• Gwinnett deputies accused of stealing from sheriff's office

    By: Justin Wilfon , Darryn Moore

    Updated:

    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Two Gwinnett County sheriff's deputies were arrested this week for allegedly stealing from their own department.

    One of the deputies allegedly went into a storage room at the sheriff's department and took more than $1,500 worth of equipment.

    Deputies Ronnie Rodriguez and Jason Cowburn turned themselves in Wednesday afternoon.

    "What does that say about your morals? Obviously you don't have any. You're not even doing this job. You're not following your own rules," Gwinnett resident Aleah Friel told Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon.

    According to arrest warrants, Rodriguez allegedly stole more than $1,500 worth of department equipment.

    Then the department says his fellow deputy, Cowburn, knowingly accepted some of the stolen items from Rodriguez, which included things such as headsets, body armor parts and tools.


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    "It's very sad and very disturbing that they would be stealing equipment," Gwinnett resident Ren Lewis said.

    The men face charges of theft and violation of oath by a public officer.

    After they bailed out of jail, Wilfon went to both of their homes.

    Jason Cowburn (L) and Ronnie Rodriguez (R) are accused of stealing from the Gwinnett County sheriff's office.
    Jason Cowburn (L) and Ronnie Rodriguez (R) are accused of stealing from the Gwinnett County sheriff's office.

    A woman at Cowburn's home told Wilfon the deputy wouldn't comment.

    Wilfon did find Rodriguez at his apartment complex.

    "Could we come in and talk to you about what happened this week?” Wilfon asked Rodriguez.

    “No sir, I’d rather not. Thank you," Rodriguez said.

    "Did you steal from the department?” Wilfon asked Rodriguez.

    "I'd rather not talk about it. Thank you, sir," Rodriguez said.

    Investigators said Rodriguez is a 14-year-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office. Cowburn is an 11-year vet.

    The deputies are on administrate leave, but they've also been served with what's called a notice of intent to terminate, which means their jobs with the department are likely over.

     

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