Police: 4 in ‘self-proclaimed criminal gang’ arrested; about 50 officers involved

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Lataj Markel Brewer Suspect

About 50 law enforcement officers from local, state and federal agencies teamed to arrest four young men they say have caused havoc in Wayne County through their “self-proclaimed criminal gang.”

One of the suspects faces charges of murder, attempted murder and criminal gang intimidation, while police say the others face a variety of lesser charges that are related to recent shooting incidents and shots fired calls.

During the early morning of July 28, Richmond Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Preble County Ohio Sheriff’s Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (Safe Streets Task Force) and Wayne County Prosecutors Office mobilized and executed a number of arrest warrants.

RPD Chief Mike Britt said the team partnered to direct efforts and considerable resources to identify suspects in incidents organized by a “self-proclaimed criminal gang that has been operating in our city and county for the last several months,” according to a news release.

Britt said no defendants or officers were injured as the four arrests were made around Richmond, calling the process “truly a team effort.”

“This is a part of a lengthy, ongoing investigation to curtail this recklessness and help ensure the safety of the citizens of our community,” Britt said. “As a result of this morning’s operation. numerous firearms and illegal substances were removed from our streets.”

Britt thanked the partnering agencies “for their hard work in making Richmond a safer place to live and work.”

Britt also said he appreciates the local district and specialized officers and crime analysts for their outstanding performance in gathering intelligence outlining criminal events and affiliations and the long hours and hard work of detectives, uniformed patrol and S.W.A.T.

Those facing charges are:

*Lataj Markel Brewer, 20, was arrested in the 1500 block of South Fourth Street on charges of murder, attempted murder (Level 1 felony) and criminal gang intimidation (Level 5 felony).

Brewer was arrested in August 2020 on charges of pointing a firearm at another and criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon (both Level 6 felonies), and was arrested in May 2021 on a charge of possession of marijuana. Court records show trials on those charges are set for September.

He also was arrested in August 2020 on a charge of carrying a handgun without a license, a Class A misdemeanor, and pleaded guilty in March 2021. He was sentenced to 210 days in Wayne County Jail, with 180 days suspended. He received credit for 20 days in incarceration before sentencing and 20 days of good time credit. Judge Darrin Dolehanty ordered the weapon be destroyed.

*Dominique A Walker, 23, was arrested in the 700 block of Winding Ridge Drive on charges of providing a firearm to a criminal person (Level 3 felony) and use of false information to obtain a firearm (Level 5 felony)

*Peyton Ray Sutton, 20, who turned himself in at Wayne County Jail, is accused of aggravated battery (Level 3 felony) and criminal gang intimidation (Level 5 felony)

*Deonte Edward Gabbard, 19, who was arrested in the 400 block of North 20th Street, faces a charge of armed robbery (Level 3 felony).

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