A former Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputy has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly stealing large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine during drug raids and then lying to cover it up.
Antione Riggins, 40, of Loganville, was formally charged last week with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, unlawfully removing property to prevent government seizure and making false statements and documents.
Prosecutors said the former deputy pocketed seized drugs before they could be logged into evidence while he was working drug trafficking cases for a Homeland Security task force.
In his role with the task force, Riggins was responsible for transporting the drugs from crime scenes to the Gwinnett evidence vault, authorities said.
In February 2017, three kilograms of cocaine was seized after a high-speed chase and crash. Riggins was told to transport the drugs to the evidence room, but only one kilo was ever logged, prosecutors said.
Several months later, six kilograms of meth was seized from an Atlanta hotel room, but the drugs were never checked in as evidence, according to the Department of Justice.
“Riggins’ alleged theft of previously seized drugs is shocking,” U.S. Attorney BJay Pak said. “He also allegedly fabricated documents and made false statements to prevent the arrest and prosecution of the drug trafficking suspects from whom the drugs were seized, in an apparent effort to cover his tracks.”
According to his indictment, Riggins created and submitted falsified evidence forms to the sheriff’s office so he wouldn’t get caught. He also allegedly presented a false court order to the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court and made two false statements to Homeland Security agents to cover his tracks.
Riggins’ actions, Pak said, “betrayed the community he was sworn to protect.”
Riggins worked for the sheriff’s office from June 2004 until May 2018 and had no disciplinary history during his 13-year tenure, Gwinnett sheriff’s spokeswoman Deputy Shannon Volkodov told AJC.com.
He became the subject of a corruption investigation while assigned to the federal task force and resigned during that investigation, she said. Riggins had been on the task force for about two years.
In a statement, Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway said it’s always disappointing to hear of criminal allegations against someone entrusted with a badge.
“There is no room in our profession for anyone who violates public trust by willfully engaging in criminal behavior,” Conway said. “We want justice to prevail, and anyone involved in such egregious behavior to be held fully accountable.”
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