State Settles Case Of $46,000 Found In Car Trunk, Then Seized

Aug 3, 2018

$46,000 was found inside a Whole Foods bag. Though no one was charged with a crime, law enforcement seized the money.
Credit N.H. State Police

Federal prosecutors have settled a case with a Maine man who says $46,000 seized during a traffic stop was lawfully his.

In October of 2016, New Hampshire State Police found the money in the trunk of a vehicle during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 95 in Greenland.

The driver was released without any charges, but law enforcement, using a legal maneuver called civil asset forfeiture, seized the cash under suspicion it was connected to illegal activity.

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Edward Phipps of Bridgeton, Maine stepped forward in July of 2017 to challenge the forfeiture, arguing the money was lawfully obtained.

Now, though, the two sides have reached a settlement agreement that will allow law enforcement to keep $39,000, with the rest returned to Phipps through his attorney.

Neither party responded immediately to a request for comment.