Crime and Public Safety

From Roanoke Police: On October 10, just before midnight, Roanoke Police responded to a report of shots fired in the 2700 block of 10th St NW. On arrival officers located Juan Lopez-Velasquez, 28 of Roanoke, with multiple gunshot wounds. Lopez-Velasquez was transported by Roanoke Fire-EMS to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries. This Investigation is on going. Roanoke Police do not believe there is any immediate threat to the community concerning this incident. Anyone having information concerning this incident in encouraged to contact the Roanoke Police Department at (540) 853-2212. 

The Better Business Bureau is warning of a new scam going around — but in a turnaround of sorts, this one has nothing to do with phone calls. This is a bright yellow postcard saying you have an unclaimed reward of up to $100 in savings at well-known stores like Target and Walmart. There is a catch, of course: you are asked to provide a credit or debit card number for what they say is a shipping fee, and the scammers then use that card number for fraudulent purposes. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

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A flash flood watch goes into effect Thursday morning for most of our listening area, and it will remain in place into late Thursday night. The National Weather Service says heavy rains from Michael and very high rainfall rates could produce dangerous flash flooding across the area. The storm should pass quickly, however, ending the threat by Friday morning.

From the National Weather Service: HEAVY RAIN AND FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE AHEAD OF AND DURING THE PASSAGE OF MICHAEL…  Southeast flow combined with passing upper level disturbances will bring periods of moderate to heavy rain to the North Carolina mountains and adjacent foothills into this evening. After somewhat of a lull tonight, the main rain band associated with Michael will combine with an approaching cold front on Thursday. The threat for heavy rain and flash flooding will be highest Thursday into Thursday evening. The storm will pass quickly, ending the threat from the southwest Thursday evening into Thursday night. …FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT.

Heavy rainfall associated with a southeast flow of moisture ahead of Michael is expected to continue into tonight, followed by the passing of a cold front to the west along with Michael passing east. Rainfall totals of 1 to 4 inches are expected.

The heavy rain and very high rainfall rates could produce dangerous flash flooding across the area.

Roanoke Police have arrested and charged 28-year-old Ronald Bonds III, of Roanoke, with two counts of malicious wounding following a shooting last night in the 900-block of Jamison Avenue. Authorities say a man and woman with gunshot wounds were transported to the hospital. Their conditions are unknown. Police say Bonds was arrested from a residence in the 1000 block of Dale Avenue.

Four members of a militant white supremacist group from California face up to ten years in prison if convicted on federal charges connected to last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that turned deadly. The four were arrested on charges they traveled to Virginia to incite a riot and attack counterprotesters at the rally. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

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U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen makes the announcement (Photo: WFIR/Gene Marrano)

Four people face federal charges for what prosecutors say are Roanoke gang-related activities that include murder. The U.S. Attorney’s office say the indictments are part of renewed efforts to fight gang-related violence in the city. Sean Guerrant, Demonte Mack, Trayvone Kasey and Chancey Levesey are alleged members of the “Rollin 30’s” gang in Roanoke, and operated mainly in the city’s northwest Landsdowne neighborhood.  Mack and Kasey could face the death penalty in the deaths of Nikolas Lee and Markel Girty, who may have been killed as some type of gang initiation.

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PREVIOUS: Four people face federal charges for what prosecutors say are Roanoke gang-related activities that include murder. The U.S. Attorney’s office says the indictments are part of renewed efforts to fight gang-related violence in the city. Prosecutors say Sean Guerrant, Demonte Mack, Trayvone Kasey and Chancey Levesey are members of the “Rollin 30’s” gang in Roanoke, and they operated mainly in the city’s northwest Landsdowne neighborhood.

From the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia: Roanoke, VIRGINIA – Federal, state and local authorities announced this afternoon the first major federal prosecution of organized gang activity in Roanoke as part of the newly reinvigorated Project Safe Neighborhoods violent crime reduction initiative.  The indictment charges four suspected gang members of the “Rollin 30s” gang in Roanoke with crimes including racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit murder.  Two of the defendants were charged with murder in aid of racketeering and related firearms offenses.  United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen, Roanoke City Police Chief Timothy Jones, and John Lenkart, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division, made the announcement.

“This indictment is the first step in what will be a coordinated and sustained assault on gang-related violence in the City of Roanoke,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated.  “I am grateful for the FBI’s leadership, as well as the cooperation and dedication of our other federal, state, and local law-enforcement partners.  Reducing violent crime is my top priority as U.S. Attorney, and we are all committed to working together to achieve this goal.”

“A little over three months ago U.S. Attorney Cullen and I stood with our fellow law enforcement partners in Danville, Virginia announcing indictments for over a dozen violent criminals related to gang activity; we stand here today in Roanoke making a similar announcement.  I said then, “We are not finished” and today’s indictments reflect our continued effort to make communities in the Commonwealth safer,” Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division said today. “Our Central Virginia Violent Crimes Task Force will continue to work with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to address this criminal plague that lingers in the corners of your neighborhoods; and encourage concerned citizens to report criminal activity to law enforcement.”

On September 25, 2018, a federal grand jury seated in U.S. District Court in Roanoke returned an indictment, under seal, charging four individuals. Those indictments were unsealed today.

The grand jury has charged the following:

  • Sean Denzel Guerrant, a.k.a. “Denk” “Dink” and “Harlem Denk,” age 27, of Roanoke, with one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
  • Demonte Rashod Mack, a.k.a. “Murda,” age 29, of Roanoke, with one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of murder in aid of racketeering, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, one count of using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
  • Trayvone Raycron Kasey, a.k.a. “30,” age 19, of Roanoke, with one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of murder in aid of racketeering, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, one count of using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
  • Chauncey Dion Levesey, a.k.a. “Cee Guzman,” age 24, of Roanoke, with one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.

The Rollin’ 30s Crips, also known as the Rollin’ 30s or “Dirt Gang” is a national street gang founded in the greater Los Angeles, California area with smaller sets in other cities throughout the United States, including Roanoke, Virginia. The Roanoke set of the Rollin’ 30s operated primarily in northwest Roanoke, centered in and around the Lansdowne neighborhood.

According to the indictment, beginning no later than April 22, 2017, Guerrant, Mack, Kasey, and Levesy, together with others known and unknown to the grand jury, conspired to conduct a pattern of racketeering activity including multiple threats and acts involving violent crime.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that between on or about June 14, 2017, and June 15, 2017, Guerrant, Mack, Kasey, and Levesy conspired to murder “Victim D.F.” The indictment further claims that Mack, Kasey and Levesy murdered “Victim N.L.” at the direction of Guerrant.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Roanoke City Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crimes Task Force.  The investigation was a coordinated effort involving law enforcement assets from the Virginia State Police, Roanoke County Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency.  Assistant United States Attorneys Grayson A. Hoffman and Matthew M.  Miller are prosecuting the case for the United States.

A Grand Jury Indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a federal program designed to bring together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting each community’s most violent criminals.  Attorney General Sessions directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as the local civilian community, to develop effective, targeted strategies to reduce violent crime.  This case is a product of that collaborative effort.

State Police photo

UPDATE: State Police say a man who barricaded himself inside a strangers Botetourt County apartment for about 11 hours has been arrested. Officials say 39-year-old Chad Ira Montgomery, of Covington, was taken into custody after police used tear gas to get him outside of a duplex in the 100-block of Westview Road in Troutville. State Police say it started after Montgomery fled an attempted traffic stop on I-81 south shortly after 10 am yesterday. Officials say he crossed the median and began heading north before crashing and taking off on foot from the Interstate. No word on the exact charges Montgomery faces, but officials did say they have several felony warrants in hand.

UPDATE: State Police say the suspect has fired at them “multiple times” from the apartment, but officers have not returned fire. Officials say they have attempted various non-lethal means to secure his surrender.

FROM STATE POLICE: State police and the sheriff’s office have made repeated attempts to negotiate with the suspect to surrender. During the course of the afternoon, the suspect has fired multiple times at state police inside the residence. State police did return fire and have attempted various non-lethal methods to secure his surrender.

PREVIOUS: State Police say a man who fled an attempted traffic stop on I-81 remains barricaded inside an apartment north of Roanoke in Troutville. Officials say he crossed the median before taking off on foot from the Interstate. At last word, negotiators were attempting to talk him out of the residence. State Police say no one was home at the time, and there is no danger to the public.

State Police news release: State Police attempted to stop a vehicle traveling south on Interstate 81 at the 155 mile marker. When the trooper activated his lights the vehicle fled. The traffic pursuit traveled south on Interstate 81 when the driver crossed the median at the 152 mile marker to the north side of the Interstate and continued to flee. The vehicle crashed shortly after entering the northbound side of the Interstate, at which time he fled east on foot toward Troutville. Botetourt County and State Police units located the subject on Sunset Drive in Troutville, where he has barricaded himself in an apartment. At this time State Police negotiators are attempting to talk him to of the residence. There is no danger to the public at this time, as the subject is contained and the residence was unoccupied when the suspect gained access.