Blount County Sheriff's Office seizes cash, jewelry from gold buyer's store in Alcoa; owner cited, more charges pending
From Staff Reports
According to a release from Sheriff James Lee Berrong, Danny Dossett Malone, 49, owner of Malone's Jewelers, was cited with noncompliance of Tennessee’s scrap jewelry laws. The release said additional charges against Malone are pending.
Tennessee’s scrap jewelry laws state that a business purchasing scrap jewelry and precious metals must register with the local police department or sheriff’s office. The business must also ask for a valid identification from the individual they are purchasing from, and hold the purchase for 20 days before reselling it. The purchase must also be reported to the local police department or sheriff’s office by noon of the next business day following the transaction.
“When we receive complaints from individuals on these businesses, we do follow-up on them,” Berrong said in the release. “We go out of our way to make sure these businesses are complying with the laws. If they are not, we will prosecute.”
According to the release, Tuesday’s search warrant at Malone’s Jewelers, 332 Gill St., Alcoa, is the result of multiple complaints that the business was not asking for ID’s or supplying transaction information to law enforcement when purchasing scrap jewelry. The Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division initiated a lengthy investigation, and followed up on numerous complaints, often stemming from burglary and theft cases.
An undercover operative recently went to Malone’s and verified the business' noncompliance with the laws. During the search warrant Tuesday, detectives seized several thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry. Alcoa Police Department assisted with the search warrant.
For the past several years, the BCSO has been pro-active with gold buying businesses, according to the release. Sheriff’s Office detectives visit the businesses and provide them with copies of Tennessee’s gold buying laws, as well as the means of reporting and auditing their purchases. The Sheriff’s Office has contact with these businesses frequently, often on a weekly or daily basis to assure they understand the requirements as set forth in the laws.
Gold buying businesses began to flourish following the downturn in the economy a few years ago. Partly because of the poor economy and the rising price of precious metals, burglaries and thefts increased, and they attempt to sell the stolen goods at these businesses.