The DEA will receive $268,720 in drug-trafficking proceeds taken in a traffic stop on Interstate 10 in Gulfport.
Neither Jovares Lamont Griggs nor his girlfriend responded to a summons to show cause why they were entitled to keep money found in her car, which Griggs was driving on Oct. 12, a court document says.
A Harrison County deputy had stopped Griggs for speeding near mile marker 36. The deputy smelled the odor of burned marijuana, searched the car and found the cash.
Griggs later confessed the money was from a cocaine deal in Pensacola, Florida, and claimed the money belonged to him and another person.
After the traffic stop, a DEA agent gave him paperwork showing the money had been seized from the car pending further investigation.
On Jan. 4, three months later, a Baldwin County, Alabama, deputy sheriff stopped a Jeep with a paper tag flapping in the wind. Griggs was the driver, and the deputy found $4,000 in the center console and paperwork about the money seized in Gulfport. A search led to $90,865 in cash hidden in a spare tire.
Griggs had told authorities he was a club promoter from Houston, Texas, and said the cash seized in Gulfport was from tickets he had sold, a document said.
A letter sent to his attorney in February gave him a deadline to explain why he should keep the money. A letter mailed to the woman identified as his girlfriend was returned, unopened, to federal court. Neither responded.
The default judgment, filed as a civil lawsuit, is a formality before a law enforcement agency can keep seized money. It was not clear if the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department will receive a portion of the cash.
The judgment does not involve the money seized in Alabama.
Griggs was convicted of sales/delivery of cocaine in 2000 and cocaine possession in 2008, both in Florida; he also had a federal arrest in 2004 involving the transport of more than 25 pounds of marijuana, a document said.