On Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 at 1:24 p.m. a Pinal County Sheriff K-9 deputy was traveling eastbound on Interstate-10 near mile marker 197. The deputy observed a 2002 Hyundai Elantra traveling in front of him. The vehicles registration was suspended so he initiated a traffic stop.
The driver of the vehicle identified herself per a United States Passport as Elda Sepulveda Figueroa (age 36 of Phoenix). With her in the vehicle was her seven-year-old son.
Elda told the deputy she was headed to Tucson to attend a funeral for her aunt. She was very nervous while speaking with the deputy and it was discovered she was currently on federal probation for conspiracy to smuggle marijuana. When asked about her probation, she said that it was her husband who was smuggling the marijuana but she was also charged with it.
The deputy asked her if she had anything illegal in her vehicle and she said “no.” She told the deputy that he could look in the vehicle if he wanted to.
The deputy located a large black and white gift bag on the rear seat behind the driver’s seat. Inside of the bag, it contained 5 . bundles of U.S. currency wrapped in rubber bands.
Elda was placed under arrest and declined to answer any further questions but did tell the deputy the money was not hers.
The money totaled $107,730. The money and the vehicle were seized.
Elda Figueroa and her son were released to call for a ride. The investigation on this case will continue and possible criminal charges are pending.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Whether the cartels try to smuggle drugs, humans or cash through Pinal County, we will continue to bring a heavy hand of enforcement. After the money is released by the courts to our office, we will use it to fund equipment for our deputies and continue to provide funding for various youth programs throughout Pinal County.”