Griffin PD, ATF investigation leads to multiple arrests in gun dealing case

STAFF REPORTS :::

Agents of the Griffin Police Department and the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have arrested a number of suspects following an investigation into alleged illegal gun dealing.

Rashard Jones, Octavious Hasting, Xzavius Ogletree, Tony Anthony Goodman, David Combs, Demetrice Coggins and Shedrick Howard have been charged in two separate federal indictments with illegal firearms dealing, possession of firearms by convicted felons, illegal possession of “sawed-off” shotguns and rifles and distribution of narcotics.

“These indictments, which are the result of an undercover investigation, highlight the commitment of federal and local law enforcement to work together to address the problem of illegal guns and drugs in our communities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn.

“This enforcement action is the product of collaborative efforts on the part of ATF, the Griffin Police Department, and other local and federal law enforcement partners aimed at eliminating perpetrators of violent crime,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Carl Walker.  “ATF will continue to dedicate our resources in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies to target violent criminal activity within the communities we serve.”

“I am appreciative of the cooperation between the police department and ATF,” said Griffin Police Chief Steve Heaton.  “As a result of this investigation, we were able to remove several dangerous people and illegal weapons from our community.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court included the following:

After learning that several Griffin men were allegedly involved in the illegal sales of firearms, ATF and the Griffin Police Department launched an investigation.  This investigation led to the identification of two groups of defendants who allegedly were involved in the illegal sales of firearms and narcotics. Each of the defendants is a convicted felon and as a result was prohibited by federal law from possessing a gun, including unregistered “sawed-off” shotguns and rifles, in violation of the National Firearms Act.

Rashard Jones, Octavious Hastings and Xzavius Ogletree are charged in one indictment with illegal firearms dealing.  Defendant Jones allegedly sold guns directly to a confidential informant in addition to serving as a middle man between the confidential informant and Octavious Hastings and Xzavius Ogletree.

In total, the defendants allegedly sold and possessed seven different firearms, including five hand guns, an assault rifle and a shotgun – many of which had previously been reported stolen. In addition to dealing in firearms, Defendant Jones is charged with distribution of cocaine.

A second indictment charges Tony Goodman, David Combs, Demetrice Coggins and Shedrick Howard with illegal firearms dealing. Tony Goodman, aided and abetted by Demetrice Coggins, Combs and Howard, allegedly was involved in the sale of ten different firearms including three “sawed-off” shotguns and a “sawed-off” rifle.

Howard allegedly sold nine different firearms including a “sawed-off” shotgun.  In total, the defendants allegedly sold and possessed 22 firearms, many of which had previously been reported stolen.

Goodman and Howard are also individually charged with the distribution of MDMA.

Defendants from Griffin include Rashard Jones, a/k/a Bulldog, age 26; Octavious Hasting, a/k/a Tay Lay, age 29; Xzavius Ogletree, a/k/a Zay, age 35; Tony Anthony Goodman, age 50; David Combs, a/k/a Bishop, age 24; Demetrice Coggins, a/k/a Meechie, age 37; and Shedrick Howard, a/k/a Petro, age 24.

Ogletree, Combs and Coggins were arraigned before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Janet F. King on March 18. Goodman was arraigned before Judge King on March 20.

After detention hearings, Ogletree, Combs, Coggins and Goodman were detained pending trial.

Jones, Hastings and Howard are awaiting arraignment.

All were indicted by a federal grand jury in two separate indictments on March 4.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Griffin Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Matthew S. Carrico is prosecuting the case.

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