Pictured: Sheriff Oscar Lopez checks out one of the trucks up for auction Saturday at the JWC Fairgrounds. Viewing begins at 8 a.m. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Funds raised are dispersed to participating agencies

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

About 100 seized vehicles from several agencies including the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department will be auctioned off Saturday to the highest bidder.

"Everything from drugs to illegals, thefts to burglaries were involved with these vehicles, everything is crime related," said Sheriff Oscar Lopez as he viewed some of the vehicles. "This is one of our biggest."

Trucks, cars, vans, four-by-fours and even a horse trailer will be up for grabs on Saturday at the Jim Wells County fairgrounds. Vehicles were lined up side-by-side Thursday under the pavilion and on the grassy area at the fairgrounds as vehicles were being prepared for the auction.

Bidders can check out the vehicles starting at 8 a.m. with the auction starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. Individuals interested in bidding can pay by cash, check with approval of the auctioneer company, Texas Auto Title or acquire a letter of credit from their bank.

The county has an auction about every three months, officials said.

Lopez said that vehicles in past auctions have gone for as little as $100 and as high as $8,000.

Lt. Louie Valadez with the sheriff's department said the vehicles are "sold as is." Along with the bid, a 10 percent fee is added to cover the auctioneer.

He said auction regulars usually know what to look for in a vehicle.

"They come in and check the engine and sometimes they bring with them someone who is mechanically inclined," Valadez said.

Lopez said the money goes directly to the district attorney's office and is distributed to the agencies that participated.

"When we get the money, it goes straight to the (district attorney's) department, it's then divided by the agencies involved," he said.

At Saturday's auction, some of the agencies involved include Duval County, Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department, McMullen County and the cities of San Diego, Premont, Bishop and George West.

Bidders could find a bargain, officials said.

"Some people will walk out with very good deals," Valadez said.