Federal prosecutors have asked a U.S. court in Wichita to let the government keep $180,000 in suspected drug money found by a Kansas trooper during an interstate traffic stop.
The money was found July 31 by Trooper Chandler Rule of the Kansas Highway Patrol, according to documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Prosecutors filed last week for the cash to be forfeited to the government.
The trooper had pulled over a 2009 GMC Sierra driven by Armando Hernandez-Gutierrez on I-70 in Wabaunsee County for a traffic violation, court documents state. The driver said he was traveling from Chicago to Denver to visit his sick mother, but a search of the vehicle turned up seven bundles wrapped in duct tape that held $180,000 in cash.
Hernandez-Gutierrez told law enforcement that he was being paid to take the money to a Denver hotel, according to court documents. He said that he did not know how much money there was, that he did not own it and that he did not know who he was taking the money to. A drug dog detected the odor of controlled substances coming from the currency.