Calhoun County dispatch center upgraded with seized drug money

Calhoun County dispatch center upgraded with seized drug money

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The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office updated their communications center thanks largely in part to money confiscated in a recent drug raid. Source: WBRC video The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office updated their communications center thanks largely in part to money confiscated in a recent drug raid. Source: WBRC video
The Cosmic Debris store in Anniston was raided in May after investigators discovered he was selling his own recipe for spice. Source: WBRC video The Cosmic Debris store in Anniston was raided in May after investigators discovered he was selling his own recipe for spice. Source: WBRC video
ANNISTON, AL (WBRC) -

An Anniston businessman whose arrest led to the raid of his business has indirectly funded a new dispatch center for the sheriff's office.

Calhoun County Chief Deputy Matthew Wade says much of the funding to upgrade the communications center came from the sheriff's portion of some $102,000 confiscated from Carl Lackey following his guilty plea to drug distribution charges.

The sheriff's office received $92,000 of that and used much of it on the communications center. Chief Deputy Matthew Wade said they also used $30,000 of it to buy two used cars to use as patrol cars and still had "change left over."

"In today's world, we know that county commissions and tax dollars are not as abundant as they used to be. So we're using this condemned money to try to offset taxpayer burden by updating our communications center that's 30 years old," he said.

Wade said the dispatch center and consoles dated back to 1986, when the current sheriff's office itself was built. The upgrade includes consoles handed down from the Calhoun County 911 agency, which just went through its own upgrade.

Wade said the upgrade means better equipment and more workstations, which in turn means more efficiency as dispatchers take calls and radio deputies in patrol cars.

Sheriff's investigators raided Carl Lackey's CD store, Cosmic Debris, on South Quintard Avenue May 24, after undercover buys revealed he was selling his own recipe for spice. At the time, Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson said it was one of the state's first raids of its kind—if not the first—since Governor Bentley signed a new law tightening laws dealing with spice.

Lackey later entered a guilty plea in which he was sentenced to five years' probation. A judge ordered Lackey not to run any business in that judicial circuit—Calhoun and Cleburne Counties—during that five years. Lackey also agreed to allow his seized operating money to be divided up by the D.A. and the sheriff.

Laws involving confiscated drug money says agencies can only spend it on training and equipment.

"We really were glad to make the arrest and stop his sale of synthetic drugs, and putting some good use to some drug money," said Wade.

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