The St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department will start receiving funds through an equitable sharing program after the county commission approved setting up an account through the county to receive the funds.
St. Francois County Treasurer Kerry Glore told the commission that law enforcement in St. Francois County has completed all the documentation to be part of the Department of Justice Equitable Sharing. She pointed out Sheriff Dan Bullock could better explain what that means for the county.
“Basically it’s about the time that we are going to get some proceeds in so the county commission needs to set up a separate fund because that is what is required for equitable sharing,” explained Glore. “It is going to be called the Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Fund and we need the commission’s approval to start the new fund.”
Glore said they have no money at this point in time and they are not actually going to put the fund on the books until the money comes in. She said when that happens the county auditor’s office will set up the line item accounts that are required.
“You can get equitable sharing in two ways, either tangible or intangible equitable sharing,” said Glore. “Dan can actually explain more about that.”
The commission made a motion and approved setting up the fund. Bullock then explained to the commission what the Equitable Sharing Program was all about.
“A couple of years ago the county commission approved to have one of my deputies attached to the DEA and that was Deputy Tim Harris,” said Bullock. “You read about him in the paper recently with some of the drug busts and things he has done for us in St. Francois County, state of Missouri and across the nation.”
Bullock added the last case he was involved in went all the way to Mexico and California and took out two of the top drug lords in Mexico that furnish heroin, cocaine and meth across the nation.
“He got a lot of recognition for that,” said Bullock. “We now are finally going to start seeing some of the proceeds from the federal forfeitures from that program. It’s well over a million dollars in this last drug bust. We won’t get all of that. We will get a percentage of it, anywhere from 13 to 15 percent of that money.”
Bullock said there have been several other seizures of property and money across the nation and they will get a percentage of that as well.
“It should amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars that will go in this fund that you are approving today,” said Bullock. “We have just been awarded a 2013 one ton dually pickup truck and I don’t know what we are going to do with it, but at some point we can sell that if we don’t use it.”
Bullock said they were approved for a Jeep and just last week they were notified they would receive $6,000 to go into this fund that has been created.
“There will be several thousand dollars more in the next few months coming into this fund,” explained Bullock. “There are guidelines and that money can be used for training, equipment, things at the jail, certain salaries such as the D.A.R.E. officer or our drug officer Tim Harris’ salary.”
Bullock said as for the vehicles, they have to keep them for two years and then they can do whatever they want with them.
“We are checking to see what the vehicles can be used for. The truck is a very nice truck that was bought to transport drugs,” said Bullock. “We don’t have a tremendous need for the truck we are receiving, so we are trying to find out if the road and bridge department could use it.”
Bullock added they get a percentage of anything from any case they have contact with. He said the reason they need the special account set up is because the federal government audits that account and they have to follow the specific guidelines.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or firstname.lastname@example.org