Individuals and companies are not the only ones who take advantage of the significant bitcoin prices surging across the board, despite recent pullbacks. In New Jersey, United States, a county yielded profits after liquidating seized cryptocurrencies during a drug investigation.
Authorities Gained Control of the Cryptos in 2019
According to NBC New York, local authorities from Monmouth County got the bitcoin (BTC) during a raid in the context of an illegal narcotics distribution crackdown in 2018. Investigators found that such digital assets were part of the profits gained by the criminals due to its drug sales.
Approximately, the county netted 300% in profits from the liquidation when BTC was exchanging hands around the $57,000 threshold, selling it at around $198,000, said the media outlet.
Per the report, in 2019, the county filed a forfeiture complaint after the suspect pleaded guilty. That said, the county gained ownership of the seized crypto. Christopher Gramiccioni, the prosecutor from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, commented:
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office leads from the front on innovative law enforcement strategies and practices necessary in the emerging new crypto world. This will serve as an effective template for the state law enforcement agencies in the cryptocurrency market – a place where we can expect proceeds from crimes to continue to be concealed.
First Crypto Seizing in the NJ County Took Place in 2017
However, this is not the first time that Monmouth County has seized cryptocurrencies. In 2017, law enforcement busted 16 people for defrauding several financial institutions.
The report states that seized digital assets in the “Operation Plastic Army” – the first-of-its-kind in the NJ county – are worth over $1.25 million as of press time. However, the assets have not been liquidated yet.
Governments tend to auction cryptocurrencies seized from criminal activities, such as France did in March when the French government auctioned 611 BTC, which was worth almost $34 million at the time.
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