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Biker In Jail For Shooting At Troopers

Saturday, 21 April 2012

An undercover operation involving the Avengers Motorcycle Gang in Raleigh County ends in a shot fired at State Troopers and four arrests. It happened Wednesday afternoon on Route 3 near the town of Harper. Three plain-clothed troopers assigned to the the Criminal Investigation Bureau had several members of the Avengers gang under surveillance. The troopers were following behind the bikers when the trouble started. "Four of the gang members ended up getting behind the troopers' vehicles and started making gestures that they had guns. And one even displayed a gun," according to State Police Sgt. Mike Baylous. The troopers were able to get out ahead of the gang members and pulled over to the side of the road. They got out of their cars and showed their department issue badge and I.D. "As the gang members went by them, one of them turned around and fired a shot off at the troopers. That gang member then proceeded to wreck his motorcycle and jumped up and got on one of the other motorcycles and they took off," said Baylous. The troopers did not have time to pull their weapons. No one was injured. A few minutes later when they were looking at the crashed motorcycle that was left behind, the troopers came face to face with the bikers again. "Two of those members came back through the scene in a pick-up truck. And at that point they were apprehended," says Baylous. The other two gang members were rounded up a short time later. Those arrested include: Delmar Kozart of Beckley who's charged with accessory after the fact, wanton endangerment and felon in possession of a firearm, Clyde Frank of Harper who's facing accessory after the fact and wanton endangerment, James Morris Jr. of Echols who was booked for accessory after the fact, wanton endangerment, possession of a concealed weapon and fleeing on a vehicle. The alleged shooter has been identified as Thomas Speck (pictured at right) of Lapeer, MI. He's charged with felon in possession of a firearm, fleeing on a vehicle, a fugitive from justice and three counts of wanton endangerment. He's being held in the Southern Regional Jail. Baylous could not disclose why the troopers had the gang members under surveillance.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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