Law will facilitate seizure of gang members’ assets

The measure expands an earlier law and allows prosecutors to confiscate any assets, not just those obtained through crime.
By Jordan Rau, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 26, 2008
SACRAMENTO — — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed a law making it easier for prosecutors to seize assets of gang members.

The bill, by Sen. Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), expands a law passed last year that allows prosecutors to seek monetary damages from gangs that cause damage to neighborhoods. A provision in Cedillo’s earlier law that said the seized assets had to be “derived from” the gang’s criminal activities proved an impediment to prosecutors.

The revision allows the seizure of any gang members’ assets, not just assets that the gangs obtained illegally, to cover the cost of damage they caused.

Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Assn., said in a statement: “The governor’s action today is another step forward in our coordinated anti-gang efforts, and we will continue to work with the governor and the Legislature to make our streets safer.”

The measure takes effect immediately.

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