This week the state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources auctioned off 29 custom firearms and knives purchased by former agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer. Farmer, a former shooting guard from the UK Wildcats’ “Unforgettables” lineup in the early ’90s, is currently serving a 27-month sentence in West Virginia’s Hazelton Federal Prison.
The 13 Remington rifles and 16 Case knives were purchased by Farmer as gifts in 2008 using taxpayer money but he kept them for himself instead. Bidders drove prices well above their retail value as they sought to take home a piece of what has become Kentucky history. The $80 custom knives sold for several hundred dollars each while the rifles, valued around $500, sold for roughly twice that. Farmer’s personal rifle sold for $1,400. The nearly $22,000 raised by the auction will go toward the Boys and Girls urban garden project in west Louisville.
Farmer’s prison sentence stems from a 2013 guilty plea to two of the five federal corruption charges he faced.