The Nebraska State Patrol must return more than $1 million in suspected drug money seized during a traffic stop that belongs to a former stripper, a judge has ruled.
The money has been at the center of a more than yearlong dispute that began with its seizure from Rajesh and Marina Dheri near North Platte on March 3, 2012. Trooper Ryan Hayes pulled over a speeding Rajesh, searched the vehicle, and seized the money after a police dog alerted to narcotics on the currency.
They money, which was rubber-banded in Ziploc bags and wrapped in dryer sheets, belonged to Tara Mishra, who had earned it as an exotic dancer.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon ordered the money returned after the state failed to prove any connection to illegal drug activity, reports the Lincoln Journal Star.