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Published April 04, 2012, 08:20 AM

Waitress denied $12,000 after police declare it part of a drug investigation

Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A waitress is suing the Moorhead Police Department after officers took $12-thousand dollars left at her table, saying it was drug money.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A waitress is suing the Moorhead Police Department after officers took $12-thousand dollars left at her table, saying it was drug money.

The waitress was working at the Fryn'Pan in Moorhead when she noticed a woman had left a to-go box from another restaurant on the table. The waitress says she followed the woman outside to try and return the box and the woman said "No, I am good, you keep it."

Inside she found cash rolled up in rubber bands. The waitress called Moorhead Police just in case. She says officers told her it would be hers if the cash wasn't claimed in a certain amount of time.

When the woman asked after 90 days, she was told she wouldn't receive the $12,000 because it was part of a drug investigation. Instead, she got a $1-thousand dollar reward.

Police say the money had a strong odor of marijuana and falls under a state law allowing money to be seized if it's found in proximity to controlled substances. The waitresses' lawyer claims it's far more likely someone was trying to make an anonymous donation rather than being part of a drug deal.

The lawsuit was filed in Clay County court three weeks ago.

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