Metro narcotics vault filling up after drug busts

Published 12:05am Sunday, July 14, 2013

NATCHEZ — When the Adams County Sheriff’s Office seized 12.8 pounds of cocaine Monday in a traffic stop, agents had to make a little room in the vault.

Of course, the locked space is 400 square feet, so it wasn’t difficult to find a spot.

Since the start of 2013, the Metro Narcotics Unit has seized 16 pounds of cocaine, 20 pounds of marijuana, one ounce of crystal methamphetamine and roughly 500 pills of prescription medication.

In addition to drugs, they’ve also seized approximately $90,000 in cash.

The drugs, cash and other items agents seize on a weekly basis are locked in the vault in a secure location for at least several months, Metro Narcotics Commander David Lindsey said.

Only one person, the Metro Narcotics’ drug technician, has access to the vault.

And eventually — once court cases conclude — the drugs are destroyed, Lindsey said.

“We hold the evidence for as long as the court case lasts,” he said. “It might take a while, but everything gets thrown in together and burned eventually.”

Lindsey said his agency turns seized drugs over to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics for destruction.

“We used to burn all the drugs at the airport,” he said. “We’d just dig a big hole and burn everything together.”

Metro Narcotics occasionally uses seized drugs to train the sheriff’s office K-9 deputy, Scout, Lindsey said.

Metro goes through a forfeiture process with the District Attorney’s Office with all seized cash. After the process, Metro is free to use to cash for any operating expenses.

Lindsey said his office buys equipment and completes undercover deals with the money once it is turned over for their use.