Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Donors' Weren't Voluntary; Sheriff's Office Auctions off Vehicles, Other Items Seized during Arrests

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Donors' Weren't Voluntary; Sheriff's Office Auctions off Vehicles, Other Items Seized during Arrests

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan

E.T. apparently loved his bling until he sold "kilos of cocaine" to an undercover cop and got busted a few years ago, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Now all E.T. the inmate can do is phone home from prison and reminisce about the custom-made gold bracelet, pendant and ring with those letters inlaid in diamonds. All were confiscated by police who only identify him by his initials.

The cocaine dealer's ill-gotten booty, plus cars and more jewelry that once adorned the lifestyles of other convicted criminals, can be yours at the Sheriff's Office's Forfeited and Seized Merchandise Auction at Metropolitan Park on Thursday.

Police hold three or four auctions annually to sell vehicles seized during arrests for drugs or other felony crimes after former owners are convicted. The Sheriff's Office uses auction proceeds to maintain seized or forfeited vehicles prior to sale, pay for special investigations and fund crime prevention and intervention programs.

This auction contains an unusual amount of bling, said Lt. Ray Beltz of the forfeiture unit. There's also a Lamborghini and two BMWs from a pill mill organization.

The Sheriff's Office offered a recent preview of the high-end items, including E.T.'s jewelry, the 12,000-mile 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo (minimum bid $70,000) and a huge Ford truck.

The luxurious 111,000-mile 2006 King Ranch Ford F-250 has a suspension lift kit, huge custom wheels and a wood center console with two TVs. Taken in a workers compensation fraud case, its minimum bid is $15,000. David Peck was eyeing it for what it might bring him on resale.

"You are probably looking for somebody 20 to 25 years old with a few

extra bucks to buy this," the Southside man said. "I'm just not a pickup guy. You couldn't give me the thing, but I have sold a King Ranch before. It's got some exotic add-ons for sure."

E.T.'s custom moon-shaped pendant, diamond-encrusted bracelet and gold and diamond ring are valued at roughly $44,000. They are joined by items like a 46-inch-long gold chain with 160 diamonds and a 14-carat gold cross with 368 diamonds. Mandarin resident Jim Dixon was interested, but only for what the gold in them might bring. …

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