Two Spalding County Fire Department personnel charged in narcotics operation

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Two personnel of the Spalding County Fire Department – Battalion Chief Tyrone Coggins and Firefighter Michael Owens – have been arrested under a federal indictment and each face two felony drug-related charges.
According to Spalding County Sheriff Wendell Beam, the arrests of Coggins and Owens brings to a conclusion a long-term narcotics investigation that has involved his office, the Griffin Police Department, the Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) task force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Coggins and Owens have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of using a communication facility in facilitating the commission of a felony and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Beam said the indictment did not specify what controlled subject Coggins and Owens allegedly possessed and intended to distribute. While he declined to provide specific details on their cases, he did say, “The investigation concentrated on the illegal use and sales of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.”
Coggins and Owens were both arrested early Monday morning in a joint operation.
“They were arrested on a federal indictment and they were picked up just after 7 a.m. this morning by the FBI, and our agents assisted them,” Beam said.
Personnel of the Griffin Police Department also were involved in the operation.
“They were arrested and transported to the FBI office in Atlanta, and later transferred to the United States Marshal’s Office,” Beam said. “They were going to have a hearing later today, but I don’t know the outcome of that.”
Coggins and Owens are also alleged to have provided information regarding the narcotics investigation to other individuals that were also under investigation.
Beam confirmed that is believed to have occurred.
“They (Coggins and Owens) had received information on our investigation and they were relating it to other suspects,” he said, adding, “I’m not aware of any additional (related) charges.”
“I’m not aware of any additional charges. The FBI handled that in its entirety.”
Beam said the investigation has netted dozens of arrests, and additional information on the overall narcotics operation will be forthcoming.
Spalding County on Monday afternoon issued a press release that stated, “Battalion Chief Tyrone Coggins and Firefighter Michael Owens are being placed on Investigatory Suspension with pay pending additional information pursuant to the Spalding County Personnel Policy.”

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Comments

  1. Oh, how the mighty have fallen

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