Police in Solvay scored a nice ride last month during a drug bust, picking up a 1997 Pontiac Bonneville after a two-month long investigation into a local marijuana dealer.
According to Police Chief Richard Cox, who gave the news to the village board earlier this month, the car "is completely loaded" and "has a better sound system than most kids in the village."
The car was owned by a low-level drug distributor in the village who was arrested on his way back from New York City sometime last month, according to Cox. He said under the federal forfeiture of assets law, the car became the property of village police once the drug dealer was adjudicated.
"It can be anything that is considered property," Cox said in an interview. "From a house to a car to money."
Cox told the village board that the car could be used for a variety of reasons including undercover work and assisting in seatbelt and stop sign details. He said they could even use it for official business if needed.
Some board members said it would be wiser to sell the car and put the money in the village's general fund. Cox said that this wouldn't work; the money would have go into his fund, as spelled out the law, which was put into place in nationally in 1976.
"Well I just think we should just sell it and use the money for other items," board member Kathleen Marinelli said.
The car is currently being stored at Larry and Sons in Solvay.
For now, only time, and cost, will tell if the car will be sold or put on the streets for Solvay police. Larry Mazinski estimated a cost of around $3,500 to fix major mechanical issues with the car, including rusty gas and break lines."
"We have to see if it's worth being fixed or not, and then go from there," Cox said.
The car has been valued at between $3,000 to $4,000.