State Treasurer Riley Moore on Thursday presented a check worth more than $19,000 to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department – proceeds generated from the Office’s recent unclaimed property firearms auction.
Treasurer Moore presented the check totaling $19,098 to the department.
“This auction helps local law enforcement agencies clear out their storage rooms and evidence lockers and generate revenue to use to pay for new equipment, facilities or training programs,” Treasurer Moore said. “My office is proud to partner with agencies like the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department to better equip the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve our communities.”
“We want to have the cleanest and most up-to-date evidence room, and this program helps us achieve that goal,” said Wyoming County Sheriff Bradley Ellison. “I want to thank Treasurer Moore and his staff for facilitating this auction and for his support of local law enforcement.”
West Virginia’s Unclaimed Property Code allows state and local law enforcement agencies to turn over any unclaimed, seized or outdated firearms in their possession to the State Treasurer’s Office for auction. The proceeds can then be returned to the submitting agency for use.
These include weapons that are older and no longer used by a department, or that have been seized during the commission of a crime and sitting in evidence rooms for an extended amount of time following the disposition of a case. They can also include weapons taken from individuals who are not legally allowed to own firearms.
Once law enforcement certifies they cannot find a lawful owner of the firearms, they can be turned over to the Treasurer’s Office for auction. In order to participate in the auction, bidders must be a valid, licensed federal firearms dealer.
More than 60 federally licensed firearms dealers attended this year’s auction, which was held July 22 in Charleston and raised a record of nearly $140,000 in proceeds.
In addition to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department, other law enforcement agencies that benefited from the event included sheriff’s departments from Cabell, Jackson, Kanawha and Marion counties; the Lewisburg, Montgomery, New Martinsville, Nitro, Parkersburg and South Charleston city police departments; the Marlinton, Moorefield, Parkersburg, Union and Weston State Police detachments; and Division of Natural Resources detachments in Farmington and Romney.