September 23, 2015
Today members of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team honored their fallen team member, Deputy Kenneth Wimberly, who was killed on September 22, 1998 after responding to complaints from concerned residents at the apartment complex where he lived that a man was creating a disturbance by preaching loudly and claiming to be God.
Deputy Wimberly calmed the man down, convincing him to return to his apartment, but the unarmed man abruptly exited his apartment and attacked Deputy Wimberly, ultimately gaining control of Deputy Wimberly’s duty weapon and shooting and killing him. The suspect was arrested at the scene and subsequently convicted.
Each year, the flags at sheriff’s headquarters are flown at half staff in honor of Deputy Wimberly and SWAT team members pay their respect in a private graveside ceremony, placing a wreath at his gravesite.
SWAT team members who knew Deputy Wimberly speak of the great respect they have for him and their commitment to always honor him to ensure that the new generation of deputies who did not have to opportunity to meet him can join them in honoring his sacrifice.
September 14, 2015
The Gwinnett Metro Task Force, working in tandem with federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) executed a search warrant today that resulted in the seizure of approximately four (4) kilos (8.8 lbs) of heroin with a wholesale street value of approximately $280,000.
Local and federal agents raided an apartment at the Ashford Jackson Creek Apartment complex on Sunrise Village Lane in Norcross and arrested 35 year old Crecenio Silverio and 27 year old Magarita Barragan. Both are residents of the apartment where the drugs were found. A second male, located near the apartment, was interviewed and subsequently released. Silverio and Barragan were taken into custody without incident and charged with VGCSA 16-13-31(b) – Trafficking Heroin.
The Gwinnett Metro Task Force is comprised of deputies from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Lilburn, Lawrenceville, Duluth and Suwanee Police Departments. The GMTF was formed in 2012 to investigate drug and vice complaints in Lilburn, Lawrenceville, Duluth and Suwanee.
The Gwinnett Metro Task Force can be contacted via their Drug Tip Line at 770-670-5180 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 19, 2015
Deputies assigned to the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit acted quickly today after developing information that a rape suspect was at a local bait shop.
Deputies arrived to the Twin Bridges Lake at 1119 Braselton Highway in Lawrenceville and quickly located 44 year old Robert Veit, who was taken into custody without incident. Veit was wanted by Gwinnett County Police for a July 30, 2015 incident in which a woman called police to report that Veit had just sexually assaulted her.
Veit is charged with Rape, Aggravated Sodomy (x2) and False Imprisonment. He is currently being held at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.
Please contact the Gwinnett County Police Department for any information regarding the original incident.
August 12, 2015
Deputies assigned to the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit arrested 23 year old Miguel Angel Vilches yesterday. Vilches was wanted by Gwinnett County Police in connection to an incident that occurred on June 30 in which he allegedly fired a handgun at another vehicle at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Lawrenceville Highway in Norcross.
Gwinnett County Police investigators identified Vilches as the suspect in the incident, obtained warrants for his arrest and forwarded any identifying information to our Fugitive Unit deputies, who conducted surveillance, eventually locating Vilches and arresting him without incident.
Vilches is being held at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond charged with the following:
Aggravated Assault (x4)
Hit and Run
Please contact the Gwinnett County Police Department for information regarding the original incident.
This week, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office began issuing naloxone hydrochloride (also known as Narcan), a prescription drug intended to reverse the effects of opioid overdose, to personnel operating marked units and first responders assigned to the courts and jail.
The issuance of this life saving medication has been in the works since last September, when Sheriff Butch Conway attended an anti-prescription drug abuse initiative hosted by Georgia’s Attorney General, Sam Olens, at a local Gwinnett County high school.
Naloxone may be injected in the muscle, vein or under the skin or sprayed into the nose and has been used in hospitals and ambulances for decades as an antidote for opioid drugs such as heroin, morphine, oxycodone (Oxycontin), methadone, hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine and other prescription pain medications. Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system; the medication has no effect if opioids are absent.
The acquisition of naloxone is yet another measure Sheriff Conway has taken to promote the safety and wellbeing of his constituents. In October 2014, all Gwinnett County Sheriff patrol vehicles were equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs), a portable device that checks the heart rhythm. If needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions.
Both the Naloxone ($4,100) and AEDs ($99,500) were purchased utilizing drug forfeiture funds.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of former Gwinnett County Sheriff, Bobby Plunkett, who passed away last night after an extended illness at the age of 83 years.
Sheriff Plunkett served Gwinnett County as sheriff from 1985 – 1992. He is credited with implementing the Direct Supervision concept at the Gwinnett County Jail, which is followed to this day. Direct supervision is a progressive jail management style which combines the physical design of a jail and inmate management strategies to significantly reduce problematic inmate behavior commonly seen in jails.
Sheriff Butch Conway greatly admired Bobby Plunkett and is appreciative of his vision to have the current county jail built as a Direct Supervision model. “Bobby’s foresight to build a jail of this nature allowed us to get through the jail overcrowding of the early 2000s without experiencing some of the difficulties that other jails were experiencing at the time. Bobby was a great friend and colleague whom I greatly admired. He will be missed.”
A native of Trion, Georgia (Chattooga County), Sheriff Plunkett served honorably in the U.S. Army, where he saw combat during the Korean War. He moved to Atlanta in 1957, where he met and married Betty Jo Biddy after two months of courtship. Their marriage spanned 46 years until Betty preceded her husband in death in 2003. The couple had a son, Michael.
Sheriff Plunkett served the Suwanee, Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County Police Departments before running for sheriff in 1984, serving as police chief during his tenure with both the Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County Police Departments.
The family will receive friends from 2 pm – 4 pm and 6 pm – 8 pm on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at Tim Stewart Funeral Home located at 300 Simonton Rd SW in Lawrenceville.
Services will be held on July 22, 2015 at 2 pm at Tim Stewart Funeral Home. Please leave online condolences at stewartfh.com.
July 16, 2015
The National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC) has once again awarded accreditation to the Gwinnett County Jail for its compliance with NCCHC Standards for Health Services in Jails.
Beginning April 1, 2015, a team of four clinical professionals spent two days conducting an exhaustive review of the medical and mental health services delivery program at the Gwinnett County Jail for their accreditation. The health care system analysis included, but was not limited to, a review of medical policies and procedures, interviews with inmates, health care workers and deputies along with a detailed inspection of medical records. On June 26th, NCCHC’s Accreditation Committee voted to continue to accredit the Gwinnett County Jail for its 100% compliance rate with NCCHC’s Standards for Health Services in Jails.
Sheriff Butch Conway states, “Our NCCHC reaccreditation is affirmation that we continue to provide quality healthcare for the inmates in our custody. I appreciate the diligent efforts of my staff and the medical professionals at Corizon Health for helping us maintain this standard of excellence.”
The American Medical Association established a program that in 1983 became NCCHC, an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that grants public recognition to correctional institutions that meet its nationally accepted standards for healthcare delivery.
June 29, 2015
An off duty Gwinnett County Sheriff’s deputy assisted in the rescue of a woman fleeing her burning home at 176 Westbrook Street in Buford yesterday.
Deputy Kyle McMinn and his wife, who is pregnant with twins, were driving through Buford when he noticed heavy smoke nearby. Not hearing responding sirens, he immediately decided to investigate. When he arrived at the address, the house was engulfed in flames. He observed a man running around the side of the house towards the backyard, so he responded in that direction.
Deputy McMinn observed two subjects, a male and a female, on the upper deck of the home and a second man, who retrieved an extension ladder to assist with their escape. The woman carried an oxygen tank with her and appeared to have difficulty moving swiftly down the ladder. Deputy McMinn assisted in quickly getting her down the ladder, with the second male subject following closely behind her.
Deputy McMinn quickly relocated the woman, followed by the two males and a family pet, to a safe area away from the home and a large propane tank located on the property. Once Gwinnett County Police officers arrived, Deputy McMinn left the scene to get his wife away from the area.
Deputy McMinn has been employed with the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office since 2011, where he has served in the Jail Division until his recent transfer to the Field Operations Division. He has declined all media interview requests and states, “I feel that I did the same thing anyone else would do. I will always do anything in my capacity to help others, which is why I entered the law enforcement profession. I’m just glad that this family is okay.”
Sheriff Butch Conway is pleased with Deputy McMinn’s initiative. “The fact that he took the time to investigate the source of the smoke, even while off duty, speaks volumes about this deputy’s desire to serve others. I’m proud of him.”
May 20, 2015
For immediate release:
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office is again receiving reports from citizens who have fallen victim to a common telephone scam. After several months with no reports of this nature, we have received fourteen such reports over the past two weeks. Three of the victims paid the suspect $1,000.00 each and a fourth victim paid $2,000.00.
The scam begins when the victim receives a call from someone purporting to be from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, most recently identifying himself as “Sgt. Boyd” or “Detective Boyd”. The caller informs the victim that he has failed to respond to a jury or court summons and that a warrant has been issued for his arrest. The caller then offers the victim an opportunity to avoid arrest by paying a fine over the phone using a reloadable debit card, usually directing the victim to a Kroger or Food Lion store to purchase multiple reloadable debit cards to pay “fines” ranging from $1,000.00 – $2,000.00.
Once the reloadable debit cards have been purchased, the caller directs the victim to provide the scratch off account numbers located on the back of the debit cards. Once these numbers are provided to the caller, the scam is complete. The caller often keeps the victim on the phone for two hours or more during the transaction and instructs the victim to bring proof of the debit card purchase to the sheriff’s office or courthouse for reimbursement.
These callers are very skilled, making them very convincing. They usually have extensive knowledge of the law enforcement agency they are impersonating and often provide a phone number where they can be reached. They often use the names of staff members who actually work for the agency they are impersonating.
It is very important that citizens are aware that no local, state or federal law enforcement agency will contact them by phone to request payment over the phone. Calls of this nature should be considered suspicious and they should not follow instructions to make a payment over the phone.
Any citizen who has received a call of this nature is encouraged to document the caller’s name and the originating phone number and to file a report with their local law enforcement agency. In Gwinnett County, victims may contact our Investigative Services Unit at 770-619-6655 to file a report.
May 18, 2015
For Immediate Release:
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office has concluded a three day multi-agency warrant sweep that resulted in the arrest of 81 wanted persons and the service of 103 arrest warrants, ranging from Recorder’s Court violations to Manufacturing of Controlled Substances.
On May 12th, 13th and 14th, 60-75 law enforcement officers from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, Gwinnett County Police Department, Lawrenceville Police Department, Duluth Police Department, Suwanee Police Department, Norcross Police Department, Snellville Police Department, Lilburn Police Department, Georgia Department of Pardons and Parole and the Gwinnett Metro Drug Task Force worked together each night to serve outstanding warrants throughout Gwinnett County.
In addition to the successful service of 103 arrest warrants, a marijuana grow house was discovered and leads on fugitives were developed, which are expected to result in additional arrests.
The success of this warrant sweep is attributed to the hard work of everyone involved. “It’s always good to join forces with multiple agencies to achieve a common goal for the good of our community. Not only is the additional manpower an asset, it provides the opportunity for local law enforcement agencies to strengthen their working relationships, which also benefits the community,” stated Major Kirk Williamson, Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Field Operations Division Commander.
Sheriff Butch Conway drove the paddy wagon on Tuesday night, assisting the operating by transporting arrestees to the Gwinnett County Jail.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office provides warrant service for all law enforcement agencies in Gwinnett County. Our Field Operations Division serves approximately 3,000 warrants per year.