Ripley native Brandon Lang has been given a heavy punishment for a string of robberies and crimes committed in Brown County.
Lang was sentenced to a total of 10 years and eight months in the Ohio Department of Corrections by Brown County Court of Common Pleas judge Scott T. Gusweiler for convictions on eight different felony counts, and has been ordered to pay more than $5,900 in restitution to his victims. Lang was also given a sentence of two years and six months to be served concurrently with his other guilty charges.
The 34-year-old Lang is the third person to be sentenced to prison from an alleged four-person Ripley-based crime ring that committed numerous burglaries in Brown County, according to court documents and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. Lang follows Kenneth “BJ” Lunsford, who was sentenced in October to four years and eight months in prison, and Christina Stacy, who was sentenced in October to six years in prison.
The alleged fourth member of the crime ring, Samuel Stacy Jr., is currently incarcerated in the Butler County Jail and had his final pre-trial hearing on Monday, November 23. As of press time, he has not been sentenced to prison as well.
According to a press release from the BCSO, Lang, Lunsford, Christina Stacy, and Samuel Stacy worked together to commit a number of robberies in Ripley and Union Township between March 15 and June 30, 2015.
Documents filed in the Brown County Municipal Court allege that Lang had committed a burglary on Chicken Hollow Rd. in June, and had stolen a check book. A probable cause affidavit alleges that video evidence identifies Lang, his identification card, and his car at an undisclosed location presenting a $200 check to himself.
By July 20, Lang, Lunsford, and the Stacy siblings had been indicted by the Brown County Prosecutors Office on a combined 62 felony charges. Lang himself was indicted on 32 felony charges, including engaging in a corrupt pattern of activity, a first-degree felony, four charges of burglary, all second-degree felonies, ten charges of forgery, all fifth-degree felonies, and eight charges of theft, all fifth-degree felonies.
According to court documents and the BCSO, the quartet committed many burglaries in order to keep up with their escalating drug habit. Court documents allege that in one incident, Lang and the others broke into the Ripley Laundromat to steal the coin machine.
Lang was arraigned on July 21 and was held on $350,000 bond. He went through six pre-trials before a plea hearing on November 20, where he switched his original plea of not guilty to guilty, and was sentenced.
In total, Lang will have to pay restitution in total of $5,903 to ten individuals. $250 to Paul Gifford and Sandra Kistler, $1,000 to James Haitz, $400 to Daniel Polley, $500 to David Klump, $978 to Calvin Watts, $800 to Robert Kaiser, $475 to Deanna Rauen, $650 to Scott Null, and $850 to Steven Sims.
When Lang is released from prison, he has been sentenced to three years of post-release control. If he violates the terms of his probation, he could be sentenced to up to five years and four more months in prison.