Drug forfeiture money used by new police vehicles

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Photo by Sue Suchyta

A drug forfeiture windfall allowed Melvindale police to purchase a new Ford Mustang (left) and a Chevy Tahoe. A new Ford Exhibition, which is currently unmarked, will be used by the detective bureau. Last July a semi truck full of money was seized following a traffic stop. After a predetermined period of time passed, the Police Department was able to claim its share of the money with the caveat that it be used for drug enforcement activities.

MELVINDALE – The Police Department has purchased three new vehicles recently using drug forfeiture money.

A Ford Mustang GT, a Chevy Tahoe and a Ford Exhibition now are part of its stable as the result of a favorable default judgment the city received earlier this year on a forfeiture for $1.27 million in U.S. currency seized during a routine traffic stop on a semitruck in July.

Once Wayne County Prosecutor Brian Moody informed Police Chief Rick Cadez earlier this year that all of the time limits for appeals had passed for Wayne County Circuit Court judgments related to the case, and that the city was free to spend the seized money on drug enforcement equipment.

Wednesday Cadez told the mayor and City Council members that the Mustang and Tahoe have been detailed with the special police package, and have drug enforcement information on the back of the vehicle.

“They look pretty good,” Cadez said. “Two of them are already marked. The third one is going to be for the detectives.”

The County Prosecutor’s Office, which handled all of the proceedings, is legally eligible to receive 10 percent of the currency seized, 10 percent of the determined value of the truck and trailer. Prosecutors also can receive $366 for the filing and service fees owed to them.