149.055. Unstamped cigarettes seized, when--personal property used incident to such attempt to avoid tax to be forfeited, procedure
1. All unstamped cigarettes upon which taxes are imposed by this chapter which shall be found in the possession, custody, or control of any person, for the purpose of being consumed, sold or transported into, within or through the state of Missouri, for the purpose of evading or violating the provisions of this chapter, or with intent to avoid payment of the tax imposed hereunder, and any motor vehicle, truck or other conveyance whatsoever used in the transportation of such cigarettes, and all paraphernalia, equipment or other tangible personal property incident to the use of such purposes, found in the place, building, vehicle or vehicles, where the cigarettes are found, may be seized by the director or his duly authorized agents, or any peace officer within the state, and the same shall be, from the time of the seizure, forfeited to the state of Missouri, and a proper proceeding filed in a court of competent jurisdiction in the county of seizure, to maintain the seizure and prosecute the forfeiture as provided in this section.
2. All the cigarettes, vehicles and property so seized, shall first be listed and appraised by the officer making the seizure and turned over to the county sheriff of the county in which the seizure is made and a receipt therefor 1 taken; and the person making the seizure shall immediately make and file a written report thereof, showing the name of the person making the seizure, the place, and the person where, and from whom the property was seized, and an inventory and appraisement thereof, at the usual and ordinary retail price of the articles received, to the director of revenue. The prosecuting attorney of the county in which the seizures are made may, at the request of the director, file in the circuit court forfeiture proceedings in the name of the state of Missouri, as plaintiff, and in the name of the owner or person in possession, as defendant, if known, and if unknown in the name of the property seized. The clerk of the court shall issue summons to the owner or person in whose possession such property was found, directing him to answer within ten days. If the property is declared forfeited and ordered sold, notice of the sale shall be posted in five public places in the county not less than ten days before the date of sale. The proceeds of the sale shall be deposited with the clerk of the court, who shall after deducting costs, including the costs of the sale, pay the balance to the director of revenue as cigarette tax collected.
3. The seizure and sale of the cigarettes shall not relieve the person from whom the cigarettes were seized from any prosecution or the payment of any penalties provided for under this chapter; nor shall it relieve the purchaser thereof from any payment of the regular cigarette tax and the placing of proper stamps thereon before making any sale of the cigarette or the personal consumption of the same.
4. The forfeiture provisions of this chapter shall only apply to persons having possession of or transporting cigarettes with intent to barter, sell or give away the same. The possession of cigarettes in any quantity of five or more cartons of ten packages each shall be prima facie evidence of intent to barter, sell or give away the cigarettes in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
5. The director of revenue and his duly authorized agents and any other officer authorized to make seizures of contraband under the provisions of this chapter are hereby authorized and empowered to call upon the prosecuting attorneys of the respective counties and the circuit attorney of the city of St. Louis and the attorney general of the state of Missouri to represent them in any proceeding hereunder, and thereafter it shall be the duty of the prosecuting or circuit attorney or the attorney general to proceed on behalf of the officer making the call according to the provisions of this chapter.