See $9,800, 952 F. Supp. at 1261. Additionally, the dog's
positive response to sniffing the currency is of less probative
value since a high percentage of United States currency is
contaminated with narcotics residue. See $506,231, 125 F.3d at
453. Other evidence, however, is sufficient to at least tend to
show probable cause.
Having large sums of cash becomes suspicious when it is known
that the person does not have income that corresponds with
carrying such amounts. See $150,660.00, 980 F.2d at 1207;
United States v. One 1990 Nissan 300 ZX, 1991 WL 119149 *2
(N.D.Ill. June 28, 1991). Compare $9,800, 952 F. Supp. at 1262.
Here, it is alleged that Ezeugoji had only $5,067.00 in income in
1997.*fn3 Also, it is alleged that he admitted during his
interview that he had not worked recently. Further, fleeing when
being questioned or approached by law enforcement authorities is
a grounds for strongly suspecting participation in illegal
activity. See Illinois v. Wardlow, ___ U.S. ___, ___, 120 S.Ct.
673, 676, 145 L.Ed.2d 570 (2000); Tom v. Voida, 963 F.2d 952,
959 (7th Cir. 1992); United States v. Lane, 909 F.2d 895, 899
(6th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1093, 111 S.Ct. 977,
112 L.Ed.2d 1062 (1991); Payton v. Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's
Medical Center, 82 F. Supp.2d 901, 909 (N.D.Ill. 2000).
Ezeugoji's carrying of false identification and his dishonest
answer to whether he had previously been arrested*fn4 are also
grounds for suspicion. See United States v. $8,120 in United
States Currency, 1994 WL 445080 *5-6 (N.D.Ill. Aug.16, 1994).
Compare $9,800, 952 F. Supp. at 1262. Also, at the time he was
stopped, Ezeugoji provided no legitimate explanation for having
the large sums of cash. The government has alleged sufficient
facts to tend to show probable cause that Ezeugoji had the cash
and traveled to Chicago for an illegal purpose.
The closer question is whether it can be concluded that the
illegal purpose to which the money was connected was illegal drug
transactions. The government does not allege that there are any
additional facts linking Ezeugoji to illegal drug activity. There
is no allegation that he has any prior convictions for such
activity or that he has ever been observed engaging in such
activity. As previously stated, the positive alert of the dog is
of minimal probative value. Still, the government need only
allege facts that tend to show the existence of probable cause
and probable cause itself only requires a probability, not
necessarily a likelihood, that the accusations are true. Illegal
drug trafficking is probably the most common of the illegal
activities for which somebody engaging in illegal activity would
be traveling to another city with large sums of cash and false
identification. There is a sufficient probability that the
illegal activity Ezeugoji may be reasonably suspected of engaging
in was illegal drug transactions. The factual allegations are
sufficient to tend to show probable cause that the cash seized
from Ezeugoji was related to illegal drug activity.
Holding that the allegations of the complaint are sufficient
does not resolve this case. The government still will have the
burden of proving the existence of probable cause and, if it is
successful at doing so, Ezeugoji also has the opportunity to
attempt to prove, as he has indicated, that he had the money for
the purpose of purchasing used cars in the United States.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Ezeugoji's motion to dismiss [6-1]
is denied. Within 14 days, Ezeugoji shall answer
the complaint. All discovery is to be completed by June 30, 2000.
Status hearing will be held on July 12, 2000 at 11:00 a.m.