Photo/Story Gallery 2007

FHP Seizes Cash, Drugs from Bus

K9 RioK9 RockyRecently, troopers stopped the driver of a bus for speeding and a faulty equipment violation. When he was pulled over, the driver acted very nervous, gave a suspect itinerary, and since he only had ten passengers on board, his actions made troopers suspicious.

Trooper Gideons called for a K-9 unit to check things out. Trooper Wilcox arrived with K-9 Rio (left). He informed the bus driver that he was going to walk his drug detecting K-9 around the outside of the bus and search the storage compartment. The driver agreed to the search after calling his supervisor for permission. The storage compartment contained approximately ten pieces of luggage.

Confiscated contrabandK-9 Rio immediately alerted to a black zippered bag among the luggage. Trooper Wilcox searched the bag, finding several large bundles of currency rolled up in rubber bands. He called Sergeant Hinton to the scene. When he arrived, he deployed K-9 Rocky (above right), who alerted to the same bag as well as two other bags. Then troopers found three more bags that contained bottles of pills. A thorough search of the bags revealed over one hundred bottles of prescription pills used for the treatment of HIV.

Further investigation revealed that two of the passengers on the bus were in possession of the baggage claim numbers for the bags containing the drugs. Troopers arrested both suspects. The bus manifest indicated that both suspects had boarded in New Jersey and were headed to Miami. When questioned, the suspects indicated that they were going to take the prescription pills back to their country and distribute them to friends and family inflicted with the HIV virus.

The prescription pills were valued in excess of $1,056,776. The currency valued at $126,000 was not claimed by either suspect. The money was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for Federal adoption. Both suspects were delivered to the Collier County jail and charged with twenty counts of Drug Trafficking.