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Suspects drop nearly $1M in cash on highway during California police chase

2 years 3 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, May 05 2020 May 5, 2020 May 05, 2020 1:25 PM May 05, 2020 in News
Source: ABC News
Photo: California Highway Patrol

MERCED COUNTY, CA - Suspects running from California police stopped in the middle of a chase to drop two cardboard boxes containing almost $1 million on the side of the road. 

The pursuit happened Friday on I-5 in Merced County, California after an officer spotted an SUV commit a traffic violation. The vehicle appeared to be traveling with two other SUVs at the time. 

Police pursued the vehicle, but one of the other SUVs allegedly tried to block officers by straddling the lanes. That vehicle changed directions and fled once the officer managed to get around it.

According to the California Highway Patrol, officers then spotted something strange as they gained ground on the SUV.

“At one point during the pursuit, the driver of the Chevrolet Suburban stopped on the right shoulder, exited the vehicle and dropped two cardboard boxes off before returning to the vehicle and continuing to flee,” said the California Highway Patrol (CHP) of Merced County in a statement on social media. “Shortly after dropping the boxes on the shoulder, the driver of the Chevrolet Suburban stopped his vehicle and surrendered.”

While the officer was arresting the driver of that vehicle, a second suspect was spotted stuck in traffic a short distance away. Both drivers were taken into custody.

It was later discovered the boxes dropped alongside the road contained an estimated $915,000. A K-9 detected the smell of drugs on the money, and investigators learned the suspects were heading to California to buy marijuana.

Authorities later found walkie talkies in the suspects' vehicles and learned that the three drivers were using them to communicate with each other during the pursuit.

The suspects are expected to face felony charges.

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