KFOR.com Oklahoma City

Caddo County property owner confirms New Mexico businessmen were trying to purchase land when their money was seized by Canadian County deputies

EL RENO, Okla. (KFOR) – A Caddo County property owner is standing behind two New Mexico businessmen who told KFOR they were attempting to purchase land with thousands of dollars that was seized from them by the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office.

“Why didn’t they just send somebody out to ask me like you’re asking me? I’d have told them the same thing,” a Caddo County property owner, who wanted to keep his identity private, told News 4.

He’s talking about a potential buyer, Thai Nang, that he met with back in April.

“He told me I’m 300 percent sure that’s illegal money,” Nang told News 4 last week.

Nang is talking about the roughly $141,500 that was seized from him and his business partner by the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office during a traffic stop.

Nang told KFOR that the cash was going to be used to purchase land for agricultural purposes, but the deputy insisted it was “illegal money” that was going to be used to purchase illegal drugs.

News 4 has now obtained the bill of sale and tracked down the property owner, who backed up what Nang told News 4.

“It was a verbal deal and they were on their way back in town to finalize it,” the property owner said. “It was $100,000 for the land and then they needed, I think, $30-40,000 to upgrade the electricity and the water for their operation. Why didn’t they just look at the bill of sale we have?”

All of our attempts to contact Sheriff Chris West to ask that question have only been met with silence. News 4 has also been hoping to ask him why the court documents only reflect $131,502 being seized, because that’s $10,000 short, according to Nang.

“They got a lawyer. He asked me if I’d sign an affidavit and I said sure,” the property owner said.

They’re due in court on Friday.

“The difficulty the owners of the money are going to have is proving that there is in fact $10,000, or however much money, missing. Most of the time what happens is, law enforcement take all of it and generally they count it pretty quickly thereafter,” Ed Blau, an attorney, told News 4.

On top of all of that, the property owner told News 4 he had to sell the land to another buyer.

“They seemed like really good businessmen,” the property owner said. “It makes wonder if people, regular Okies, I guess, if we would have gotten our money confiscated.”

News 4 submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office and the D.A.’s office for all of the records regarding the seizure of Nang’s money and we are still waiting to hear back.

A pre-trial hearing has been set for October.