MDOT Seizes Fortune

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A routine traffic stop by enforcement officers with the Mississippi Department of Transportation led to the discovery of a huge amount of cash in a hidden compartment.

It was one of the largest confiscations of illegal money ever in Mississippi, exactly $1,700,020.

Willie Huff, chief of enforcement for MDOT, described what happened when the truck was stopped on Interstate 20.

"During the search of the vehicle, they located a secret compartment in the sleeper. As they further investigated that, they found two large suitcases that we're here today counting the money to see how much was in the suitcases," said Huff.

The money was taken to Citizens National Bank in downtown Meridian where a number of the bank's employees were assigned to count it, guarded by seven MDOT officers.

"The driver of the vehicle has been released pending further investigation by us and the DEA," said Huff. "So there's probably to be some charges filed against him at a later date."

Huff said the money is from a criminal enterprise.

"What we're doing is to try to locate the source of the money and its destination to make sure if its narcotics money or terrorism money," Huff said.

MDOT will attempt to keep both the money and the truck through forfeiture proceedings in court.