- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A 30-year-old California man has been sentenced to prison after he was caught hauling nearly $935,000 in drug money through Nebraska.

Federal prosecutors said Ryan Perich, of Woodbridge, California, was sentenced last week to a year and a day in prison and three years of supervised release. He also was fined $6,000. Perich had pleaded guilty to interstate travel or transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises.

Perich was pulled over Jan. 24 for following a truck too closely on westbound Interstate 80 in eastern Nebraska’s Lancaster County. A court affidavit says officers found $934,722 inside vacuum-sealed bags in the rented sport utility vehicle after Perich gave permission for a search.

He told officers the money wasn’t his, that it was amassed from sales of marijuana and that he was hauling it from the East Coast to California.

Investigators used papers found in the SUV to obtain addresses and entry code numbers for storage units on the East Coast. Other papers had notes believed to be records of drug debts or money collected.

Prosecutors said investigators who viewed security recordings from one of the storage facilities saw Perich take several boxes into one of the units and leave them there. Prosecutors haven’t reported any arrests of people connected to Perich’s case or the cash.

The drug money has been forfeited to authorities.

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