Pubdate: Tue, 27 Dec 2005
Source: Andalusia Star-News (AL)
Copyright: 2005 The Andalusia Star-News
Author: Sandra Baxley Taylor


Jeff Holland was cruising along in his police car when a car on the
highway attracted his attention. Holland was wearing his "River Falls
Police Chief" hat at the time and driving a River Falls police car.
(Depending upon the day and the time of week, Holland also wears the
"hats" of River Falls Fire Chief and as lieutenant for the Andalusia
Fire Department.)

"They were not maintaining their lane," Holland said of the two men
who were in the suspect car.

So he pulled them over.

And the River Falls Police Department is richer by $18,723 because of
his action.

Backing up, to tell the story: It did not shock anyone who knows of
Holland's ability to spot the unusual that when he pulled the car over
he discovered the Florida residents could not explain how they had
come to have some $23,500 in cash with them in the car.

"I questioned them separately," he said. "I got suspicious after
hearing their explanation of where the money came from, so I arrested
them and held them for the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)."

Under state and federal law, Holland said, DEA is the only agency
allowed to confiscate cash.

The men were allowed to proceed on their way to Atlanta, which they
said was their destination.

But their money did not accompany them.

It was held by DEA, with agents following up on the stories given them
about the money.

Last week, Holland got a check for $18,723 from the DEA, River Falls'

"We think the men were on their way to buy drugs with it," Holland
said. "But we don't know that."

Why does law enforcement get to keep the money, then?

"Nobody claimed it," Holland said. "That speaks for itself, doesn't

Holland said he has had success with pulling people over who "don't
maintain their lanes.

"If someone has something to hide, and they see a cop, they slow down
and make sure they aren't breaking any laws," Holland said.

"What they don't pay attention to is staying in the correct lane. It's
a giveaway every time."

What else is a giveaway that you might have a drug smuggler or someone
fleeing from the law?

The story they tell.

"When I got the men apart, one of them said they had the cash because
they had been hired to build a bar for some club," Holland said.

"The other one told me they had a job waiting on them in Atlanta with
a church. He said the $23,500 was to buy supplies to build church pews." 
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