A 46-year-old man was arrested and charged on drug offenses because his stash of $324,000 smelt like cocaine.
Gerald Flores was pulled over by police in Bergen, New Jersey in June and when officers searched his SUV they discovered seven bundles of cash wrapped in plastic and placed in a hidden compartment of his vehicle, Bergen County prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal in the case claimed.
After counting the money the authorities not only realised it was over a quarter of a million dollars, it also smelled strongly of cocaine.
Explaining the odor in the civil forfeiture complaint, which was filed this month Grewal wrote: “While counting the currency, it gave off a distinct odor of cocaine.”
No drugs were found during the search, but despite this Flores was still charged with transporting or possessing property believed to be derived from criminal activity. This isn’t believed to have been a completely random stop.
Flores was reportedly known to police, with detectives receiving “tips” that he was allegedly distributing drugs as long ago as April, nj.com reports. He was pulled over in Hackensack for an alleged traffic violation and told officers he was visiting his daughter.
Despite this, he “appeared nervous” when approached by the officers, who claimed “his hands began to tremble and he struggled to maintain eye contact,” as they questioned him.
When a search of his SUV took place a sniffer dog, aka a K-9, discovered the cash and provided a “positive reaction to the odor of narcotics”.
In addition to the $324,000, another $4,040 was found in other bundles around the vehicle with prosecutors claiming the cash were used to commit drug crimes.
According to a 2009 report, traces of cocaine can be found on 90% of bank notes in the US.