What happens to the 500k seized in Rankin County traffic stop? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

What happens to the 500k seized in Rankin County traffic stop?

source: WLBT source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Many residents in Rankin County are echoing the phrase "show me the money" after a traffic stop netted $500,000.

A Flowood police officer, assigned to the Rankin County Sheriff's Drug Interdiction Task Force made the bust Wednesday on Interstate 20.

The money will have to go through a long legal process before it ends up in the hands of Law enforcement

When Rankin County resident Ruth Peavey heard about the half million dollar traffic stop, she figured it would go to law enforcement agencies in her county.

Ruth Peavey said, “They found the money and the drugs, so in my mind the police department should receive it as part of the bust”.

Before that can happen, Rankin County District Attorney Michael Guest said the state has to prove in court the $500,000 they seized was actually drug money.

This is not always an easy task.

“I believe based on the large amount of currency, the way the money was concealed, the way the money was packaged, the fact that all three occupants of the car were denied ownership of the money, I believe we have a very strong case to stand on,” Guest said.

If a judge rules in the favor of law enforcement, around 80-percent of the drug seized money is split between the participating agencies for things like cars, officer training and much more.

“When there was a jail addition several years ago, the sheriff's department used some of his drug seized money to help offset the coast of that jail. 

The Richland Police department had a ribbon cutting on their new police building that was paid with drug seized funds,” said Guest.

Many residents said they don’t object to helping the people who protect them, they just want to make sure all the money is accounted for.

“It should all go to improve the police and sheriff's department, but none needs to going in anyone’s pocket,” said Peavey. 

The half million dollars is currently in a bank until a date for civil proceeding is set.

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