Iredell seizes more than $300,000 cash

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 27, 2011

During the week of July 19, the narcotics division and the Interstate Criminal Enforcement team (ICE) of the Iredell Sheriff’s Office seized $381,960 in cash following multiple investigations.
According to a press release, the money was seized from suspected individuals involved in drug smuggling and various other crimes. In each of the cases, Homeland Security was contacted and the money has been accepted to be forfeited. Once the process is completed 80 percent of the proceeds will be returned to Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.
At the discretion of the sheriff and Iredell County, the money may be used for salaries, to buy vehicles, equipment, etc. The asset forfeiture program, the press release says, has been instrumental in funding the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office crime lab, saving Iredell County taxpayers thousands of dollars. It has also allowed the office to turn cases and evidence around in a short time, benefitting agencies in and around Iredell County. Many of the Sheriff’s Office’s fleet vehicles have been bought with the forfeiture money.
With this asset-sharing program, the press release says, Iredell County government has saved jobs and services.
The money seized is only forfeited when probable cause can be established that it is proceeds from drug dealing or other crimes.
All the individuals signed waivers relinquishing their rights to money that was seized the week of July 19. The cases are ongoing and may go into other states and cities.
In addition, $36,000 of this money came from cases originated by Iredell County investigators. The cases were adopted by the federal system and assets were sent back to the Sheriff’s Office.
Year-to-date cash seizures between the two divisions (narcotics/ICE Team) has been well over $500,000. This total does not include patrol divisions or the ACE team which also seizes narcotics and money.