Investigation of sheriff coincided with cut in drug unit

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Records show that while Hamilton County Sheriff Billy Long was the focus of a federal investigation that has him charged with trafficking cocaine, the Sheriff's Department narcotics unit was cut back.

Department officials told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the staffing changes were not for the sheriff's benefit.

The department's director of administration, Don Gorman, said officials did not suspect anything unusual in the reassignment of three narcotics officers to other areas in July.

Long was arrested Saturday in an FBI undercover investigation started in March 2007.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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