Eight charged with gang activity

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By Kenny Colston

Eight people, including six La Grange residents, have been arrested for numerous charges, including engaging in organized crime.

La Grange Police arrested the seven men and one woman last week and they were formally charged at an arraignment on Monday.

All individuals charged are between 18 and 22 years old. The charges range from conspiracy to commit murder to gang recruitment and drug offenses.

La Grange Police Chief Kevin Collett said the eight arrested are associated with the Southside Crips, with two of those arrested being recruiters for the gang. Collett said he believes the two recruiters were based in Louisville, but they gave Shelbyville addresses.

Those arrested include, Thomas L. Wenz, 22, of Shelbyville, Roger D. Wilson, 19, of La Grange, Keaton T. Lee, 19, of La Grange, Casey Endicott, 18, of Shelbyville Felix A. Myers, 20, of La Grange, Donnie A. Lane, 22, of La Grange, Brandon L. Davis, 18, of La Grange, and Gabrielle L. Beach, 22, of La Grange.

Those eight all entered not guilty pleas at their arraignment in Oldham County District Court this week and will again appear in court on Oct. 23.

All eight were still in jail as of Monday, but Myers, Davis, Lane and Beach all asked for reduced bond or home incarceration. Judge Jerry Crosby said at the arraignment he would consider such changes.

During a three-week investigation that started with tips of drug activity on the 100 block of W. Madison Street, La Grange Police uncovered more tips to possible gang activity and a plot to murder two people.

After investigating those tips, a joint effort of La Grange and Oldham County Police departments led to a search warrant being executed and the eight individuals being arrested at 3 a.m. last Thursday morning.

Police are keeping the identities of the two potential murder victims confidential for multiple reasons, Collett said. “We want to make sure all players involved are caught in the same net,” he said.

Collett said those arrested had a concrete plan to stab two individuals to death and dispose of their bodies allegedly due to some drug activity dispute. He said if police determine the two potential victims have committed drug crimes, then police will proceed with an investigation on them.

“These individuals had a plan in place, it was not some veiled threat,” Collett said.

At their arraignment, several of those arrested shook their head “no” when charges concerned participating in organized crime were read aloud.  And Wilson, one of four charged with conspiracy to commit murder, told Judge Crosby that he was not in the Southside Crips.

“All the other inmates think we’re in a gang,” Wilson said. “But I’m not in any gang.”

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