SCOTT COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Scott County Sheriff’s Department is hoping that money that was recently seized at a drug bust could be used to help the department.
Earlier this week several officers visited a home in Oneida after they received information about the alleged sale of narcotics.
They found 51-year-old Randall Lowe who was arrested for violating his probation and charged with several counts of possession of narcotics for resale.
Officers also found several thousand dollars.
During a search and seizure at a home in Scott County, officers found methamphetamine, pills, drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
Sheriff Ronnie Phillips said, “There was $60,000 that was found and seized by the officers.”
Phillips said the amount of cash was the largest his department has ever seized to his recollection.
“Of course, it’s got to go through our legal system and if it’s awarded to the sheriff’s office it will be awarded into our drug program,” Phillips added.
The process is called civil forfeiture. Generally, when large amounts of money are seized by local law enforcement, the state and federal governments share the assets. Sometimes, the money is given back to the department to be used for new equipment.
Phillips said, “The biggest thing that they could use it for is new vests for the officers. We got some [vests] that the officers are wearing that are close to out of date. So, this would be very important.”
Phillips said usually a vest is good for about five years.
Before this bust, the most significant amount they had ever seized was around $25,000. They bought a new vehicle with that money. They’re hoping money that was used for illegal purposes can again be re-purposed for something good for the officers who risk their lives to keep Scott county communities safe.
“We’ve got it, we’ve seized it, and if it’s awarded to us, we’ll put it to good use,” Phillips said.
It could be several months until they know if they get the money. The money would have to go through a legal process before it can be awarded.