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MADISON – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today the awarding of $797,700 in state Penalty Assessment Surcharge funds to programs throughout the state that investigate and prosecute drug crimes. The Penalty Assessment Surcharge funding is supplemented by an additional $1,250,000 in federal Byrne Memorial/Justice Assistance Grants through the Office of Justice Assistance. This year's grant program will help fund 18 Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Groups (MEG Units) and four Assistant District Attorney positions that work directly on prosecuting drug crimes.
“I am pleased to help fund these MEG units which combine the resources of multiple law enforcement jurisdictions to develop multifaceted drug investigations,” said Van Hollen. “These groups have a proven track record of investigating complex drug trafficking rings and assisting with their successful prosecution.”
In addition to the 18 MEG units, these grants also fund Assistant District Attorney positions to work on drug prosecutions in Dane, Milwaukee and St. Croix Counties. The awards are meant to defray the costs of operations in Calendar Year 2011.
Historically, the statewide MEG Units were funded largely through federal Byrne/JAG grant funding. As those funds have seen reductions over recent years, the state developed the process of supplementing federal funding with state funding. No taxpayer monies are used.