published Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation opens car probe

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has begun an investigation into the early release of a 1990 Lincoln Town Car seized after a drug arrest in April.

The investigation was launched Tuesday after Sheriff Jim Hammond contacted Hamilton County District Attorney's Office asking for a third party to look into the matter.

"We're going to investigate everything thoroughly and present it to the district attorney," TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said. It will be up to prosecutors to decide if any criminal laws were broken in the process.

The car was released to Marcia Tenenbaum after her son, Jeremy, was arrested with 15 ounces of marijuana while driving her car April 13. Tenenbaum said she got her car a few days after she phoned Hammond.

Hammond denied releasing the car to Tenenbaum and said records show the car was released a month later. He said both TBI and an internal investigation with his department will look at how the car was released. He said the release was the result of a procedural error.

The car now belongs to the state. Officials at the sheriff's office did not respond when asked if they would take the car from Tenenbaum while the matter is sorted out.

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