A Wisconsin couple was charged with possession of thousands of counterfeit $100 bills as well as marijuana Friday on Interstate-80.

In the early morning hours on May 31, a trooper stopped an eastbound Hyundai Tucson for speeding about nine miles west of North Platte, NSP spokesman Cody Thomas said.

Thomas said the trooper detected the odor of marijuana during the stop.

A search of the vehicle turned up four pounds of marijuana, 51 units of THC edibles, plus $18,000 in $100 bills. Another $2,000 was found in authentic bills, Thomas said.

Lawrence Hawkins and Lamecia Merchant, both of Wisconsin, were charged and placed in the Lincoln County jail.

Hawkins is held on four bonds of $75,000 each, according to sheriff’s records. Merchant is held on a single $75,000 bond.


(This report was updated at 6:30 p.m. June 3 with the total bills that were found, following a bank review.)