Gwinnett Police Say Drug Deal Led To Triple Homicide
LAWRENCEVILLE – (WAOK/AJC) Gwinnett County police said Thursday morning that two men stopped overnight in North Carolina are connected to the three men found shot to death at an apartment near Lawrenceville Wednesday night, but are not currently suspects in the shootings, which police said occurred during a drug deal. Authorities in Charlotte, N.C., overnight stopped a sport utility vehicle with Virginia license plates that matched the description of a vehicle being sought by Gwinnett County police in connection with the deaths. Two men in the vehicle — Rashad Cornelius Johnson, 31, and Raheem Richardson, 40, both of Richmond, Va. — were later interviewed by Gwinnett investigators and charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine, Gwinnett police Cpl. Jake Smith said. A man and his children spotted what appeared to be a body in the breezeway across from his apartment in the 1600 block of Cannonball Court near Lawrenceville and called 911 around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Smith told the AJC. The deceased man was in front of an apartment door at the complex, located off U.S. 29 near Sugarloaf Parkway. Inside the vacant, ground-floor apartment, investigators found two more deceased men, Smith said. The three men killed were identified as Brian Lamont White, 36, of Richmond, James Edward Isiac, 64, of Richmond and Farris Allen Weston, 44, of Lawrenceville. Smith said the two men arrested in Charlotte are “associates” of the victims. “They traveled to Georgia with White and Isiac for the purpose of completing a drug transaction,” Smith said. He said investigators do not believe that Jonson and Richardson were at the apartment when the shooting occurred. “We believe they transported two of the three that were deceased down from Virginia, had knowledge of [the drug deal] but were not actually present and did not participate in the homicide,” Smith said. “We don’t know who or how many people were involved in the other side of this that did the shooting, but something went bad and one of the parties shot the other party.” The neighborhood where the shooting happened is one Gwinnett officers routinely patrol, Smith said. Police interviewed several neighbors Wednesday night, some of whom heard gunshots fired. Investigators planned to remain on the scene overnight. The latest homicides bring the total to eight cases worked by Gwinnett County police so far this year, Smith said. The City of Norcross has had five homicides, including four people killed eight days ago in a murder-suicide at a family-owned spa. In 2011, county police handled 22 homicide cases, down from 44 in 2007, Smith said.