Benton Police Chief Kirk Lane and Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay were recognized recently by Christopher R. Thyer, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Christopher Henry, special agent in charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, for their partnership in the Financial Crimes Task Force.
Since 2011, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office has received $101,893.24 and the Benton Police Department has received $97,290.02 in shared funds.
Lane says his department has had a detective assigned to this unit for more than two years.
"The money we receive has been utilized for updating the department's weapons, upgrades to our patrol room and a vehicle so far," he said. "We have received this money over the two-year period, in parts, as cases were settled."
Lane noted that the announcement by Agent Henry represents a cumulative total, not a lump sum.
"Because of our participation with the task force, the city has also benefited from training received in financial crime investigations and the ability to work with many state law enforcement agencies across the state," he said.
Lane said he has seen a "rise in the demand and need for these types of investigations over the last several years in Benton."
"The seized funds awarded along with the skills and contacts from our participation are helping us meet the needs of the city beyond what is available in our budget," Lane added. "We look forward to our continued partnership with the IRS in this task force assignment."
Thyer agreed with Lane in regard to the need for such partnerships “When we put our limited resources together, the partnership benefits are significant,” Thyer said. “In this case, local law enforcement agencies provided the IRS-CI Financial Crimes Task Force with manpower and resources in federal investigations and in return they received greatly needed funds for their agencies. It is a win-win partnership for law enforcement and the communities where we live and work.”
IRS-Criminal Investigation agents partner with state and local agencies to investigate various white-collar criminal violations. Often both the criminal and civil investigations conducted have seizure and forfeiture of funds generated from the activities investigated. These funds are returned to the state and local partners to financially assist their agencies in fulfilling their law enforcement missions and in keeping our communities a safe place to live.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Harris and Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron McCree prosecuted the forfeiture for the government.