(Bob Greenlee, Staff)
The Sikeston Department of Public Safety Special Operations, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control and interim Scott County prosecuting attorney Blake Pearson were brought together at the request of Sikeston Department of Public Safety director Drew Juden to investigate and combat street gang violence, beginning with a gang called the Brick Squad Monopoly."
A Scott County grand jury indicted 30 members of the alleged gang late Monday on federal charges of participating knowingly in criminal street gang activities.
"We are not going to tolerate that level of criminal activity," Juden said. "We are going to use everything in our toolbox to deal with it, and that includes warrant roundups and federal prosecution. Anything we can do to discourage this level of criminal activity, we're going to do."
Arrested Friday were: Eldridge Gibson, Darrell Moore, Patrick Taylor, Juqualin Wiggins, Aaron Allen, Byron Patterson, Aaron Valentine, Tevin Golden, Devante McClinton, Maurice Hunt (Nolan), Shaquille Sherrod, Treyshawn Aterberry, Leslie Redd, Kyle Sherrod, Mickeal McCray, DeMichael McCray, Traversial Scott, Corey Turner Jr., Dequa Turner, Antwan Davis, Rikko Cox, Michael Sherrod and Cornelius Perkins.
At press time, they remained in custody with bond set at $50,000 cash only.
Suspects still being sought include: Chris Bryant, Marquon Davis, Kyle Johnson, Willie Jones III, Orlando Sheron Jr., David Trice Jr. and Jeffery Hatcher.
Juden's request for an investigation stemmed after two recent events -- one in November 2012 when a large fight with shots fired occurred on Coleman Street and the other in June when a first-degree burglary and assault on Mary Street left the 35-year-old resident reportedly paralyzed.
Both incidents involved the Brick Squad Monopoly, according to a news release from the Sikeston Department of Public Safety. In each of these incidents, arrests were made.
Since the investigation began in June, the same street gang was responsible for numerous crimes, the department said. Most notably, one armed robbery resulted in two arrests and a home invasion involving a shootout inside a residence resulted with a victim and the arrests of four individuals.
Several firearms were recovered during these investigations.
Assisting in the roundup were the Missouri State Highway Patrol; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Scott County Juvenile Office; and the Scott County Sheriff's Office.
"Sikeston Department of Public Safety will continue investigating this group and others like it in Sikeston to bring them to justice," Juden said.
The department asks anyone who has information regarding these types of crimes to call 573-471-1500 or 573-471-4711. They can be eligible for a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and convictions of the offenders.