Trucker wants $550,000 in seized cash returned by KS sheriff

| 12/4/2009

A Las Vegas truck driver is suing a Kansas sheriff and several deputies for their role in the seizure of $550,000 of cash from his truck two years ago. Criminal charges against the driver did not stick.

Eduardo Arencibia was pulled over in November 2007 after Shawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy Tracey Trammel said he witnessed Arencibia’s truck crossing onto the shoulder.

Trammel and other deputies noticed the locked trailer had several different logos that had been applied to the trailer, which the officers called “ghosting.”

After two different searches, law enforcement officers found a duffel bag and a suitcase with cash totaling between $526,025 and $564,025, depending on which sheriff’s report is referenced. The final amount was deposited in a bank in exchange for a deposit check of $551,985.

According to The Topeka Capital Journal, a Shawnee County judge eventually dismissed all criminal charges against Arencibia, though none of his cash was returned.

Arencibia filed his federal civil suit in November.

The suit claims that sheriff’s deputy Trammel improperly questioned Arencibia about his origin and destination, and where he obtained the truck. The suit also claims that the driver was denied his right to obtain an attorney during questioning.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer