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ILLEGAL 
TO HAVE A HIDDEN COMPARTMENT 
IN YOUR CAR?

 

-----Original Message-----
From: PHILLIP SISSON [ mailto:bigbopper36@webtv.net]
Subject: ILLEGAL TO HAVE A HIDDEN COMPARTMENT IN YOUR CAR?

Kansas News Monday, 23-Aug-99 10:34:55
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Lyon County Sheriff's Department seizes more than $18,400 on I-35 By CHRIS GRENZ

The Capital-Journal

EMPORIA -- The Lyon County Sheriff's Department seized more than $18,400 after a routine traffic stop early Friday of a sedan along Interstate 35 led to the discovery of a hidden compartment that contained the cash. No arrests were made.

An officer stopped a four-door Ford Tempo that was traveling south on I-35 at 2:49 a.m., a sheriff's department dispatcher said. The traffic violation that prompted the stop wasn't named.

The officer then requested a Coffey County Sheriff's Department canine unit to assist with the traffic stop. The dog sniffed out a hidden compartment underneath the trunk on the right rear side of the car, the dispatcher said. The compartment had a fresh undercoating. Once opened, the officers discovered $18,438.11, the dispatcher said. The two men in the car were from El Paso, Texas, and St. Louis. They weren't arrested, and their names weren't released.

The officer who made the stop filed an affidavit for the forfeiture of the money and in connection with criminal charges of a hidden compartment. An affidavit is an official document forwarded to the county attorney, who determines if criminal charges will be filed and an arrest warrant issued, said Rick Buck, assistant Lyon County attorney. "I haven't seen any documents in this case, so I'm not sure what's going to happen," Buck said Friday. "We have to sort out what kinds of things we'll be pursuing, if anything."

Buck said he would have to see the officer's report to know if criminal charges were involved, but he wasn't aware of a hidden compartment being illegal.

"My officer seems to think it is," he said. "It might be a new statute. I'm not sure if it is (a crime). That's something I'm looking into." As for the money, the forfeiture is a civil proceeding. If officers seize the money in connection with a suspected crime -- even if they don't get a conviction -- they can keep the cash, Buck said. If the men want to reclaim their money, it would be through a civil court proceeding, he said.

Lyon County Sheriff Clifford Hacker didn't know the specifics of this case because a report hadn't yet been filed. But, he said, if Lyon County were to keep the money, it would be divided between the sheriff's department and the county attorney's office.

Copyright 1999 The Topeka Capital-Journal
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