Florida Keys

Agents seize $166,400 in laundry basket during drug raid at house

This cash added up to $166,400, the Sheriff’s Office says. Guns were also seized.
This cash added up to $166,400, the Sheriff’s Office says. Guns were also seized.

More than $166,000 in cash was seized and two people were arrested following a raid on a Big Coppitt Key house.

Marisa Estopinan, 37, and Steven Leto, 25 were in the house at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday when agents with the Monroe County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, the U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration came knocking as part of an “ongoing investigation into drug sales,” the Monroe Sheriff’s Office said.

Estopinan and Leto were taken into custody as agents searched the house and found the cash “in a red bag in the laundry basket underneath all of the clothing. This currency was within a vacuum-sealed bag” and the money was “wrapped with multiple rubber bands consistent with that of drug sales,” one of the sheriff’s office agents wrote in the suspects’ arrest reports.

Also found in the laundry room was a loaded Glock 19 handgun with a 9 mm magazine containing 15 rounds of ammunition and another 9 mm magazine loaded with 31 rounds. An unloaded Kahr CW380 handgun was found in a cupboard.

Found in Estopinan’s bedroom, the Monroe Sheriff’s Office says, was cocaine, plastic bags with presumed cocaine residue, a broken pill that Estopian told agents was Adderall and a marijuana joint. Marijuana was also found scattered around the property and in a green Toyota Tundra, agents reportedly found a duffel bag containing an “automatic electric money counter.”

At first, Leto refused to talk without a lawyer there, then he and Estopian said the $166,400 was a loan from Leto’s grandfather Nelson and that “he had receipts” for it.

Estopinan is charged with being a felon possessing a weapon and cocaine possession, both felonies, and a misdemeanor count of possessing drug equipment. Leto was jailed on misdemeanor counts of possessing marijuana and drug equipment.

Larry Kahn: 305-440-3218