On March 18, a pair of Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office deputies allegedly stole items from a storage area without permission.
Corporal Ronnie Rodriguez and Deputy Jason Cowburn were arrested by Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office investigators on March 22 and charged with theft of county property. Investigators did not specify what was taken, but arrest warrants valued the property between $1,500 and $5,000.
Rodriguez allegedly took the property between 8 and 10:30 a.m., and handed some of the materials over to Cowburn. Rodriguez was charged with Felony Theft by Taking and Violation of Oath by Public Officer. Cowburn was charged with Theft by Receiving Stolen Property and Violation of Oath by Public Officer.
“The arrests came after it was discovered that on Saturday, March 18, Rodriguez took unused property from a supply storage area without authorization and delivered some of the items to Cowburn,” said Deputy Shannon Valkodav in a news release.
Both men turned themselves in on March 22 and have since bonded out of jail. The charges against Cowburn each had a $1,300 bail amount. Rodriguez had a $4,600 bail amount for the Theft by Taking charge and a $1,300 bail amount for the Violation of Oath by Public Officer charge.
WSB-TV reported that the two deputies are on administrative leave and they’ve also been served with a notice of intent to terminate.
Rodriguez was employed with the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office for 14 years. Cowburn was employed for 11 years.
Rodriguez and Cowburn are not the only Gwinnett County deputies that have been accused of breaking the law. In Nov. 2016, former Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael Lomax resigned after being charged with Aggravated Child Molestation by Sodomy.
One month prior to Lomax’s resignation, a former Gwinnett County deputy turned himself into authorities. The Gwinnett County Investigative Services Division discovered that 40-year-old Terry Henderson engaged in illegal sexual activity with an inmate during a transport from another facility. Henderson’s employment was terminated in Nov. 2016.
“Sheriff Butch Conway expects every member of his staff to follow the law, both on duty and off,” Valkodav said. “Our deputies are not above the law and are expected to follow it. It is a serious breach of trust any time that we learn that one has not and it is not tolerated.”