Troy Dewayne Johns owns the We Buy Gold store in Columbia, among other area stores.
COLUMBIA, Tenn. -
A Mid-State gold dealer is in jail, accused of violating state laws that mandate gold be kept 30 days before being resold or melted down.
Troy Dewayne Johns owns the We Buy Gold store, located on South James Campbell Boulevard in Columbia.
While working a burglary case, Maury County deputies went to his store and asked about some gold that had been purchased within the last 30 days.
When the store couldn't produce the gold that records indicated should have been there in accordance with state law, deputies began questioning the 42-year-old gold dealer.
"We went there, and the lady said the owner had picked up the gold every day, so we got the owner in Friday, and we said, ‘Where is the gold?" Detective Terry Dial told Nashville's News 2 Investigates.
According to Dial, Johns told him all that was left were three bags of gold.
He continued, "He said he had already sold all the other gold. State law is they have to hold the gold 30 days for inspection for law enforcement, and send us copies of what they take in every day. He told us he had a cash flow problem, so he was getting rid of the gold every day as it comes in."
Dial said Johns admitted he had no excuse.
Johns was arrested and charged with nine counts of violating the holding period before transferring or altering purchased items.
Detectives told Nashville's News 2 Investigates Johns kept good records of the gold he bought, but the records did not correspond with the inventory in his store.
In addition to his store in Columbia, authorities said Johns operates two gold operations in Alabama, four in Nashville, and two in Kentucky.
"He stated he is doing the same thing at all of them," Dial said.
Dial said he notified Metro police about Johns, and Metro police told Nashville's News 2 Investigates they are actively looking into the report.
Nashville's News 2 Investigates went to his Columbia gold store and his Brentwood home, but he didn't answer.
Calls and messages went unreturned.
Johns is out of jail on a $25,000 bond. He is due in court on March 14.