What Happens To Money Seized in Drug Busts?

What Happens To Money Seized In Drug Busts?

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- Law enforcement agencies seized several million dollars worth of cocaine and cash in an Alamance County drug bust last week. But what happens to the items after they're confiscated?

In federal cases, the money seized is divided up among all the law enforcement agencies who helped in the drug raid, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In civil cases, the money seized is given to local school districts, per North Carolina law. 

"As long as it's out of the hands of the drug dealers and the criminal element it's always a good use," Alamance County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, Randy Jones, said. "As long as it's going to the school systems or the law enforcement. That's a good use of the ill-gotten gains."

The Alamance County Sheriff's Office has used money from drug busts to pay for new equipment such as cars and protection gear.

According to Jones, Thursday's drug raid will be classified as a federal case. Therefore, the Alamance County Sheriff's Office will receive a portion of the more than $800,000 seized. 

Drugs taken in these raids are destroyed and typically set on fire.

"We have to be very careful when transporting the drugs to the location where we destroy them," Jones explained. "It may sometimes sound like a movie plot, but when there's a significant amount of narcotics and money on the line someone may try to take it away from you."

The annual amount made from these raids vary from year to year and between different law enforcement agencies.

In 2015, Triad law enforcement agencies received varying amounts of equitable sharing payments, which come from items and money seized in criminal cases. According to the Department of Justice, the Guilford County Sheriff's Office received approximately $845,000, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office received approximately $37,000, the Randolph County Sheriff's Office received approximately $293,000 and the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office received approximately $206,000.

The Alamance County Sheriff's Office did not receive any equitable sharing payments in 2015 because of a lawsuit involving the DOJ.

Copyright 2016 WFMY


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