Asset Forfeiture Unit
Specialized unit that works to seize anything used or intended to be used to facilitate illegal activities, including: illegal drug trafficking, illegal gambling operations, drunk driving, environmental polluters, buildings used in violation of nuisance abatement laws and vehicles used in connection with prostitution.
- Illegal Drug Trafficking (Drug Asset Forfeiture)
Any thing used or intended to be used to facilitate drug dealing shall be subject to forfeiture by the Asset Forfeiture Unit. (MCL §333.7521 et seq)
The Asset Forfeiture Unit has forfeited millions of dollars in monetary and non-monetary assets to law enforcement agencies from drug dealers and those who facilitate the distribution of drugs since Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy took office in January 2004.
- Illegal Gambling Operations
The Asset Forfeiture Unit strives to eliminate profits from illegal gambling operations. In 2004, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, together with the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, shut down a major gambling operation forfeiting approximately $1.8 million dollars in currency from the illegal operation. The forfeited money was used by the seizing law enforcement agency and Prosecutor's Office to further combat crime in Wayne County.
- Ill-begotten proceeds and substituted proceeds of crimes
The Omnibus Forfeiture Statute (MCL §600.4701 et seq) is another tool used by the Asset Forfeiture Unit to protect county citizens from crime. The Unit forfeits assets from criminals who engage in particular criminal activity, as named in the statute, like armed robbery and internet crimes.
- Operating While Intoxicated - Vehicles used to violate drunk driving laws in Michigan
In October 2004, the Asset Forfeiture Unit began an historic program through a seldom-used provision of the drunk driving statute: the forfeiture of vehicles used to violate the drunk driving (OWI) laws of the State of Michigan or local ordinance, and the nuisance abatement laws. Support for the program poured in from local law enforcement agencies and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD). The purpose of the program is to protect all persons using the roads located in Wayne County from dangerous driving behaviors of drunk drivers. Any and all money raised from this program is distributed as mandated by the drunk driving statute. Since its inception, the OWI Vehicle Forfeiture Program has processed over 2000 vehicles sending a message to vehicle owners that drunk driving is viewed as a serious offense by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and law enforcement agencies.
- Environmental polluters
The Asset Forfeiture Unit has assigned an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney to prosecute certain environmental crimes cases committed within Wayne County. Not only are polluters criminally charged, but also face the imposition of fines, penalties, and possible forfeiture of assets used to commit the environmental crimes. The Prosecutor's Office has won cases for the County that cause the polluter to clean the property and agree not to engage in environmental polluting in the future. Further, the polluter also pays a fee into the Prosecutor's Environmental Trust Fund. The funds paid into the Prosecutor's Environmental Trust Fund are issued to community groups throughout the county to assist them in cleaning-up targeted sites.
- Nuisance Abatement
In an effort to improve the quality of neighborhoods in Wayne County, the Asset Forfeiture Unit prosecutes businesses and private landowners for participating in or operating illegal enterprises such as prostitution, drug sales, and illegal gambling. In a civil action, the Asset Forfeiture Unit seeks to eliminate the illegal activity by either padlocking the building or enter into an agreement with the landowner requiring the landowner to use the property for a legitimate purpose only. The Asset Forfeiture Unit maintains compliance with the agreement through court action if the terms of the original agreement are violated.
- Vehicles Seizure Unit
The Asset Forfeiture Unit also operates a sub-unit: the Vehicle Seizure Unit. The Vehicle Seizure Unit operates a program designed to discourage the use of vehicles for either (1) the purchase of controlled substances, known as the PUSH-OFF program, or (2) to solicit prostitutes, known as the OTE program. Police agencies located within Wayne County seize vehicles used or attempted to be used for these illegal purposes and cooperate with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office in processing the cases in a combined effort to successfully clean the streets from those who participate in these vices in Wayne County.
Asset Forfeiture Unit: (313) 224-5831
Push-Off/OTE: (313) 224-6688 or (313) 224-8790
OWI Forfeiture: (313) 224-5803
Hours of Operations: 8:00 am - 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (closed for lunch from 12:00 - 1:00)
Necessary documents for processing release of a seized vehicle:
- Notice of Seizure
- Valid driver's license or state ID
- Vehicle registration or vehicle title
- Money Order - NO cash or personal checks
Frequently Asked Questions
A. All real property that is substantially connected to illegal drug activity is subject to forfeiture. Generally, all money, personal property, and equipment that is used or intended to be used as a container, conveyance, or facilitate a violation of the controlled substances act is subject to forfeiture.
A. Once assets are seized, within 20 days from the date of seizure the owner of the assets must post a bond with the seizing agency (police department) in the amount of 10% of the value of the seized property, but not less than $250.00 or greater than $5,000.00. The WCPO Asset Forfeiture Unit will file a Complaint in the Wayne County Circuit Court seeking forfeiture of the property. The case will conclude through settlement terms as agreed upon by the parties or as adjudicated by the court through trial proceedings.
A. The local unit of government (police department) that seized the property may retain it for official use or sell that which is not required to be destroyed by law and which is not harmful to the public. All forfeited property and money shall be used to enhance drug law enforcement efforts and pay the proper expenses of the proceedings for forfeiture and sale.
A. Once a case is concluded, approximately 4 weeks after the Judgment is entered with the Court the owner/claimant should receive any and all assets and posted bond that are to be returned. This general rule is only a guideline and is subject to the seizing agency's standard operating procedure.
- For vehicle values: www.nada.com
- Get A Job...
- Apply For...
- Get Documents For...
- Sign Up For...
- Pay For...
- Get Training...
- Learn About...