Blount County Sheriff's detectives seized thousands of dollars worth silver, gold and cash from a Blount County business and the owner's home as part of a scrap metal investigation.
On Friday, detectives executed a search warrant at Professional Gold & Silver Buyers, located in the Antique Mall on Druid Hill Drive, according to a release from the sheriff's office. Detectives seized everything in the booth, including gold, silver and cash.
That search warrant led to the search of the owner's Maryville residence on Dunlap Street, where investigators seized several thousand dollars worth of additional gold and silver.
The sheriff's office reports that the warrants were a result of numerous complaints about the owner violating state law, which requires anyone purchasing scrap metal must ask for valid state identification from the person selling it. The buyer also must keep the scrap metal a minimum of 20 days and must report daily to local law enforcement what was purchased and from whom, along with a description.
The sheriff's office reports that the owner was in violation of all three parts of the law.
"He has never reported to the Sheriff's Office, does not require a valid
state identification, and he does not keep the items for the required
minimum 20 days," the release stated.
The sheriff's office reports that charges against the owner are pending.
"When this new, more stringent law was enacted in 2008, and as new scrap metal businesses open, detectives with the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division meet with the business owners and advise them of the law, and what is required of them," the release stated. "Several attempts were made to get the owner of Professional Gold & Silver Buyers to comply with the law, but they were ignored."
The rising price of gold, silver and other metals has led to an increase in home burglaries in all parts of the county over the past couple of years, according to the release.
"Be warned: we are cracking down on scrap metal businesses who are not complying with the law. Anyone who is not, could face prosecution," Sheriff James Berrong said.