ATF Probes Sheriff Department - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/25/04-Smith County

ATF Probes Sheriff Department

Federal Agents with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives division have begun an informal investigation into the Smith County Sheriff's Department.

The investigation involves the wherebouts of more than 300 shotguns purchased as military surplus back in 1997. The Sheriff's Department can officially account for just 21 of the guns.

Sheriff J.B. Smith said the rest were purchased by individual law enforcement officers throughout East Texas.  Those officers used the Sheriff's Department as a go between.

He said no county money was used on those extra guns.

The investigation is expected to begin immediately. No criminal charges are expected to be filed.

Chris Gibson, reporting 

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