PAXTON, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A Mass. State Police trooper stopped a car on Route 122 in Paxton for a motor vehicle violation and found $12,500 in cash, a scale, empty cellophane wrappers, and a substance believed to be marijuana inside the car, authorities said.
Michael Penny, the 27-year-old driver and sole occupant of the car, has been charged with operating a motor vehicle after license suspension and subsequent offense.
A trooper stopped Penny, who was traveling northbound on Route 122 in Paxton, at about 1:28 a.m. Wednesday after he checked the suspect's registration and discovered the car had not been properly inspected.
As the trooper approached the car, he allegedly saw Penny completely bent down, out of view, and reaching around as if he were hiding or retrieving something.
The trooper also said he detected a strong odor of fresh marijuana coming from the car. According to the trooper, Penny could not provide a driver's license and said his right to operate a car in Massachusetts was suspended.
However, Penny, an Auburn native, was able to provide a Mass. ID card which was located with a wad of $20 bills wrapped in a bundle.
A Paxton police officer and the trooper searched the vehicle before it was towed and found a scale, multiple empty cellophane wrappers, and green leafy vegetable matter believed to be marijuana spread throughout the front seat, authorities said.
During the search, authorities also found a plastic bag with $12,500 worth of cash.
Penny was expected to be arraigned in East Brookfield District Court Wednesday.