KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Two reported gang members and another teen from Richland County were arrested and accused of stealing two vehicles, among other charges during a traffic stop in Kershaw County.
Will Fortune, 18, Justin Flynn, 17, and Aaron Bradley, 17, all of Richland County, were arrested and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle.
Flynn and Bradly were also charged with possession of a stolen firearm and debit card theft.
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said on Jan. 26, a KCSO sheriff's deputy was traveling on US1 in Camden when he spotted a black Mercedes Benz and a gold Honda Accord stopped in the middle of the road with occupants hanging out of the window talking with each other.
The vehicles fled when the sheriff's deputy attempted to stop them. The deputy was able to stop the Mercedes occupied by Flynn and Bradley. The Honda was being driven by Fortune. Both of the vehicles were verified as being stolen.
A Camden Police officer responded as backup and saw Fortune walking away from the Honda and detained him. All three men were arrested and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. A .9mm handgun, also stolen, was discovered in the glove compartment of the Mercedes.
A debit card that was determined to be stolen from a person in Camden was also found in the vehicle.
"Gang activity is crossing over into Kershaw County from Richland County at an ever-increasing rate," Matthews said. "With our very limited manpower, we are struggling to stay on top of this before it gets worse. Gang members at one of our high schools is a sure sign of recruitment efforts and that is troubling. We intend to make Kershaw County a very inhospitable place for gang members from anywhere."
Flynn and Fortune are validated gang members from Richland County.
"Because of the recent increase in gang activity coming out of Richland County, KCSO investigators have contacted the Midlands Gang Task Force and requested their assistance," Matthews said.
Bradley and Fortune gave statements to KCSO investigators and officers from the Midlands Gang Task Force that operates out of Richland County.
KCSO investigators learned that on Jan. 26, the Camden Police Department responded to a complaint from several Camden High School students on Jan. 25. Students complained that three young males drove through the school's parking lot, flashing gang signs and that one of the suspects, believed to be Fortune, showed a handgun.
During these interrogations, Bradley and Fortune admitted to being at the Camden High School on Jan. 25 during the day after school.
Flynn, Bradley, and Fortune are all scheduled to have bond hearings on the afternoon of Jan. 27. Flynn has been arrested for possession of stolen property.
Bradley and Fortune have no prior adult arrest records.