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Opponent says Seward County Sheriff’s drug interdiction halt was political

SEWARD, Neb. (AP) _ A deputy running against his boss to be sheriff of an eastern Nebraska county says the sheriff’s decision to halt the department’s drug interdiction program was a political ploy.

Sgt. Mike Vance is running to replace Joe Yocum as sheriff of Seward County. Vance says he’s twice been recognized by the National Criminal Enforcement Association as one of the top six drug interdiction officers in the U.S. and Canada. Vance says the sheriff’s decision to stop the Interstate 80 interdiction operation is meant to keep him from making headlines.

Not so, Yocum says. He told the Lincoln Journal Star that a combination of citizen complaints about the interdiction traffic stops, the need for written policies and a shortage of deputies prompted him to suspend the highway interdiction program he started.

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