OCSO gun auction raises over $19,000

OKEECHOBEE — As a way to clear space in their evidence room and to raise money for new equipment, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) recently sold a large amount of guns at auction.

OCSO Detective Lieutenant Brad Stark explained the auction was only open to licensed gun dealers and the winning bidder had to take everything. In other words, they had to take the good with the bad.

Altogether, he said there were about 185 items in the lot.

“All those items take up a lot of space in the evidence room,” he said.

The winner was Altar Arms of Fort Pierce with a bid of $19,250. Lt. Stark said the lowest bid offered was $2,222.22.

OCSO Major Noel Stephen said the money would be used to purchase a vehicle for the Criminal Investigations Division (CID).

“We’ll utilize the money to buy an economical, mid-size passenger car,” he said.

The major went on to explain detectives need the trunk space to carry their bullet-proof vests and other equipment.

Detective Captain John Rhoden and Lt. Stark have been tasked with finding a vehicle, added the major.

The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office recently auctioned guns, knives, holsters and other items to raise money for the purchase of new equipment. Altar Arms of Fort Pierce submitted the winning bid of $19,250 for the entire lot of approximately 185 pieces. Photo by Okeechobee News/Eric Kopp.

The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office recently auctioned guns, knives, holsters and other items to raise money for the purchase of new equipment. Altar Arms of Fort Pierce submitted the winning bid of $19,250 for the entire lot of approximately 185 pieces. Photo by Okeechobee News/Eric Kopp.

According to the lieutenant the items being auctioned included handguns, rifles, shotguns, knives, cases and holsters. No assault weapons were sold.

The items being sold consisted of things that had been confiscated, found or unclaimed.

Lt. Stark said the last time his agency held such an auction was about six years ago.

He went on to add that some of the guns aren’t sold, but are destroyed instead.

“Any gun we don’t want back on the street, is inoperable or is an assault weapon we will destroy by taking them to an incinerator in Fort Myers,” the detective pointed out.
Eight gun dealers submitted bids.

The dealers were allowed to look at the items at the sheriff’s office, then had about a week to submit their bids.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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