Kane prosecutors want $340,000 seized in I-90 stop to be forfeited
Kane County prosecutors want $340,000 seized from a Minnesota man after an I-90 traffic stop in April to be permanently forfeited.
The man was not charged with a crime or issued a traffic ticket. State police, who conducted the traffic stop, declined to comment.
According to Kane County court records, state police pulled over the man from Oak Grove, Minnesota, on April 25 at a toll plaza in Kane County. Police found $334,280 in bulk currency in the trunk, and $6,710 in the man's pocket, according to court records.
"Also contained in the trunk was a suitcase containing drug packaging material to include a vacuum food saver and vacuum food saver bags," read part of a petition for forfeiture filed by the Kane County state's attorney's office in late May.
The man, whom the Daily Herald is not naming because he has not been charged with a crime, told police he was a concert promoter and the money was to finalize a contract. He also said he owned a car dealership and was going to Schaumburg for a car auction, according to the forfeiture petition.
A drug dog also alerted to the presence of narcotics, according to the petition, which seeks to have the money forfeited under the state's money laundering laws.
Matthew Boerwinkle, spokesman and Illinois State Police master sergeant, declined via email to comment on the matter, including the probable cause the police had to make the traffic stop, if any drugs were seized or any criminal charges filed. Boerwinkle's email said state police could not comment because of ongoing litigation by the Kane County state's attorney.
Mitchell Kreiter, a defense attorney for the Minnesota man, said his client was stopped for driving 6 mph over the speed limit, and his vehicle was searched without a warrant. Kreiter said his client was not charged with any crime, but police took the money.
"It's not against the law to possess United States currency," said Kreiter, who will oppose the forfeiture efforts in court.
Kreiter said an alert from a police dog didn't give authorities license to invade his client's privacy and the state's efforts to have the money forfeited are based on "speculation and conjecture."
"It's just general guesswork," Kreiter said.
The case is due in court July 18 and a forfeiture hearing is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 15.