Government-seized vehicles sold at auction


by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

Posted on November 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 10:12 AM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Rainy weather did not postpone a unique auction scheduled for Saturday.

The U.S. Marshals Service, District of Arizona, auctioned off vehicles that had been seized by law enforcement after being involved in criminal activities.

“There's a couple of cool ones," said Ryan Birmingham, who was bidding on a Camaro. "There's an old Impala that I want to try and buy, and I wanted to try and get that Camaro to build another car."

Although the U.S. Marshals Service did not disclose where the vehicles came from and how they were used in crimes, bidders could guess based on missing vehicle parts.

“I mean, you might, but you might not want to know about what happened before you had the car,” Birmingham said.

Other vehicles included a Porsche Panamera, a 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass, drag racing cars, a Range Rover, and jet skis. More than 25 vehicles were featured.

The U.S. Marshals Service said it has helped dispose of more than 23,000 goods managed by the Department of Justice's Asset Forfeiture Program. Valued at $2.4 billion, the items have included everything from jewelry to aircraft.

The government agency tries to hold auctions for seized and forfeited vehicles two to three times per year.

 “You can get a good deal, and you don't know until you come out here and bid on these cars." said U.S. Marshal David Gonzales. "I've seen people get some really, really, good deals on cars, other times it was a toss up."

Some vehicles generate a lot of money, which funds criminal investigations and supports victims of crime. The 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo, for example, was expected to sell for $90,000 to $100,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.