Seized Money Could Benefit Local Police

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Jackson (WILX)-- Nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars could be used to fight drug crimes, but police have to fight to keep it.

$220,000 dollars was seized by Michigan State Police in Jackson on Friday.If it's drug related, the money would be entitled to police by law of forfeiture, but is has to proven in court.

Lt. Joseph Thomas with the Jackson Post, believes there'll be no problem linking the money to drugs.

"The dog alerted on the entire vehicle and the suitcase. That shows quite a significant amount of narcotics that this money had been associated with," said Thomas.

The out of state driver was heading from Detroit to Chicago, and was originally pulled over for tailgating. When police recognized other "indications of criminal activity," they proceeded to search the car. The money was found in a suitcase, in the trunk. When asked, the driver couldn't explain why he was carrying that amount in cash.

It's believed this is the third largest forfeiture in Jackson County history. The driver will be given the opportunity to present his claim to the $220,000 dollars in front of a Jackson Circuit County Judge. Only if the judge finds the money connected to illegal activity will it then be turned over to the police.

Lt. Thomas's already hoping to put the money towards the Narcotics Enforcement Team.

"They have to constantly stay ahead of the drug trafficking game. So I think it's a great opportunity for the money to be used in a purposeful way."

Thomas believes the money could be used to purchase new vehicles for the team, office supplies, and be put towards more training. Right now the narcotics unit is one of the busiest departments in the post.

We will keep you updated on what happens with the money.

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