Rashawn Eugene Runnells, 29, has been convicted of three drug charges and two gun charges.
Photo: Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office

Gwinnett man gets 30 years for drug trafficking, gun charges

A Lilburn man has been sentenced to 30 years for five gun and drug charges, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Rashawn Eugene Runnells, 29, was convicted Oct. 24 at the end of a three-day trial.

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Runnell was first arrested on the charges in March 2018.

An officer was on patrol at the Crestwood Apartments in Norcross on March 20, 2018. A man in the parking lot spotted the officer and ran. Runnells got out of a nearby car and put a backpack in the trunk, the DA’s office said. The officer did not pursue the running man, but went to the car to speak with Runnells. 

Runnells said he was having car problems. The officer smelled marijuana, and a female passenger told him she had recently smoked marijuana. 

The officer searched the car and took the backpack out of the trunk. Inside, he found bags of pills, marijuana, a “white powder substance” and a loaded pistol, the DA’s office said. The officer arrested Runnells. The woman was not arrested.

Runnels was charged with possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute, trafficking methamphetamine or amphetamine, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. 

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge George Hutchinson sentenced Runnells to 30 years, the first 20 of which will be served in prison. The remaining 10 will be served on probation.

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The Gwinnett County district attorney calls the shooting death of Officer Antwan Toney an ambush and is looking into whether he can charge anyone else in the incident.

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