LCSO Drug Interdiction Team

LIBERTY, July 12, 2014 – Some people argue that the high cost of the Drug Interdiction Unit of the LCSO is offset by the drug seizure money that they bring in.

The income from drug seizure money last year was about $500,000 dollars which was a good year. The District Attorney’s Office lead by DA Logan Pickett receives about 25% of this drug seizure money and  the LCSO receives the rest of it as described in the table below.

Last Budget Year Income

$500,000.00

income to District Attorney

$125,000.00

income to LCSO

$375,000.00

This income to the LCSO can be spent on any law enforcement purpose at the discretion of Sheriff Bobby Rader.

The question we looked at is who is paying for costs of this group and the answer is the taxpayers.

The cost of having this group is roughly as follows in the table below.

Salaries and Benefits of 5 Officers

$281,250.00

Vehicle Costs 5 Cars and SUV's

$66,666.67

Fuel Costs

$159,687.50

Total

$507,604.17

You can see that not only does the cost of this Drug Interdiction Unit exceeds the income that it brings in it is important to understand that it is the taxpayers who pay these costs. The cost of this group, it’s fuel, salaries, employment benefits and vehicles comes from the Sheriff Department Budget approved by Commissioners Court and paid for by taxpayers.

However, the income of  this group is spent largely on every kind of law enforcement toy you can imagine including plastic explosives that we reported on before.

See related article... LCSO Obtains Plastic Explosives

These expenditures if included In the Sheriff’s Department Annual Budget would never be approved or pass the scrutiny of Commissioners Court.

We have written about the Chevy Tahoe that Sgt. Tim Niemeyer uses as his take home vehicle to Pearland, TX every day where he lives and questioned why Sheriff Rader allows this practice particularly in the light of the high cost.

See related article... Where Our Tax Dollars Go & LCSO Out of Fuel

You must recall that Sgt. Tim Niemeyer, who heads up the LCSO Drug Interdiction Unit and DA Logan Pickett, whose office is a recipient of Drug Seizure Funds, were high school classmates.

And it was in high school, only several years ago, at the age of 17 that Tim Niemeyer and another high school acquaintance got together with some weapons and drove to Daisetta, TX one afternoon to confront some Daisetta High School Students and were arrested by the LCSO.

Above is an archive photo at the time  of the incident with Tim Niemeyer getting lectured and arrested by then Constable Jimmy Belt.

Sgt. Niemeyer is a former Officer of the Pearland Police Department who resigned at the recommendation of his attorney to avoid the legal entanglements of falsifying a government record after using department equipment to falsify a certificate and then turned it into his supervisor.

In his application and Personal History Statement he filed when he applied to be a drug interdiction officer with LCSO he identified disciplinary actions he recieved in his previous employment. He wrote in his own hand writing, "At fault fleet accident and Untruthfulness," and that he had resigned his position with the Pearland Police Department.

In documents obtained from the City of Pearland through an open records request, Tim Niemeyer resigned (without notice): resignation was accepted and effective immediately on October 29, 2010. According to the record, Niemeyer is not eligible for rehire per Assistant police chief Johnny Spires.

After his resignation Niemeyer became a non-paid, reserve deputy constable under former Constable of Pct 4 Chad Pafford prior to being hired by the Liberty County Sheriff's Department.

The Drug Interdiction Team and their work doing drug seizures on US 59 is a costly money losing proposition for taxpayers and it allows the LCSO to spend large sums of money by the Sheriff on things that would never be approved if these purchases had to pass the scrutiny of Commissioners Court.

The system of Drug Seizure money is little more than a transfer of large, tax payer funds out of the County LCSO Budget to the Sheriff's Department absent of the checks and balances of Commissioner's Court Oversight or scrutiny that taxpayers pay for.

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