The Sheriff's Office received a call about suspicious activity behind a house off N.C. Highway 33, near the Beaufort County line, around 9 a.m. Deputies discovered a pickup truck wrecked nearby, so they called in the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Deputies went into the woods to pursue two men seen near the house and found two suitcases full of U.S. currency, said Capt. Douglas Peterson, with the Pitt County Sheriff's Office. It appeared the men had been digging by hand to bury the cash so it would not be discovered during the wreck investigation.
A member of the Highway Patrol's drug-interdiction team said the truck had been modified in ways common for vehicles used to run drugs on highways, Peterson said. A section of the truck bed had been cut out to create a hidden compartment, with a cover sealed by duct tape.
The money in the suitcases added up to $975,000. Troopers found more loose cash in the truck.
Peterson said no charges have been filed yet, but the investigation was ongoing. He expected federal agencies to be called in to assist deputies and troopers.