Kilos Of Cocaine Disappear, Sheriff’s Deputy Resigns

By Kelly Burch 05/24/18

Authorities believe that on at least one occasion the deputy falsified evidence documents in order to steal drugs.

Sheriff’s Deputy Resigns After Kilos Of Cocaine Disappear

A sheriff’s deputy in Gwinnett County, Georgia has resigned after two kilos of cocaine that were supposed to be logged as evidence disappeared, leading authorities to believe that he took the drugs. 

"It's shocking," Deputy Chief Lou Solis told WSB-TV Atlanta. "The shock it's not only one of these guys, it's our guy."

Antoine Riggins, who had been with the sheriff’s office since 2004, resigned last week after he was confronted by state investigators.

Authorities believe that on at least one occasion Riggins falsified evidence documents in order to steal drugs. In that case three kilos of cocaine were taken from a scene, but only one was logged into evidence. Riggins is also being questioned about other cases where heroin and ecstasy appear to have disappeared. 

The amount of drugs taken was too much for personal use, so authorities want to know where they ended up and whether other law enforcement officials were involved, Solis said. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into corruption and the disappearance of the drugs.

"They want to find out is it possible there are more people involved, and it is. Who are those people?" Solis said. 

Riggins had been working on a federal task force for two years. Investigators believe he was able to use the lack of oversight to steal the drugs from evidence. 

"Unfortunately, because of the federal, state overlap he was able to exploit a weakness in the evidence system, and it relied on his documentation which he then falsified," said Danny Porter, Gwinnett County District Attorney. 

Authorities searched Riggins' home, seizing phones and other items. Riggins’ lawyer said that he is working with investigators and maintained that he is an upstanding citizen. 

“They have asked Mr. Riggins to come in and give some information," said Mike Puglise, the lawyer. "He is a decorated veteran of the Iraqi War, a good man, a good family man. His children are suffering from health related problems, and he's been there as a father.”

Puglise said that Riggins is now at home caring for his two autistic children. 

Although he has not been criminally charged, charges are expected to be filed as soon as this week. The investigation could call into question other cases that Riggins has been involved with at the state and federal level. 

"We have to go back and review cases in which he was a witness and that type of thing," said Porter.

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.