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UPDATE: Former Hamilton Co. Sheriff Billy Long on house arrest after prison release

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: After spending the past eight years in federal prison, former Hamilton County Sheriff Billy Long is now back at home in Chattanooga. The 64-year-old is on house arrest and will be monitored for the next five years.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Former Hamilton Co. Sheriff Billy Long's sentence reduced 

"The old saying was, 'You can't go wrong with Billy Long,' but unfortunately, Billy Long was wrong," said Long's attorney, Jerry Summers.

It was a crime that shocked the community. Hamilton County's top cop was put behind bars.

In 2008, Sheriff Billy Long pleaded guilty to more than a dozen counts of extortion, money laundering, and possession of cocaine.

"It's just a tragic story, all the way around," Summers said. "A lot of people believed in him. A lot of people fought for him in the election. He just couldn't handle success."

Long was elected Sheriff in 2006, defeating the long-time incumbent by fewer than a hundred votes. Not long after, federal agents had him in their sights for an undercover sting.  

"He went for it," Summers said. "They threw the bait out there, and he has had to suffer the consequences."

Long's original sentence of 14 years was reduced to 10 years at 85% after federal laws changed, cutting sentences for non-violent drug offenders.

He'll spend the next five years on probation -- at home.

"He's under house arrest," said Summers. "He's got an electronic monitor. He's got a probation officer that will monitor him. He has to comply with the rules. And here in this district, they keep a pretty good eye on you."

According to Summers, Long will likely be seen in the community. With permission from probation officers, he'll be allowed to attend church and go to other appointments around town.

Long's attorney said it might be tough for the 64-year-old to find a new job. If he does, it will likely be in the private sector.

"There's a lot of remorse," Summers said. "For himself, for his family, and the people that helped him. He's got to start at ground zero to rebuild his life, and hopefully, he'll be able to do that."


Former Hamilton County Sheriff Billy Long has been released from prison.

His attorney, Jerry Summers, tells Channel 3, Long was released about a week ago and is on house arrest.

Summers says the former sheriff will have to wear a monitoring device on his ankle for possibly six months or more.

Summers says since Long's last appeal that reduced his sentence to 10 years, he has satisfied 85% of that sentence, making him eligible for transfer to a halfway house or house arrest.

Long's original 14-year sentence was shortened by three years in 2012. 

In January of 2016, court documents showed a federal judge agreed to reduce Long's prison sentence from 11 years and three months to 10 years.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Former Hamilton Co. Sheriff Billy Long's sentence reduced 

He pleaded guilty to more than a dozen counts of extortion, money laundering and cocaine possession back in 2008.

Summers says due to Long's history in law enforcement as a former officer, house arrest was chosen as a safety measure.

Channel 3 is working to learn more.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

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