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In 2012, the Alexandria Police Department (APD) and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) were among 310 law enforcement agencies statewide to seize property subject to forfeiture.

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According to the “Criminal Forfeitures Report,” compiled by the state auditor’s office, there were a total of 6,851 incidents of property seized.

Statewide, the most common criminal activity that led to seizure, forfeiture and final disposition of property were controlled substance and driving under the influence-related, accounting for 89 percent of the forfeitures.

LOCAL STATISTICS

•Alexandria Police Department: APD tallied 14 incidents of property forfeiture in 2012. The property included vehicles, a motorcycle and firearm with an estimated value of $16,496.

APD sold the majority of the property, grossing $8,580. After administrative expenses and liens, net proceeds totaled $6,265.

Although most property was listed as sold, under APD’s property detail list, it was noted that: a Rhom – 0.22 caliber revolver was retained by the department, one vehicle was returned to the owner and one vehicle was turned over to the lien holder.

Criminal activity that led to APD’s seizures included driving under the influence-activity, firearm violation, theft and damage to property.

•Douglas County Sheriff’s Office: DCSO tallied 16 incidents of property forfeiture in 2012. All property that DCSO seized were vehicles, with an estimated value of $7,600. DCSO sold the majority of the vehicles, grossing $35,304. After administrative expenses and liens, net proceeds totaled $24,273.

Although most property was sold, under DCSO’s property detail list, it was noted that one vehicle was destroyed, one was returned to owner, one taken to a salvage yard and one vehicle – a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 – was retailed by DCSO.

According to Sheriff Troy Wolbersen, the truck is being used for aquatic invasive species (zebra mussels, milfoil, etc.) enforcement efforts on county lakes, and the forfeiture dollars are used to supplement the county’s law enforcement budget.

It was noted in the report that when expenses exceeded the gross amount received, the net proceeds available were left at zero. Criminal activity that led to DCSO’s seizures included driving under the influence-activity and controlled substance.

In 2012:

● 310 law enforcement agencies reported

6,851 incidents

of property seized.

Total value: $6.7 million

● 54% of property seized were vehicles.

• • •

In 2011:

●292 law enforcement agencies reported

6,338 incidents

of property seized.

●58% of property seized were vehicles.

2012 property seized

subject to forfeiture

Alexandria Police

Department:

Gross sales: $8,580

Admin expenses/liens: $2,819

Net proceeds: $6,265

Douglas County

Sheriff’s Office:

Gross sales: $35,304

Admin expenses/liens: $16,584

Net proceeds: $24,273*

*When expenses exceed the gross amount received, the net proceeds available for distribution are zero.

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Amy Chaffins
Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, Amy’s first job was at KSAX-TV working as an anchor and reporter. From 2003-2010, Amy worked as an editor and reporter for the Pope County Tribune and Starbuck Times newspapers. During her journalism career, Amy earned writing and photography awards from the Associated Press, Minnesota Newspaper Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Amy and her husband, Brandon, live in Alexandria and together write “He Sez, She Sez,” a humor column in the local women’s magazine, Chicz
(320) 763-1242
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