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Local News

Here’s how AG Sessions’ federal updates of asset seizure rules affect Will County

The Plainfield Police Department's 2000 Dodge Viper on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, in Plainfield, Ill. The 450 horse power sports car, which was seized in 2006, is now used as the department's D.A.R.E. program car.
The Plainfield Police Department's 2000 Dodge Viper on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, in Plainfield, Ill. The 450 horse power sports car, which was seized in 2006, is now used as the department's D.A.R.E. program car.

The Plainfield Police Department seized this 2000 Dodge Viper during a traffic stop. 

Its driver was traveling 127 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Now, it’s used as a D.A.R.E. vehicle.

On July 19, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued new guidelines on how the federal government adopts assets seized from alleged offenders.

Those guidelines are seen as a reversal of former Attorney General Eric Holder’s 2015 memo that prohibited most federal adoptive forfeiture by some.

Assets are seized if they are proceeds from drug sales, items that were bought with drug proceeds or assets used to facilitate drug trafficking.

Will County prosecutor Dant Foulk said Holder’s memo simply added a step of review when the federal government decides to “adopt” seized assets.

“The Holder memo … did not significantly affect the way asset forfeiture occurred in Will County,” Foulk said.

Sessions’ new guidelines remove that review. Law enforcement can go directly to federal law enforcement agencies to see whether they want to adopt assets seized in criminal investigations, Foulk said.

Law enforcement in Will County see forfeiture as a deterrent to offenders and way to use assets, like the Viper, to fight crime.

But some critics see it as “policing for profit.”

Read the full story here.

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