SNEADS, FL-They don’t know yet what they are going to do with the properties but the deals were ones they couldn’t refuse–thousands of acres of ranch land bought for three cents and four cents per sf.

That’s what Waymon Moneyham, a Marianna, FL rancher, and Greg Preble, a Tallahassee, FL civil engineer, told real estate sources in this North Florida town of 2,000 residents after making the winning bids at a public auction on a total 1,688 acres of ranch land.

Seized after the arrests and convictions of the Miami-based Vega family in January, the Treasury Department unloaded the properties for the total bargain price of $2.75 million, brokers familiar with the transaction tell The criminal division of the Internal Revenue Service in Orlando confirms the transactions for

Moneyham and four partners paid $1.8 million, or $1,919 per acre (four cents per sf), for the former 912-acre cattle-raising ranch in Jackson County. Preble and three associates paid $1 million, or $1.29 per acre (three cents per sf), for a 776-acre ranch in nearby Gadsden County. About 600 people attended the Dec. 10 auction.

Treasury officials say they expect another $200,000 will be generated from the sale of various equipment and machinery found on the two ranches. The government also anticipates receiving additional revenue from the sale of 200 head of cattle and 5,000 units of bull semen that will be sold later this month at the Dothan Livestock Auction in Alabama, Treasury officials say.

Some of the sales proceeds will go to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for law-enforcement training and investigations use.

Treasury officials say the Vega family was part of an informal group of illegal drug traffickers that operated in South Florida in the 1980s and 1990s. Law enforcement officials say the two North Florida ranches were used by the Vega family as both a legitimate business and a cover for alleged money laundering schemes, according to published reports at the time of the various Vega family arrests.

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