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Founder of shopping network charged in 2 DUI incidents

SUWANEE -- The founder of a Gwinnett-based national shopping channel was arrested twice on DUI charges over the holidays, according to local police reports.

Frank Circelli, who founded the Gem Shopping Network in 1997, was arrested by Suwanee police officers on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve following separate incidents. He was released on bond each time.

According to reports, Suwanee police were called to Settles Bridge Road near Barony Drive at about 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 23 in response to a suspicious vehicle. Once there, they reportedly found Circelli asleep behind the wheel of his Jaguar. The car was in a turn lane with its reverse lights on, and "had damage on all of the wheels where it looked like the vehicle had run into the curb," the responding officer wrote.

The officer woke Circelli up by tapping on the driver's side window. The Duluth resident allegedly could not tell police where he had been.

"I could smell a strong odor of alcohol beverages coming from his breath as he attempted to answer my questions," the officer wrote. "There was an open bottle of Grey Goose vodka in a brown bag in the passenger's seat of the vehicle."

One pill of the narcotic hydromorphone was also found inside the car, authorities said.

A week later on New Year's Eve, Circelli was arrested for DUI again after allegedly causing an accident.

Suwanee police officers responded to the two-car crash at Peachtree Industrial Blvd. and McGinnis Ferry Road just before 11 p.m. on Dec. 31. The alleged victim told police she had a green arrow and was turning left onto McGinnis Ferry Road when Circelli drove through the intersection and hit her Mazda.

The victim's vehicle had "moderate" damage, police said, and Circelli's Jaguar was inoperable.

"I asked Mr. Circelli if he remembered what happened with the accident and I noticed him to have extreme slurred speech and glassy red eyes," the responding officer wrote.

Circelli was arrested and charged with DUI and failure to obey a traffic control device after allegedly failing field sobriety tests.

Since its original broadcast in 1997, the Gem Shopping Network has boomed in popularity. Based in Duluth, it is now broadcast into about 40 million homes and "prides itself in showing high-quality and affordable gemstones and fine jewelry from all over the world," according to its website.

Circelli, a graduate gemologist, has been in the business for more that two decades. He is battling cancer, and his condition did not allow him to attend the Gem Network-sponsored American Cancer Society gala in November.

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