Drug Forfeiture Accounts
Civil asset forfeiture is an essential element to the Lancaster County Drug Task Force’s efforts to deter drug dealing operations by depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity and taking away their means of operation. District Attorney Heather Adams has vowed to administer the use of forfeiture funds professionally, lawfully, and in a manner consistent with sound public policy. Transparency regarding the use of these funds allows for accountability which should apply to all levels of government, including law enforcement.
Attached below are records, not previously released, of all receipts and expenses for each account related to the Drug Task Force between July 2018 through June 2020. The records will be released on a yearly basis and were prepared with the assistance of the Lancaster County Controller’s Office.
6587AA Drug Task Force Forfeiture Account
Cash and assets seized from drug dealers during an investigation may be forfeited to the Commonwealth by Order of court. By law, monies derived from forfeitures are, in turn, intended to be used by law enforcement to help fund future drug investigations as well as to assist community-based drug and crime fighting programs.
6515AA PA Office of Attorney General Municipal Drug Task Force Program Funds
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General provides funding to counties who operate a local Drug Task Force to aid county agencies in the fight against street-level and mid to upper-level drug trafficking. 62 of the state's 67 counties participate in the drug task force program. Approximately $200,000 is received annually from the state via the Attorney General’s Office which is distributed on quarterly basis to be used for:
- Purchase of Evidence
- Purchase of Equipment or Services
- Case Expenditures and Informant Fees
- Administrative Expenditures
6528AA Federal Equitable Sharing Account
The Departments of Justice and Treasury share federal forfeiture proceeds with cooperating law enforcement agencies through their equitable sharing program. This program serves to encourage further cooperation between the recipient of the shared funds and the federal law enforcement agencies. Permissible uses of these funds are outlined in the Guide to Equitable Sharing https://www.justice.gov/criminal-afmls/file/794696/download. Used include, but are not limited to:
- Support of Law Enforcement Operations and Investigations
- Training and Education
- Awards and Memorials
- Drug, Gang or Other Prevention Awareness Programs
- Support of Community Based Organizations
Monies received by the federal equitable sharing program are based on a case-by-case basis and may not be used for salaries.
6528W Municipal and County Contribution Account
Since 1992, municipalities have been asked to voluntarily contribute $1.00 per capita toward the DTF. Lancaster County has 60 different townships and boroughs. In 2019, the Lancaster County Commissioners agreed to match municipal contributions dollar-for-dollar. In 2020, this resulted in contributions totaling $808,636.00 to the Drug Task Force. The Commissioners have committed to matching donations again for 2021.