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Update: Officials Believe Recent Crimes May Be Tied to Local Ga - KOAM TV 7

Update: Officials Believe Recent Crimes May Be Tied to Local Gang

Updated:
8/28/2014 - Prosecutors in both Newton and Jasper County file charges against 24-year-old Chelsie Berry. Court documents show Berry stealing a 2006 Chevy Malibu from a man in Jasper County on August 17th. A day later, authorities in Newton County discovered Tommy Webb inside the same vehicle along Cherry Road with multiple gunshot wounds. Webb remains in the hospital but Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland says details are limited in the case.

8/27/2014 - Newton County authorities connect a photo posted on social media to gang symbolism and arrest two people.  The photo shows two people posing with a dead body, and now authorities say they are one step closer to finding the connection between 2 rural area crimes.

On August 18th, authorities discovered Thomas Webb at a home along Cherry Road with multiple gunshot wounds.

Webb remains in the hospital but Newton County Sheriff, Ken Copeland says details are limited in the case.

"He's still in the hospital. He was shot twice. He is a Joplin honkey. He was shot by a Joplin honkey but his failure to cooperate and identify the subject is making it difficult for us." he says.

On August 22nd in a separate case, a homeowner discovered the body of 30 year old Dennis Meyer in a driveway of a home located off Route V, near Diamond.

Officials believe there is no relation between that homeowner and the Joplin Honkey gang, rather the body was dumped there due to its remote location.

When it comes to the Honkeys, Copeland says they have been around the Joplin area for about 10 years. 

They originated in the Missouri prison system as an organized gang to protect one another.

Sheriff copeland also says the honkey gang is associated with many car and motorcycle thefts.. As well as robberies and burglaries.

"As far as we can tell, it's a male specific group to the Joplin Honkeys. They'll have the tattoos, the 417 on them, there's a lot of females that hang around them." Copeland says.

That's what lead authorities to arrest 24 year old Chelsie Barry and 26 year old Jared Prier. Prier is associated with the Honkey gang.

The two were charged Wednesday with abandonment of a corpse after a photo surfaced on Facebook of the two posing with Meyer's body.

Meyer's preliminary autopsy showed no signs of gunshot wounds or trauma to the body, and the case remains under investigation.

Sheriff Copeland believes there is a connection between the two cases and the Honkey gang...he and investigators are just waiting that additional information to come to light.

"It is our goal to get them and put them in jail for a long period of time." He says.

Authorities are looking for a third Joplin Honkey member in a separate case.  

Doug Alexius is wanted by newton county authorities for felony first degree burglary. Residents did fire shots at Alexius during the burglary. 

Anyone with information on his whereabouts or anyone with information related to the cases are asked to contact police.


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