Broward News

Man Sends $32,000 Cash to Fort Lauderdale Tattoo Parlor; Feds Seize It

A man from New York mailed $32,000 cash to a Fort Lauderdale tattoo shop last August for what his lawyer now characterizes as “legitimate business purposes.” But according to police, those purposes may have involved illegal narcotics, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be getting that money back anytime soon.

According to a complaint filed in federal court January 28, Fort Lauderdale UPS workers opened a “suspicious” parcel this past August 24 and found a clear, plastic Tupperware container with cash wrapped in a blue plastic bag.

UPS contacted the cops, who brought over a dog that quickly sniffed out an “odor of a controlled substance” emanating from the money. Translation: drugs.

John Killourhy of Kingston, New York, was labeled as the sender. The receiver, meanwhile, was listed as Damien Bart, who works at the Bruce Bart Tattoo Parlor on Oakland Park Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

The next day, Killourhy called the Sheriff’s Office and said he had shipped “approximately $38,000 to $40,000” to Fort Lauderdale, He wasn’t sure exactly how much.

On January 28, the U.S. Attorney’s Office seized the money, but Killourhy — who has not been charged with a crime — wants the cash back. “Our position is that the government has absolutely no probable cause to seize this property,” said Killourhy’s lawyer, Teresa Williams. She then declined to explain why her client mailed a huge chunk of cash in a Tupperware container.

Bart’s Facebook page lists him as a “Tattoo Artist, Champion Skier, Musician, Music Lover, Culinary Art[ist], Vocalist, Song Writer, Event Promoter, Event Planner, and Music Historian.”

When reached by phone at the tattoo parlor, Bart simply said he “can’t talk about that, man.”

Though it is technically legal to send cash through the mail, the UPS website clearly says the company doesn’t allow customers to send paper bills, but “you can ship checks.”
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Jerry Iannelli is a staff writer for Miami New Times. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. He moved to South Florida in 2015.
Contact: Jerry Iannelli