Maine Cops to Ramp Up Asset Forfeiture Efforts

Small-town police departments in Maine say they’ll be “securing more drug money and other assets seized from criminals to help stretch” their budgets, reports the Maine Morning Sentinel:

Police Chief Heidi Wilcox is ramping up her efforts to secure more drug money and other assets seized from criminals to help stretch the small town's police department budget.

Her efforts highlight how some area law enforcement agencies rely on asset forfeiture laws to offset funding gaps.

A local court recently ordered that about $835 in drug money, seized during an arrest made by Wilton police officers last year, will be handed over to the department. Police plan to use that cash and apply for state grants to buy three bulletproof vests, Wilcox said.

She described the criminal forfeiture laws as a vital law enforcement tool, especially for small town police forces struggling to keep up with rising costs amid residents' demands for budget cuts.

"There's a big financial burden to investigating these crimes and we do rely on drug forfeitures," [Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty] said. "When you have a search warrant, you may have 10 deputies, all on overtime and at high risk."

Liberty said seized drug assets -- sometimes totaling in the tens of thousands -- have been critical to his department in investigating drug crimes, as well as buying protective vests, weapons, training, and pay for overtime.

Fairfield Police Chief John Emery recently had a court order that $10,000 in cash seized during a drug bust will be handed over to the town police department. He noted getting the seized cash back, which requires court approval based on the certain legal guidelines, allows the department to keep targeting drug crimes without significantly increasing the town's financial burden.

"It benefits both the taxpayers and the department, and it takes the money out of the drug dealers' hands," he said of asset forfeitures.

He couldn't say this past week how much money the department has received from assets seized from criminals.

"It certainly helps offset the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on drug investigations," he said.

Seizing drug money and assets, however, are always an afterthought, Detective Lt. Carl Gottardi II of the Somerset County Sheriff's Office said.

"We don't do drug investigations to get the criminal forfeiture, because the goal is always to stop the crime."

Sure, and my name is David Bowie. 

Reason on asset forfeiture

P.S. "Survey: Maine ranked 'most peaceful' state"

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  • rts||

    Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty

    There must be an Iron Law that these people either have highly apropos names or very ironic ones.

  • R C Dean||

    Randy Liberty is a most excellent porn name.

  • ||

    On The First 48 there was a detective named Connie Justice. I wonder how many innocents she locked up?

  • o3||

    lemme guess that the pink teddybear in the background is drug paraphernalia? wait - is there a pink teddybear?

  • ||

    Small-town police departments in Maine say they'll be "securing more drug money and other assets seized from criminals to help stretch" their budgets

    The headline should be "Police Depend on Illegal Drugs for Funding".

  • ||

    Sure, and my name is David Bowie.

    His birth name is David Jones, so his name isn't David Bowie either. This is Ground control to Major Riggs...

    Also, did anyone else quickly skim the lede and read "Mein Kampf" as opposed to "Maine Cops"?

  • ||

    Hey wanted to say thanks for that list of best of French horror. There's a ton of movies I've never seen, and it's rare I find a treasure trove of new horror to gorge on.

  • ||

    I likes ya Jimbo! It's the least I could do for one I hold in very high esteem. (bows deeply with eyes down)

  • ||

    Well if I ever need a kidney stone properly diagnosed, I know who to go to.

    BTW, Epi and I had this conversation awhile back, but I don't remember if you were a part of it. Have you ever heard of these? It's supposed to be the hardest of the hard-core.

  • ||

    Ooh! This looks good!

    Anything that is mistaken for a snuff film must be of the highest gore calibre. I know what I'm hunting for this weekend! Domo arigato Gojira san.

  • sarcasmic||

    Check out Burial Ground.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081248/

    Nothing like low budget Italian grind house.

  • ||

    I live on Italian 70s and 80s horror. You'll find Argento, D'Amato, Fulci, and many others on my dvd shelves.

  • ||

    Maybe if you didn't use 10 deputies to serve a warrant you wouldn't be in this mess. OFFICER SAFETY!!!

    Also, Mr. Bowie, can you please explain why you declined to release anything good after the Thin White Duke period?

  • Aresen||

    In related news, the Sherriff of Nottingham has announce that seizure of goods under the sumptuary laws would be used to fund the enlistment of new armsmen and purchase of warhorses to prevent the peasants from rising above their place.

  • oncogenesis||

    "There's a big financial burden to investigating these crimes and we do rely on drug forfeitures," [Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty] said.

    So Hillary was right. There is too much money on the WoD to stop it.

  • JW||

    hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on drug investigations

    Well, there's your problem.

  • JW||

    "There's a big financial burden to investigating these crimes and we do rely on drug forfeitures"

    I'm sure that you do.

    I'm also very, very sure that you will never, EVER have scope creep on such a fine, upstanding mission. And I'm quite sure there will never be any pressure to define deviancy down, in order to keep revenue up.

  • RPR2||

    all on overtime

    I have a cost cutting suggestion.

  • Fat Man & Little Boy||

    Pigs are greedy pigs. That is all.

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    Or you could legalize and tax the drugs. That would be an easier way to use drugs to fund local government.

  • ||

    ""We don't do drug investigations to get the criminal forfeiture, because the goal is always to stop the crime."

    Sure you do hoss. I had a friend years ago who was an undercover narc. He called me up once and asked " Hey, do you know anyone who has an airplane? We need an airplane.".
    Stunned, I said just because someone has an airplane doesnt mean they are into drugs somehow and you can seize it. His reply?

    " Yeah, we can take anything we want. We will find a way. If they have a plane, we can take it." I told him I didnt know anyone with an airplane. We are no longer friends.

    A couple of weeks later some guy landed at a small local airport and they tried to take his plane because they said he flew in a suspicious manner, so he must be a drug mule. After some months in court he was given his plane back, which was completely trashed.

    The goal is to steal everything they can get their hands on.

  • R C Dean||

    Bad apples. Exception. Incident investigated. Procedures followed.

    STOP RESISTING!

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'm starting to think The Shield was a documentary.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "$835 in drug money, seized during an arrest made by Wilton police officers last year, will be handed over to the department. Police plan to use that cash and apply for state grants to buy three bulletproof vests"

    $835 doesn't at least buy one or two adequate bulletproof vests? The money needs to be blown APPLYING for a fucking grant? Meaning no guarantee that the grant will be accepted? Sheeeit.

  • fried wylie||

    gotta spend money to make money? errr, no, that's not it...

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Also, nice haircut asshole.

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