What happens to drugs and drug money seized by police - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

What happens to drugs and drug money seized by police

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After the documentary "Oxyana" was released, depicting what some say is an oxycontin epidemic in Oceana, police say the big problem in the Wyoming County city is actually now xanax.

59News wanted to know what happens when drugs are seized and what happens to the drug money.

According to a release from the Oceana Police department in Wyoming County, there is a process in place. 

First, if money is taken, the investigating agency may decide to take it as a forfeiture.  Authorities count it several times in front of witnesses and put it into evidence.  Next, the prosecuting attorney's office is notified.  After the case is discussed, the amount of money that was taken must be published in the newspaper. If there is no response from the owner of the money, the agency gets a percentage of the money to be used to buy equipment, or to do other drug busts.  The prosecutor's office gets a small percentage too.

The release from Oceana Police said that the money never goes to any one person for personal use and it must be accounted for at all times.

Oceana Police tell us drug money seized in the county stays there, where county leaders can decide to spend that money on improvement projects.