Jose Nuñez Romaniz is a 19-year-old student from Albuquerque.
In what began as an ordinary day, Romaniz was headed to the bank to make a deposit before making an online purchase of socks for his grandfather. Try as he might, they had been unable to find any in local stores. What happened next has earned him praise and a bit of fame in his New Mexico home town.
Upon arrival at his local Wells Fargo, he looked down, he saw a clear bag carrying $135,000 of cash. It was a foot long stack of $50 and $20 bills.
"I didn't know what to do. I was, like, dreaming," Nuñez told CNN . "I was just in shock. I was looking at myself and just thinking, 'What should I do?'"
"In the back of my head, I was just thinking about my parents, especially my mom,” Romaniz said to WTSP . "What she would do if I came home with the money and what she would do with her chancla to hit me.
"I did the right thing and I know my parents are proud and my family is proud as well."
Romaniz called the 1-800 on the ATM and then the police.
"Man, we all know that temptation – even just take a little, just one of those bundles off the top, I mean that had to be really hard," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said . Joking aside, "I’m just absolutely impressed."
The Albuquerque police chief along with the Mayor thanked Romaniz with a $500 check toward his college tuition. He also received a gift card, $500 cash and season college football tickets.
In what was perhaps the best news, Romaniz, who is studying criminal justice, might even get a job with police after his actions.
Officer Simon Drobik, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, spoke with The New York Times and said that when he learned that Mr. Nuñez was studying criminal justice and wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement, he invited him to apply for a position at the department.
Mr. Nuñez took him up on the offer and has completed the application to become a public service aide.
“I’ve wanted to be a crime scene investigator or a detective for the police since I was a kid,” Mr. Nuñez said. “I already had my mind set on that.”
A Public Service Aides is a non-sworn, unarmed civilian employee with no arrest or enforcement powers.Under general supervision, they are responsible for public safety work in various patrol precinct of the Sheriff's Office.