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ATTLEBORO - Police say a speeding car stopped on Route 123 in South Attleboro by traffic-enforcement officers resulted in more than just a speeding ticket.

After arresting the three occupants on drug and weapons charges Friday afternoon, police searched the car and found a large backpack containing $230,000 in cash.

In addition to the cash, police also seized a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, a large military-style knife and a small amount of marijuana, according to a police statement.

The source of the cash is under investigation.

"The Attleboro detective division is looking into where the money came from. What are these guys doing with $230,000?" said Detective James Cote. Meanwhile, the driver, Justin Pierson, 26, of Columbia, Mo., and his passengers Adam Clough, 24, of West Yarmouth, and Shawn DeBarros, 32, of Marstons Mills, were scheduled to be arraigned on related charges Monday in Attleboro District Court.

Clough and DeBarros had each posted $5,000 cash bail by Saturday. Pierson was still being held on $5,000 cash, according to police.

Traffic-enforcement officers Kevin Noble and Richard Pierce Jr. were conducting radar on West Street (Route 123) near Read Street, when they stopped the car the suspects were traveling in around 2:30 p.m., allegedly for traveling 43 mph in a 30 mph-zone, police said.

As the officers approached the vehicle, police allege they could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

They found the marijuana and the knife before discovering the loaded gun in the rear seat area, where DeBarros was seated, according to police.

The men were taken into custody, and detectives were called to the scene to assist in the investigation before the cash was found in the trunk, police said.

The suspects were charged with possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a firearm and seat-belt violations.

Pierson was also given a speeding ticket, according to police.

If I found myself driving around with $230,000 in illicit currency, I'd be like Driving Miss Daisy and the last thing in the world I'd do is spark a joint.
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