Cops rake in millions from drug busts – Today’s Paper > Local News | Bakersfield.com – Kern County news, events, shopping & search
It’s the largest seizure of drug money in Kern County Sheriff’s Department narcotics team history — and the department might get to keep most of nearly $900,000, officials say.
Late last month, the department seized the cash when three men with business ties in Bakersfield attempted to buy 40 kilos of cocaine from an undercover agent.
If it’s proven that the cash is indeed drug money, it could be used by law enforcement to buy such things as shotguns, surveillance equipment and police dogs, as in past years. Drug money has also been used to fund drug and gang prevention programs.
It’s called asset forfeiture, and officials say it’s necessary to disrupt criminal organizations that hurt the community, and at the same time give back to that community and help law agencies fight more crime.
Asset forfeiture essentially takes the profit out of crime, officials say, depriving criminals of the proceeds from illegal activity.
“We want to get the money and drugs off of the street,” added Sgt. Otis Whinery, who worked on the $900,000 bust.
…and into our pockets. Asset forfeiture is doing nothing to take the profit out of crime. Prohibition creates the profit in the drug trade, and for every dealer’s assets you seize, another springs up to seize the massive profits. Asset forfeiture re-distributes the profits of prohibition to the law enforcement side so the battles can escalate. Everyone who wants drugs continues to get drugs, we lose more liberties, the violence increases, and we create a profit motive for policing — what’s going to buy the sheriff a new set of tasers, solving rape cases or busting drug dealers?