Caddo County Drug Seizure Program Cleared By Attorney General
CADDO COUNTY, Oklahoma - Drug busts along Interstate 40 in Caddo County came to a stop in July 2013 when questions came up surrounding District Attorney Jason Hicks' innovative drug interdiction program.
"It was a successful program, and that may be one of the problems that we had-- we were too successful too quickly," said D.A. Hicks.
The Caddo County District Attorney Drug Task Force partnered with private company, Desert Snow to pull $1.3 million dollars in drugs and drug money off the highway during a 6 month time span.
Hicks has been very open about his contract with Desert Snow and provided a copy of the agreement to News 9, in light of public outcry.
Under the one year contract, the private company would receive 25% of the drug money seized in exchange for the specialized training to D.A.'s task force investigators
Hick's transparency did not dissuade critics who insisted such an agreement violated state law, and ultimately, convinced the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office to investigate possible criminal misconduct complaints.
The bottom line-- the Attorney General didn't find any wrong-doing on part of Hicks or his staff.
"It's what I've said from day one when all this stuff started coming up that we had not violated any state laws, and had done nothing wrong," said D.A. Hicks after receiving a letter from the A.G.'s office, " obviously [I'm] relieved, to get the letter."
The letter cleared initial concerns with the program but in the letter, Chief Assistant A.G. Megan Tilly also pointed out accounting irregularities," this is a cause for serious concern."
She outlined several instances where documents did not match the amount of money seized during the traffic stops but concluded that there was no reason for further investigation.
D.A. Hicks insisted any miscalculation was the result of human error," I think as long as you have humans involved, there's always going to be a little bit of error, and these guys did the best they could on the side of the road."
He touted that the program helped fund law enforcement efforts during down budget times.
He plans to initiate a similar program in the future.