Agents of the Griffin Police Department, Spalding Sheriff Department and the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have arrested 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.
The indictments are the result of an undercover investigation, of federal and local law enforcement to work together to address the problem of illegal guns and drugs in our communities,” according to Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn.
Both Chief Steve Heaton of the Griffin Police Department and Sheriff Wendell Beam said that they both were appreciative of the cooperation between the departments and ATF.”
The ATF and Griffin Police, as well as the Spalding Sheriffs Department said that as the result of the investigation removed several dangerous people and illegal weapons from the local community.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney 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, and Sheriffs Depart met launched an investigation. The 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.
Mark your calendars on April 2 for The 2015 Bunny Hunt. We will be set up once again at First National Bank Main Branch located at 318 South Hill Street. We will have 6 Bunnies hidden in and around Griffin and Spalding County. WKEU’s Tony Broski and Ted Taylor will be hosting The Bunny Hunt, and will be giving out clues to the whereabouts of the bunnies. If you find one of the bunnies return it to us at First National Bank, along with keeping the bunny we will also issue you your prize package for that bunny. The 2015 Bunny hunt is brought to you in part by WKEU, The Griffin Police Department D.A.R.E. Program, and the Griffin Downtown Counsel. Be sure to tune into WKEU AM 1450, or our live stream on wkeuradio.com click on listen live AM 1450, or on our free app for all smartphones and tablets. We will kicking off the Bunny Hunt at 7:30 Thursday evening. Good Luck and Happy Easter!
THE GEORGIA ASSOCIATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT FIREARMS INSTRUCTORS (G.A.L.E.F.I.) IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE GRIFFIN GUN CLUB WILL BE HOSTING A HANDGUN SAFETY COURSE ON
Thursday, 16 TH April & Saturday, 18th April 2015.
ON THURSDAY, THE 16 TH, THE COURSE WILL BE HELD IN THE GUN CLUB’S TRAINING ROOM (550 Amelia Road, Griffin, about 7 miles east of Griffin) FROM 6:30 PM TO ABOUT 9:00 PM. COURSE WILL COVER FIRE-ARMS SAFETY AT HOME AND ON THE RANGE; LEGAL USE OF A FIRE-ARM AS RELATED TO THE GEORGIA 16 CODE, TO INCLUDE INFO ON THE GEORGIA’S CARRY PERMIT AND RECIPROTIVE AGREEMENT WITH OTHER STATES; MARKSMANSHIP; AND CARE AND CLEANING OF THE HANDGUN.
ON SATURDAY, THE 18TH, EACH STUDENT WILL BE ABLE TO FIRE A HANDGUN. CLASS WILL START AT 8:00 AM. EYE AND EAR PROTECTION, HANDGUN, AND AMMUNITION WILL BE PROVIDED AND OTHER SUPPLIES WILL BE FURNISHED BY G.A.L.E.F.I. IT WILL COST YOU $20.00 PER PERSON OR $15.00 PER COUPLE.
ONLY PERSON(S) 21 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER MAY ATTEND THE SESSION.
TO RESERVE A SPOT IN THE COURSE, CALL LIEUTNANT RETIRED DAVID L. TAYLOR OF THE GRIFFIN POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 678-544-2906
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN FIREARMS SAFETY
The City of Griffin Fire-Rescue will be conducting its inaugural Citizen’s Fire Academy beginning May 5th. The Citizen’s Fire Academy is a four-week program designed to educate and inform citizens about fire and emergency services achieving a greater understanding of the inner workings of Griffin Fire Rescue. Classes will be held at Griffin Fire Rescue Station 2 located at 401 N. Expressway, Griffin, GA 30223. The instruction includes practical demonstrations in which all participants are encouraged to participate. Due to the voluntary nature of the program, physical limitations of applicants will not be considered a reason for exclusion from the academy.
The Citizen’s Fire Academy is educational in nature and intended to be an informative experience to provide insight into how Fire-Rescue functions and what services they provide. It is not intended to train participants as firefighters or assistants at any fires. It is not the Academy’s intent to train participants to a level where it is safe for him/her to involve themselves in any firefighting activity.
Through Citizen’s Fire Academy, citizens and Fire/Rescue Service members have an opportunity to work closely together. Citizens gain a basic understanding of the tactics and strategies of firefighting and rescue operations. Citizens also gain a better understanding of how their Fire/Rescue Service works in order to develop a more safety conscious and informed community. Our goal is to create an enjoyable, interactive atmosphere in which Fire-Rescue members and citizens can share information and concerns. It is our belief that this will produce more safety conscious and informed citizens. We hope the graduates of the Citizen’s Fire Academy become more aware and better informed about how the Fire/Rescue Service operates, and will encourage friends, coworkers and families to join Griffin Fire and Rescue in this rewarding program.
The classes are held twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Classes are free of charge, but involve a commitment to attend all four weeks. The Academy will begin May 5 and run for four weeks ending May 28, 2015. The application deadline is May 1, 2015. Potential candidates for the Citizen’s Fire Academy must be at least 18 years of age, live in the City if Griffin, and complete and return the signed application.
Participants will be chosen on a first come, first served basis. Class sizes are limited to twenty-five students per session. All other applicants will be placed on a waiting list and will be contacted as vacancies become available.
For more information on the Citizen’s Fire Academy, please contact (770) 229-6415. Download and print the application at http://www.cityofgriffin.com. Fax your completed application to (770) 229-6453 or mail to Griffin Fire Rescue, 401 N. Expressway, Griffin, GA 30223.
The FBI has contacted a Spalding County Family in relation to an ISIS threat for Soldiers with families in America. The ISIS threat includes the photos of soldiers, and family members to include their children. Also in the threat ISIS threat calls for ISIS members in the United States to kill all Family members of the Soldiers. All families were briefed by the Department of Defense to NOT put anything abut their husband being deployed. Especially photos. Most of the information ISIS has was taken from the Social Media on the Internet.
The City of Griffin Police Department issued the following statement. The Griffin Police Department and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office are aware of the recent threats by ISIS that have been reported in the news. We have been in contact with FBI officials and briefed regarding the list published by ISIS of individual targets. There is no credible information at this time that would indicated that the City of Griffin or Spalding County are direct targets of these alleged threats. As you are aware in the recent National News reports the alleged targets are military service members. According to the FBI the individuals listed to include a local Service Member who resides in Spalding County, have been notified and briefed regarding the alleged threats. Additionally, all City of Griffin Police Department personnel and Spalding County Sheriff’s Office personnel have been briefed and are aware of the situation. In the event an incident was to occur, as in any case, PD and SO personnel will quickly respond and take all necessary actions to secure the safety of the public, and individuals involved. We will continue to communicate with FBI officials regarding the situation. If anyone sees or suspects any suspicious activity please call 911 immediately.
A free, outdoor egg hunt will be held Saturday, March 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Rock Ranch, a 1500-acre property in Upson County created by the late S. Truett Cathy. This event, called The Easter Eggstravaganza, will feature 40,000 plastic prize-filled eggs. Age-specific egg hunts will begin at staggered times at different locations across the ranch. Groups include: toddlers under 2 years old, ages 2 and 3, ages 4 to 6, ages 7 to 12 and ages 13 and older. There is no charge for the Easter Egg Hunt, and participants should bring their own baskets. Baskets and other items will also be sold in the gift shop.
Egg hunts begin at 12:45 p.m., but make sure to come early to join in the Easter festivities. There will be photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny beginning at 11 a.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their own cameras. The Easter Story will be presented at 12:30 p.m. by Greg Smith, pastor of New Life Church in Thomaston, GA. This event is a collaborative effort with local businesses who participated by sponsoring cases of prize-filled plastic eggs. The title sponsor is Zoe Pediatrics of Thomaston, GA.
The Rock Ranch “Cow-A-Bunga” Zip Lines will be open for guests who are not too chicken. These amazing attractions transport guests, at a treetop level, across the corn field and over ponds at speeds of up to 35 mph. A single guest may ride the fast lines (800 ft. long) for $8 or the long lines (1400 ft. long) for $12.75. The 50 ft. tall rock climbing wall is $5. The Rock Ranch will have 3 concessions locations offering treats such as Chick-fil-A sandwiches, kettle corn, chicken salad croissants, pizza and ice cream.
In response to feedback from guests, The Rock Ranch will be offering more fun attractions after the egg hunts and will allow families to stay until 4:30 p.m. For $8 guests may purchase a wrist band that allows them to ride the new carousel, the locomotive train, the pony rides and jump on the jumping pillow as much as they like. Guest may also purchase a ticket to enjoy just one attraction for $3. There is no cost to attend and enjoy the Eggstravaganza but the attractions will be an available option for those who wish to extend their day, this year.
The Rock Ranch Farm Market and Gifts location (open Monday through Saturday March to November) will be open during this event. The Farm Market offers local honey, homegrown, steroid-free, antibiotic-free premium beef, fresh fruit, garden vegetables and their famous homemade strawberry Ice Dream.
New Spring Season at The Rock Ranch
The Rock Ranch is offering a spring season this year. Called ”Spring-A-Ding-Ding,” this new season offers families a fun day trip opportunity during spring break for only $10 per person. The ranch is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday during select weeks in April. Visit www.therockranch.com for a calendar of events. Also receive updates at www.Facebook.com/TheRockRanch.
William Florian, former lead vocalist of “The New Christy Minstrel,” celebrates the spirit of the 1960′s in his show “Those Were the Days” at the Taylor Street Auditorium, Griffin, Georgia, on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets for this performance are $20.00; children are admitted free with an adult ticket holder. A group rate of $15.00 per ticket is available for parties of ten or more.
Tickets may be purchased at the door beginning at 7:00 p.m., online at www.brownpapertickets.com, and locally at Griffin-Spalding County Chamber of Commerce, FNB Main, Zebulon branches, and A Novel Experience Bookstore in Zebulon. For more information visit www.griffinconcerts.org or call 770-228-3229 or email at GACA1958@yahoo.com
The Griffin Area Concert Association has been presenting nationally acclaimed performers to the community since 1958. This all-volunteer nonprofit organization is committed to enriching the cultural life of the Griffin-Spalding County area through live performances. Thanks to the generosity of Patrons and Sponsors, these concerts can be offered at affordable, family friendly prices.
The Griffin Police Department would like to welcome its newest recruits, Officers Brian Bowen and Dustin McNeil. On Friday, March 20, 2015 the two new Officers graduated from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Police Academy located in Bibb County. Both Officers started their new assignments in the Uniformed Patrol Division, Sunday, March 22, 2015. Pictured from Left to right: Officer Brian Bowen, Chief Steve Heaton, and Officer Dustin McNeil.
Dr. Curtis Jones has advised WKEU news that he has signed a contract with the Bibb County School System. He also said that his last day will be April 6 th. Dr. Jones will assume his duties as Superintendent of the Bibb County School System and with that move will inherit some major problems that face the Board of Education in Bibb County according to the Macon telegraph.
Units from The Griffin Police Department, Spalding Regional EMS, Griffin Fire and Rescue, and Emory Air Flight all responded to the 1200 block of Taylor Street near Sonic Drive-In, where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. The incident occurred about 5:00 pm Sunday afternoon April 8 th. Investigators indicated that the severity of the injuries were called to Spalding Regional and the decision was made to transport the individual to the Egleston Hospital. The pedestrian was taken by Emory Air Flight based out of The Griffin-Spalding County Airport to Atlanta about 5:25 when a landing zone was established in the open field behind Margo’s restaurant. The accident is still under investigation and more information is expected to be released later by the Griffin Police Department.
On March 6, 2015 at approximately 9 pm, Officers from the Griffin Police Department and Spalding Regional EMS, and Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster responded to 223 West Tinsley Street in reference to a shooting. Upon arrival units discovered one male victim that had been shot through the arm and into the left side of his chest. Emory Air Flight based at the Griffin Spalding Airport was placed on standby for a possible air lift to Atlanta. Due to the immediacy of medical attention it was decided that the victim be transported to Spalding Regional Medical Center by Spalding Regional EMS, where he was later pronounced dead by Coroner Sonny Foster. The Victim was identified as Walter Horton, 49 years old of Griffin, Georgia. There were several other witnesses in the residence at the time of the robbery, but no other injuries were reported. The Criminal Investigations Division of The Griffin Police Department was notified and several Investigators responded to the scene.
According to multiple witnesses two black males wearing masks and gloves entered the residence, and ordered everyone to the ground and demanded that they “give it up”. During the alleged robbery attempt, for reasons unknown at that this time, the suspects fired three shots at the victim striking him once. The suspects then fled the scene in a black in color SUV, possibly a Jeep Cherokee.
Anyone with information regarding the Homicide of Walter Horton can contact Lt. Mike Richardson with the Criminal Investigations Division of the Griffin Police Department at (Office) 770-229-6450, ext. 543 or (cell) 678-233-4001. All tips can remain anonymous.
Friday morning two school buses from the Griffin Spalding School system were taking a group of Cowan Road students to Atlanta for a field trip. The Buses were on highway 41-19 in Clayton County and the back bus was apparently too close to the lead bus and struck the rear of the lead bus. The accident resulted in a headlight being knocked out on the second bus. Dr. Curtis Jones Superintendent of the Griffin Spalding School System, was advised of the accident and immediately took school officials to the scene along with school nurses as some of the children had complaints of minor injuries. Upon investigation by the Clayton County Police, and EMT personnel no injuries were found. One parent picked up their child as a precaution and took the child to their local doctor. Two additional buses were sent to the scene and carried the students into Atlanta for their field trip. Again Dr. Jones said there were there was no injuries from the incident, and he thanked the Clayton County Police and EMT personnel for their assistance in the incident. Dr. Jones told WKEU’s Bill Taylor that the safety of our children remains our first mission, and we are all are dedicated to this effort. Dr. Jones also thanked the School Nurses for their assistance at the scene and dedication to our children every day.
The Griffin City Commissioners will meet Tuesday night at 6pm March 10, 2015 at 100 south Hill Street.
During the meeting the Commissioners will recognize Darrion Johnson, Equipment Operator III with the Solid Waste Department, as the February 2015 “Strongest Link” award recipient. Also the Commissioners will Recognize Tom Ridgway, Assistant Director for Griffin Power, who will leave the employment of the City on March 13, 2015, to become the Utility Director for the City of Fairburn
They will also recognize Calvin Vallee, Line Construction Foreman for Griffin Power, who will retire on March 13, 2015, after 29 years of dedicated service to the City of Griffin.
Mr. Tim Jones would like to address the Commission to explain a program on which his group is working with the youth of the community.
Consider denying liability to Charles Bohannon for injuries allegedly sustained on August 12, 2014 at approximately 7:30 a.m. when she fell in the City parking lot behind 134 N. Hill Street.
Consider on second and final reading an ordinance requesting the de-annexation of approximately 30 +/- acres located along Williamson Road just west of South Pine Hill Road to include property known as tax parcel numbers 054 Block 01 Lot 001 submitted by Bankston Properties LLC.
Consider approval of a contract with Net Planner Systems, Inc., the sole source provider for the upgrade of the City’s fiber communications network, in the amount of $17,645.89.
Consider approval to nominate 5 megawatts of Project 1 resources to the MEAG Excess Power Pool for use by any MEAG Participant for a period of up to five (5) years. 11.
Approve the creation of three LED Street lighting rates as follows:
ST LED 2C – $12.50/month
ST LED 4C – $20.00/month
ST LED 6C – $26.00/month
Consider submitting S. 8th Street from Poplar Street to S. 9th Street to the Georgia Department of Transportation’s LMIG program for the City of Griffin
Consider approval to reject all bids for construction of North Griffin Revitalization Area – Zone 6 Project, City of Griffin Community Development Block Grant and rebid project.
Consider approval to amend Clean Water State Revolving Loan package approved May 27, 2014 in the amount of 8.0 million dollars to 12.606 million dollars from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority for the upgrade and expansion of the Potato Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department.
Consider approval of the Griffin Spalding County Hospital Authority’s 2015 allocation of funding of $13,000, to the Spalding County Board of Health for flu shots.
Consider a request by 1888 Mills to change the street name of “Nacom Way” to “Weaving a Better World Drive.”
Consider Intergovernmental Agreement between City of Griffin and Spalding County to establish a basis for addressing the administrative, operational, and maintenance cost of the 800 MHz radio system.
Kelly Bartram said her business, Smokin’ Swine, was saved by a fire wall.
“The firewall is holding. We’re looking at smoke damage, water damage. Hopefully it will stay that way,” Bartram said.
Saxi Steakhouse’s roof collapsed due to the extensive damage caused by the fire. The exterminating business also sustained significant damage.
Henry County’s fire chief says they are still working to find out how the fire started. They say it started in the back of Saki Sushi and Steakhouse.
The Pike County Commissioners are becoming more concerned over the amounts of trash on roadways and areas of Pike County.
The Concord Garden Club talked with the Commissioners Tuesday, Feb. 24 meeting. Several commissioners said they recently received complaints about the amount of trash along roads in Pike and noted it is time for some action to be taken. The Garden Club has asked that April be designated as Pick Up Pike Month and Commissioners approved the resolution unanimously.
County manager John Hanson said he is working with probationers to start picking up trash along roads and plans to set up an entire week of work starting April 6.
Additional considerations are for signs that specify littering is punishable by an increasd fine, are also being considered. The Current Pike ordinance says the fine shall not exceed $250 but adding some language to provide for some community service for violations is also being considered. The County manager said It’s only fitting that the people throwing out the trash should be out picking it up.
The Commissioners were also asked to reactivate the program Keep Pike County Beautiful since it is a national organization and offers resources Pike could use. Citizens can join the Pick Up Pike group on Facebook.
A map will be placed in the Commissioners office so citizens can claim a section or road and clean those areas.
The group Pick Up Pike is doing everything it can to combat the litter problem. And there is a huge support group for this initiative. One individual told the Commissioners all you really need to do is mobilize them.
Commissioner James Jenkins said he and his family walk along the road they live on picking up trash, adding, We’ve got to set the example.
Chairman Briar Johnson said as a Pike deputy, when he would see bags of garbage, he would put on gloves and search for mail or other items identifying the owner and serve them with a summons so they would have to explain to the judge how their trash ended up on the side of the road. He suggested asking the sheriff’s office to take the same approach now.
The Concord Garden Club’s 19 th annual community lecture series known as Lunch and Learn which will be held at the Concord Building from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 16.
The free public event will showcase ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and re purpose for the home, garden and community. Commissioners and citizens were asked to join in an effort for a county-wide clean up weekend April 11 and 12 before the grass really starts to grow and litter becomes an even bigger problem.
An anti-litter poster contest is being held for public, private and home school students in third, fourth and fifth grades with $50 for first and $25 for second and third place winners. The posters will be displayed at the April 16 Lunch and Learn and possibly other places around Pike County.
Special thanks to the Pike Journal Rporter for their assistance in this news story. You can subscribe to the Pike Journal Reporter at pikecounty.com.