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DOJ Resumes Asset Forfeiture Program

April 01, 2016  | 

Attorney General Loretta Lynch (Official Photo)
Attorney General Loretta Lynch (Official Photo)

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice plans to resume sharing funds seized from drug dealers and other criminals, reversing a decision made late last year to at least temporarily halt the program that provides hundreds of millions of dollars annually to law enforcement agencies, reports the Glens Falls, NY-based Post-Star.

Police agencies that are part of federal drug task forces can share in the assets seized during investigation of task force cases. Local police agencies and district attorney's offices are members of the Capital District Drug Task Force, and they have received millions of dollars over the years.

The decision to end asset sharing had perturbed many local agencies, and some of them mulled pulling their members from the task force.

The Department of Justice's goal for the funding halt was to boost its take of the asset forfeiture till by $1.2 billion by not sharing with local agencies for a period of time.

"It's worth repeating that we did not make the decision to defer 'Equitable Sharing' payments lightly, and it was always our intent to resume payments as soon as it became financially feasible," the federal agency wrote in its announcement Monday.

Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Sheriff's Explorer Sgt. @ 4/1/2016 8:51 PM

Good. I've always supported this asset forfeiture and I think that they're putting this drug money to good use.

Chad @ 4/2/2016 7:33 AM

The asset seizure process has the propensity for abuse. Why would we ever say it's ok to take property from someone with out giving the person a reasonable path to get their property back, especially absent charges. I think it's another process that gives the police a black eye.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/2/2016 7:48 AM

Chad, its drug money. Should these dealers and other criminals get their illegal profits returned to them???

kevCopAz @ 4/3/2016 7:49 AM

Chad is correct if abused this can make us look like "profiteers not police". This is a good program but guideline have to be followed and a watchful eye kept on the process.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/3/2016 9:05 AM

I agree, although I think that its hardly ever abused.

Leonard @ 4/3/2016 1:50 PM

Of course it's abused and almost every LE organization has opposed its reform. Last year dollars seized under this aberration exceeded the dollar lost by burglary on this country. It's practically the mafia with badges.

132&Bush @ 4/3/2016 6:36 PM

Leonard I really don't like you but, I have to agree. It violates due process.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/3/2016 10:23 PM

Leonard, obviously you were brainwashed by the liberals. Are you an ACLU MORON???? I think so!!! You know Leonard, somewhere out there is a tree producing oxygen so that you can keep breathing. You owe that tree an apology.

Robert @ 4/3/2016 10:24 PM

Again, I would agree with your statements....but I differ in one area, and would like to see your answer:
Why should the funds go to the local law enforcement agency directly, and not to general fund of the jurisdiction?

That is the main issue I have with the program (in addition to the potential for over zealous seizure...which is hard to quantify. I did see the statistic about asset forfeiture greater than burglary losses...and that gives me pause). I would assume that large bank account seizures make the difference (1 x $25MM bank account = hundreds/thousands of burglaries)

It seems obvious to me that if the local LEO agency gets to keep the money, they would be more inclined to 'bend the rules' as needed to keep the money for that new 2016 police cruiser, newer lightweight bullet resistant vests or other nicety....that the general fund did not allow in the budget.

Mickey @ 4/8/2016 12:42 AM

There's nothing constitutional about confiscating a family's home because their 16 year old was selling pot out of the basement. Especially before anyone's convicted of a crime. And even then if the homeowner want aware of the issue...

Its departments that pull that crap that foster anti police mentalities. Then again, at the federal level, damn near everything they do is a constitutional violation. Show me where in the enumerated powers, or any of the amendments that we gave the federal government the authority to regulate drugs and I'll show you the unicorn in my back yard that craps rainbow sherbet.

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