Justice Department Preference for Federal Forfeiture

"As a general rule, if property is seized as part of an ongoing federal criminal investigation and/or the criminal defendants are being prosecuted in federal court—or it is anticipated that a federal prosecution will be pursued—the forfeiture action should be commenced administratively by a federal agency or pursued in federal court regardless of whether a federal, state, or local agency made the seizure.1

"As discussed in Chapter 14 of this Manual, forfeitures should follow the prosecution for both legal and practical reasons. Parallel state forfeitures can jeopardize the pending federal criminal investigation or prosecution and create unnecessary confusion. Where federal resources are expended on an investigation and state and local law enforcement are assisting in a federal prosecution, federal forfeiture, administrative or judicial, should be pursued absent extraordinary circumstances. The efforts of state and local law enforcement should be recognized through formal equitable sharing rather than a division of assets between state and federal forfeiture."

Source: 

Policy Manual: Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual. US Department of Justice. 2016. Chap. 2, Sec. 1.
https://www.justice.gov/crimin...

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