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Seized JFK sloop to be auctioned

The 22-foot Star, once owned by JFK and his brother Joseph, was seized from a convicted drug smuggler

The 22-foot Star, once owned by JFK and his brother Joseph, was seized from a convicted drug smuggler

A Star Class sloop once owned by President John F. Kennedy has been ordered to be sold at auction.

U.S. magistrate judge Rya Zobel ruled July 15 that the federal government is entitled to two-thirds of the proceeds from the sale of Flash II, which was seized by authorities last October from Gregory Olaf Anderson, a convicted drug dealer. Anderson allegedly bought the boat with money from selling marijuana. The remainder of the proceeds will go to a Florida man who invested $10,000 in the 22-foot sailboat.

“Sending items to auction that have been seized, even something of this nature, is standard procedure,” says federal Drug Enforcement Administration spokesperson Diane Brackett. “Occasionally the government will put into use some of the items it seizes, but that’s not what was determined in this case. Regardless of the legacy of the item that was seized, it will be handled the same as everything else.”

Flash II was built in 1930, and purchased by JFK and his brother Joseph in 1934. In addition to sailing the waters off the Kennedy family’s Hyannis, Mass., estate, Kennedy raced Flash II in the 1936 Atlantic Coast Championship and sailed her to victory for Harvard in the 1938 MacMillan Cup in Annapolis, Md. JFK sold the boat in 1942 just before shipping out to the Pacific during World War II.

Anderson reportedly purchased the wooden sailboat at auction in 1996 for $19,000 and attempted to sell it two years later at an auction of Kennedy memorabilia in New York, according to news reports. Anderson refused an $800,000 bid, apparently holding out for a higher price based on the boat’s historical value.

Anderson was arrested in 2001 for transporting 1,300 pounds of marijuana and was sentenced to 18 months. Upon his release, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, Anderson was allegedly preparing to sell Flash II and move forward with drug smuggling. In September 2004 federal agents reportedly were tipped off about Anderson’s plans. Special agents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA seized Flash II Oct. 13 from the Marblehead (Mass.) Trading Co., where she was being stored.

According to judge Zobel’s orders, one-third of the proceeds from the sale will go to Harry Crosby of Clewiston, Fla. Crosby’s attorney says his client had no knowledge of Anderson’s drug smuggling operation when he invested $10,000 to help refurbish Flash II, according to a news report. Although Anderson allegedly gave shares of the boat to a number of people in exchange for drug debts, no one but Crosby filed a claim to the boat, according to a report.

When Flash II will be auctioned had yet to be determined.