Ardmore police seize $370k from traffic stop on I-35

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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Ardmore police Captain Eric Hamblin says a traffic stop by their criminal interdiction team led officers to nearly $360,000 hidden in the floorboard of the car.

"We found access panels into that false bottom where officers discovered $357,720 in cash proceeds that we believe is tied to drug trafficking," Hamblin said.

Hamblin says the car was pulled over for driving left of center on I-35 South Tuesday afternoon.

The driver identified himself to police as Humberto Panama Leon.

K9 Boss alerted officers to the vehicle.

"They found $10,000 wrapped in a sock which they found suspicious," Hamblin said.

Hamblin says officers arrested Leon for not having a drivers license and failure to keep right.

He says officers were continuing their investigation from the initial stop when they found the cash.

"We believe this is payment for dropping narcotics off at an unknown destination and he was taking those proceeds to another unknown destination south of Oklahoma somewhere," Detective Eric Grisham said.

But Leon, whose real name is Jorge Luna Flores, bonded out and didn't show up to court Wednesday.

Hamblin says Flores is currently out on parole for engaging in organized criminal activity through Texas and has two drug trafficking convictions.

"He's here illegally and other agencies federal agencies we've contacted - ICE and Homeland Security - are interested in this person if he's located," Hamblin said.

Hamblin says Flores has been deported before.

He tells us they've asked a judge if the department can keep the seized cash and use it to purchase equipment.

"If we can take a little bit of their cash and hit them in the pocket occasionally, that's a good thing for us in our fight against the drugs coming up and down I-35," Hamblin said.

If you know where Flores may be, contact police.