August 7, 2003

Court Orders Forfeiture Of Nearly $10,000 Seized In Drug Arrest

Nearly $10,000 in alleged drug money is heading for better use thanks to the Scotland County law enforcement and court systems.

First Circuit Judge Gary Dial granted a petition of forfeiture from Scotland County prosecuting Attorney Kim Nicoli for $9,695 confiscated during an arrest made in Scotland County by Missouri State Highway Patrolman Clint Duppong.

Trooper Duppong made the arrest following a traffic stop on April 16 near the intersection of Highway 15 and Route AA.

Duppong stopped a Datsun truck with Iowa plates for a traffic infraction at 7:25 p.m. that evening. After citing the driver, Russell E. Vandermartin for operating a motor vehicle without a valid driverís license, the trooper noticed suspicious behavior by the vehicleís two occupants. He asked for and was granted permission to search the truck. The subsequent review of the truck turned up a black bag containing items related to drug use and distribution including items containing meth- amphetamine residue. The large amount of cash was located in the locked glove box of the vehicle.

The court ruled that the money was used in or intended for use in the course of or derived from, or realized through criminal activity and thus was forfeited by the original owner, Vandermartin, to the state for disbursement to the school districts.

Neither the highway patrol, local law enforcement offices, court administration, or county government are to receive any of the funds which by state law are earmarked for use for educational funding.

The forfeited money was not the only bad news for the 41-year-old Vandermartin. The Fort Madison, IA, native was sentenced to 12 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections as a persistent offender on the charge of Class A felony possession of a controlled substance to run concurrently with a four-year prison term for the class D felony of delivery or possession with intent to deliver, manufacture or sell drug paraphernalia.

Vandermartin was originally found guilty May 30 and was sentenced by the Scotland County Court on June 30. He had a prior conviction for possession of a controlled substance Ė meth, in 1990 as well as a conviction for delivery of a controlled substance - cocaine in 1991 occurring in Oskaloosa, IA. And earning him two concurrent 10-year sentences in the Iowa prison system.

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