A local sheriff says drug busts are the major reason his department has the latest in crime-fighting equipment. Stopping the flow of drugs in Lowndes County has been financially beneficial.
The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office has had several major drug busts this year, removing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drugs from south Georgia streets, and over the past few years, items seized during the bust have helped bankroll major improvements for the sheriff's office, all without costing the tax payers a dime.
"We've built our own lab, we've got our own K-9 facility, and it’s just a myriad of facilities we've gotten with drug seized funds," says Ashley Paulk, Lowndes County Sheriff.
And it doesn't stop there. This office has bought dozens of new patrol cars, two mobile crime labs like this one, and of course, the latest law enforcement computer systems.
Detectives say they couldn't complete any investigations without the tools purchased with drug seized funds.
"Without the drug seized funds that we have spent in the past and currently spend routinely as the years go by, we wouldn't have had any of the capability that we have. Our evidence collection, most of our drug testing as far as marijuana, all that is done in house. That's equipment we've bought and paid for with drug seized funds," says DET Eric Bramble.
And you might think the sheriff's office could only benefit from the cash or vehicles involved in a drug bust, but that's not the case.
"We've had funds come in from condominiums that have been sold, cars that have been sold, property of all kinds."
That money is used to upgrade the department's ability, helping it make more of a difference in the war on drugs. Sheriff Paulk says the money earned from drug busts are really just a bonus, because removing deadly drugs from the streets does something more important, it helps save lives.