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NCSO makes series of gang-related arrests

COVINGTON — A number of young adults were recently arrested in Newton County in connection with incidents allegedly involving gang activity.

Christopher David Gaskins, 19, of 115 Wynfield Drive; Jalesia Sharess Brown, 19, of 35 Fairview Common Drive; and Demari Kaye, 20, also of 115 Wynfield Drive, were arrested Oct. 6 on charges of criminal trespass and participation in criminal gang activity.

According to Newton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Cortney Morrison, the three were part of a larger group of individuals accused of repeatedly harassing a young man. The harassment apparently had gotten so bad that the victim had to move, she said.

Morrison said the victim’s mother contacted the Sheriff’s Office at the end of September claiming that a group of people had been harassing her family, specifically targeting her son, since June. Apparently, the harassment began when the boy had broken up with his girlfriend.

“These individuals took offense and were trying to fight him,” Morrison said.

In addition to habitually driving past the victim’s home in the Communities of Ellington neighborhood, the victim’s mother received a video showing the individuals standing in front of the victim’s home holding guns, Morrison said.

“A criminal investigator was able to identify some of the individuals in the video and warrants were taken out for (them),” Morrison said.

Two of the arrests were made on Oct. 6 when a deputy responded around 12:30 a.m. to a report of entering auto on Hazelhurst Drive. When the deputy arrived, he found Gaskins and Brown among the four young people, so he arrested them on the active criminal trespassing and gang activity warrants.

The deputy also noticed one of the other females was carrying a bookbag. When he asked what was inside, the girls said they didn’t know because they just found it, Morrison said.

The deputy searched the bookbag and found two portable televisions, coins, cell phone chargers, an unopened can of Bud Light beer, an iPod, a plastic cup, a bandana and a number of ID cards, debit cards, bank cards and Social Security cards with another person’s name on them.

Deja Yvette Kelley, 18, 90 Bramble Bush, was charged with theft of lost or mislaid property and possession of of alcohol by a minor. Ty’Era Kwasnique Rucker, 18, of 30 Lantana Lane, was charged with theft of lost or mislaid property.

The two were also charged with participation in criminal gang activity.

“The criminal investigators were able to locate other evidence, which gave them probable cause to put those charges on the girls,” Morrison said.

In another gang-related arrest, 17-year-old Keshaun Alan Cobb of 225 Lazy Hollow Lane was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, battery and participation in criminal gang activity in connection with an incident that occurred on Oct. 4.

Morrison said deputies were called to a home on East Street when a woman called 911 to say that her 16-year-old grandson was assaulted in the yard by a group of males.

The victim told deputies that Cobb had come to his house around 12:45 a.m. and told him to come outside.

“When he went outside, several boys began striking him on his head, face and body,” Morrison said.

The female who was with the group handed one of the males a gun and the male pointed it at the victim, she said.

When they heard the grandmother come outside, they all ran away, according to the incident report.

“The victim alleges the reason they came to assault him was because Keshaun wanted him to commit a criminal act against someone a few days prior,” Morrison said. “The victim said the criminal act to be committed was for initiation into a gang.”

She said the victim had visible injuries to his back side and his head, but he declined medical treatment.