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Tarentum man wants confiscated cash back so he can hire attorney

| Thursday, July 24, 2014, 1:21 a.m.

When a Tarentum man was sentenced in federal court last year, Tarentum police expected to get part of the $7,540 confiscated from him.

But the guilty man, Curtis Veasley, is asking a judge for the money back so he can hire an attorney to appeal his conviction.

Veasley, 36, formerly of 590 E. Seventh Ave., was charged in connection with an April 2010 drug raid, during which police said they found illegal drugs, guns and cash.

A federal grand jury indicted Veasley in 2012, and he pleaded guilty in January 2013. He was sentenced to about 12 years in prison. His appeal is pending.

Veasley is trying to get the money back so that he can use it to pay for an attorney. According to court records, he has twice asked the government to appoint an attorney for him, but the court has denied those requests.

A federal judge has not addressed his request to have the money returned.

Last week, a judge ruled the confiscated guns were to be sent to the police department; Chief Bill Vakulick is to destroy them.

The chief said Tarentum police had anticipated getting back nearly $6,800 — the money confiscated from Veasley minus about 10 percent for the federal government.

He wants to use the money for police car or computer upgrades instead of seeking tax dollars to pay for them.

Whether the borough gets the money will depend on the success of Veasley's appeal.

“We're hopeful,” Vakulick said.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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