Houston sheriff's deputies seize $18,000 in suspected drug money

A routine traffic stop along Interstate 75 in Houston County on Monday afternoon led to the seizure of $18,000 in suspected drug money, a sheriff's deputy says.

Houston County sheriff's Deputy Wayne Mitchell pulled over a 2008 Dodge Magnum on the interstate just south of Perry for following too closely,Houston County sheriff's Deputy Clay Chambers said today.

Chambers said he joined Mitchell for the traffic stop to walk Esso, a police dog, around the car, and Esso alerted to the odor of narcotics.

That gave deputies probable cause to search the vehicle, Chambers said.

Inside a middle console of the car, deputies found the cash Chambers said he believes is drug money. Also seized was a set of electronic scales Clay said he believes were used to weigh narcotics.

No drugs were found inside the vehicle, and the driver and his passenger were released after being questioned, Chambers said.

Since January, more than $170,000 in suspected drug money has been seized by Chambers and Mitchell, who make up a two-member Interstate Criminal Enforcement unit of the sheriff's office, Chambers said.