Guns, knives purchased by jailed ex-Ag Commissioner Richie Farme - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Guns, knives purchased by jailed ex-Ag Commissioner Richie Farmer go up for auction

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The last remnants of former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's scandal-plagued tenure went up for auction today.

The state sold a collection of weapons purchased by Farmer at taxpayer expense, and the money raised from the auction is coming to Louisville. They are an infamous part of Kentucky history - 13 rifles and 16 knives - for sale to the highest bidder.

There was a bigger-than-usual crowd at the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife's Spring Auction. The big attraction: custom rifles and knives left over from the scandalous tenure of former Agriculture Commissioner and UK basketball star Richie Farmer.

Farmer used tax dollars to buy them as gifts in 2008, but Farmer kept many for himself. They ultimately became evidence in his corruption trial.

"It will probably go out of the price range that I'm willing to spend because of the fact that it is his. But if I get lucky enough, get it for a couple or $300, I might be able to take it home," said Jerry Blasher as he inspected the guns.

But, no such luck. The guns sold for between $1,000 and $1,400 apiece - more than twice their normal value. The knives brought between $400 and $500 each - about five-times their worth.

"Just the collectability of them. Just to have to give and keep and hold on to and give to my kids," said Matt Gosser of Russell Springs, Kentucky, who purchased two rifles.

"He just blew a good thing. I mean, he was a hero in the state and he blew it all," said Jack Stephens of Russell Springs, who purchased one of the rifles.

The current Agriculture Commissioner, James Comer, says the nearly $22,000 raised will help launch an urban garden project in west Louisville.

"We look back, and we did something good with a bad situation," said Comer.

The end of the auction is not the end of the story. The final chapter of this scandal will not be written until the summer of 2016, when Farmer completes his 27-month federal prison sentence.

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