Cops Seize $28K in Route 17 Drug Bust
Two NY men were initially pulled over for a routine motor vehicle stop, police say
Mahwah police seized $28,875 from two N.Y. men driving through Mahwah Saturday night, Chief Jim Batelli said Sunday.
According to Batelli, Xiang Ho, 21, of Queens, N.Y., and Lu Bin, 22, of Syracuse, N.Y., were driving their 2008 BMW on Route 17 South at 8:13 p.m. Saturday when they were pulled over for an “observable motor vehicle violation.”
After a smell of marijuana and visible remnants of drugs in the car prompted police to search it, Ho and Bin were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and being under the influence of marijuana, Batelli said. Ho was also charged with driving under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, cops said.
During a search of the BMW, police found a box with the $28K in cash inside it, Batelli said. Police seized the money after evidence in the car and conversations with the two men led them to believe the cash was “proceeds of criminal activity or enterprise,” Batelli said.
Though he did not elaborate on the allegation, Batelli did say police will now follow state forfeiture laws, and begin civil seizure proceedings.
The car was impounded and Ho and Bin were released on their own recognizance with a scheduled court appearance on March 19, police said.
Mahwah Officer Eric Larsen conducted the arrest.