Local News

Two charged in major drug seizure in Barrow


969 Hancock Bridge Road 3A month-long investigation by the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office Crime Task Force resulted in a major seizure Thursday.

Sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant at 966 Hancock Bridge Road in Winder where they seizure of multiple controlled substances, cash and firearms.

Investigators seized more than a pound and a half of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value in excess of $70,000. Fifteen pounds of marijuana, with an estimated street value of $77,000, were seized along with $27,262 in U.S. currency, an ounce of MDMA (ecstasy) with a street value of $3,000 and small amounts of cocaine and hashish.

969 Hancock Bridge Road 4Twelve firearms were also seized, including four assault rifles, one rifle and seven semi-automatic handguns.

John Vang, 28, and his brother, Steven Vang, also 28, who both lived at the address, were arrested and charged with trafficking in methamphetamines, trafficking in marijuana, trafficking in a Schedule 1 controlled substance (ecstasy), possession of a Schedule 1 controlled substance (hashish) and possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance (cocaine), and possession of firearms during the commission of a felony.

The brothers are currently in the Barrow County Detention Center awaiting bond.

969 Hancock Bridge Road 2



Missing 20-year-old located at Grady Hospital


POLICE-missing-person-Kinsey-CanovaGwinnett Police had been investigating a missing person case involving a 20-year-old white female last seen around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14, at Hartsfield Jackson Airport.

Kinsey Canova, who was driving a purple 2008 Mazda 3 with Georgia tag BLA 1733 to drop off her boyfriend at the airport, was apparently involved in an automobile accident and was transported to Grady Hospital for treatment.

No one from Atlanta area law enforcement nor the hospital had notified the family of the Georgia Tech student who lives and works in the Norcross area.


Arrest made in murder and home invasion case in unincorporated Auburn


An arrest has been made in the armed robbery and felony murder case which has been under investigation by the Gwinnett County Police Department Homicide Unit.

Marquavis Benton, a 26-year-old black male, is being held in the Gwinnett County Detention Center, where he remains in custody without bond.

The Griffin Police Department assisted the GCPD Homicide Unit in arresting Benton on Dec. 12 in the death of 45-year-old Brian Whitfield who died Dec. 6 outside his 1735 Flowery Branch Road residence in unincorporated Auburn. Whitfield was found in his driveway of apparent gunshot wounds. A passerby noticed a male lying in the driveway and called 911.

Police found the homicide appeared to have occurred during a home invasion robbery. There were items missing from inside residence, and a 2005 Dodge Ram “Rumblebee” edition was stolen. The truck was recovered Dec. 9 in Atlanta and the wheels and radio had been removed. Police acted on several tips which resulted in the recovery of the truck and identification of the suspect.

Charges made in fake diploma case


The Gwinnett County Police Department is investigating a series of reports, filed by students, stating they have received fake diplomas from their school. The school used the name New Life Technical Academy and was operated by a married couple, 43-year-old Stanley Jean and 35-year-old Yessica Jean.

The investigation revealed there is a real, accredited school by the name New Life Technical Academy in Hapeville but the school operated by Stanley and Yessica Jean is not accredited; they are not affiliated and used the school name without permission. Yessica Jean worked for the real school in 2012.

Continue reading Charges made in fake diploma case

Barrow roundup nets 36 fugitives


State and local law enforcement agents combed the streets of Barrow County yesterday looking for wanted fugitives and other criminal and traffic law violators.

Twenty-two fugitives were arrested in a large-scale roundup that involved a number of agencies.

Officials from the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, Auburn Police Department, Winder Police Department, Statham Police Department and State Probation and Parole swarmed through Barrow County searching for wanted felons.  This large-scale arrest operation was spearheaded by State Probation Officials, who organized the round-up in cooperation with local agencies.

The Sheriff’s Office also utilized traffic checkpoints at multiple locations on county roadways.  Fourteen individuals were arrested in the checkpoints from charges ranging from driving without a license, suspended license and possession of marijuana.