The New Braunfels police department in Texas has a flashy new cruiser in its fleet with ties to the Mexican drug cartel La Familia Michoacana.
A 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 named “Coptimus Prime” was seized from drug dealers during a raid on a methamphetamine trafficking ring, MySanAntonio.com reports.
Authorities seized 10 pounds of meth, $US500,000 in cars and other assets, $US31,000 in jewellery, $US140,000 in cash, and 15 drug dealers.
Police are able to seize property and cash linked to alleged crimes through a process known as civil forfeiture.
Among those arrested was Tony Chase Freeman, the Corvette’s previous owner, who eventually pleaded guilty to distributing meth, according to MySanAntonio.com.
Named via a Facebook contest, “Coptimus Prime,” a reference to the Transformers Franchise’s protagonist, Optimus Prime, will not see action in high-speed chases despite having a 505 horsepower, 7 litre V-8, and a top speed of over 180 mph.
The vehicle, which has been painted to look like a squad car, will be used in community outreach and parades.
“I think it acts as sort of a driving billboard that says crime does not pay,” New Braunfels Police Department spokesman David Ferguson told MySanAntonio.com.
After two or three years, the police department plans to auction off the vehicle, at which time the funds will be used for training and equipment.
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