CLAY CO, Ind. (WTHI) - The Clay County Sheriff's Department received a large donation courtesy of a federal program that legally transitions confiscated drug money into funding for local law enforcement agencies.
News 10's Brittany Earl explained how police are using drug money to keep the community safe.
In 2010, the Clay County Sheriff's Department (CCSD) Deputies arrested Timothy Cheatham, 47, who was a widely known meth dealer throughout the Wabash Valley.
PHOTOS FROM TIM CHEATHAM DRUG BUST | Click here to view
Police confiscated large amounts of manufactured meth and large amounts of money.
And, thanks to a federal program, the confiscated drug money was put to good use.
Clay County Sheriff Michael Heaton said, "That money is broken down amongst the law enforcement agencies involved, to be put right back into resources to continue these types of investigations. Each department uses it for different reasons."
The CCSD seized more than $70,000 from inside Cheatham's home.
Sheriff Heaton said his department received a chunk of that cash: about $32,000.
"It's nice for the drug detectives to get the equipment they are wanting. So, it's a kind of reward for them, a pay back, ya know? This is drug money, we know its drug money, so now were using [this] drug money to catch the next [criminal]," stated Sheriff Heaton.
The CCSD was able to purchase new surveillance equipment and under-cover vehicles with that money only, which is delaying the use of tax money.
"That time, being a small county, our budget is very limited in what we can and can't do. So, when we get this amount of money or any money from a drug investigation or a federal seizure, it's really nice to be able to put that back in towards those types of investigations and into the community," Sheriff Heaton emphasized.
The CCSD is keeping the community safe, putting drug dealers behind bars, while benefiting from their illegal acts: one arrest at a time.
Sheriff Heaton said this is the second largest amount of drug money that they've confiscated and then been allowed to reuse.
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