Trio of bandits facing more charges

Trio of bandits facing more charges

When Beaumont Police Officer Michael Jones responded to a routine call reporting suspicious persons lurking in the dumpster area of a closed business near Interstate 10 in the wee morning hours of March 15, it didn’t take long for the public servant to decipher that at least one of the persons of interest was indeed participating in criminal behavior. However, it wasn’t until Jones had the suspect handcuffed in the back of his patrol car that he began to learn the true extent of the crime spree he’d discovered.

One week after the arrest, BPD detectives are still in the process of pinpointing all the crimes attributed to the suspect, 26-year-old Demarcus Brown – and co-conspirators Fredrick Tyson, 21, and Corbin Branch, 19.

As previously reported, Officer Jones first arrested Brown on March 15 for possession of marijuana – easily located immediately upon contact, Officer Jones reported, due to the smell of burnt marijuana on the suspect and in the car he was driving. According to the probable cause affidavit filed for Brown’s arrest, once Jones arrested Brown for the drug possession, he then performed a search of the vehicle Brown was operating. Brown’s car, registered to Kyeisha Bean (not charged with any crime to date), was found to be housing numerous items reported stolen from car burglaries fellow BPD officers were investigating at the same time.

“During an inventory of the vehicle,” Jones reported, “two firearms were located in the trunk of the car, as well as a red digital camera. It was later discovered that one of the firearms… was just reported stolen.”

A true owner was found for the camera, as well, and Brown was then presented with theft of property and theft of a firearm charges tacked on to the marijuana offense. But Brown wouldn’t go down alone. During the course of investigating Brown’s connection to the stolen items, detectives learned information that led them to arrest two more individuals believed to be connected to a spree of crimes – Branch and Tyson. Police alleged then that Brown, Branch and Tyson committed at least five auto burglaries between Tuesday night and the Wednesday morning when they were apprehended; and all three were believed to be connected to multiple additional auto burglaries, aggravated robberies and possible residential burglaries.

Now, police know of more than 10 auto burglaries the trio likely committed in a roughly two-hour period prior to Officer Jones’ interception – and are certain there are other incidents attributable to the repeat offenders as officers have uncovered a cache of goods they have not found rightful owners to as of yet.

According to information compiled at BPD and provided by spokesperson Sgt. Cody Guedry, 11 addresses in Beaumont’s West End reported car burglaries whose stolen goods the arrestees had possession of on arrest. Additionally, Guedry said, there is evidence the trio was not through with their overnight crime spree and, had they not been caught when they were, other victims would have been added to the fold.

Due to the massive scale at which the thieves operated in collusion with one another, according to Guedry, BPD detectives are preparing to charge all three arrestees with engaging in organized criminal activity. There is currently a hold pending additional charges placed on all three inmates held at the Jefferson County Jail. Not that Brown, Branch, and Tyson are going anywhere anytime soon as all three have bonds totaling in excess of $200,000 for the March 15 initial arrests. Each also has since been hit with motions to revoke probation – as all three were serving deferred probation for similar offenses.

One of Brown’s alleged accomplices has even been charged with organized criminal activity before – teenager Branch is currently serving 10 years probation for the offense. According to Jefferson County court records, the 10-year deferred probation sentence for engaging in organized criminal activity was handed down May 23, 2016, pursuant to a plea where he admitted he stole a four-wheeler with a gang of friends. That sentence was to run concurrent with a 10-year probation sentence for first-degree felony aggravated robbery using a firearm dating back to April 2015 when the defendant was just 17 years old, and a five-year probation sentence for felony theft. Dismissed as part of Branch pleading guilty to the three felonies, he is now serving probation for were counterfeit charges and two counts of felony theft of a firearm. Completely dismissed in 2016 due to the District Attorney’s Office “no longer proceeding with waiver of indictment” was a separate allegation dating to April 30, 2015, of theft of a person.

The DA’s office filed a motion to revoke probation related to the March 15 charges on March 20, but had also initiated proceedings to revoke Branch’s probation on March 13, prior to his arrest, for other alleged probation violations.

Tyson’s only felony offense logged with Jefferson County doesn’t include organized criminal activity, but as part of his 10-year deferred adjudication probation sentence handed down in October 2016 for aggravated robbery with use of a firearm, Tyson was connected to the same co-defendants as Branch’s organized co-conspirators, including repeat offender Jalen Frank.

Brown had five separate felony cases filed in Jefferson County alone in the last two years, though none connected to his alleged co-conspirators. The first felony filed locally against Brown is a June 28, 2015, theft from Port Arthur’s Walmart with two prior convictions. That November, Brown was ordered to serve five years deferred adjudication probation and keep away from that Walmart.

Less than a year later, Brown was arrested at the Beaumont Walmart, allegedly caught in the act of stealing merchandise, made worse by attempts to evade detention and assaulting an officer. Brown was allowed to post a $10,000 bond and remain on the street while awaiting trial on those charges. Brown was released on bond less than six months ago.

The Jefferson County DA office filed a motion to revoke Brown’s 2015 probation on March 21.

Guedry said the police department is appreciative of the community input that allowed officers to apprehend three men on a burglary bender.

“We believe we have really solved a lot of crimes with this arrest,” Guedry said. It’ll take time to decipher just how many victims this criminal collaboration impacted, he added, but the total would no doubt have been greater had Brown, Tyson and Branch not been arrested.

“Thank you to the citizens that called in the suspicious activity,” Guedry said. “It’s this type of working with the police to catch these criminals and prevent them from further victimizing the community that makes the system work.

“We’re just glad to get some violent criminals behind bars so they don’t go around doing this to other people.”