CLEARFIELD – The man whose car police found $5,000 in on Interstate 80 went through with a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Ricardo Hepburn, 43 of Queens, New York, represented himself at the hearing. Hepburn is charged with a lone count of false identification to police.
Pennsylvania State Police trooper Robert Ferdarko testified that on Monday around 5:50 p.m., he pulled over a vehicle that Hepburn was driving because he was following too closely to another vehicle. The vehicle had an Ohio plate, and the trooper was presented with a rental form from an Ohio resident. Hepburn presented the trooper with and identification for a “Paul Ricardo Muller,” born in 1970. The trooper ran the license through, and it came back okay, though it had expired.
Hepburn gave the trooper an address in Queens. When asked to write the address down, the trooper noted something peculiar.
“His hands were trembling,” said Tpr. Ferdarko.
Tpr. Ferdarko gave the man a written warning and told him he was free to go. Tpr. Ferdarko then asked the man if he could ask him a few questions.
“He appeared to be more nervous,” said Tpr. Ferdarko.
A consent to search form was filled out, and Tpr. Brett Hanlon and his K-9 Brenda were called to the scene. Twice Brenda alerted troopers to the console area in the car.
Once the console was searched, $5,000 in different denominations was discovered wrapped in an Western Union receipt.
During the investigation, a social security card for a “Ricardo F. Knight” was found, as well as a resident alien card for a “Ricardo Felix Knight.” Hepburn said that last item was his nephew, and he was going to return it.
It was not until Hepburn’s fingerprints went through the F.B.I.s database that the troopers learned his real name.
Hepburn offered no questions for cross-examination, and called no witnesses.
It was noted that Hepburn did have a prior weapons offense as well as an unlawful imprisonment of child offense.
Questions as to Hepburn’s U.S. citizenship are also a questionmark.
Hepburn is being held in Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $25,000 straight bail.