You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Inmate escapes from Tri-County Regional Jail in Champaign County

Seized items become prizes for anti-drug effort

Clark County agencies recovered more than $500K in assets last year.


When drug dealers are convicted in Clark County, authorities don’t just take away their freedom, they take away all their assets.

In 2012, the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office and area law enforcement agencies seized $528,385.56 in assets and cash after drug convictions. Half of that money went to the agencies that made the arrests, with the rest going to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office.

They use that money to fight drug crimes, helping the sheriff’s office purchase its new K-9 officer. About 20 percent of the office’s take is used for drug prevention education programs, said Prosecutor Andy Wilson.

Much of a dealer’s assets are tied up in items they purchase with their drug proceeds, he said.

“Drug dealers typically have money, they’ve got cars and they’ve got electronics,” Wilson said. “If we can go into court and we can show they’re tied to the drug activity, then we can take it.”

Traditionally, items such as TVs, gaming systems and computers would be auctioned off and the money used for police or prosecutor programs. However, Wilson said they’ve begun taking those items and using them as incentives to get students involved in drug prevention programs.

Many of the items are used as raffle prizes for students who sign up for the Cole’s Warriors random drug testing program by taking the substance abuse pledge at their school. Test kits, fliers and pamphlets for the program are also bought using the proceeds from forfeited drug dealer items. The drug results are confidentially sent to the student’s parents and are not used to prosecute the student but rather to serve as a deterrent to them using drugs, Wilson said. In exchange, students get a chance to win a TV.

“I love it when we go to a high school and we have a kid who has signed up, basically subjected themselves to a random drug test … and we hand that kid a TV that used to be hanging in a drug dealer’s house,” Wilson said. “I can’t think of a better use of seized or forfeited contraband.”

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in Clark County. The Clark County Combined Health District’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that while only 5 percent of Clark County high school students surveyed in 2011 admitted trying drugs such as crack or cocaine, that figure jumped to 19 percent when it came to prescription drugs and 11 percent for over-the-counter drugs for the purpose of getting high.

Stacks of TVs and Playstation 3 systems are lined up in a storage closet, some tagged for prospective schools while others are waiting for the next drug screening sign-up. Springfield, Kenton Ridge, Northeastern and Tecumseh high schools as well as the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center are already part of the Cole’s Warriors program. Founder Danielle Smoot said she hopes to expand into every Clark County district.

To find out how to get involved in the Cole’s Warriors program, visit http://coleswarriors.org.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Sean Hannity tweets his worry about Fox News’ future
Sean Hannity tweets his worry about Fox News’ future

There are rumors that Fox News co-president Bill Shine’s future with the network is rocky, according to New York Magazine. Shine’s name has appeared during dark times at the network, notably as an ally to former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes amid various sexual harassment lawsuits. Fox News’ Sean Hannity took to Twitter...
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations

Negotiations between southwest Ohio’s largest health system, Dayton-based Premier Health, and UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurance company, remained at a standstill Thursday with the first deadline for their contract to expire rapidly approaching. UnitedHealthcare’s contract with Premier hospitals is set to expire...
Family says man beaten, left for dead after winning lottery
Family says man beaten, left for dead after winning lottery

Someone beat up and killed a man who won thousands from a scratch-off lottery ticket. Police aren't saying much about this case but the victim's family told WSB-TV that Charles Barrett’s debit card was stolen and used. They say 59-year-old Barrett had deposited a $17,000 check for his winnings from a $2 lottery scratch-off a little over...
Central State taken off fiscal watch as Wright State edges toward it
Central State taken off fiscal watch as Wright State edges toward it

As Central State University exits fiscal watch by the state, Ohio’s higher education chief warned that Wright State University could be on the brink of entering it. Chancellor John Carey visited CSU early Thursday to make the university’s improved financial position official. “You went through some very rough times and made some very...
Drive thru victim reports robbery at knifepoint
Drive thru victim reports robbery at knifepoint

A man working at the Oooh Ooh Drive Thru in Springfield told police a man threatened him with a knife and fled with cash around 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, according to a report by the Springfield Police Division. The man told police he was in the drive-thru portion of the business at 1359 W. First St. when he heard the front door bell go off. A man...
More Stories