John Newmerzhycky was travelling through Iowa with his friend William Davis after playing some poker at a casino when they were pulled over by a member of the Iowa state police interdiction team. With reports concerning a red vehicle, the police officer followed John and William for ten minutes before pulling them over for failing to signal when passing another car.

After being pulled aside and questioned by the officer, John began to show signs of breathing rapidly and fidgeting, which increased the officer’s suspicion. After telling John he was free to go with a warning, the officer asked if there were any drugs in the car. Without a direct response, the officer called in a K-9 unit.

John and William told the officers there were no drugs or currency in the car. This would turn out to be untrue when the officers found Davis’ $85,000 packed inside a locked briefcase. The police also found a grinder and a very small amount of cannabis, but enough to charge John with a misdemeanor. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

The state of Iowa then confiscated the money, called California authorities where the men are originally from, leading to both of their houses being searched. Despite both John and William having medical marijuana cards, the searches led to felony charges in California. Jump to today, and every charge has been dropped, and the original sum of money confiscated has been returned.

There was more of a reward for John and William than just money however. 

Hear John’s full story when he sits down with Chip on The Real Dirt Podcast.