82-year-old man charged for running pill operation in Cherokee

Police say they found eight guns, 1,300 pills and $50,000 in cash in Richardson's home.

Posted: Oct 9, 2019 4:30 PM
Updated: Oct 9, 2019 5:38 PM

A drug bust in Cherokee landed an 82-year-old behind bars after police say they found eight guns, more than 1,000 prescription pills and $50,000 in cash in his home Sunday morning. 

Cherokee police said they did a search warrant on Leroy Richardson's Maple Street home and charged him with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance.

Assistant Police Chief Clay Wilson told WAAY 31 the 82-year-old was prescribed all sorts of pills from various doctors, but was then turning around and selling them.

"He had a pretty big operation. He's been selling pills kind of like the corner pharmacy up there on Maple Street and nobody ever touched him," said Wilson.

Wilson said they had officers do undercover buys from Richardson, which led to them obtaining a search warrant for his house.

"We found guns and over 1,300 pills in the residence," said Wilson.

Police also found $50,000 in cash hidden in the couch. Many people WAAY 31 spoke with in Cherokee were glad to see more pills are off the streets, but they didn't want to go on camera. Wilson said people in the small town helped tip them off about Richardson's operation.

"We've got a group of people out here that's now proactive and wanting to do their job," said Wilson.

Wilson said Richardson wasn't combative when they arrested him. He was booked into the Colbert County Jail.

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