A Maryville man has been sentenced for violating the state law regulating the buying and selling of scrap jewelry and precious metals.
Danny Lawrence Bunch, 49, Dunlap Street, Maryville, was sentenced this week to spend 11 months/29 days behind bars. Bunch owned Professional Gold & Silver Buyers.
According to state law, gold buyers are supposed to get a state identification card from anyone they buy from, keep the merchandise for 20 days, and report all their information to local law enforcement. Blount County Sheriff James Berrong says Bunch was not doing any of these things.
On June 29, investigators executed two search warrants, one at Professional Gold & Silver Buyers, located in the Antique Mall on Druid Hill Drive, and one at Bunch's residence on Dunlap Street. Detectives seized gold, silver and cash from the search warrant at the business, and several thousands of dollars of additional gold and silver was seized during the search warrant of his residence.
The Blount County Sheriff's Office was awarded the seized items by the court.
Sheriff Berrong says his office is cracking down on businesses that are not complying with the precious metals and scrap jewelry law. They've seen an increase in home burglaries as a result of the rising price of gold, silver, and other metals. Anything containing precious metals is targeted.
Sheriff Berrong is asking citizens to make sure your homes, garages, and automobiles are secured, and to keep the hedges around your home trimmed so law enforcement can spot would-be burglars.
"Be a good neighbor, and keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighborhood," Sheriff Berrong said. "Keep an updated list of serial numbers, and photos if possible, of your valuable items. This makes it easier for law enforcement to locate your property if you are the victim of a home burglary."