RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced Thursday the transfer of $505,503.06 in forfeited currency to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department. The transfer was authorized by the federal equitable sharing program enacted by
Congress in the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 and administered by the United States Marshal’s Service. Under the program, local and state law enforcement agencies that assist in federal investigations which lead to the forfeiture of property may share in the proceeds. The share received reflects their contribution to the investigation and may be used for any approved law enforcement purpose.
United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker stated, "This significant forfeiture of funds from illegal activities will now be used to benefit the public and enhance law enforcement in New Hanover County. The joint investigation of the matter by federal authorities and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is a testament to how teamwork plays a priceless roll in the
investigation of crime."
In FY 2012 alone, over $7.5 million dollars of forfeited property was equitably shared by the federal government with 105 state and local law enforcement agencies in the 44 counties of the Eastern District of North Carolina. Funds have been used for equipment, training, improvements to buildings, and salaries for new positions, among other things. Under federal
guidelines, equitably shared funds must supplement and enhance law enforcement budgets and not supplant already budgeted funds.
The investigation of this case by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, uncovered a trail of drug dealing and attempted murder by deceased Canadian Jonathan MacDonald that stretched as far as Southern California and Arizona. The court ultimately rejected claims to the currency by the alleged heirs of
MacDonald and determined that the currency was drug proceeds.