Knox County deputies bust diamond fraud operation

Local News

Four people were taken into custody Wednesday after the Knox County Sheriff’s Office busted a large scale diamond fraud operation that could have cost a local jewelry store $150,000.

Corey Smith, 31; Octavia Nashae Smith, 21; Ariana Moshae Jenkins, 21; and Quintaisha Torshe Sullivan, 21, all face charges of computer crimes, identification theft and attempted theft.

Deputies say the owner of Kimball’s jewelry store found out through a broker that a package containing diamonds was being delivered to his business, but he hadn’t ordered any diamonds. The owner realized he was the victim of a scam and alerted an off-duty deputy who then called detectives.

“All of those people are well and safe and after three years, I’m probably going to sleep pretty well tonight because Knox County absolutely executed flawlessly today,” said Danny Overbey, CEO of Kimball’s Jewelers. 

Detectives were able to find out which delivery company had the package and set up surveillance. A suspect came to the delivery hub to pick up the package on Wednesday morning. That person and three others were arrested at another location.

Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler applauded the work of KCSO detectives for working quickly. 

“What these detectives have done today is save a Knoxville business from a 150,000 loss. Which is significant for this town. It’s significant to anybody,” said Spangler. 

Overbey said he worked with investigators, witnessing the moment the four suspects were arrested. 

“It was something out of a tv show, but I think that’s what makes Knoxville so great they try to go the extra mile,” said Overbey. 

Overbey says he is grateful to KCSO for taking the original tip seriously, working quickly, and keeping is family safe. 

“Over the last 14 years KCSO has been the protectors of not only our business, our inventory, but our people and our family. You can get more jewelry, you can dig up more diamonds, but you can’t get another son. That’s the thing I’m so grateful for,” said Overbey. 

The suspects gave addresses in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. The sheriff’s office says there have been similar cases throughout the Southeast.

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