Buying drugs from The Man

DrugsEver wonder how much the police might spend buying drugs in undercover stings this year? Try about $30,000. Or how about money spent on rent for undercover stings? Try about $33,000.

By its nature, undercover work is not usually part of the public discussion in government. But its budget — or part of it anyway — is public record. The city council will vote Tuesday on Wichita’s annual narcotic seizure fund. It’s a $186,000 pot (no pun) of money that was collected by state, federal and local law enforcement after judges ruled against drug dealers and seized drug money and other possessions.

According to the council agenda report, Wichita’s fund breaks down like this for 2008:

  • Undercover buy money – $30,000
  • Undercover vehicle maintenance/operations – $30,000 (Example of that came Friday.)
  • Undercover fuel – $42,504
  • Undercover fleet replacements – $25,000
  • Law enforcement training – $15,000
  • Undercover rent – $33,000
  • Annual audit – $3,000
  • Contingency/fund reserve – $7,812.25
  • Total – $186,316.25
In 2006, Wichita police conducted 58 “major narcotics investigations, resulting in 145 cases and 80 warrants” according to the latest city budget. Detective Bryan Martin and Rex, his Belgian Malinois dog, seized 25 pounds of cocaine and 53 pounds of marijuana. And police seized $266,200 and 12 vehicles associated with drug trafficking, the budget shows.