Federal agents approached a 39-year-old woman earlier this month to ask her what she was doing in the backyard of her residence in Boynton Beach. She responded that she was in the process of burying an urn. However, the federal agents kept digging and allegedly found that the woman was digging up $20,000 cash from the hole.
The agents proceeded to arrest the woman and charge her with the federal crimes of giving a false statement and attempting to remove property to evade seizure. If the woman is convicted of the crimes, she could be sentenced to up to five years in jail and up to $250,000 in fines for each criminal count. The arrested woman is a mother of four, she works in the medical industry, and she does not have a prior criminal history.
The woman's boyfriend had just been arrested from the same residence on charges that he had sold over 400 pounds of cocaine two days before. Agents were tipped off by recorded calls from the jailhouse in which the woman's boyfriend informed her that something needed to be dug up in their home's backyard. A new search warrant was issued, which led to the federal agents visiting the woman, and her subsequent arrest.
According to authorities, recorded phone calls from the jail revealed that the woman had been given instructions to dig up something close to a saint's statue in the backyard of her home. The woman's attorney said that it is surprising that federal agents chose to charge the woman. He said that it is not common for federal authorities to "squeeze" the girlfriend, especially when it was clear that the woman was not actually involved in the original crimes.
Any individual arrested for a crime in Florida -- whether it is a state or federal case -- will have the ability to defend him or herself against the charges with the aid of a criminal defense attorney. In some cases, the charges can be successfully fought in order to get them dropped, dismissed or to gain a verdict of not guilty. In other cases, accused persons may choose to plead guilty to certain charges in exchange for a reduction in sentencing in a plea bargain deal.
Source: Sun Sentinel, "Woman caught digging up $20,000 from backyard said she was burying urn, feds say," Paula McMahon, Oct. 05, 2016