Cops Find $24M Stashed in Suspect's Wall

Raid on store owner's home breaks Miami-Dade record
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2016 1:14 AM CDT
Updated Jun 30, 2016 5:13 AM CDT
Cops Find $24M Stashed in Suspect's Wall
Hernandez-Gonzalez won't be allowed to use this for bail money.   (Miami-Dade Police)

Luis Hernandez-Gonzalez runs a successful gardening store in Miami-Dade, but not quite successful enough to explain the $24 million cops found stashed in his wall. The 44-year-old was charged with offenses including money laundering and marijuana trafficking after police found the cash stuffed in 5-gallon Home Depot buckets in a secret compartment guarded by a statuette of St. Lazarus in a raid on Tuesday, the Miami Herald reports. Officers also recovered cash and marijuana from Hernandez-Gonzalez's "Blossom Experience" store, which they say caters to indoor pot growers with products like lights and fans.

Hernandez-Gonzalez, whose sister was also arrested, is accused of trafficking marijuana to Tennessee. He had been under investigation since 2010, when he chatted to an undercover cop about life in the drug trade, reports WPTV. Miami-Dade police plan to make the record-breaking amount of seized cash their own through civil forfeiture laws—and Hernandez-Gonzalez has been told his $4 million bond can't be delivered in buckets. "For a man with $20 million in his walls, an elevated bond is clearly necessary," Miami-Dade prosecutor Adam Korn said at a hearing Wednesday. (Cops in Washington state seized cash and drugs after an Easter egg hunt was disrupted.)

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