It’s the ultimate case of finder’s keepers. One person’s loss of more than $1 million is the Melvindale Police Department’s gain.
The department said the state has informed them that they can keep the $1.27 million officers found during a traffic stop in July.
During the stop on Interstate 75 and Schafer Road, officers said the driver’s story seemed shady.
“His story of where he was going and where he came from didn’t match the documentation he provided,” said Melvindale Lt. Chad Hayes.
Officers called in K-9s to sniff the tractor-trailer for drugs. No drugs were found, but the dogs spotted three 60-pound duffel bags containing money in the cabin.
Police said they are certain the money was from drugs because the K-9s smelled traces of drugs on the cash.
The driver, who was from California, said the money was not his and that he was paid a fee to pick up the money in Detroit and transfer it to Arizona.
He was taken in for questioning and then released after he signed a letter stating that Melvindale police could forfeit his tractor-trailer and its contents.
“We had nothing illegal on him. He had a valid driver’s license on him, so we let him go,” said Hayes.
Police had said they didn’t believe the owner of the money would come to the department looking for it since it was probably gained illegally.
Hayes said earlier in the summer that the owner had 20 days to contest the discovery.