Hamblen County pawn shop owner arrested

Hamblen County pawn shop owner charged with not reporting transactions, illegally selling vehicles

Morristown, TN - By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - A Hamblen County pawn shop owner has been arrested and charged with 117 counts of the violation of pawn brokers act.

The sheriff's department says James Floyd Drinnon, 61, owner of Money Man Pawn on Buffalo Trail, was not reporting his transactions to local authorities. State law mandates all pawn shops must report to local authorities every item brought in for pawn within 48 hours. In Hamblen County, this is done through an online database.

"If we don't know what the pawn shops are receiving, it's difficult for us in a lot of our criminal investigations. Most of the items that are stolen are going to be pawned at a pawn shop," said Hamblen County Sheriff Department spokesperson Carrie McCann.

They say he was also selling vehicles brought in for pawn while still accepting payments from the customers who pawned them.

"He was having the customer sign the back of the title with no other information as far as the sale price. So that's considered an open title which is illegal in the state of Tennessee," added McCann.

Detectives say when a customer came into Drinnon's shop he would have them sign the title over to him. This is typically not done until the vehicle is repossessed for non-payment. With the title already signed, Drinnon was then able to sell the vehicles to the general public.

"When you bring a car into a pawn shop, you should not have to sign that title," said McCann.

In the past, Ann Coy says she pawned her flat screen TV to Money Man Pawn, "It was there for about a month and I got it out, it was all right."

So hearing about this investigation raises questions for Coy. "I don't know if he's trying to help society or he's trying to help himself," she said.

The sheriff's department says Drinnon is not licensed to sell vehicles of any kind.

Drinnon is currently being held on $117,000 bond. Arraignment is scheduled for Friday, May 30.

Additional charges may be filed.
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