Sheriffs to get larger share in drug forfeitures
By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
March 20, 2001
Sheriff Billy Sollie said a bill signed into law by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove giving local law enforcement entities an 80 percent "cut" of seized property in drug cases will enable his department to make more drug arrests.
The proceeds from asset forfeitures, such as cars, property and money, will be used to develop a stronger understanding of local drug trafficking.
The new law is a mirror image of the current one which gives 80 percent of seized property from drug cases to the state and 20 percent to local law enforcement agencies.
Sollie said his department already utilizes a seized vehicle to transport Mississippi Department of Transportation road crews for trash pick-up.
While Sollie characterizes his department's relationship with the the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics as "outstanding," the new law will not impact the relationship between state and local law enforcement agencies here as much as it will in more rural areas. In smaller towns, where drug intelligence is extremely limited, relationships may be poor between local and state agencies, he said. The new law could bolster those relationships.
The new law is scheduled to go into effect July 1.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.