A Georgia police department is in hot water over the purchase of a Hellcat muscle car.
Fox 5 Atlanta reports that the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office to pay back $69,258 that it received from a federal program that distributes seized drug money to law enforcement agencies, which was used to buy the 707 hp Dodge Charger Hellcat in May.
“We have not yet responded to that letter and we’re examining all our options,” department spokesperson Shannon Volkodav told Fox 5.
The Charger is a popular vehicle among law enforcement agencies, but Dodge does not make a Special Service model with the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine for this purpose. The Hellcat boasts a top speed of 204 mph.
Oklahoma County has a whole fleet of Chargers, but no Hellcats.
The black sedan is being used as Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway’s official car, which the DOJ said differed from the use stated in the application for the funds as an “undercover/covert operations” vehicle.
The federal agency described it as an “extravagant expenditure,” which is not allowed under the program.
The Hellcat, be it in two-door Challenger or four-door Charger form, is not exactly a stealth vehicle:
Until the matter is resolved, the Sheriff’s Office has been cut off from the DOJ’s seized asset reallocation program.
Now there’s an idea: getting local law enforcement out of the habit of thinking anything can be seized for any reason whatsoever.