Forfeited drug dealer money is given to county
Washington County District Attorney Eugene A. Vittone this morning presented to the Washington County Commissioners a check in the amount of $100,000.00. This money was forfeited over the past few years by drug offenders that have been dealing drugs within Washington County. In the past, forfeiture money has been used to fight crime in the county by providing education regarding illegal drug use, equipping police officers with protective equipment, and to offsetting personnel expenses in fighting illegal drug transactions in Washington County.
”I am extremely pleased to present to the taxpayers of Washington County these forfeited monies knowing that we will be putting it toward positive uses for the county,” District Attorney Vittone stated.
The funds presented today are a direct result of the 2012 reorganization of the Drug Task Force Division of Washington County District Attorney’s Office, which was funded by the County Commissioners. The goal of the reorganization effort was to implement countywide investigations with the intention of successfully prosecuting those who have been dealing dangerous drugs like heroin. Part of the reorganization involved evaluating and updating the procedures that are employed when processing the assets that are subject to forfeiture in drug investigations.
“When I took office, properly disposing of accumulated property, notably seized vehicles was a priority,” Vittone said. I also engaged in discussions with the county commissioners in how to best fund and pay for our efforts in fighting dangerous drugs. I thank the commissioners for their faith in our Drug Task Force’s efforts and their support of the detectives who work in our task force.”
Under the Pennsylvania Judicial Code, assets of offenders which are used to facilitate drug transactions, transport drugs, or are proceeds of illegal drug transactions, are subject to forfeiture to the Commonwealth. Strict procedural law has been developed to insure that the constitutional rights of offenders are protected in the process. Once forfeited, funds may be used to aid and assist law enforcement efforts to fight illegal drug trafficking.
“It is no secret that the biggest challenge we face right now is the sale and use of heroin within our county. We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who seek to sell dangerous drugs within our county communities,” Vittone concluded.