September 12, 2012

Updated: Suspected burglary ring leaders arrested

CHICKASHA — Two men arrested Tuesday night are connected with a larger organized crime ring according to Grady County Sheriff Art Kell.

Justin James Post, 24, and Jerry Allan Vasquez, 26, were arrested for Second Degree Burglary after a joint investigation involving the District Six District Attorney’s Task Force, Chickasha Police Department and Grady County Sheriff’s Office.  

"We will have five more warrants come out this Friday," Kell said.

Two of the five warrants are subsequent charges for suspects that were previously arrested in connection the string of crimes.

According to Kell, the sheriff's office investigation is finding new suspects everyday, which leads him to believe that there is criminal ring involving drugs related the burglaries. Suspects have been implicated in surrounding counties Cleveland, McClain and Caddo, which has prompted Kell to look into utilizing the multi-county grand jury. Doing so would allow those arrested to be charged with other crimes aside from burglary leading to larger bonds.

The sheriff's office is looking at over a dozen suspects implicated in the string of burglaries.

"We have good evidence on all of them," Kell said.

The arrests on Tuesday were simply another step forward for the multiple agencies attempting to ascertain the identities of those involves with the string of thefts Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks said.

 “Information was obtained late Tuesday evening that conclusively established the burglars’ identities, allowing us to make the call to arrest the suspects as soon as possible.  I instructed my Task Force Investigators to contact the other law enforcement agencies to assist in the immediate detention of Post and Vasquez, and the agencies instantly responded,” Hicks said.  

According to Chickasha Police Chief Elip Moore, the apprehension of these thieves would not have been possible without joint cooperation between law enforcement and prosecution.  Countless hours were dedicated to preserving our community’s safety and peace of mind.  While it is believed that others may have assisted in the burglaries, Hicks said he believes, based upon the evidence gathered, that Post and Vasquez are the ring leaders and main culprits.  Both Post and Vasquez are convicted felons who were released from prison in 2011.  

“Grady County has been barraged by the recent burglaries and we continue to make it a top priority to apprehend and prosecute offenders who endanger the safety and well-being of our citizens," Hicks said.

Hicks additionally noted that those responsible will be dealt with swiftly and severely.  

“I take very seriously the theft of a citizen’s belongings.  I have absolutely no problem seeking to put those responsible for the burglaries in prison and will seek to incarcerate those responsible for a significant period of time," he said.

Both are expected to remain in jail awaiting an initial appearance until sometime next week.

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