One of my clients was stopped by in Oldham County in April of 2011 for an alleged traffic violation. During the course of the traffic stop, the state trooper asked for consent to search the vehicle. My client consented. During the search of the vehicle, the trooper found a considerable sum of cash. Thereafter, the State of Texas filed money laundering charges against my client and also filed a civil forfeiture action seeking to forfeit $45,000.00 in United States currency.
Just short of one year from the date of the traffic stop, the State dismissed the criminal charges, dismissed the civil forfeiture action and returned $45,000.00 to my client. Needless to say, my client was quite happy.
Factors that made these cases challenging for the State were: (1) my client did not have a criminal history; (2) no illegal drugs were found in the vehicle; (3) the money was not wrapped in a manner to avoid detection by a drug-sniffing canine; and (4) my client was headed east on Interstate 40 [The rule in drug-trafficking is: drugs go east – money goes west].