Federal government plans November sale of 379 horses

The federal government intends to put 379 horses up for auction Nov. 1-3 in Oklahoma City. Prosecutors claim the horses were bought with drug money from a violent Mexican drug cartel.
by Nolan Clay Modified: October 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012
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U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ordered the IRS to “maintain the net proceeds of the sales until the conclusion of the ... criminal case.”

The money in the account will be released to the government if there are convictions in the case. The money could be released to the defendants if they are acquitted. The trial is set to begin in March in Austin, Texas.

Some of the defendants, including the two alleged cartel leaders, have not been arrested.

Health concerns

In many criminal cases, the government is not allowed to sell property until after a defendant is convicted at trial.

The judge agreed to the sales before trial because of health concerns and so that yearlings can be sold and trained to race while their values are still high.

Not being sold before trial, though, are five of the more valuable horses — Tempting Dash, Mr. Piloto, Separate Fire, Dashin Follies and a colt identified only as Y516. Prosecutors agreed to hold those horses out of the November auction after Jose Trevino agreed not to try to block the sale of the other horses.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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