Whitfield deputy pawns county-issued guns - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Whitfield deputy pawns county-issued guns

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WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- Bobby Dixson says he seen a lot of different guns come across the counter at American Pawn in Dalton, but never has it been one that belonged to active-duty law enforcement.

Last week, Christopher Hammontree, a 14-year deputy with Whitfield County, was placed on paid leave for pawning a rifle and a shotgun both issued to him by the sheriff's office.

"It's a first time for me," says Dixson. "I've never heard of something like this with anyone else. It's fairly rare."

Whitfield County does a routine check of what comes and goes from local pawn shops, as a way to cut down on stolen items being sold especially weapons.

Hammontree's name was on the weekly list and that raised a red flag with investigators.

Sheriff Scott Chitwood says "disappointing" is one way to describe what Hammontree did.

"It is just a poor decision on his part," says Chitwood.

Dixson says the rifle was pawned for nearly $500.

He says a slow economy plagues the area and it's not uncommon for someone to come in looking for quick cash.

"He didn't tell me what he needed the money for but I'm sure some type of debt came up."

Chitwood says this is a first for his department which is why he isn't jumping to conclusions on what happens next with his deputy.

He has since collected the guns and given Dixon his money back.

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