Three local law enforcement agencies and the Internal Revenue Service were rewarded with checks totaling $127,658 for their parts in the 1997 investigation of convicted former Hamilton County Deputy Lonnie Hood.
The U.S. attorney's office for East Tennessee presented the money, representing part of $250,000 in assets forfeited by Mr. Hood, to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, the Chattanooga and Red Bank police departments and the IRS.
The assets were forfeited by Mr. Hood when he pleaded guilty in federal court in January 1998. He received a sentence of 5 1/2 years on pleas of conspiring to distribute anabolic steroids, conspiring to extort money from inmates for contraband tobacco, and tax fraud and money laundering.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Russ Dedrick of Knoxville gave checks of $47,872 to both the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department and the Internal Revenue Service.
A check for $20,744 was presented to the Chattanooga Police Department, and the Red Bank Police Department was awarded a check for $11,170.
"Hamilton County Sheriff John Cupp should especially be commended for his exemplary efforts to investigate and deal with corruption within his own department," said a news release from the U.S. attorney's office here. "The investigation would not have been successful without his effort and support."
Mr. Hood's case was a joint investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Chattanooga and Red Bank police departments, and the Hamilton County and Bradley County sheriffs' departments.
A total of 21 individuals were convicted in the investigation, including three former or then-current law enforcement officers, a federal probation officer and a security officer at a Department of Energy facility, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Convictions ranged from perjury to extortion, money laundering, distribution of steroids, extortion and making false statements. Two other deputies resigned or were fired.