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Tampa Police seek to seize $298K found in suspicious package, without an arrest

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Tampa police are looking to seize nearly $300,000 from a suspicious Oregon-bound package found at a UPS Customer Center in Tampa, despite the lack of an arrest for any crime.

On May 25, a man dropped off a 65-pound package a UPS Customer Center at 5100 Acline Dr. E, Tampa. The man, later identified as Junction City, Oregon resident Donald George “Don” Penvose Jr., arrived at the UPS center driving a newly-purchased 2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac.

According to witnesses, Penvose – who had been acting suspiciously – asked staff to pick the package up and bring it into the center, allegedly refusing to touch the package.

When security personnel opened the package, they found a Panasonic microwave oven taped shut with several foil bags inside – a frequent practice for concealing marijuana and other drugs from X-ray machines and drug-sniffing dogs.

The Tampa Police Department later found $298,410 in cash bundles inside the bags.

A search for the package’s UPS tracking number says it is being “delayed due to a Government regulatory agency hold.”

Tampa police say they sent cash seizure notices to several addresses – including two local addresses – associated with Penvose.

One seizure notice went to a rental home owned by Pedro and Marta Angulo at 5409 N. Ninth St. in Tampa. A second notice went to a mobile home owned, but not occupied, by Theresa Lemon at 6539 Ruth Dr. in Port Richey.

According to TLO.com, Penvose’s name is linked to a vacant property at 18054 Crawley Road in Odessa.

In a petition filed June 12, the TPD is seeking permission to keep the cash under Florida’s Contraband Forfeiture Act.

Although police have not arrested Penvose, the department argues the money is linked to the illegal sale of marijuana.

A 2016 amendment to the forfeiture act says a seizure may occur “only after the owner of the property is arrested” for a related criminal offense. TPD is asking the court to make an exception on several grounds, including that “Mr. Penvose’s failure to claim the package is a denial of ownership.”

Apparently, the judge agreed, issuing an order June 14 that found probable cause for the seizure.

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