Money Seized In Drug Busts Goes Back To Law Enforcement

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

25 Eastern Kentucky law enforcement agencies get a big financial boost thanks to drug dealers. Operation UNITE handed out more than $323,000 to help local law enforcement fight crime.

It was money taken from drug pushers who are now behind bars. Police say that money will now be used to help make more arrests in the war on drugs in the region.

Crime fighters from across Eastern Kentucky gathered Monday at the London Community Center to collect checks.

"To the pushers, I want to thank you for the money that you allowed us to get by arresting you," said Hazard Police Chief Ronnie Bryant.

Operation UNITE and other agencies have put 2,800 drug dealers behind bars in less than six years. By law, the money taken after those arrests can be turned into something positive for the community.

"Instead of lining this drug dealers pockets, it's now going to law enforcement used against the very drug dealers it came from," said Operation UNITE Director Karen Engle.

Congressman Hal Rogers believes the money can't go to a more deserving group.

"That are the ones really fighting the fight and as a support troop, which I consider myself, I'm very proud of the warfare these people are putting on under difficult circumstances," said Representative Rogers.

Officials say this money helps small cities without the tax base support their departments.

"A program such as these are a great, great help to local communities, small communities such as ours," added Whitesburg Mayor James Wiley Craft.

Asset forfeiture money is split up among agencies who participate in drug busts with UNITE and is handed out every two years.

"Drug abuse always follows the path of least resistance and we all have to work together," said Engle.

Police call the money a powerful tool.

Operation UNITE also handed out several awards to Eastern Kentucky law enforcement agencies for their involvement with the anti-drug coalition.

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  • by john Location: here on Aug 19, 2008 at 07:00 PM
    Why do people continue to support the drug war. It is completly pointless and accomplishes nothing. Do you refrain from using drugs simply because they are illegal????????? So why do you believe that the drug war deters others from using drugs????? American sheeple land of the stupid and home of the scared.
  • by gary Location: hoskinston on Aug 19, 2008 at 04:36 PM
    good job
  • by Brenda Location: Hazard,Ky on Aug 19, 2008 at 12:14 PM
    I would take this opportunity to Thank UNITE for the recent bust of my neighbors.I had prayed for that moment yesterday for the last 3 almost 4 years.I hope the Judge that gets them in court won't just give them a slap on the hand either.Put them in jail and then let them work outside cleaning up trash dumps,creeks,and ditch lines instead of kicked back watchin tv or lounging in the AC.My husband works hard for our money and so they should work harder for our tax dollars to feed and cloth their sorry butts.
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Beattyville on Aug 19, 2008 at 07:00 AM
    I personally know several UNITE officers and must say that they are good at what they do. I am proud to know them and are proud of the work that they have accomplished and look forward to seeing what they do and who they get in the future! Keep up the good work UNITE!
  • by Eddie Location: Pikeville on Aug 19, 2008 at 06:06 AM
    Jaso, most of the time, it is because others are protecting that person, they have lookouts for when the police are coming, they sell only to people whom they know won't rat them out, theyconstantly stay on the move, and so on. It's not easy conducting a drug buy, and it is even harder to catch people selling drugs without actually being involved on a drug buy, etc. Don't let this stop you or others from reporting, keep reporting and these people will get caught eventually. UNITE and the people the work with do a good job overall. One other thing that will help tremendously is if Kentucky undergoes a serious cultural change aimed at NOT letting kids think it is okay to sell drugs, to fake illness or injury to get pills and then sell the pills, etc. When that happens, enforcement agencies like UNITE and the local police can focus more on the big dealers.
  • by Mary Anna Location: Martin County on Aug 19, 2008 at 06:04 AM
    Here is yet another question, why doesn't UNITE and others give back to the citizens of all the counties the value of all the items stolden to sell to or pawn to get money to buy these drugs. The citizens take the lost and never see any justice done. I have personally lost thousands of dollars of personal items due to breakins at my home. I have found that these individuals are are just smacked on the hand and never made to repay for items taken.
  • by jason Location: Hazard on Aug 19, 2008 at 04:48 AM
    Here is my question, why won't UNITE bust the people who are reported to them time after time,day after day and year after year? spend the $$$ and make the bust.


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