WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced today that, effective immediately, Department of Justice Equitable Sharing payments will resume to local and state law enforcement agencies throughout the Northern District of West Virginia.

The Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Program is an initiative through which the Department of Justice distributes an equitable share of forfeited property and proceeds to participating state and local law enforcement agencies that directly participate in an investigation or prosecution that result in a federal forfeiture.

As the result of budget reductions contained in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and the December 2015 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the Department of Justice announced that Equitable Sharing payments would be deferred beginning on December 21, 2015. Those payments will resume immediately, beginning with payments that were already being processed when the program was suspended.

“With the suspension of the federal equitable sharing program having been lifted today, millions of dollars that were in the pipeline will now be disbursed to law enforcement agencies in Northern West Virginia,” noted Ihlenfeld. “The system has been modified to streamline and speed up the process so that payments can be made as soon as possible, and so that the funds can be used to fight crime in our communities.”

Individuals interested in obtaining additional information about the Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Program are encouraged to visit the Department of Justice website at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-afmls/equitable-sharing-program.

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