Details for SEIZURE / CACIOPPO

NOTICE OF SEIZURE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §9-16-1 et. seq., any party claiming an interest in the following property is hereby notified that the following property was seized by the undersigned agency in Butts County, Georgia: THREE HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEEN DOLLARS AND NO/100 CENTS IN U.S. CURRENCY. Conduct giving such rise to said seizure was as follows: on the 9th day of April, 2019, at about 2300 hours a Toyota pickup truck driven by Matthew Cacioppo was stopped on I-75 for Failure to Maintain Lane and Following to Close. The driver also slowed down to about 43 mph on a 70 mph highway. Deputy Moultrie approached the vehicle and it smelled of raw marijuana. A suitcase and other bags were visible on the rear seat. Cacioppo was asked about the vehicle registration and responded that it was a rental. Cacioppo handed the rental agreement to Deputy Moultrie. Cacioppo's hand was trembling and he appeared very nervous, more nervous than a typical motorist. Cacioppo was asked to step to the rear of the vehicle while Deputy Moultrie wrote up the moving violation and asked questions of Cacioppo in an effort to determine if he was ok to drive. In answering these questions Cacioppo stated that he flew in from California to Ft. Meyers to visit his parents for two weeks, and that he was now on his way to visit his girlfriend and her parents in St. Louis. Cacioppo stated he owned a real estate company and that he had just bought land and was going to develop it. Cacioppo then stated that his girlfriend was not in St. Louis but was flying in. Cacioppo's nervousness did not subside, and was clinching his fists repeatedly in his pockets. Deputy Moultrie inquired if there was alcohol in the vehicle to which Cacioppo advised there were cans in a cooler. Cacioppo denied that there were any drugs in the vehicle and stated that he took full responsibility for everything in it. Cacioppo was asked if there were any large amounts of US Currency in the vehicle, to which he initially replied no, then stated there was $50,000.00 from a land sale and that there was documentation for same in his bag. No invoice or documentation of any tyoe was ever located regarding any sale of land. A certified narcotics trained K9 was used to fo a free air sniff around the truck and the dog alerted on the vehicle which indicated that marijuana or illegal drugs are in the vehicle, This alert was denonstrated by a change in breathing, closing its mouth, moving its head back and forth, and by jumping up at the vehicle. Based upon Deputy Moultrie smelling marijuana coming from the truck and the alert by the K9 the truck was searched. At first, about $2,000.00 in loose currency was found in the console. Then a clear vacuum sealed plastic bag filled with US Currency, mostly 20's, was found under the passenger seat. Cacioppo said the bag contained about $50,000.00. Cacioppo said the invoice was in the bag and that he could get it. Cacioppo then stated that the suitcase had a half pound of marijuana and about $50,000.00 in it. Moultrie removed the suitcase from the truck and searched it. In the suitcase was about 1+/- pound of marijuana, and another vacuum sealed plastic bag containing $50,000.00 in cash, and three vacuum sealed bags containing THC wax or oil paper. These had writing on them of AC/DC, Guerilla Glue, and Benevolence which are all strains of marijuana, and the numbers indicating grams of each [51,91,132 respectively], and dollar amounts. THC wax, oil, or the like is a Schedule I controlled substance under Georgia law, and the amount found indicates possession and possession with the intent to distribute of same under OCGA 16-13-30(a) and (b). Further, marijuana and THC wax, oil or the like is a violation of federal law per 21 US Code 841, and 844 et seq. Further, possession of marijuana is a violation of GA law OCGA 16-13-30 (j) and federal law 21 US Code 841 and 844 et seq. Cacioppo was asked if there was anything else in the vehicle and he said no. When asked again he said there was another $50,000.00 in a green bag. The green bag was located in the truck and two plastic vacuum sealed bags containing US Currency were found. One appeared to contain only $100 dollar bills and was estimated to contain $100,000.00. The other was estimated to contain $50,000.00. Cacioppo was asked if there was any more US Currency in the vehicle and he said no, Another vacuum sealed bag containing US Currency was found under the back seat of the truck which appeared to contain $50,000.00. Cacioppo was asked what the total of the currency was and he said $300,000.00, then replied around $250,000.00. The seized items were taken to a location off the interstate to search. The total US currency seized was $326,118.00. All the US currency was banded in stacks in increments typically associted with narcotics transactions, many of the stacks indicating $2,000.00 each. Found in amongst the bundles of US Currency were pieces of paper with the words INDOOR, OG, DIESEL KUSH and numbers next to same. This would indicate an indoor marijuana grow operation of the various marijuana strains noted above, and the numbers would indicate prices realized from marijuana sold. There was also a brown piece of paper located which said CHERRY WHITE, BENEV, KUSH, PURPLE DIESEL, and MEDFORD with numbers beside it. These also are the names of various strains of marijuana and the numbers are indicative of either amounts or prices paid. Other notes found which are pictured in the attachments are being investigated. Further, the truck rental receipt details that it was rented on April 4, 2019 in Miami, FL, not Ft. Meyers. Miami is about 2 hours away from Ft. Meyers. The vehicle was stopped by Moultrie on April 9, 2019. The vehicle was due back in Sacramento, California on April 15, 2019. See attachments 1-8 which are pictures of the marijuana and the THC schedule I substance and 9-12 which are pictures of the currency and the papers with notations, which are hereby incorporated by reference into this complaint. In addition to giving false statements about the amount of US Currency in the vehicle, Cacioppo also gave misleading/deceptive/incorrect and false statements regarding his trip and facts regarding his rental vehicle. Claimants who may have an interest in said property are Matthew Cacioppo. Said property was used in violation of O.C.G.A. §9-16-1 et. seq., and 16-13-49 et. seq. in that the item(s) was/were used to facilitate the possession, sale, and distribution of controlled substances and/or marijuana and/or are proceeds derived or realized therefrom and that said item was used directly or indirectly used or intended for use in any manner to facilitate a violation of O.C.G.A Title 16, or of the laws of the United States or of any State relating to marijuana/controlled substance which is punishable by imprisonment of more than one year, and or said property was found in close proximity to controlled substances and/or marijuana. You are further notified that you may file a claim within thirty days of the second publication of this notice of seizure by sending a claim to the seizing law enforcement agency and to the District Attorney by certified mail, return receipt requested. James Moss Assistant District Attorney Towaliga Judicial Circuit State Bar No. 526574 918-605376, 7/10,17

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