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 July 21st, 2010  
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office turns seized Land Rover, two high-mileage Sheriff's Office cars and cash into three "flex fuel" Ford Fusions, according to Sheriff Mascara
The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office has acquired three new "flex fuel" Ford Fusion cars for its detectives, trading two high-mileage agency vehicles and adding proceeds from a Land Rover seized in a 2009 drug case as well as cash, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"The Ford Fusion cars will go to our detectives," Sheriff Mascara said. "These cars can run on ethanol or regular auto gas, which will save taxpayer dollars over the life of these cars."

The Land Rover was seized in May 2009 when St. Lucie County Sheriff's detectives and agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The seizure was part of a nine-month investigation that shut down all levels of a Florida drug distribution network that operated from Brevard County to Broward County.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office initiated the investigation in 2007 which at first concentrated on Fort Pierce's 29th Street Gang which was distributing as much as 25 kilograms of cocaine and 5,000 Ecstasy pills month on the streets of St. Lucie County.  The Sheriff's Office partnered with state and federal agencies, and the leaders of the 29th Street Gang were indicted, along with the supplier of the drugs who lived in Bervard County, his supplier in Broward County and many others.

In all, 22 people faced state charges, and 11 faced federal charges in the investigation.

"We are always looking for ways to be more efficient and effective in a period of economic decline," Sheriff Mascara said. "We are doing just that with the acquisition of three flex-fuel-equipped Ford Fusions, financed in part with seized drug-dealer assets."

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