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Grand Jury Presentments

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH ADJOURNED

TERM, 2011

GRAND JURY-

PANEL A

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT COUNTY,

GEORGIA

SARA STRAND,

FOREPERSON

GEORGE RONALD

REARDON,

VICE FOREPERSON

MARION LU,

CLERK

SUSAN BORING,

DEPUTY CLERK

General Presentments of

the March Adjourned

Term, 2011

Gwinnett County

Grand Jury

The March Adjourned Term 2011 Session of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury, Panel A consisted of the following members:

Sara Strand,

Foreperson

George Ronald Reardon,

Vice Foreperson

Marion Lu,

Clerk

Susan Boring,

Deputy Clerk

Brian Scott Bell

Benjamin Caraballo

Diane Churchill

Susan M. Collins

Sheryl Elliott

Brian Michael Evans

Carol D. Franklin

Meredith “Lynn” Franklin

Leonard Alan Liechty

Patricia “Lynn” McLendon

James Mills

Judy Lynn Prestigiacomo

Richard Schleicher

Patricia Sharp

Kenneth Shepard

Howard A. Story

Cherri Tate

Elizabeth “Ann” Turner

Sofia Yerganjieva

The Gwinnett Grand Jury, Panel A of March, 2011, through September, 2011, heard testimony and returned indictments or No Bills in approximately five hundred cases. The Grand Jury took this job seriously and were thankful to the District Attorney’s office for being well prepared to assist us in the cases we were presented. For the majority of its members, the Grand Jury found the experience to be both informative and eye opening in the amount and types of crime in the county. We were also surprised at the amount of work and processes it takes to being the criminals to justice. We saw this as an insightful six months that all county residents should be able to experience.

Drug Task Force

The Grand Jury would like to thank Major J.T. Strickland for his informative presentation on the drug situation in Gwinnett County. Our Grand Jury is very concerned with the amount of drug trafficking coming out of the Atlanta area with the numbers growing higher every year. Along with the increase of drugs come more gang, prostitution and increased criminal activity. We suggest that Gwinnett County make it a priority that this division of the police department is kept well staffed to insure fewer drugs and related crimes on our Gwinnett streets.

We would like to express our deepest appreciation for the men and women who are putting their lives at risk every day by planting themselves within very dangerous situations to help reduce the amount of drugs being distributed throughout Georgia.

Gang Unit

The Grand Jury would like to thank Investigator Jose Diaz for his presentation on Gang activity in Gwinnett County. We currently have approximately 70 known gangs on our streets. This is a problem that potentially affects all the youth of our county and poses a danger to the random victims they decide to choose. It is critical to keep all officers working in this area, and especially the officers who do presentations to the public and in our schools. We thank the law enforcement agents who monitor gang activity and are working to make the streets of Gwinnett County safe from the violence and fear these gangs bring to our area.

Gwinnett County

Detention Center

We would like to thank Sheriff Conway and the staff of the Sheriff’s office and the Gwinnett County Detention Center for their diligent work and for hosting an informative tour. The Detention Center was found to be clean and well managed. The presentation given to us was very informative and we enjoyed the wonderful meal provided to us by the staff. We had a very eye opening tour of the facility. We like the Direct Supervision Management system and feel like it is working well for this facility.

The Detention Center is not being used to full capacity. The Grand Jury encourages Gwinnett officials to allot sufficient resources to permit the Sheriff to open the unused portion of the Detention Center. This would relieve the overcrowding and make it safer for the Deputies working in the Detention Center.

Operation Second Chance

We would like to express our approval of this wonderful program at the Gwinnett Detention Center for both the inmates and dogs of Gwinnett County. It is a win-win situation on all aspects of the program, with the new owners of a pet from this unit having a fully socialized and trained pet as an end result. We would like to see this program expanded within the center and more advertising to the public to make them aware of the program and adoptability of the dogs. Perhaps a marketing/advertising program created by the inmates would be a solution.

287G Program

Sgt. Brazinas provided details on the 287G program run by the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Office. The deputies working in the program received training from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency responsible for identifying and deporting illegal immigrants. The program allows trained deputies to inquire into the immigration status of inmates in the Gwinnett Detention Center. Once an inmate has been identified as an illegal immigrant the inmate is detained for ICE. Since inception of the program 5,261 illegal immigrants have been identified, including eight (8) arrested for murder, 132 arrested for aggravated assault, 158 arrested for sex crimes, 382 arrested for felony drug crimes and 815 arrested for driving under the influence. After the Gwinnett charges are disposed the illegal alien is transferred into the custody of ICE. Unfortunately, the Gwinnett Sheriff does not have legal authority to deport the illegal aliens arrested for crimes in Gwinnett. Only ICE, a federal agency, can deport illegal immigrants that were discovered by the 287G program. Generally ICE only deports the more serious crimes and releases the rest back into the community. Many commit additional crimes. Even though the 287G program is not as effective as it could be due to the policy of the federal government, the program still contributes to the safety of the citizens of Gwinnett because at least the more serious criminal illegal immigrants are being deported. The Grand Jury supports the 287G program and encourages the Sheriff and Gwinnett County government to support the program with the necessary personnel and funds.

Internet Crime

Against Children

The Grand Jury strongly recommends additional staffing and resources for the Special Victims Unit/ICAC, especially for the area of detecting predators of children for sexual purposes by contacting victims on the internet. Staffing must be for at least one full-time person. Resources must include at least one new computer, associated hardware and high speed Internet access, equipped with state-of-the-art software for communicating with predators and determining their IP and physical location. This area is seriously understaffed and needs to be a priority for the County in order to safeguard our children by detecting these predators and taking appropriate legal action. In addition, a vigorous public relations effort must be initiated, informing the public of the problem and Gwinnett's efforts in this area.

During our term of service, the Grand Jury became concerned about the efforts of law enforcement agencies in Gwinnett County to deal with the problem of internet crimes against children and related computer offenses. The Grand Jury was pleased to learn that the Gwinnett County Police Department, The Gwinnett County School Police and the District Attorney's Office have joined together to create a program to address this increasingly important law enforcement issue. Operation Escape Key is a multi-jurisdictional approach that combines the efforts of the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, the Gwinnett County Police Department, and the Gwinnett County School Police, in association with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, to combat internet crimes against children. This four-tiered program is geared to inform the Gwinnett County citizens, adults and children alike, of the benefits and the dangers of living in a technologically advanced society. The program is based on four key aspects to successfully reduce the amount of internet crime against children: Education, Enforcement, Prosecution and Prevention. During the education phase of the program, citizens gain practical knowledge to effectively identify technological advances in cell phones, computers, gaming systems, and social networks that are prevalent among children, teenagers and adults. The enforcement phase describes the types of training the law enforcement officers and attorneys receive to become experts in the field of internet crimes against children. The third tier, the prosecution phase, provides a detailed description of the laws designed to prosecute individuals who abuse children in cyberspace. Finally, the program provides practical safety tips to the citizens to help children navigate safely through this technologically advanced world.

Operation Escape Key is a presentation available to all civic organizations, parent-teacher associations, and other groups wishing to be proactive in the fight against internet crimes against children. To schedule a presentation, please contact Stan Hall at stan.hall@gwinnettcounty.com or 770-822-8438. The Grand Jury would recommend that every PTA organization, school and civic organization in Gwinnett county avail themselves of this valuable resource.

The Grand Jury would also like to specially thank and commend Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Gardner for her presentation of this new program. Her presentation was well-prepared and professionally presented and she was able to answer our questions completely.

Appreciation:

The Grand Jury would like to express our appreciation to the following individuals and organizations:

District Attorney Daniel J. Porter.

Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Dan Mayfield and the entire staff of the District Attorney’s office. Their professionalism and dedication is outstanding. Because of their organization and commitment, they made the Grand Jury’s job easy.

Special thanks to Grand Jury Bailiff Bob Hettesheimer for this support and professionalism in the Grand Jury proceedings. He was a pleasure to work with.

The Grand Jury thanks Sheriff R.L. Conway and his staff for the informative jail tour and presentation.

The Grand Jury thanks those Gwinnett County employees that came to the Grand Jury at our request to provide valuable information about various programs. Investigator Jose Diaz informed the Grand Jury about the gang situation in Gwinnett. Sgt. Brazinas gave the Jury insights on the 287G program. Major T.J. Strickland made a presentation on the Gwinnett Drug Task Force. Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Gardner informed the Grand Jury about the new Escape Key program.

The Grand Jury would like to thank all the brave and dedicated law enforcement officers for protecting our streets and citizens in Gwinnett County. They are the finest professionals in law enforcement and we thank you for your service.

Finally, we were proud to serve and are thankful for the education of the judiciary process and experience it has given us.

In addition to the publication of presentments, we recommend that a copy of these presentments be delivered to:

Ms. Charlotte Nash, Chairwoman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Ms. Shirley Lasseter, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Ms. Lynnette Howard, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Mike Beaudreau, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. John Heard, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Daniel J. Porter, Gwinnett County District Attorney

Honorable Dawson Jackson, Chief Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Michael C. Clark, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable William M. Ray, II, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Karen E. Beyers, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Ronnie K. Batchelor, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Melodie Snell Conner, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Debra K. Turner, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable R. Timothy Hamil, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Tom Davis, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Warren Davis, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Chief C. M. Walters, Gwinnett County Police Department

Chief Randy Belcher, Duluth Police Department

R. L. “Butch” Conway, Gwinnett County Sheriff

Chief Roy Whitehead, Snellville Police Department

Chief Randy Johnson, Lawrenceville Police Department

Chief Dallas Stidd, Norcross Police Department

Chief Mike Jones, Suwanee Police Department

Chief Bruce Hedley, Lilburn Department of Public Safety

President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Jim Maran

J. Alvin Wilbanks, Gwinnett County School Superintendent

Rob Woodall, U.S. Congressman

Georgia House of Representatives members:

Tom Rice

Billy Mitchell

Pedro Marin

Brooks P. Coleman, Jr.

Josh Clark

Hugh Floyd

Brian Thomas

B. J. Pak

David Casas

Buzz Brockway

Donna Sheldon

Brett Harrell

Len Walker

Valerie Clark

Georgia Senate members:

Curt Thompson

Don Balfour

Dan Weber

Steve Henson

Renee Unterman

David Shafer

Gloria Butler

Done this 7th day of September, 2011.

By the Grand Jury

-s- Sara Strand

SARA STRAND,

FOREPERSON

-s- Marion Lu

MARION LU,

CLERK

ORDER

The within and foregoing General Presentments of the Grand Jury, having been presented, it is ordered that the same be filed with the Clerk of this Court and spread upon the minutes thereof.

It is ordered that the General Presentments be published in the Official County news media, The Gwinnett Daily Post, as a legal notice, at least one time with costs to be paid from the general funds of Gwinnett County.

This 7 day of September, 2011.

-s- R. Timothy Hamil

HONORABLE R. TIMOTHY HAMIL

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

912-06621802,9/22@

GENERAL

PRESENTMENTS

OF THE

MARCH ADJOURNED

TERM, 2011

GRAND JURY-

PANEL B

IN THE

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT COUNTY,

GEORGIA

RONDA R. CHRISTIAN,

FOREPERSON

THOMAS “JORDAN”

HINSON,

VICE FOREPERSON

TAMMY LITTLE,

ALTERNATE

FOREPERSON

BETH THOMPSON,

CLERK

REBECCA SALLEY,

DEPUTY CLERK

General Presentments of

the March Adjourned

Term, 2011

Gwinnett County

Grand Jury

Panel B

The March Adjourned Term 2011 Session of the Gwinnett County Grand Jury, Panel B consisted of the following members:

Ronda R. Christian,

Foreperson

Thomas “Jordan” Hinson,

Vice Foreperson

Tammy Little,

Alternate Foreperson

Beth Thompson,

Clerk

Rebecca Salley,

Deputy Clerk

Dodd Mitchell Cooper

Floyd C. Cooper

Selby N. Day

Ann Marie Frost

Frances Hennington

Crystal Hilliard

Leslie Jordan

James Knouff

Michelle Marshall

Roger Moore

William H. Oakes

Tracy Barnes Parker

Wayne Pierce

Gail Reed

Edith Robertson

Fred A. Robinson, Jr.

Kenny Maria Venegas

Rhonda Lowry Williams

The Gwinnett Grand Jury, Panel B of March, 2011, through September, 2011, heard testimony in approximately 745 cases. These cases crossed a wide range of crimes; and testimony was provided by officers of the Gwinnett County Police Department, State and Federal agencies, and officers of local city police departments throughout Gwinnett County, in addition to various investigators from the District Attorney’s office. We were highly impressed by the level of professionalism, dedication, preparedness, and expertise of the witnesses. We are also indebted to Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Lisa Jones, who led us through this process with sound legal guidance, efficiency, and a much needed sense of levity at times. This Grand Jury endeavored to make our decisions on each indictment in an unbiased manner based solely upon the evidence presented, and returned true bills where we believed there was probable cause to do so.

During our term of service, we heard presentations on the following subjects:

Gang Activity

Investigator Jose Diaz made an excellent presentation regarding gang activity in Gwinnett County. We recommend that each subsequent Grand Jury panel be given the opportunity to hear this information as it is useful for understanding the underlying causes of much crime in our county and is vital information as parents and citizens residing in Gwinnett. We are grateful for the efforts of the Gwinnett County Police Department to fight this problem in our community.

Drug Task Force

We also heard a presentation by Major J.T. Strickland regarding the efforts of the drug task force. It is striking how much of the crime perpetrated in our county can be traced back to illegal drug use as the ultimate cause, whether they be crimes of violence, theft, or vehicular infractions. We unfortunately heard several tragic cases related to illegal drug activity, and we wish to express our deep appreciation to the undercover agents who risk their safety on a daily basis to infiltrate the drug networks and root out the suppliers of these dangerous menaces to our civic peace and well-being.

In addition, we made the following inspections:

Gwinnett County

Detention Center

We were honored by the warm welcome and hospitality we received from Sheriff R.L. “Butch” Conway’s staff at the Detention Center. They explained to us the leading edge jail management paradigm used to run this center, and it was obvious during our inspection that this model is highly effective for running an efficient, clean, quiet, and peaceable facility. We were proud to learn that other detention centers around the country are looking to this center as an example.

We were surprised by the demographic breakdown of the inmate population as it did not seem to mesh with the demographics of the cases we heard during our term. However, we learned that because of Gwinnett County’s participation in the federal 287(g) program, many individuals arrested in our county are promptly sent downtown to ICE. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). We recommend that Gwinnett County continue to participate in this program as it frees up needed space in our jail and prevents the residents of the county from bearing the cost of housing illegal residents.

We were also highly impressed with Operation Second Chance, the partnership between the Detention Center and the Society of Humane Friends, whereby qualified inmates are given the privilege of living with and training rescue dogs in order to prepare them for adoption. It was a pleasure to see the inmates interacting with the animals, and it is clear that this program promotes good behavior among those who wish to participate as well as a great sense of achievement and purpose for them. We definitely recommend that this program continue and possible be expanded.

911 / Emergency

Management Unit

The Grand Jury was provided a tour of the Gwinnett County 911/Emergency Management Unit on August 3, 2011. All in attendance were impressed by the layout and operation of the facility. We learned that, in order to maintain an efficient workflow, agents change positions every two hours of their scheduled shifts. Positions vary and include dispatch, police radio and operator. We observed a call from beginning to end and found the process and program used to handle the incoming calls fascinating. The 911 Center also offers the Community Emergency Responsive Team Program (CERT), which was also of interest to those in attendance. Overall, it was highly informative and the Grand Jury was appreciative of the opportunity.

Financial Reports

The Grand Jury reviewed Gwinnett County’s monthly financial budgets, along with amendments and recommendations to those budgets. For this sessions’ term, these reports were found to be in order.

This Grand Jury panel wishes to make the following suggestions and recommendations specific to the Grand Jury:

• On certain days, parking spaces at the Justice Center were hard to find due to scheduling of other events. We recommend that spaces be reserved on Grand Jury service days specifically for Grand Jury members in order to insure that the panel arrives in the jury room promptly. This benefits all member of the jury as well as the District Attorney’s office and all officers and investigators who give their time to present testimony to the panel.

• We request that a microwave be purchased for the Grand Jury break room in order to facilitate members bringing lunches from home.

• On heavy caseload days, it might be helpful to order lunch in for the panel.

• Some members suggested that a microphone be installed on the witness stand to aid the testimony of the officers and investigators, some of whom have a tendency to speak quietly or mumble.

Summary

While service on the Grand Jury presents inconveniences for all panel members, we were all undoubtedly enriched by this experience. We learned much about our legal system and the county in which we live. At times, the cases we heard evoked strong emotion and reminded us of the gravity of our responsibility. Many expressed dismay, frustration, disgust, anger, and incredulity at the range and volume of crimes perpetrated in Gwinnett. However, we applaud the excellence of our law enforcement professionals and the District Attorney’s office. We were humbled to be thanked repeatedly by many of them for our minor part in the process of justice. These officers and prosecutors are the true heroes, and we cannot adequately express our thanks for their service and sacrifice.

Appreciation

The Grand Jury wishes to thank District Attorney Danny Porter’s staff for their professionalism and service to our county, specifically those Assistant D.A.s and Interns who presented cases for our review:

Lisa Jones, Deputy Chief Assistant D.A.

Bill Akins, A.D.A.

Frances Anderson, A.D.A.

Samantha Routh, A.D.A.

Tracie Cason, A.D.A.

Leigh Ann Chancey, A.D.A.

Frank Clark, A.D.A.

Lindsay Gardner, A.D.A.

Jennifer Hendee, A.D.A.

Jay Hughes, A.D.A.

Ayana Sterling Jones, A.D.A.

David Keeton, A.D.A.

Caroline Yi, Intern

Chuck Ross, A.D.A.

Clayton Skinner, Intern

Marlene Zekser, A.D.A.

We also express our appreciation to our wonderful Baliff, Mr. Mark Henderson, for his hospitality, kindness, efficiency and helpful attitude.

In addition to the publication of presentments, we recommend that a copy of these presentments be delivered to:

Ms. Charlotte Nash, Chairwoman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Ms. Shirley Lasseter, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Ms. Lynnette Howard, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Mike Beaudreau, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. John Heard, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Mr. Daniel J. Porter, Gwinnett County District Attorney

Honorable Dawson Jackson, Chief Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Michael C. Clark, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable William M. Ray, II, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Karen E. Beyers, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Ronnie K. Batchelor, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Melodie Snell Conner, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Debra K. Turner, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable R. Timothy Hamil, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Tom Davis, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Honorable Warren Davis, Superior Court Judge, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit

Chief C. M. Walters, Gwinnett County Police Department

Chief Randy Belcher, Duluth Police Department

R. L. “Butch” Conway, Gwinnett County Sheriff

Chief Roy Whitehead, Snellville Police Department

Chief Randy Johnson, Lawrenceville Police Department

Chief Dallas Stidd, Norcross Police Department

Chief Mike Jones, Suwanee Police Department

Chief Bruce Hedley, Lilburn Department of Public Safety

President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Jim Maran

Georgia House of Representatives members:

Buzz Brockway

David Casas

Josh Clark

Valerie Clark

Brooks P. Coleman, Jr.

Hugh Floyd

Brett Harrell

Pedro Marin

Billy Mitchell

B.J. Pak

Tom Rice

Donna Sheldon

Brian Thomas

Len Walker

Georgia Senate members:

Curt Thompson, II

Don Balfour

Dan Weber

Steve Henson

Renee Unterman

David Shafer

Gloria Butler

Done this 8th day of September, 2011.

By the Grand Jury

-s- Ronda R. Christian

RONDA R. CHRISTIAN,

FOREPERSON

-s- Beth Thompson

BETH THOMPSON,

CLERK

ORDER

The within and foregoing General Presentments of the Grand Jury, having been presented, it is ordered that the same be filed with the Clerk of this Court and spread upon the minutes thereof.

It is ordered that the General Presentments be published in the Official County news media, The Gwinnett Daily Post, as a legal notice, at least one time with costs to be paid from the general funds of Gwinnett County.

This 8 day of September, 2011.

-s- R. Timothy Hamil

HONORABLE R. TIMOTHY HAMIL

GWINNETT COUNTY

SUPERIOR COURT

GWINNETT JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT

912-06621803,9/22@