Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway on Tuesday released a report of property seizures made under Missouri's Criminal Activity Forfeiture Act (CAFA) in 2017, which shows law enforcement officials seized more than $7 million worth of property in 658 seizures.
That's up from 2016 when authorities seized approximately $6.3 million worth of property in 615 seizures.
Under the Criminal Activity Forfeiture Act, law enforcement officials may take possession of property or cash believed to be involved in or related to a crime. State law requires prosecuting attorneys and the Attorney General to file information about reported seizures each year with the State Auditor's Office.
In Cole County last year, the value of 18 seizures was $39,961, according to the report.
In Callaway County, the value of 12 seizures was estimated at $31,016. For the one seizure reported in Moniteau County, the value was estimated at $914, and Osage County also had one seizure valued at $3,027. No seizures were reported in Miller County.
Approximately 46 percent of the total property or cash seized in 2017 was transferred to federal agencies. The remainder was either returned (9.6 percent), transferred to the state (2.6 percent) or still pending a final decision (36 percent). Approximately 4.6 percent of reported seizures did not include the disposition of the seized property.
A report on activities under federal forfeiture laws will be released later this year.