A federal judge ruled that the Nebraska police must return the $1 million in cash it confiscated from a couple during a routine traffic stop, ABC News reports.
It turns out that the money in question belonged to Tara Mishra, 33, of Rancho Cucamonga, California. Ms. Mishra, an erotic dancer, has been stashing cash since she began dancing at the age of 18 years.
The police stopped Rajesh and Marina Dheri of Montville, New Jersey, for speeding in Nebraska last March. During the encounter, the police noticed bundles of cash in the car. They originally took the money because they suspected it was connected to illegal activity.
However, upon further investigation, it was confirmed that the cash did belong to Tara Mishra, and that there was no crime committed. The judge ruled that the police must return the cash plus pay an additional $74,000 in interest.
"The government failed to show a substantial connection between drugs and the money,"[Judge] Bataillon wrote in his opinion. "The dog sniff is inconsequential…The court finds the Mishras' story is credible…Ms. Mishra did have control over the money and directed the Dheris to deliver the money to New Jersey for the purchase of the business."