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January 19, 2012 - 8:03am

Drug dealer's truck won't be sold by Sheriff's Office just yet

posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, genesee county, Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office plan to convert a jailed drug dealer's car into cash hit a road block Wednesday in the Ways and Means Committee.

A resolution authorizing the Sheriff to auction off the 2005 Chevy truck passed the Public Service Committee on Tuesday, but Wednesday, Legislator Ray Cianfrini had new information on the state law governing the disposal of seized assets.

Cianfrini said he wasn't concerned about the Sheriff's Office getting the money, just that proper procedures be in place and that the law is followed.

"I think there needs to be something more speicific and there needs to be more clarification," Cianfrini said. "I don’t have any trouble with the vehicle going to the Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement purposes, but what about the dispersal (of the proceeds)?"

County Attorney Charles Zambito provided Cianfrini with a copy of the state law, which outlines procedures and proper dispersal of any revenue generated by the sale of seized assets. The law is complex with multiple variables, and while the Sheriff's Office could wind up with some or all of the revenue generated by the sale of the truck, so could the District Attorney's Office, or the state, or the county.

The vehicle was signed over by Matthew Zon, who entered a guilty plea to criminal possession of a controlled substance, 2nd, and was sentenced to prison for possessing and distributing methamphetamine.

Undersheriff William Sheron said that since the vehicle wasn't seized, but signed over to the Sheriff's Office by the defendant as part of a plea deal, the procedures outlined in the law didn't necessarily apply.

"You’re looking at a state forfeiture process that if (a defendant) were reluctant in turning over a vehicle to us, then we would go through this process to seize the vehicle," Sheron said. "It’s now a common practice, as part of a plea bargain, where (the defendant) signs over title of the vehicle to relieve us from going through this process."

Zambito pointed out that even in the plea agreement, the vehicle is signed over "pursuant" to state law, which means, he believes, the process for disposal of the asset is governed by the law.

"We still have to follow the rules about what you do with the property once you get it," Zambito said.

The resolution on disposition of the vehicle was tabled until the matter can be further researched and clarified.

Jeffrey Houseknecht
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everybody wants their piece of the pie,trouble is there isn't enough pie to go around

John Roach
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delete

Jeffrey Houseknecht
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what I mean is that I can't believe they are going to fight the sheriff's dept for the proceeds of this truck

Howard B. Owens
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They're not fighting the Sheriff's Department for the proceeds from this truck.

Here's what it says in the article:

"Cianfrini said he wasn't concerned about the Sheriff's Office getting the money, just that proper procedures be in place and that the law is followed."

Bea McManis
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So, how did Shumer get involved in this, John?

Jeffrey Houseknecht
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my mistake,I thought he didn't like that they were turning it into cash rather than use the vehicle

Howard B. Owens
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There's no question the vehicle needs to be sold. It needs at least $2,500 in repairs.

John Roach
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Bea,
I had the wrong item up, that's why I deleted it.

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