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Arrests made in area crime ring
Four men from Bremerton and one man from Shelton are in custody, facing charges that they were involved in a large scale criminal organization.
The initial investigation began in October 2012 with a single residential burglary investigation. As Bremerton detectives began the burglary investigation, they discovered a much more complex scheme. The investigation grew into a multi-agency joint investigation including the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Shelton Police Department, ATF and the U.S. Secret Service.
According to Bremerton Police Department Lieutenant Peter Fisher, three of the suspects burglarized a residence in downtown Bremerton in October. The victims were U.S. Navy personnel who were on deployment. Taken in the burglary were a pistol, an assault rifle, a large amount of electronics and personal information portfolios. Using the personal information portfolio, one of the suspects averted bank detection of fraudulent activity by calling the bank and posing as an upset customer needing to provide for his family. Two of the suspects used a stolen credit card throughout Kitsap County.
“The suspects then brought in the “financial guy” of the criminal organization who proceeded to use the victims’ information to illegally purchase merchandise at Cabelas in Lacey spending over $6,000,” Fisher said. “He repeated this process in Shelton, Longview, and Olympia where the suspects spent several more thousand dollars.”
In late October the suspects burglarized a residence in Poulsbo, taking several rifles, shotguns and pistols. Also taken was the victim’s Ford truck. One of the suspects was arrested by Bremerton Police two days later with a stolen gun from the Poulsbo burglary.
“During this investigation the defendants were arrested multiple times for similar crimes,” Fisher said. “After one arrest of the “financial guy” a stolen vehicle was used as collateral for his bond. This investigation revealed the suspects were involved in a large scale burglary ring where the primary items to steal were weapons. The suspects generally had ‘inside’ information and would use that information to target their victims. These individuals would trade weapons to large scale drug dealers for methamphetamine. The investigation also revealed the criminal organization from top to bottom and how it operates. Some of the other stolen firearms from the Poulsbo burglary were recovered during a search warrant on a drug house in King County.”
According to police, the men that were arrested include: Joseph Peck, 29, of Bremerton is in federal custody and has been charged federally;Christopher Hammond, 32, of Shelton is currently in state custody; James Morrison, 42, of Bremerton is currently in state custody; Bryan Luft, 34, of Bremerton is currently in state custody; and Dale Day, 46, of Bremerton is currently in state custody for leading organized crime.
There have been additional arrests during this investigation for related and unrelated crimes, Fisher said. The suspects involved in the burglaries rarely picked their victims at random. The information given to the suspect’s about potential burglaries normally came from someone having inside information.