MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – CHP K9 Officer Beny made another big bust after locating approximately $300,000 during a vehicle stop on Tuesday, according to Merced California Highway Patrol.

CHP says an officer was conducting a vehicle stop on a 2020 Chrysler van after the driver of the van was closely following other cars from behind.

According to officials, the officer noted the smell of burnt marijuana and observed several other factors during the vehicle stop which led him to believe the driver of the van was engaging in criminal activity.

CHP says K9 Officer Beny was then called in to sniff around the outside of the van during the stop.

Officials say during the search, Beny alerted the officers of the smell of drugs in the van.

Photo Courtesy Merced CHP

Authorities report that a vehicle search was then conducted by CHP and a gym bag filled with around $300,000 in cash was located in the van’s trunk.

Officers say when the driver was questioned about the money, he claimed it was not his and that he did not know where it came from.

According to CHP, officers seized the money and an official count will be done in the future to determine how much money was actually seized by officers.

CHP says a report will also be completed and sent to the District Attorney’s Office for review and a recommended charge of possession of money derived from the sale of drugs for the driver of the van will be issued.