CHESTERTON | An 18-year-old Illinois woman was taken into custody Monday on a charge of possessing marijuana after giving police a number of different explanations for nearly $8,000 in cash found in her vehicle.
Shakyra Smith, of Romeoville, was arrested at 10:10 p.m. during a traffic stop along northbound Ind. 49 at the North Calumet Avenue overpass, according to Porter County Sheriff's Department.
Police said they stopped Smith's vehicle after it was seen speeding.
Smith reportedly told officers her mother had rented the vehicle so she could travel to see friends in South Bend. She then said she was actually visiting a man in South Bend and did not want her mother to know.
When investigators learned she had $1,000 in small bills in the car, Smith reportedly said she received the money as a gift from her mother.
When a tote bag with more money was found, Smith first said the money was to buy a car and then said she received it because she is a blessed person, police said. When asked to elaborate, she reportedly said, "it's not drug money. People just give me money."
Smith also claimed the money was proceeds from babysitting, police said.
Police seized the $7,850 in cash, several electronic items, gift cards and two grams of marijuana.