Virginia Police Flip Seized Assets for Gear, Training


The more than $62 million in assets seized by Virginia law enforcement from suspected narcotics traffickers and other drug dealers in the past seven years range from the mundane to the insanely extravagant, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. On the high end, gold Krugerrand coins, $36,000 diamond-encrusted watches, a $100,000 Porsche, tricked-out chopper motorcycles, $20,000 worth of sneakers, custom 31-foot fishing boats, waterfront homes and piles of cash — as much as $401,200 in a single bust — top the list of loot that police confiscated since 2008 through Virginia's civil asset-forfeiture program.

Nearly $26 million of the $62 million seized has been disbursed so far in civil asset-forfeiture proceedings across the state, with police using the funds to buy Tasers, body cameras, ballistic protective gear, laptops, forensic equipment and additional training for officers. But the process under Virginia law that police agencies use to have seized assets forfeited to them has come under increased scrutiny this year. The issue is being studied by the Virginia Crime Commission.

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