Lake Charles, LA –
In the early morning hours of Saturday, July 13 the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a bank off Sampson Street in Westlake in reference to an alarm call; once on scene deputies learned an ATM had been stolen from the bank parking lot. Several weeks later in the early morning hours of Saturday, August 3 Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, along with Westlake Police Department officers, were dispatched to a different bank on Sampson Street in Westlake in reference to a theft where it was learned an ATM in the bank parking lot to be missing.
During further investigation into both incidents detectives learned the two ATM thefts were related and the suspects stole over $150,000 total from both ATMs. Detectives were able to identify following members and affiliates of the Brothers East (B*EAST) Outlaw Motorcycle Gang who were responsible for both thefts.
· Melvin Cupp, 46, Spring, Texas
· Brandon Hightower, 33, Humble, Texas
· Hosea Owens IV, 28, Alvin, Texas
· Joshua Leroy Fontenot, 44, Denham Springs, LA
· Christopher Scott, 44, Lake Jackson, Texas
· Faith Breaux, 27, Beaumont, Texas
Between September 23 and 26 they were all apprehended and arrested and charged with theft of a motor vehicle over $25,000; theft of a motor vehicle $5,000 to $25,000; 2 counts of simple criminal damage to property $1,000 to $25,000; theft less than $5,000 over $1,000; 2 counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; obstruction of justice; simple arson; 3 counts of criminal trespassing; 4 counts of unauthorized entry of a place of business; 4 counts of theft over $25,000; 4 counts of simple criminal damage to property; unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure; and racketeering.
After further investigation detectives learned Michael L. Cupp, 44, Dayton, Texas, the leader of the B*EAST Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, was also involved in the ATM thefts. On November 12 CPSO VCIU detectives along with FBI Beaumont and Dayton Police Department located and arrested Cupp. He was booked into Liberty County Jail in Texas and charged with racketeering. Judge Sharon Wilson set his bond at $15,000.
The investigation is continuing and more charges are likely.
CPSO Lieutenants Ed Borda, James Leubner, and Detectives Greg Nall, Hollan Dyer, Kardel Guidry, Austin Peloquin, Warner Levy, Finn Carlton, Joshua Couch, and Bradley Grant were the investigators on these cases.