Lake County Narcotics Board Explains Their Funding

By Brian Massie, Citizen Journalist

The DEMOCRAT PARTY’s open border policy has permitted the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel to enter Lake County and the distribution, sale and use of illegal drugs continues to flourish. One has to wonder why the Democrats permit illegal drugs to be spread throughout our country? Unfortunately, Lake County will not be able to “prosecute our way” out of this problem.

Lake County citizens will continue to fund the Narcotics Board because we passed a continuous levy in 1994.

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After receiving the last meeting minutes from the Lake County Narcotics Board, we sent the following request to Mr. Patrick Hengst, Director.

Please let the citizens know why you need $4,004,521 in cash reserves.

What is the Federal Forfeiture Fund, and the State Forfeiture Fund?  Will Lake County ever receive those funds?

State Forfeiture Fund Balance: $288,289.92
Federal Forfeiture Fund Balance: $694,935.96

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Here is Director Hengst’s response:

“Lake County has received these funds, they are being used to operate the narcotics agency, which is what the levy was intended for. The agency is funded by a 0.30 mil continuous property tax levy passed in 1994 and controlled by the LCNA Executive Board and Lake County Board of Commissioners. The levy generates roughly 1.15 million per year, while our operating expenses total about 1.28 million per year. We have applied for and received several state and federal grants over the last decade. In 2023 for example, we will receive roughly $225,000 in grant funding, and this helps offset our spending, although grant funding varies year-to-year, and could be canceled with little advance notice.”

“The LCNA building was built in 1998. The building is now fully paid for, and paying off the building allowed us to increase our carry-over. Given that the building is now 25 years old, we expect to undergo significant capital expenditures in the next couple of years that should reduce the carry-over by a still underdetermined amount. Examples of these expenses include a new building generator, new roof, and eventually, a new HVAC system. We have anticipated these costs over the last several years, given the age of our facility, and worked to increase our carry-over in anticipation of these investments, as well as increasing labor costs.”

“The state and federal forfeiture funds are accounts containing money forfeited by drug dealers as part of their criminal convictions. The state account holds monies received from Lake County Common Pleas cases, and the federal fund holds monies from convictions and forfeitures in United States Court. These funds can only be used for law enforcement purposes and are controlled by ORC 2981.13 for state funds and the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) of the US Department of Justice, for federal funds. We use these funds to purchase law enforcement equipment and offset our general expenses.” 

Pat Hengst
[Director]

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Here are prior articles regarding the Lake County Narcotics Board.

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Categories: Lake County - General

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