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Routine traffic stop uncovers possible drug money

By Alicia B. Hill

LaGRANGE – When Sgt. Nathan Taylor of the Troup County Sheriff’s Department pulled over an unmarked van on Tuesday night, it started out as a routine traffic stop, but it quickly became apparent something other than unlit tail lights was wrong within the van.

“They didn’t have the headlights on,” Major Charles Nixon said. “They just had their running lights on.  He saw them at mile marker three, south bound, so they had traveled for quite a bit like that, so that is why he stopped them.”

Taylor and a deputy searched the van with the owner’s permission, and soon confirmed his suspicions when approximately $678,000 was found hidden inside the seats of the van.

When Taylor used his K-9 on the cash, the dog gave indications of the odor of illegal drugs, though no drugs were found located in the van itself.

The driver and passenger were both taken into custody and are being held at Troup County Jail.

The names of the driver and passenger have not been released at this time since the case is still under investigation, but authorities could say that the van had a Texas license plate, and they believe the van and its occupants may have been traveling back towards Texas at the time of the arrest.