What Happens After Property Forfeitures?


By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) The Twin Falls Police Narcotics Unit deals with drug dealers on a daily basis.

The unit is tasked with getting any type of illegal drug off the streets.

Big busts are a common occurrence.

Of course, the drugs themselves are seized, along with property.

"We deal with drugs every day. The forfeitures... it just depends on the situation. We can't just take everything we want from drug users or drug dealers; the situation has to be right," explains J.R. Paredez, Twin Falls Police Department.

But what is the right situation?

"If we can prove that these items were bought with drug money... cell phones, if they have conversations... setting up drug deals. We get a search warrant, we look through their phone and if we see those conversations, then we'll seize their phone. We'll do TVs sometimes, just depending on the situation, but we have to be able to prove that it came from drug money," Paredez says.

And the big ticket items like cars, homes and cash...

"We've never taken a home here in Twin Falls that I'm aware of. But cars, money and everything like that, it's all held, and when we take something, we have to notify the Idaho State Police within 5 days that we've taken it that we attend to seize it," Paredez explains.

After that, it goes to the local prosecuting attorney office to be filed.

Once a case is complete, A decision must be made.

"After everything is awarded to us, then we will normally sell it or auction it off. I believe 30% goes to the prosecuting attorney's office and then we keep 70%," Paredez says.

A small victory in the overall battle to keep the streets drug free.

Typically, the narcotics unit will then use the funds received after the sale of the property to fund new equipment.

That way, they are staying up to date with the dealers and users... to better help keep the drugs off the streets.

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