Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice plans to resume sharing funds seized from drug dealers and other criminals, reversing a decision made late last year to at least temporarily halt the program that provides hundreds of millions of dollars annually to law enforcement agencies, reports the Glens Falls, NY-based Post-Star.
Police agencies that are part of federal drug task forces can share in the assets seized during investigation of task force cases. Local police agencies and district attorney's offices are members of the Capital District Drug Task Force, and they have received millions of dollars over the years.
The decision to end asset sharing had perturbed many local agencies, and some of them mulled pulling their members from the task force.
The Department of Justice's goal for the funding halt was to boost its take of the asset forfeiture till by $1.2 billion by not sharing with local agencies for a period of time.
"It's worth repeating that we did not make the decision to defer 'Equitable Sharing' payments lightly, and it was always our intent to resume payments as soon as it became financially feasible," the federal agency wrote in its announcement Monday.