Lowndes County Sheriff's Office returns seized $400K to owner

Posted at 4:49 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 13:00:50-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) - The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office has returned $400,000 to it's owner after an investigation failed to connect the money to any criminal activity.

The money was originally seized when a deputy found it in a duffel bag after a traffic stop. 

Deputies say that the man had no license, so the deputy on scene offered to give him a ride home in lieu of taking him to jail. The deputy asked to see what was in the duffel bag before putting in his patrol car.

When the deputy opened the back, he discovered $400,000 in cash.

"The driver first said he had sold a house in New York and then he said he was buying a business in Valdosta," said Sheriff Ashley Paulk.

With no clear explanation for the cash, the deputy seized the money suspected to be involved with criminal activity.

However, an investigation couldn't find any criminal activity connected to the man or his money, so the sheriff says they gave the man a cashier's check for $400,000 several days after the incident.

Deputies note the man was cooperative with authorities throughout their investigation.