A drug bust in 2018 has paid off even more handsomely for a New Jersey county than most criminal forfeitures. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office announced that the proceeds seized from an illegal drug ring in Long Branch back in 2018 were in a cryptocurrency that has appreciated in value over the past three years.

According to NBC New York, authorities seized bitcoin that, at the time, was worth about $57,000. Three years later, the value had skyrocketed to around $198,000. That’s quite a return on investment. The assets were taken because they were determined to be the proceeds of illegal activity, in this case, drug deals.

According to a statement, “The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office leads from the front on innovative law enforcement strategies and practices necessary in the emerging new crypto world," Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said. "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,” Gramiccioni said.

The county is still sitting on an even bigger haul: a fraud case in 2017 netted cryptocurrency at was worth $200,000 at the time; it is now estimated to be worth $1.25 million. That should lower some property taxes, right? The bitcoin business has been very lucrative for Monmouth County. Who would have thought that New Jersey government agencies would be in the “buy and hold” business of cryptocurrency? I’m sure the proceeds will help lower the tax burden on Monmouth County residents.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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