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Jul 5, 2012 4:34 PM

2 women arrested near Casa Grande with $46k in car

FLORENCE, Ariz. - Two women from out-of-state were arrested Wednesday when Pinal County sheriffs found over $47,000 in cash, hundreds in counterfeit money, marijuana and other drug paraphernalia in their car.

At about 1:15 a.m., a Pinal County Sheriff's Office deputy patrolling on eastbound Interstate 10 near Casa Grande saw a car make several illegal lane changes and conducted a traffic stop, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

The deputy smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana from the vehicle, when the passenger, 29-year-old Tiffiany Cleveland of Las Vegas, Nevada, rolled down her window. The deputy then asked 30-year-old Shanice Hempstead of Fontana, California, for her license.

A records check of Helpstead revealed she was driving on a suspended license, and the two gave conflicting stories where asked where they were going, the release states. A search of the vehicle turned up several pipes with residue consistent with methamphetamine, marijuana, a black purse containing $47,670 in cash, and $460 in counterfeit bills.

Hempstead admitted she was hired to transport what she believed was drug money from Las Vegas to Southern Arizona, and Cleveland denied knowing about the money.

Hempstead was charged with Money Laundering, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving on a Suspended License, the news release states. Cleveland was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. More charges are pending.

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