§ 11-19-24. Search warrants and forfeitures of gambling apparatus.
(a)(1) Search warrants to search for and seize gambling implements, apparatus, paraphernalia, slips, tickets, and other property and devices kept, possessed or used in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, or as a means of committing a violation of this chapter, may be issued as provided by law in chapter 5 of title 12; and all implements, apparatus, paraphernalia, slips, tickets, or other gambling apparatus or devices found by any officer in executing a search warrant or which shall be produced and brought into court shall be forfeited to the state, and further proceedings shall be had thereon for their forfeiture as is prescribed by law in chapter 21 of title 12 and upon entry of final judgment of forfeiture shall be destroyed by order of the court.
(2) In addition, those items of personal property other than gambling apparatus and devices, including, but not limited to, motor vehicles and money or negotiable instruments which were kept, possessed, or used in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and which have a monetary value may be seized and forfeited, and further proceedings shall be had for their forfeiture as is prescribed by law in chapter 21 of title 12 and the further provisions of this section; provided, that no property or money used by any person shall be forfeited under the provisions of this chapter unless it shall appear that the owner of the property or money had knowledge, actual or constructive, and was a consenting party to the alleged illegal act.
(b) Property taken or detained under this section shall not be repleviable, but shall be deemed to be in the custody of the law enforcement agency making the seizure and whenever property or money is forfeited under this chapter it shall be utilized as follows:
(1) Where the seized property is a vessel, vehicle, aircraft, or other personal property, it may be retained and used by the law enforcement agency that seized the property where the use of the property is reasonably related to the law enforcement duties of the seizing agency. If the seized property is a motor vehicle which is inappropriate for use by law enforcement agency due to style, size or color, the seizing agency shall be allowed to apply the proceeds of sale or the trade in value of the vehicle towards the purchase of an appropriate vehicle for use for activities reasonably related to law enforcement duties.
(2) The law enforcement agency may sell any forfeited property which is not required by this chapter to be destroyed and which is not harmful to the public. The proceeds from the sale are to be distributed in accordance with subdivision (3) of this subsection.
(3) As to the proceeds from the sale of seized property as referred to in subdivision (2) of this subsection and as to personal property referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the distribution shall be as follows:
(i) All proceeds of the forfeiture of real or personal property shall be distributed as follows:
(A) Twenty percent (20%) of the proceeds shall be provided to the attorney general's department to be used to further law enforcement activities pursuant to this chapter including, but not limited to, investigations, prosecutions, and the administration of this chapter.
(B) Eighty percent (80%) of the proceeds shall be divided among the state and local law enforcement agencies proportionately based upon their contribution to the investigation of the criminal activity related to the asset being forfeited.
(ii) The law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation with the assistance of the attorney general shall by agreement determine the respective proportionate share to be received by each agency. If the agencies are unable to reach agreement, application shall be made by one or more of the agencies involved to the presiding justice of the superior court, who shall determine the respective proportionate share attributable to each law enforcement agency. The proceeds from all forfeitures shall be held by the general treasurer in a separate account until such time as an allocation is determined by agreement of the agencies or by the presiding justice. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the general treasurer to disburse the allocated funds from the separate account to the respective law enforcement agencies.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 283, § 8; G.L. 1909, ch. 349, § 12; P.L. 1912, ch. 835, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 401, § 12; G.L. 1938, ch. 612, § 12; P.L. 1950, ch. 2464, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 11-19-24; P.L. 1965, ch. 168, § 7; P.L. 1989, ch. 232, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 175, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 370, § 1.)