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Feds: Ga. firefighters tipped off drug dealers

A firefighter and a battalion chief are accused of warning drug dealers about raids

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — Two Spalding County firefighters — including a battalion chief — have been indicted, accused of warning drug deals about police activity around Griffin.

Dwayne Tyrone Coggins, 47, and Michael Owens, 37, were arraigned today before a magistrate in federal court after a grand jury indicted them Wednesday.

“When called upon to assist the police, Coggins and Owens’ first instinct was to call the drug dealers to warn them,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said today following the arraignment. “Now, they face federal charges for protecting drug dealers.”

Coggins, a battalion chief, has been with the Spalding County Fire Department since 1990, federal officials said. Owens is a firefighter.

The two firefighters are accused of being able to warn drug dealers because police regularly gathered at the county fire department when preparing for raids or readying to serve arrest warrants, federal officials said. Narcotic officers later figured out that the two men were tipping off dealers, officials said.

Copyright 2014 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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