After making Sampson County safer after drug busts, Sheriff Jimmy Thornton is pleased to give the seized cash to local schools.
During a recent meeting for the Sampson County Schools (SCS) Board of Education, Thornton presented a $20,929 check to the district. Funds were confiscated as evidence in multiple drug cases during a one-year period. The money becomes eligible for schools to receive after the conviction and court appeal process is done. Thornton said it was a pleasure to be among school leaders before presenting the check to Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy and Finance Officer Stephen Britt.
“From time to time during our drug operations here in the county, we’re fortunate enough to seize assets, some of which are on the state level, some of which are on the federal level. Unfortunately, the lion share is on our federal forfeitures.”
But in the last 12 months, the sheriff’s office was able to seize about $29,000, which was donated to local schools. Clinton City Schools (CCS) received $7,604 — which is 23 percent of the share. The remaining 77 percent went to the county school system. During a CCS meeting, interim superintendent Dr. Stewart Hobbs accepted the check on behalf of the school district. Both school school systems will use funds to purchase needs for students.
Last year, the sheriff’s office donated more than $21,000. In 2016, the county school system received $23,000. In three years, Sampson Schools collected checks totaling $65,000. Thornton said it’s been a good run of donations after the adjudication process takes place.
“It’s for the children,” Thornton said. “It’s drug money being taking out of the hands of drug dealers and users to help benefit the children and to fund projects that they wouldn’t normally get from state, federal and county money. It’s a little extra that they’re able to receive.”
During the previous visit with CCS board members, Thornton said children suffer in the drug trade and hopes the money and the seizure system will continue to help children in the future.
The SCS Board of Education and officials from Sampson County Schools showed gratitude for the donations.
“Thank you sheriff and thank you for the work that your staff does to keep our county safe,” said board chairman Tim Register.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.