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Home  |  News  |  Midlands SC Law Enforcement arrests FLG members who targeted victims throughout USA‏

Midlands SC Law Enforcement arrests FLG members who targeted victims throughout USA‏
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

 
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC - During a news conference today Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Midlands area law enforcement and area banks announced an ongoing investigation into an organized gang from Florida who were identified as the “Felony Lane Gang”; the gang consists of several men and women who travel throughout the United States breaking into cars, defrauding the local banks and victimizing citizens.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that between May 5 and June 30, 2013 the Midlands experienced a dramatic rise in vehicle break-ins. The Sheriff stated that the break-ins seemed to target cars at locations that frequent people leaving purses in their cars (gyms, recreation facilities and wellness centers). During this time period the Richland County Sheriff’s Department received 12 complaints of car break-ins and the same victims having money pulled from their bank accounts. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that investigators began working with area banks and law enforcement that were all seeing similar cases. The banks began communicating with area law enforcement describing suspects wearing wigs defrauding them. There appeared to be a link because area law enforcement was having excessive amounts of car break-ins and the victims were reporting fraud occurring on their accounts. A working group or The Task Force began working collectively to identify similar cases and identify suspects. In doing so they determined that Courtney Walker of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida had been arrested in Richland County in 2012 on fraud charges and investigators received information that Courtney Walker was involved in an organized gang that traveled the United States breaking into cars and defrauding banks.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that law enforcement and area banks began compiling data on car break-ins and fraud cases in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Washington DC, Boston, Massachusetts and up to the New York Area and determined that the bank industry coined “Felony Lane Gang” has been in operation for over 10 years and victimizing banks and citizens across the USA – investigators were able to locate similar cases and arrests of “Felony Lane Gang” members. The Sheriff added that the men (the ring leaders) of the gang are mainly from the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami area and they recruit the females from Orlando area who will cash stolen checks for a small percentage of the profits (normally 10%). Most of the females have past convictions of prostitution. The group enters an area and the males immediately start breaking into cars looking for pocket books, checks, dls and credit cards; targeting vehicles at health clubs, tanning salons, amusement parks, and sporting events – specifically looking for cars where pocket books are left in plain site inside the cars. Once the men have broken into numerous vehicles, they start molding the female gang members to look like the stolen victim’s identity; coloring their hair, purchasing wigs, and wearing large sun glasses.

The gang members will then transport the females to the local banks where they will present the victims dl and a stolen 2nd party check. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that investigators believe the gang was generating over $12,000 a day cashing stolen checks. Sheriff Leon Lott stated the Task Force/Working Group (law enforcement and banks working together) believe the first cases in the Midlands occurred in the Lexington area in 2012 after several reports were generated for car break-ins; with these types of incidents stopping until the summer of 2013 at which time they defrauded a bank for more then $60,000 dollars.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the Task Force/Working Group took a strong stance and diligently investigated these cases and suspects. The Sheriff added that many investigative techniques and tools were used to apprehend these criminals; aggressive uniform patrols, DNA from car break-ins, statements from victims, witnesses and suspects arrested in other states, crimestoppers, video surveillance, receipts, credit card vouchers, travel documents, photo line ups, and digital analization were all used. The Sheriff stated that by taking a broad approach to these crimes and developing strong partnerships with area law enforcement and banks the Task Force was able to identify the ring leaders who organized and recruited the members, what hotels they stayed in during their visits, what bus system they used and they dates they used them to travel, what rental car agency they used and the cars they rented and what wig shop they used and the purchases they made.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that these type of investigations should remind citizens just how dedicated their law enforcement is in South Carolina and just how great the corporate/law enforcement partnerships are that make South Carolina a great place to live, work and play. The Sheriff stated it should also serve as a reminder to the criminals that we will not tolerate their behavior and will go to great lengths to prevent crime and capture those responsible – no matter how complex the crimes are.

Additional information or examples related to these cases:

On May 30th the management from the Residence Inn located at 2320 La Grand Road in Columbia reported suspicious tenants in a room with a strange oder of smoke coming from their non smoking rooms. When Richland County deputies arrived and knocked on the door the residents jumped from the window and fled -- Abandon at the room were credit cards, and Id’s of some of the victims. The room had been paid by a B/F by the name of Casey Goins with a visa card, also identified by hotel management in a line up was Courtney walker as the person with Ms Goings when she rented the room.

On June 4th 2013 RCSD/ Lexington PD caught Felony Lane Gang members pulling into the Quality Inn located on Garners Ferry Road; this resulted in a police chase involving a Nissan Maximum that had been identified in bank photos as one of the vehicles used to cash checks. Inside the hotel several cell phones were seized from the abandon rooms the gang members’ had stayed in. The phones were later identified as belonging to Courtney Walker, Brindilyn Kersey, and Walter Tillmen.

On June 11, 2013 Crime stoppers tipster identified the photo of Brindilyn Kersey as the person presenting stolen checks to area banks; Ms Kersey was arrested that day in Richland County. Through interviews with Kersey investigators learned how the matrix of the scam worked and were able to track the movement of the gang between May and June 2013.

  • 5/5/13 The Gang arrived in Columbia and stayed at the Hilton Inn
  • 5/6/13 The gang moved to the Days Inn and used a victims credit card to pay the bill
  • 5/8/13 The gang purchased a greyhound Bus ticket to Orlando for Ms. Kersey
  • 5/8/13 The Gang returned to Florida for court appearance
  • 5/19/2013 The Gang returned to Columbia and stayed at the Residence inn
  • 5/22/13 Casey Goins rented a 2013 Black escalade with her Visa card
  • 5/30/13 Residence Inn called RCSD about smoking in non smoking room
  • 6/1/13 Gang moved to Quality Inn Garner Ferry rd
  • 6/4/13 Police chase with Gang

These interviews and arrests allowed law enforcement the opportunity to gather intelligence on this group – some specifics on how the gang was identified:

  • Courtney Walkers DNA was identified from a broken vehicle window in 2012
  • Hotel surveillance camera shows the gang members quickly loading the vehicle at the hotel during the car chase w/ police.
  • Rental car receipts show the Black Escalade used in bank video was rented by Case Goings with her visa card.
  • Pictures pulled from Courtney walkers abandon phone show him and Casey Goins together.
  • Management from the Residence Inn picked Courtney walker and Casey Goins from a line up as the people who rented the room.
  • Hotel video shows James Walter Tillman walking into the hotel room.
  • A hotel receipt shows James Walter Tillman as the person who rented most of the joint rooms.
  • Statements from several of the suspects already arrested ( 3) picked Courtney walker, Tillmen, and others as the people who recruited, transported, and benefited from the crimes that happen in Columbia in 2012, and 2013.

Arrested:

  • Courtney Walker 12/17/87 
    •  RCSD Criminal Conspiracy Warrant, Lexington PD breaking into Motor vehicle and criminal Conspiracy
  • Casey Goings 12/22/90 
    •  RCSD Criminal conspiracy and Bank Fraud
  • Byron Robinson 10/8/86 
    •  RCSD Criminal Conspiracy
  • Walter James Tillman 3/26/88 
    •  RCSD Criminal Conspiracy
  • Donnie Mathews Dinkins 5/10/87 
    •  RCSD Bank Fraud and Criminal Conspiracy
  • Tavares Deon Mills 7/23/87 
    •  RCSD Criminal Conspiracy
  • Kimberly Brogdon 8/16/84 
    • RCSD breaking into motor Vehicle
    • RCSD Bank Fraud
    • RCSD Forgery
    • RCSD Bank Fraud
    • RCSD Forgery
    • RCSD Bank Fraud
    • RCSD Forgery
  • Brandily Kersey 3/12/86 
    • RCSD Criminal Conspiracy,
    • RCSD Forgery
    • RCSD Bank Fraud
    • RCSD Forgery
    • RCSD Bank Fraud

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crimestoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Texters can send anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPSC". Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.


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