Delaware County Sheriff’s Office to ask County Council for cash to pay for drug task force program

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DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. (January 22, 2016) - The Delaware County Sheriff's Office plans to ask the county council for more money to pay for the drug task force program.

Changes in federal drug money forfeiture programs mean local departments are taking financial hits. Right now, the drug task force unit's budget is zero.

“You’re gonna have to spend money on the purchasing of the drugs. You’re also going to have to pay the confidential informants that assist. You’re going to have to pay overtime for officers to come in," an undercover deputy said, describing the costs associated with drug investigations.

So far this year, the sheriff's office has executed five SWAT team raids. Each raid costs $10,000. On Thursday, the sheriff's office busted Gerald Bennett, Muncie, on charges of possession of marijuana, maintaining a common nuisance (drugs), and possession of cocaine or narcotic drug.

Sheriff Ray Dudley said they found five grams of rock cocaine, 50 morphine pills, marijuana paraphernalia, digital scales and about $1,400 in cash. Out of the $1,400, it's unlikely the sheriff's office will see much. The drug task force hasn't had a budget for the past seven years. Instead, the task force earns money through the cash it seizures during busts. Now, that's all changing.

“Out of that forfeiture money, the only monies that we actually receive with the department is money that we can prove that we spent on that case," Dudley explained.

“We’re breaking even or losing a little bit because we have to pay for confidential informants to give us information."

Dudley will be asking the county council next week for $20,000 to $25,000 to fund the  task force program.

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