- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) - The Muskogee County District Attorney says that his office will return $53,234 that was seized from a man during a traffic stop that resulted in a drug-related charge.

Police seized the money from Eh Wah, who lives in Dallas and is originally from Myanmar, on Feb. 27, when he was pulled over on U.S. 69 for having a broken brake light. Authorities say Wah, 40, consented to a search of his vehicle.

Court documents don’t say that the deputy who searched Wah’s vehicle found any drugs or other contraband.

Wah is a tour manager for Burmese Christian rock band The Klo & Kweh Music Team. He told authorities the money was raised during the band’s tour for a Thai orphanage and a nonprofit Christian school in Myanmar.

District Attorney Orvil Loge said he made his decision Monday to dismiss the drug charge and efforts to keep the cash based on new information in media reports.

“I looked at the case today and spoke with the officers, and we agreed that now that we’ve filed the case, our burden of proof had been elevated,” Loge said. “We thought we would not be able to meet our burden of proof, so we had to act.”

Wah said that the whole experience was unpleasant.

“I was shocked and scared the first time I learned I had a warrant on me,” Wah said. “My parents - they were terrified. We never thought any time in our lives we’d see something like this. We didn’t do anything that would be close to this kind of thing, the drug thing. . You wake up in the morning, and it’s the first thing in your mind.”

Money will be returned to Wah, the band, its bassist, a Nebraska-based church and an orphanage. Loge said that his office will mail a check for the entire balance of what was taken to Wah’s attorneys.

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