large sum of cash is 'strong evidence' of a connection to drug activity."
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