A man who in Lincoln drove a pickup truck with nearly a half-million dollars in cash earned from marijuana sales in a spare tire was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison.

Matthew S. Crothers, 32, of Palos Heights, Illinois, in December pleaded guilty to interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise. U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard also sentenced Crothers to three years of supervised release.

A Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped Crothers on Interstate 80 on Oct. 25, 2014, because the truck had a suspended registration.

The $438,881 inside the tire were the proceeds of marijuana sales in the Chicago area and was being driven to growers in California, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Omaha.

At the time, high-grade marijuana was selling in the Chicago area for about $2,500 per pound.

Contact the writer: 402-444-3106, emerson.clarridge@owh.com

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