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News Release
Mach 30, 2004

Phoenix Division Seizes Approximately $1,106,600.00 US Currency

photo - the seat cushion where some money was hidden
Approximately $30,000 was hidden in the rear seat cushion of the vehicle.

photo - the vehicle where the money was hidden
The vehicle that was found to be secretly transporting drug profits.

On March 23, 2004, the Phoenix Division-Flagstaff Group 45 seized approximately $1,106,635.00 US currency pursuant to a vehicle stop conducted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) on Interstate 40, westbound, near Williams in Coconino County Arizona. The vehicle, described as a 2001 Ford F350 Diesel truck, was driven by sole occupant Jesse Omar Sainz. Sainz had an outstanding parole violation warrant for a drug trafficking conviction in California.

photo - seized money
U.S. Currency seized.

photo - seized money
A portion of the $1 million seized.

An initial search of the vehicle revealed approximately $30,000 hidden in the rear seat cushion. Additional bundles of US currency were found in the air dam attached to the cab of the truck while a further search of hidden compartments, located on both side frame rails, uncovered additional bundles of US currency. Some of the packages were vacuum sealed while others were wrapped in plastic tape. A total of approximately $1,106,635.00 US currency was seized.

According to DPS, Sainz began his journey in South Carolina and was headed to San Diego, California where he was believed to use the money to purchase drugs.

Sainz was arrested on the outstanding warrant and was also cited under the Arizona vehicle code for not having a commercial driver’s license, a commercial logbook or medical card. DEA and DPS are actively exploiting all aspects of the investigation .



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