To the People of Putnam County,
Last year I told you about House Bill 1 which was being considered in the Georgia General Assembly. It was a 92 page bill that proposed draconian changes in the manner that we in law enforcement seize the assets of criminals, particularly those criminals engaged in the sale and trafficking of illicit drugs. Had it passed into law, it would have made it far more difficult for us to take away the profits from their sordid enterprises. I asked you to contact your legislators and urge them to vote NO on House Bill 1. You did so and the opposition to it resulted in the bill never going to the floor of the House for a vote.
Our ability to seize the assets and profits of drug dealers continues to be the most effective and valuable tool we in the Georgia law enforcement community have. Anything that degrades that tool will only enrich the criminals and those who represent them. The money and property taken from innocent working taxpayer in robberies, burglaries, and thefts goes straight to the drug dealer. The drug dealer pays no income tax. He doesn’t withhold social security and unemployment insurance. He simply profits and pushes more poison to profit more.
House Bill 1 is back again this year, and it is a little different from last year’s version. It is now 99 pages long and while there have been some beneficial changes to it from since last year, it still unnecessarily complicates our existing seizure and forfeiture laws which have been repeatedly upheld to be constitutional by both state and federal appellate courts.
Once again I am asking you to write, email, or call your House Representative and your Senator and tell them you want them to vote NO on HOUSE BILL 1. It was your support last year that stopped this bad law and with your support this year it will be defeated. Time is of the essence as I believe the bill will go to the floor of the House for a vote later this week.
Sheriff Howard R. Sills
Putnam County, Georgia