Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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California law enforcement agencies receive cash distributions

Something that our Roseville readers may not know is that when police agencies bust suspects who are alleged to have been involved in efforts to sell drugs, some of those individuals' property can be subject to forfeiture to the authorities. Although it can take some time for the final transfer to occur, given the relatively lengthy nature of the criminal justice process, police agencies nonetheless have quite a bit to gain if the focus is on arresting suspects with a lot of allegedly drug-related property.

According to a recent report, the authorities in nearby El Dorado County have just received a significant distribution from efforts tied to the investigation of a multi-state marijuana operation. The report indicates that the District Attorney's Office and the Sheriff's Department both assisted federal authorities in the investigation, and as a result over $260,000 was distributed to the two agencies.

It appears that these funds resulted from the prosecution of two individuals in particular. The assets involved in the forfeiture included real estate and the contents of bank accounts.

This recent report just goes to show that law enforcement agencies may have alternative forms of motivation when they target alleged drug offenders. The funds the agencies in this case received will no doubt be used to purchase more sophisticated equipment to assist with efforts to curtail the drug trade in the local area, which will likely result in more drug charges in the future. From a larger scale perspective, however, it may be useful for California citizens to begin to question whether or not transferring cash awards from the forfeiture of the personal property of criminal suspects is a proper way to incentivize California law enforcement officials.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "El Dorado County agencies receive share of forfeited narcotics proceeds," Cathy Locke, Feb. 6, 2014

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