Just as auctioneer Keelan McLeish hung up from one phone call Friday at McLeish Auction House, the phone began ringing again.
"The phone has been ringing non-stop all day," said auctioneer Charlie McLeish, who runs the auction house, along with son Keelan.
The constantly ringing phone adds to the bustle inside McLeish's, where approximately 20 people have been browsing the vehicles and tools that will be auctioned off Saturday.
JASMINE ROGERS The Marietta Times
Keith See, of Waterford, looks over the '55 Chevy Bel Air to be auctioned off at McLeish Auction House Saturday. The vehicle is one of over a dozed seized by the Washington County Sheriff's Office in April 2011 drug bust.
The Sheriff's drug seizure auction features over a dozen vehicles that were collected in April 2011 during one of the largest drug busts in the history of the region, and recently released through the court, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
Facilitated by the Major Crimes Task Force, the bust was a joint effort involving Washington and Morgan County Sheriff's Offices, The Marietta Police Department, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation.
Interest in the auction is wide spread. The McLeishes have been fielding phone calls from places such as Tennessee, Indiana, and North Carolina.
Chicago resident Matthew Wrobel, 27, called to ask what sort of payments will be expected and accepted Saturday.
Wrobel, who sometimes looks to buy cars for personal use, has a couple of clients who are interested in vehicles at Saturday's auction.
"My clients want cars that are a good year, well maintained," said Wrobel, who plans to be at Saturday's auction.
If You Go
Auction begins Saturday at 10 a.m.
Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Vehicles are expected to be actioned off around 11:30.
Go early to guarantee parking
To bid on more expensive items, such as vehicles, you must have cash, or a check accompanied by a bank letter of credit
Jackson, Ohio, resident Ross Anderson, 25, traveled nearly two hours to check out the vehicles Friday. Liking what he saw, he said he plans on coming back for the auction Saturday.
"I have got the letter from my bank, saying I'm pre-approved," said Anderson.
Having cash on hand or a check accompanied by a bank letter is necessary to bid on the larger items, said Keelan.
"It's going to be a tremendous auction," said Charlie.
Around 500-600 people are expected to attend. Though it is not necessarily the largest auction McLeish has ever hosted at his Marietta auction house, it is a rarity, he said.
"We have done big ones, but you just get one of these about once every year or two," said Charlie.
Among the cars being auctioned off Saturday are a '03 Chevy Corvette, a '03 Mustang Cobra, a '00 Cadillac Escalade, a '07 Ford Sport Trac, a '06 Ford Fusion, a '02 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail, and a '07 Fleetwood Bounder Motor Home.
The most anticipated item, said McLeish, is a '55 Chevy Bel Air, which is expected to bring between $35,000 to $40,000.
"This '55 Chevy here is probably one of the best show cars that I have seen. This one has won trophies," said McLeish.
Saturday's auction will also include a speed boat, four-wheelers, jet skis, lawn mowers, traveling trailers, and a plethora of tools, said Charlie.
Saturday's auction is the second of three involving items seized in relation to last April's arrests. Household objects, including several large screen televisions, were auctioned off two weeks ago, said Minks.
In mid to late October, McLeish's will hold a sportsman auction, including hunting and fishing equipment and around 90 firearms that were also seized.
The Sheriff's Office is allowed to seize property based on two conditions: that it was used to help perpetrate a crime or that it was purchased with money earned from illegal activity. The Sheriff was able to prove the items were purchased through illegal activity because 56-year-old Hank H. Holloway, the suspected leader of the six person group arrested last April, had not filed taxes in years, said Mincks.
In addition to the cars and property seized, a large sum of money was also found.
"We actually seized $750,000 in cash in three briefcases out in Bartlett," said Mincks.
That cash, along with the revenue generated at the auctions, will be split between the organizations involved in the investigation and will be used to further fund drug investigations, said Mincks.
For more information on McLeish Auction Service, visit www.mcleishauctions.com or call 740-373-3000.