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Feb 14, 2014 1:31 PM by Faye DeHoff

Traffic stop in Yavapai County yields more than $100,000 in drug money

YAVAPAI COUNTY - Over $100,000 was taken from a vehicle during a K9 narcotics investigation in Yavapai County.

On Monday just before 9 a.m., a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office K9 deputy stopped a black 2008 Ford Taurus with Kentucky plates on I-17 south, near Highway 260 for speeding and a lane change violation. The driver was identified as 63-year old Karl Harz from Southern California. While the deputy was talking with Harz, he noticed Harz seemed more nervous than usual and it appeared Harz was under the influence of a stimulant.

Due to suspicions Harz might be carrying contraband, deputies requested permission to search the vehicle and Harz declined. As a result, deputies brought out a YCSO-certified narcotics detection K9 for an exterior sniff of the Taurus. The K9 displayed an odor alert on the vehicle, indicating the likelihood of narcotics inside. During a check of the vehicle interior, deputies found a stack of US currency, approximately $9,000 in cash, by the front seat and a small quantity of methamphetamine in a cup holder. In the trunk, deputies found several stacks of US currency in a duffle bag and additional currency hidden inside liquor bottle bags. The total exceeded $104,000.

Based on additional information, deputies determined the money was connected to drug transactions and the cash was seized. The K9 alerted to the currency during a controlled blind sniff test conducted as part of follow-up during evidence processing.

Harz was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Money Laundering, Possession of Dangerous Drugs and DUI-Drugs. He remains in custody on a $250,000 bond.

The K9 team has been very busy in recent weeks with drug-associated cash seizures including $52,000 on February 5 and $10,000 on January 31.

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