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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A North Carolina man claims he misplaced $20,000 in drug money and asked authorities to write him an excuse note so a Tucson cartel wouldn't kill him.

The Arizona Daily Star says 30-year-old Demarco Alonzo Thomas has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and racketeering.

According to documents from the Tucson Airport Authority Police Department, Thomas thought it might help smooth things over if he could show cartel members a phony receipt from authorities stating they had seized the money.

Police say Thomas claims he was paid $1,000 for each suitcase full of drug money he flew from North Carolina.

When arrested, police searched Thomas' suitcase and personal property. They found $17,000 in $100 bills in the pockets of packed blue jeans and another $3,000 in his wallet.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com

Associated Press,

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