By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island state and local agencies will receive 46 percent of the $500 million Google Inc. forfeited last year for accepting advertisements from online Canadian pharmacies that targeted U.S. consumers, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Monday.
The $230 million will be split between five state and local law enforcement agencies based on the time and resources each agency provided to the investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Rhode Island district.
The East Providence and North Providence police departments each will receive $60 million – 12 percent of the total – as will the R.I. Attorney General’s office. The R.I. State Police will receive $45 million – 9 percent of the total – and the R.I. National Guard will see 1 percent of the total, earning $5 million for its contribution.
“It is my hope and expectation that these monies will be used for the benefit of all Rhode Islanders, by enhancing our overall ability to fight crime and keeping our residents safe,” said U.S. Attorney for the Rhode Island District Peter F. Neronha in a prepared statement.
“We take great pride in the significance and impact of this investigation, which included an unprecedented asset forfeiture of $500 million,” said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Kathleen Martin-Weis, acting director of the office of criminal investigations.
“These funds will provide much-needed resources to our partner state and local law enforcement agencies in Rhode Island, to support future investigative efforts,” she added.
Federally, $170 million will be deposited into the Department of Justice’s Assets Forfeiture Fund, the U.S. Postal Service will receive $40 million, the Internal Revenue Service will receive $35 million, the Secret Service will receive $15 million and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (Homeland Security Investigations) will receive $10 million – 2 percent of Google’s unprecedented forfeiture.