State Auditor Blaha Releases 2021 Asset Forfeiture Report - August 16, 2022

Contact: Donald McFarland | 651-236-0494

Saint Paul, MN – At a listening session at 11:00 a.m. today, Auditor Blaha will present the 2021 Asset Forfeiture Report. The listening session will include OSA Government Information Division (data team), stakeholders, law enforcement representatives, and policy makers.

“We are seeing a decrease in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on asset forfeitures,” said Auditor Blaha.

“Last year, bipartisan legislation limiting small asset forfeitures was passed,” continued Blaha. “While this year’s data may be further evidence on why asset forfeiture reform was needed, the effect of the new legislation will not show up in this report.”

“It’s too soon to know if the legislation is making a difference,” added Blaha.

The asset forfeiture presentation will be livestreamed on YouTube.

Highlights of the report include:

  • In 2021, 295 Minnesota law enforcement agencies reported a total of 6,217 completed forfeitures. This compares to 5,785 completed forfeitures in 2020.
  • Of the 6,217 completed forfeitures reported in 2021, 3,385 involved seized cash, property that was sold, or an agreement that required monetary compensation to the agency. The total value of net proceeds from these forfeitures was $7,796,865.
  • In 2021, gross sales of forfeited property or seized cash totaled $10,991,198; administrative expenses and lienholders’ obligations totaled $1,671,210; amount returned totaled $1,770,728; and net proceeds totaled $7,796,865.
  • The agencies with 100 or more completed forfeitures in 2021 were: the Minnesota State Patrol (1,335); Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team (181); Wright County Sheriff’s Office (175); Saint Paul Police Department (134); Dakota County Drug Task Force (124); Minneapolis Police Department (107); Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force (104); and CEE-VI Drug Task Force (100).
  • In 2021, vehicles accounted for 63 percent of property seized, followed by cash at 25 percent, firearms at 11 percent, and other property at one percent.
  • The most common criminal activities leading to seizure, forfeiture, and final disposition of property in 2021 were DUI-related and controlled substance, accounting for 91 percent of the forfeitures. DUI-related forfeitures accounted for 2,841, or 46 percent, of reported forfeitures, while forfeitures involving a controlled substance accounted for 2,829, or 46 percent, of reported forfeitures. The remaining forfeitures involved fleeing (298), weapons (99), ‘’other” crimes (51), racketeering (25), prostitution (21), assault (20), burglary (17), and robbery/theft (16).
  • For 2021, 149 agencies reported that they did not process any property under the forfeiture statutes, compared to 148 in 2020.

The full report may be viewed on the OSA website.