Drug buy money nets thousands of arrests across the East

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Regardless of where you are, drugs are an ongoing problem for police agencies.

Most agencies utilize what is commonly called drug buy money to help combat the issue. Some departments have those funds set aside to specifically buy drugs to build cases against criminals.

The amount varies from location, but generally is at least several thousand dollars a year.

“We have a budget of money that can be used for various things, for any criminal investigation,” said Greenville Police Captain Rob Williams.

Greenville Police doesn’t specifically set aside money for drug operations. But, the groups within the department that would utilize money to buy drugs consists of the Patrol Bureau, Drug Task Force and Special Investigations.

Below is a break down of the total budget for those three departments and how many drug arrests were made for the past three years:

  • 2014: $295,025 ; 847 arrest
  • 2015: $284,000 ; 604 arrest
  • 2016: $284,000 ; 655 arrest

Williams said one of the biggest issues in Greenville is heroin, which has increased more than 8 times since 2014. In 2016, Greenville Police recovered more than four kilos of heroin.

“That’s over 103,000 doses of heroin we prevented from coming in to Greenville in 2016,” he said.

Below are break downs of drug buy money used, and drug arrest made, in other cities in the East.

Jacksonville:

  • 2014: $58,131 ; 1,212 arrest
  • 2015: $32,804 ; 1,120 arrest
  • 2016: $34,048 ; 918 arrest

New Bern:

  • 2014: $15,000 ; 384 arrest
  • 2015: $15,000 ; 336 arrest
  • 2016: $35,000 ; 443 arrest

Washington: 

  • 2014: $15,000 ; 119 arrest
  • 2015: $15,000 ; 100 arrest
  • 2016: $17,000 ; 80 arrest

Williams said often times drug arrests can prevent other crimes like home break-ins and robberies.

While some of the drug buy money is taxpayer dollars, departments also utilize financial support through grants and various programs.

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