The Southern Kentucky Marketplace pavilion will be turned into an automobile auction Friday, all in the name of helping the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force and the South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force in their fight against illegal drugs.
At least 16 vehicles, most of them forfeited because of their use in illegal drug activity, will be auctioned along with some Warren County Sheriff’s Office surplus vehicles and some miscellaneous items seized in drug arrests.
Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force Director Tommy Loving said state law allows any vehicle used to traffic drugs to be subject to forfeiture.
Loving’s task force and the South Central Kentucky task force that serves Logan and Simpson counties can then use the proceeds from the auction to purchase new vehicles.
“The proceeds allow us to replace the vehicles that the detectives use,” Loving said. “The taxpayers don’t buy our trucks; the drug dealers do.”
Friday’s auction, which will start at 4 p.m., is normally held each year in front of the Warren County Courthouse. It was moved to the SoKY Marketplace on Center Street to better accommodate coronavirus pandemic protocols.
“It gives us more room to spread things out and makes it safer in this COVID-19 environment,” Loving said. “We’re asking everyone to wear a mask and observe social distancing.”
The auction will include a variety of vehicles, from sports cars like a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro to a 2005 Honda Odyssey minivan.
Newer vehicles like a 2018 Ford Explorer and a 2018 Dodge Ram pickup truck will be auctioned as well.
“We buy our vehicles on the (discounted) state contract, drive them two or three years and then sell them in the auction while they have maximum value,” Loving said.
The auction will include other items seized in drug arrests, including cameras, a typewriter, some printers and even a Burberry purse.
Bowling Green auctioneer Joe Houchens will conduct the auction at no cost, Loving said.
“He has been doing this free of charge for over 20 years,” Loving said. “He believes in what we do.”
Vehicles will be available for viewing beginning at noon Friday.
More information about the auction and photos of the vehicles can be found at jbhauctioneers.com.