0

Former police officers arrested in investigations

LAWRENCEVILLE - Two former Gwinnett narcotics officers, themselves the subjects criminal investigations, have been arrested.

Officers Vinnie Harden and Lt. David Butler turned themselves in to sheriff's deputies without incident Thursday, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli.

Both men, being probed by the Professional Standards Unit, have resigned in the face of internal investigation.

Schiralli said the two cases are unrelated.

Investigators began looking into Butler after an officer complained about the theft of departmental property, according to reports.

Butler, 47, was a 24-year veteran of the department. He is charged with two felony counts of financial transaction card fraud, and one felony count each of theft by taking and violating his oath of office.

"Mr. Butler, on two separate occasions, used a departmental credit card for his own personal use and took approximately $4,000 in cash assigned to the unit without the knowledge or authority from the department," Schiralli said.

Butler was last assigned to the Central Precinct in Duluth, where he served as a watch commander.

Harden faces three felony counts of first-degree forgery and violating his oath of office for allegedly altering documents "concerning the disbursement of departmental funds."

Jail records show both men are free on bond.