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Archive for Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Auction scheduled for this weekend to dispose of assets at house raided last month

Home was alleged to be home of meth trafficker

Dan Hiatt, who owns Hiatt Auction, will be the lead auctioneer at Saturday’s sale of the home and items at 1706 N. 1500 Road.

Dan Hiatt, who owns Hiatt Auction, will be the lead auctioneer at Saturday’s sale of the home and items at 1706 N. 1500 Road.

March 3, 2010

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The house may or may not have been a place to hide slaves, before sending them on their way toward freedom.

The dozens of cars, trucks, tree spades and other vehicles and equipment strewn about the yard may or may not run.

And all of the property — together — may or may not fetch anywhere from $80,000 to $180,000, as expected, at auction Saturday at the eastern edge of Lawrence.

There is one certainty, though: The family of suspected methamphetamine dealer Donald Steele is moving on.

“We’re trying to get everything straightened out,” said Chaz Steele, who plans to auction his mother’s home and his parents’ personal property and business equipment Saturday at 1706 N. 1500 Road. “It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to do. It’s not something we wanted to do.”

Raided house up for auction

A home just east of Lawrence that was recently raided by federal agents is being sold. Crews are working to clean the house before it is sold. Enlarge video

The six-bedroom home on nearly two acres east of Lawrence, along the back way to the East Hills Business Park, has been a source of frustration for Douglas County zoning officials for more than two decades. Three years ago they succeeded in getting a state-ordered cleanup of the site, but since then the property has attracted another 100 vehicles and assorted pieces of equipment.

Last month, a law-enforcement team that included federal agents raided the site and spent two days searching for evidence.

Donald Steele, 50, owner of All Seasons Tree Service, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. He remains held by federal marshals, while a co-defendant, Anthony Sims, has been released pending trial. A second co-defendant, Randy Dyke, is scheduled to be in court today to see whether he, too, could be released pending trial.

Auctioneer Dan Hiatt expects Saturday’s 9 a.m. auction to generate up to $180,000 for Chaz Steele, who plans to use the money to relocate his mother and sister. During the raid, county officials had posted the property as unsafe for anyone to occupy.

Chaz Steele described the property as having a colorful history, one that included hiding slaves in a ceiling back in the 1800s and scurrying them toward freedom through a tunnel to the Kansas River.

Recent history, of course, is something he’d rather forget.

“They don’t have a place to live now,” Chaz Steele said, of his mother and sister. “We’re hoping to sell everything in the yard, and get enough for a down payment on another house — one outside Douglas County.”

Comments

Bladerunner 4 years, 9 months ago

Does Donald Steele have a public defender? Could the funds be used to pay for his defense? I wonder how much of the property is in his name?

puddleglum 4 years, 9 months ago

wow! not even a conviction and all your stuff gets sold?

alm77 4 years, 9 months ago

"The six-bedroom home on nearly two acres east of Lawrence, along the back way to the East Hills Business Park, has been a source of frustration for Douglas County zoning officials for more than two decades." I would like to know more about this. Does that mean that the county will be there to bid on the property? Or whoever has the business park? Or that if someone were to buy it they would be offered a buy out from someone else?

headdoctor 4 years, 9 months ago

puddleglum (anonymous) says... wow! not even a conviction and all your stuff gets sold?


The family is probably trying to get what benefit they can out of it before the Feds say thank you very much, now hand over the money. That might happen anyway if the Feds get wind of the Auction.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 9 months ago

I want to buy the fire department's chain-saw. Heck, maybe even a firetruck. I'd clean house at the demolition derby next summer.

workinghard 4 years, 9 months ago

Bladerunner ---The property is not in Steele's name, but his girlfriend's, as for the cars and other stuff, who knows whose name they are under. I hope people realize if the titles have not been changed, it could be very expensive to get a title. Best to let junkyards have them.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 9 months ago

equipment Saturday at 1706 N. 1500 Road. “It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to do. It’s not something we wanted to do.”

---drugs ... certainly not a victimless crime.

this is a very sobering sad article. the family is obviously yet another victim of the meth.

the 6news story said that cars were marked with X's or O's depending on drug dog hits.

junker haven is loaded with junk. $180,000? really ? they'll get a ton of lookie lou's, but I bet they don't break $75,000!

plus, would you want to live there, on that property, after this situation???


worth noting: don't see any of the *Dykes posting. no Lilfoot celebrating, no Mom0f3 illiterate posting defense. ... well good.
Chaz and the family should never have had to deal with this tragedy!

RaynRavyn 4 years, 9 months ago

Is there a list anywhere of items at said auction? And what time is this shindig starting? :)

workinghard 4 years, 9 months ago

http://hiattauction.com

RaynRavyn --here is the link to the auctioneers web site then click to enter

bearded_gnome 4 years, 9 months ago

Paulette2 has been TOSsed off 14 or 15 times before and apparently doesn't understand how the family can choose to do this themselves. "due process?" stick to Arky-tec work, something you seem less ignorant of instead.

somebodynew 4 years, 9 months ago

paulette2 - it is the FAMILY selling this, not the Feds. Plus as fast as this was announced I have to wonder if this wasn't planned in advance and when LE found out they decided on the raid. Don't know, just speculating.

poppygirl 4 years, 9 months ago

I can't imagine anything INSIDE the house that I would want to buy !!!!!!

poppygirl 4 years, 9 months ago

I can't imagine anything INSIDE the house that I would want to buy !!!!!!

Charlie Sabotage 4 years, 9 months ago

ugh, they had to stop selling drugs so they needed to continue selling SOMETHING. the house and crap were the only option

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 9 months ago

I am surprized the procecutor is not filing a les pendious against the house for a forfiture like they did in the yellow house case (which is still going on 5 years 3months later.......)

Flap Doodle 4 years, 9 months ago

Bring out your dead (horses)! Bring out your dead (horses)!

jumpin_catfish 4 years, 9 months ago

Is this the police state? How can they sell a man's property before he is convicted! If he's found guilt by a jury of his peers than so be it, I'm a hang 'em high kind of guy.

banksie 4 years, 9 months ago

Read the article before slamming the judicial process.

Chaz Steele said, of his mother and sister. “We’re hoping to sell everything in the yard, and get enough for a down payment on another house — one outside Douglas County.”

It is the FAMILY selling everything off, NOT the feds.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 9 months ago

What is a case or three of sudafed going for nowadays?

lawrenceRezident 4 years, 9 months ago

Well something obviously is going on that we don't know about... Besides they can seize things without having to convict someone... Like I have said before... Maybe property taxes have not been paid on any number of things that require it... And, no, we don't live in a police state... Get real! Think we live in a police state try relocating to North Korea or China... Virtually no human rights.... We aren't doing bad in our country at all...

lawrenceRezident 4 years, 9 months ago

Wow! Correction... I didn't pay attention! it's not being seized... The family is selling everything!

lawrenceRezident 4 years, 9 months ago

Wow! Correction... I didn't pay attention! it's not being seized... The family is selling everything!

SpunKey 4 years, 9 months ago

As I understand the law, regardless of who owns the house and contents, if the Feds can prove they were purchased with proceeds from drug deals OR used to house or traffic drugs, then the feds can sieze the property and dispose of it.

Likewise, if the family buys a different house (regardless of what county or state), the feds can sieze/lien that property (again for being purchased from sale of drug related items aka paraphenalia).

So if the feds don't stop this sale... it may be that they are just letting someone else liquidate and consolidate the equity for them to later take over.

PLUS beware what you purchase as it may be taken as evidence. In which case you have no access to it for at least as long as the trial and any appeals last.

One last kicker to this.... if found guilty, the feds can determine a value of all the drugs they think were sold and create a nice IRS income tax bill. So auctioning these items can actually help the feds determine the amount of money generated from drug sales.

Zachary Stoltenberg 4 years, 9 months ago

Spunkey, that was my thought exactly. Let the family sell it all then just seize the money. Why should the feds go to all the trouble when scooter's kids will do it for them? I do feel terrible for the family, usually the biggest victims in a drug case never had anything to do with the drugs. Looks like that's the case here as well.

somedude20 4 years, 9 months ago

I have a friend who is about to have a kid so I would like babys first meth manufacturing kit

Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 9 months ago

Smitty--

Fair point. I'll revise.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

monkey_c 4 years, 9 months ago

Good God people! We have a lot of folks too eager to add their two cents. They can't spare the 30 sec. to read the article. These are the same people who when engaged in a conversation, do not hear what the other guy is saying because they are too busy planning for what they will say next.

monkey_c 4 years, 9 months ago

There is some surprisingly nifty cr*p up for auction if you check out that auction site.

pooter 4 years, 9 months ago

Whats to buy, the feds already seized all the good stuff.

Empty 2 liter pop bottles, Coffee filters, Camping fuel, Red Devil lye, match books...

I bet there was never any meth out there.

*

supernik 4 years, 9 months ago

nevermind - sorry, i found what i was looking for.

Sigmund 4 years, 9 months ago

I wonder what kind of title you get for the motor vehicle. If any of them are later discovered to be stolen won't you just lose your money?

xfactor 4 years, 9 months ago

I would think the hardest thing they guy has ever had to do was admit he is related to the junk collector. Rarely do I take pleasure in someone's demise, but every day I drive by that junk yard I find myself smiling.

As Clint Eastwood said in the movie Unforgiven: "We've all got it coming, kid."

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 9 months ago

I am surprised they are doing the auction why is this stuff not being destroyed due to its contact with Hazardous material ?

pooter 4 years, 9 months ago

Who knows what you might be able to buy at the auction, maybe some lithium batteries or even an empty anhydrous ammonia tank.

*

bigdave 4 years, 9 months ago

pooter you sure know a lot about making Meth!!! Whats with that?

pooter 4 years, 9 months ago

With all the junk that was on that farm it shouldn't have taken 2 whole days to find several of those items, or obviously at least enough to press a charge of conspiracy to manufacture.

Or maybe, after all that searching out there they found nothing more than Uncle Fester's book of Secrets in his library...

*

pooter 4 years, 9 months ago

My point all along. These people have to sell everything they own for nothing more than an allegation of wrongdoing by the federal government.

And thats the rub.

No need for an actual crime occuring, an accusation is good enough to destroy anyone who gets in the way of an out of control drug policy.

*

workinghard 4 years, 9 months ago

Is LJW going to follow the auction on twitter or give updates as it goes along? LOL, just joking guys.

focusonlaw 4 years, 9 months ago

The sale of all items owned by Kimm Cline is going on today. There was no meth lab on the property. The reason for the "haz-mat" van was that there were many vehicles with gas and oil plus there were a lot of paint cans on the property. This created a concern for contamination and thus the van. The property has been labeled as not habitable due to plumbing and electrical not being up to code. If you have doubt, contact Keith Dabney at 785-331-1343.

see KSA 79-5201 et seq. The following is a summary of the call to Ks. Dept. of Revenue after hearing that Don was billed $90K for drug tax. I asked "What if he is found not guilty." "Didn't matter he will still owe the $90K!!!" she said "But his case hasn't been adjudicated yet." I said " Doesn't matter." she said " Can I have his attorney contact you?" I asked" " No. Attorneys are not allowed at those proceedings since it is civil!" she responded WHAT!! Taxation based on accusation without representation!!! Really??!!
I am sickened by the prospect that based on accusation one can be put in a private holding facility, not have contact with the outside, be poorly represented, taxed on the basis of an accusation, have your home condemned, lose everything you own, be effectively isolated from incoming mail, have outgoing mail suppressed and then be told that you can't have representation by a court-appointed counsel!
I respect everyone's opinion on this case. I think some have made witty, pithy and accurate comments, others have made poorly worded rhetoric. That's Okay. That is why we have a constitution that allows you to say those things. I defend your right to say them. It sometimes hurts to hear them, but you have the right to say them. God help us all if we loose that! No voice, No Forum, No Lawrence Journal World! My brother has no voice. He is not being heard in this forum. Having been active in civic responsibilities, I am well-aware of the catastrophic effects of meth. I am the first to condemn it's use or condone it's distribution. My brother has always concurred with me in that resolve. He has raised three fine children who have all gone to college or are still attending school. His home was a refuge for the homeless; a well of hope for the hopeless and unfortunately a graveyard for rusty old cars.
I won't convince anyone of Don's innocence by this diatribe. I don't expect to. Most who have added to this forum have contributed real feelings or real thought-provoking issues. Some have provided humor. In all it is the luxury of being able to speak out at all that is at risk. Think about it. Don got set up by a life-long friend who was facing many years in prison....the friend was wired and entrapped Don into some kind of situation. Now Don is silent to all of you. You can't ask him a question and he can't answer it.

By the way, did I mention that today was his birthday? Happy Birthday Don.

RoeDapple 4 years, 9 months ago

"The property has been labeled as not habitable due to plumbing and electrical not being up to code."

“They don’t have a place to live now,” Chaz Steele said, of his mother and sister. “We’re hoping to sell everything in the yard, and get enough for a down payment on another house — one outside Douglas County.”

Looks simple enough to me. The home and property are being sold due to being declared uninhabitable and the proceeds will be used to get a place to live for Chaz Steele's mother and sister...

LadyJ 4 years, 9 months ago

Are habitats required by law to have electricity and plumbing? Just wondering.

been_there 4 years, 9 months ago

So the highest bid they got was about $30,000 for the house and land and the lowest bid the seller would take was $42,000. Kind of shoots down the "State is trying to get the land" theory since the state didn't show up to bid. They're going to fix it up and try again in July.

polly13 4 years, 9 months ago

Focusonlaw Thanks for the update, I hope things went well at the auction for the family. We are keeping all in our prayers. If you get the chance, wish Don a happy birthday from us.

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