The Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office is spending nearly $19,000 to buy new equipment for deputies.
That money did not come from taxpayers. Instead, it comes from a drug bust several years ago.
The Sheriff’s Office is using the confiscated money to upgrade its equipment and add less lethal weapons to its arsenal.
Deputies pulled over a man three years ago who had $37,000 stuffed into plastic grocery bags and hidden inside a suitcase.
“His story didn’t add up to what he was going to do with the money and he finally admitted to us that, ‘Hey, I’m taking this to another party to give it to them,’ but he wouldn’t tell us who it was, so we were confident this was drug money,” said Sheriff Chris Elliott.
Because that money was confiscated, more than $18,000 of it is now in the hands of the Sheriff’s Office to get drugs off the streets.
“We are going to use that money to get some less than lethal for our deputies,” said Elliott. “Give them some additional tools out there to deal with combative suspects.”
Sheriff Elliott says they also plan to use some of the money to buy lights for each deputy’s handgun and rifle, as well as buy pepper ball guns.
“We try to be a very good steward of the taxpayers’ dollar and, you know, I can take this $18,650 and, instead of having to pull that out of my operations account, I can take that and go buy equipment for my deputies,” said Elliott.
He says his next focus is getting more body cameras for his deputies.