By: Meredith Hillgartner
LUBBOCK, TX-Wednesday morning local DPS officers arrested two California men who had 50 pounds of marijuana in their car.
A DPS report said the men were taking the drugs from California to Oklahoma.
“We are out there proactively stopping drug runners and fighting the drug cartel,” Sergeant Bryan Witt said. “That is something our department is taking very seriously, is the war on drugs.”
Sgt. Witt said busts like these happen all the time, and each year his department confiscates millions of dollars worth of drugs, money and weapons.
But what happens to that stuff after it is in police custody?
“First of all they will be analyzed to determine they are the drugs we think they are,” Witt said.
Sgt. Witt said all evidence is kept in a vault in the DPS crime lab until the trial is over.
“Once the case is disposed of then we will incinerate all drugs that we seize,” Witt said.
“It goes to the DA which they will put in an interest baring account and then well have a forfeiture procedure where the person we took the money from will come to court,” Witt said.
Sgt. Witt said if the suspect can prove the money came from a legitimate source they can have it back.
If not, then the department gets to keep it.
“The money will be split up among the agencies involved depending on their level of participation,” Witt said.
Sgt. Witt said most of the evidence money DPS gets goes to buying new equipment.
If they find stolen weapons, Sgt. Witt said they try to reunite them with their rightful owners.
If not, they get sent to the incinerator.
“If we can’t find the owner then all of our weapons go to Austin and they are destroyed,” Witt said. “We don’t keep any kind of weapon. Our first line of defense against the criminal element is stopping these guys on the highway and making sure that we interrupt or disrupt their criminal plans.”