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Criminal Forfeitures Bring in $7 Million for State in 2013

Created: 06/04/2014 7:12 PM KAALtv.com
By: Meghan Reistad

(ABC 6 News) -- The State Auditor released numbers for the 2013 state criminal forfeitures today. 314 Minnesota law enforcement agencies reported a total of 6,955 incidents of property seized.

In 2013, the Rochester Police Department ended up as one of the top 10 in the state for total number of forfeitures. Along with Rochester, the Southeast Minnesota Drug Task Force ranks high for total forfeitures. Rochester Police Department ended the year with 126 forfeitures and the Task Force at 169 total.

Forfeiture money is typically used to cover the cost of training and equipment in each individual department, but not all of it goes to the task force.

"It is split. I believe 70 percent to the task force, 20 percent to the county attorney's office, where the case is handled, and 10 percent to the courts," said Austin Police Department Capt. Dave McKichan.

In total, Rochester’s net proceeds from forfeitures were $55,033, Austin took in $20, 934 and Olmsted County’s net proceeds were $28, 432. Broken down, Southern Minnesota takes in quite a bit a year, but the money is not guaranteed.

"It helps local police departments operate against the narcotics trade, but nothing that can necessarily be counted on just because, again, one major bust that may happen once every couple years may carry with it more than some of the minor ones combined over a period of time," said McKichan.

Of the nearly $7 million in Minnesota forfeitures for 2013, most came from confiscated cash or the sale of vehicles and firearms.