Related topics

Finders of $300,000 Can’t Keep It

February 18, 2000

DALLAS (AP) _ When a suburban Dallas couple found a bag containing almost $300,000 and a handgun two months ago, they say they didn’t hesitate to turn the bundle over to police.

No one came forward to claim the cash, so the couple expected to get it back. But the police say finders-keepers doesn’t apply.

``The (Drug Enforcement Administration) determined this is drug money,″ said Sgt. Hollis Edwards, a spokesman for the Dallas Police Department. ``It is not the same thing as finding a wallet.″

The couple _ a maintenance worker and a kidney transplant patient _ asked not to be identified because of fear for their safety.

``We feel like it was from God,″ the woman said. ``It would get me to doctors I’m not able to see now because of my HMO. It would be the key to saving my life and not dying.″

If the money is found to be connected to a crime, the DEA and the police department could seize the money and share it.

The DEA found traces of cocaine on the bills, but Robert Udashen, the couple’s attorney, said traces of illegal drugs can be found on most bills in circulation.

``This is the ancient legal doctrine of finders keepers, losers weepers,″ he said. ``My clients found it and reported it to the police like good, honest citizens. Under the law, it belongs to them.″

But claiming the money could be dangerous too, said Frank Seib of the DEA.

``It was found in the middle of the highway with a loaded 9 mm on top,″ he said. ``If I take that money home, I’m going to watch out my window for a long time. Somebody is coming after it.″

Update hourly