REPORT: $3.91 million in assets seized in Kansas criminal cases in 2023

TOPEKA – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) recently provided the 2023 Kansas Civil Asset Forfeiture Report to the Kansas Legislature, and released it to the public.

Civil asset forfeiture is a procedure that authorizes law enforcement agencies to seize and forfeit property and cash that was obtained with proceeds from, or used to facilitate, certain criminal activity. Once a forfeiture proceeding concludes, the forfeited property or funds may be used for permissible law enforcement operations, or to further public safety objectives.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reports have been submitted to the Kansas Legislature annually since 2020, as is required by K.S.A. 60-4127. In 2018, the Legislature amended the Kansas Standard Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Act (KSASFA) to include additional reporting requirements.

The law requires that all Kansas law enforcement agencies submit asset forfeiture incident reports and an annual report to the KBI through the Kansas Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Repository (KASFR). The KBI collects and reconciles the submitted information and reports it to the Kansas Legislature, and the public, in an effort to improve transparency about the forfeiture process.

This annual report covers the period of January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. It includes approximately $3.91 million in seized property, and approximately $2.38 million in forfeited property. For 2023, all Kansas law enforcement agencies were compliant with requirements of the KSASFA.

A breakdown of seizure and forfeiture activity by agency is provided, as well as information on forfeiture fund expenditures. Detailed information pertaining to reported seizures such as the location, the associated criminal offense, and the age, gender, race and ethnicity of the owner or possessor is included. The annual report does not comprise all data submitted by Kansas law enforcement agencies. Refer to the KASFR website for a complete review of the data, and additional visualizations.

A bipartisan bill that would increase reporting requirements under KSASFA recently passed the Legislature, and is currently under review by Governor Kelly.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.

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