|Morganelli with Forks Tp Detective Philomena Kelly earlier this year,announcing|
homicide charges against a drug dealer who provided a fatal overdose.
Friday, August 26, 2016
NorCo DA to Drug Dealers: We Will Take Your Money, Car, House
Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli announced yesterday that his drug forfeiture Program netted $140,290 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. This includes $119,632 in cash, $16,019.13 from the sale of 15 forfeited vehicles and $4,638 in shared proceeds from Attorney General Forfeitures.
Forfeited money is used to purchase police equipment for police, fund undercover drug purchases and provide police training. It also pays for an assistant District Attorney. Seized vehicles are used by local police as unmarked or undercover vehicles or sold at auction. Real estate used to facilitate drug distribution can be forfeited as well, although the District Attorney only uses that tool against convicted drug dealers. "I will continue to return monies we have seized to our local police departments, block watch groups, civic groups and other organizations that assist us in prosecuting drug crime and in educating our youth on the dangers of drugs," said Morganelli.
In a strange sign of economic recovery, the $140,290 forfeited over the past year is substantially more money than was taken in any of the last three years (2015 - $107,802; 2014 - $120,544; 2013 - $79,831). Since he began this program, which is authorized by state statute, Morganelli has seized over $2 million from drug dealers and returned it to the community.
"Just about every municipal political subdivision in Northampton County has at one time or another benefited from a donation from the drug forfeiture fund," said the District Attorney. “The message that we want to send to those who deal in illegal drugs is a simple and clear one: be assured that you are doing it at your own risk. When we catch you we will seize your money, your house, your vehicle and any other ill gotten gains from your drug dealings. Drug use and drug dealing in Northampton County will be very unprofitable."