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Suspected Local Racketeering Ring Busted
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
July 21-- Members of an alleged local racketeering ring were arrested Monday.

In January, Vidalia police started an undercover drug and auto theft investigation which Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits now believes has led to uncovering of the area's first racketeering ring, headquartered at McKinney's Car Wash on U.S. Highway 280 in Vidalia across from BiLo.
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Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits (left) and District Attorney Hayward Altman display recovered guns and money at Tuesday's news conference.
 
"An investigation started in January of this year. It started out as a small few thefts around town--entering autos. Little did we know it wound wind up being the first ever RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations] in Toombs County and this Judicial Circuit. There were 20 people involved, and 17 of those people are in custody at this time. Quit a few objects were seized--vehicles, money, guns. We have property that was stolen from people, and we will be getting in touch with some victims to see if they can identify their property," says Waits.
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The Grand Jury indicted 20 suspects in the investigation Monday morning and 17 arrests were made that afternoon. Arrests were made simultaneously at twelve different locations in the city of Vidalia, Toombs County, and Emanuel County. Stolen items confiscated after the arrests include cars, car parts, recreational vehicles, televisions, guns, and money.

District Attorney Hayward Altman says the multi-count indictment for racketeering and various criminal offenses was returned by a Toombs County Grand Jury.
 
"This actual investigation was in January 2009 and resulted yesterday (Monday) in the 42-count indictment against 20 individuals. We had numerous law enforcement agencies that were involved in the events that took place yesterday. It was an unprecedented level of cooperation between law enforcement agencies. Chief Frank Waits of the Vidalia Police Department, Sheriff Junior Kight of the Toombs County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Tyson Stevens of the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Clarence Sanders of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and Chief Rick Newsome of the Lyons Police Department. As well as GBI and the East Central Georgia Drug Task Force, the Georgia State Patrol, and federal Marshals. All of these and other agencies cooperated together at an unprecedented level to be able to actually effectuate a safe takedown of these individuals," says Altman.

Those arrested include seven members of a Vidalia family: Karen McKinney, Truman McKinney, Len McKinney, Stephanie McKinney, Ray McKinney, Christopher McKinney, and Donald McKinney. Others arrested were Mikel Maltby, Calvin Moore, Rodney Nichols, Demetrius Sharpe, James Clements Jr., and Dustin Kirkland, all of Vidalia, and Joshua Jay of Lyons. Three suspects were already in state custody: Daniel Ryals, Steven Dann, and Dewayne Johnson. All were booked at the Toombs County Detention Center and are currently waiting for bond hearings.
 
Three suspects remain at large: Walford Omonga McKinney, Culey Ladonte Mincey, and Nicholas Maurice Singleton. A reward is being offered by Crimestoppers for anyone who knows of Singleton's whereabouts. Contact the Vidalia Police Department with any information.
 
 
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