Clearly, reforms were overdue. However, those who would eliminate forfeiture – or make it hard to utilize – should know why it came to be. About 40 years ago, I recall when law enforcement faced a rising scourge: drug dealing. Heroin and crack cocaine were decimating neighborhoods. Yet, when officers arrested drug dealers, we had no way to seize their assets. Criminal gangs could keep enormous profits and other assets at sites apart from where they sold drugs. After arrest, many dealers quickly went back into business while awaiting trial, using the same vehicles, cash and drug dens.