Trooper donates cash to drug fund

Monday, July 14, 2003

BERRYVILLE ---- Arkansas State Trooper Chad Hipps delivered a wad of cash to Carroll County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Rogers, to be used to fight drugs.

Rogers was pleased to accept the $5,200 in denominations of $100 and $20 bills.

The money originated from a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 412 last Nov. 8 that resulted in the arrest of Gabriel Rosales, 24 of Green Forest.

Hipps noticed the man acting suspiciously, seeming to keep trying to adjust his crotch area. Rosales was driving a Cadillac SUV when Hipps says he pulled him over for speeding and crossing the double-yellow line.

Since Rosales had a suspended license, Hipps was able to make a standard arrest and inventory of the vehicle before it was towed away.

Hipps said he reached into a pocket on the back of the passenger's seat and found the $5,200 in currency.

When he brought it to Rosales' attention, Hipps said, "I was wondering where that was." Asked if he didn't think that amount of cash was a significant amount to lose track of, Rosales allegedly said, "That's not that much money."

At the jail later, 20 grams of almost pure methamphetamine was found in Rosales' clothes.

Rosales eventually negotiated a plea bargain, pleaded guilty, and is serving time in the Arkansas Community Punishment Center.

He agreed to forfeit the money through his attorney, and after all the paperwork was completed and Rosales began serving his sentence, the attorney turned the money over to Hipps.

In such cases, Hipps said, then money will go into the county's drug fund "for some type of drug interdiction."

Prosecutor Rogers said, "Chad is a real asset to Carroll County, and this was a great piece of police work. He executed it flawlessly, and it was all captured on video monitor."

Hipps said he and K-9 officer Tommy Hayden laid down a pizza box and other trash, and the cash taken from Rosales. "His dog ignored everything else and immediately hit on the money." Hipps said. That means the money was in close proximity to drugs at some point.

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