Free Minds & Free Markets

An Oregon Deputy Steals and Sells a Dead Man's Guns

Sean Thomas Banks assured the family he was taking them for "safekeeping."

|||Gabe9000c/Dreamstime.comGabe9000c/Dreamstime.comAn Oregon sheriff's deputy is accused of taking a dead man's guns and selling them.

In October 2015, a woman contacted the Marion County Sheriff's Office following the death of her father, Steven Heater. Heater had several guns in his home, and his daughter wanted them secured. Sean Thomas Banks, who had been hired as a deputy in 2013, was sent in to assist. But police say he did more than that.

The Salem Statesman Journal reports that Banks told Heater's daughter he would take the guns "for safekeeping." But he did not give her a property sheet or a receipt for the guns, which were valued at $2,930. This is when police say Banks' definition of "safekeeping" shifted:

According to police, he went on to sell and consign five of the shotguns, including a Remington 1100 shotgun, a Weatherby Orion 12-gauge shotgun, a Beretta 12-gauge shotgun, a Browning A5 20-gauge shotgun and a Winchester Model 23 XTR shotgun, at Tick Licker Firearms in Salem and Rich's Gun Shop in Donald.

In July, Oregon Live reports, Salem police investigated Banks for forging a check. In the course of that investigation, police found a "suspicious firearms transaction" tied to Banks. The investigation was expanded, and additional transactions were discovered. On July 12, the deputy was placed on administrative leave.

Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers' office reportedly became aware that the Salem police were investigating Banks in March. Banks was arrested last Thursday and charged with five counts of first-degree theft and one count of official misconduct. Although he initially denied the charges, he eventually admitted that he stole the guns and sold them.

Photo Credit: Gabe9000c/

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  • Cy||

    There it ladies and gents... The thin blue line.

  • Rich||

    one count of official misconduct

    "He fucked up repeatedly."

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    No! Government is who we trust. It's private citizens and corporations that have to be watched like a hawk, government represents the best of us and is above reproach.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Did he at least do a background check on himself before stealing them?

  • Cy||

    I wonder if this is going to show up as 5 separate crimes involving guns in the FBI statistics.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Ms. Davis really brings this site together, by almost entirely posting about Police abuse. The one topic nearly everyone on this horrible comment board hates in equal measure.

  • Just Say'n||

    That and trashing the LP usually brings everyone together

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That was below the belt. BUCS is the president of the LP, after all.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Whatever, Just Say'n is just a sock for that one guy I (Nick Sarwark) hate, but who's name escapes me at this moment.

  • Just Say'n||

    Tom Woods

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's why I'll mark everyone here as Kulaks when I finally lead our world to libertopia.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    BUCS, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

    [gently weeps]

  • Aloysious||

    That, and Chuck Schumer's moobs.

  • Juice||

    Tick Licker


  • Jerryskids||

    If only the cop had had the good sense to ticket the daughter for having grass 1/4" too long or a garbage can an inch too far from the curb, he could have asset forfeitured the guns all nice and legal-like.

  • Rich||

    That's the one count of official misconduct.

  • IamNotEvil||

    No, it still would have been shared. Which was his real crime, he didn't share with his brothers in blue.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    On July 12, the deputy was placed on administrative leave.

    Holy shit, they really brought the hammer down on that guy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He must have been pretty unpopular with colleagues.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Steven Heater coming back from the dead to get his guns back would be a pretty cool movie. His tag line could be "You left the heater on, motherfucker."

  • Just Say'n||

    So badass.

    They could include Jessica Alba in a bikini as his love interest who helps him seek vengeance.

  • Just Say'n||


  • Marcus Aurelius||


  • Curly4||

    That officer should be guilty of several felonies. One theft of the guns and another is selling illegals (guns that wore stolen. This should give the officer several years to contemplate his actions.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Several years? Hello be back playing Robin Hood in a week or so.

  • Jerry B.||

    Well, at least none of them were those deadly, 3D printed, untraceable Ghost Guns.

  • Duke of url||

    "For the ten thousandth time, it's just one bad apple"!!

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    I'm sure he fully intended to give the money back as soon as it was invested and earned a proper return. Probably had to sell the guns to cover the cost of their storage.


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