Stacks of cash were found Monday when a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy made a traffic stop along Interstate 10 outside of Eloy.
Just before 6 p.m., the deputy pulled over an eastbound 2000 Chevrolet Impala sedan for a traffic violation.
The driver, Maribel Toscano, 26, of Mexico, “appeared to be very nervous,” Sgt. Pat Ramirez, spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release.
Toscano, who was travelling with a 3-year-old in a child safety seat, told the deputy she was returning to Mexico after a day of shopping in Phoenix, Ramirez said.
In addition to merchandise in the backseat, the deputy saw stacks of cash wrapped in plastic. In Toscano’s purse he saw two large bundles of cash wrapped with rubber bands.
“Toscano admitted to receiving the money in Phoenix from a Mexican drug cartel member, with instructions to transport the money to Mexico,” Ramirez said. “She admitted after receiving the money she separated and packaged the money in the plastic wrap.”
The money, totaling $69,975 dollars, and the vehicle were seized as evidence.
Toscano was booked into the Pinal County jail and faces one count of money laundering. Her child was turned over to a friend, Ramirez said.