The fourth and final member of a local crime ring has been sent to prison.
Brown County Court of Common Pleas Judge Scott T. Gusweiler sentenced Samuel Stacey Jr. on Monday, November 23 to eight years in the Ohio Department of Corrections and $1,250 in restitution for two second-degree felony convictions. Stacey was convicted on two counts of burglary, both second-degree felonies, and was ordered to pay restitution of $250 to Paul Gifford and Sandra Kistler and $1,000 to James Haitz.
According to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office and Ripley Police Department, Stacey was one of four suspects in a crime ring that had committed a number of burglaries and thefts in both Ripley and Union Township. The other suspects were Stacey’s sister Christina, Brandon Lang, and Kenneth “BJ” Lunsford.
The quartet were indicted on July 20 on a combined 62 felony charges, but while Christina Stacey, Lang, and Lunsford had each already been apprehended by law enforcement, Samuel Stacey Jr. was still at large.
Stacey Jr. was finally apprehended on September 12 in Georgetown, after a witness had called 9-1-1 to report her PlayStation 4 had been stolen, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Brown County Municipal Court. Stacey Jr. was located in an apartment complex trying to escape out of a window, and was eventually arrested from the bathroom. Stacey Jr. denied his identity until his face came up in the squad car’s police database. Stacey Jr. then joked that it was his “twin” on the screen.
Stacey Jr., 34, of Ripley, was arraigned on September 14, and after two pre-trials, Stacey Jr. withdrew his not guilty plea to and accepted a plea bargain on November 24.
Gusweiler sentenced Stacey Jr. to four years in prison for both felony burglary charges, to be served consecutively, and the other ten counts were dismissed.
Stacey Jr. was also sentenced to three years of mandatory post-release control.
Stacey Jr. has been sentenced to prison on seven separate occasions since 2000, for a number of offenses including possession of drugs, theft, and breaking and entering. Stacey Jr. was most recently sentenced to 20 months in prison and substance abuse treatment for two felony counts of felony trafficking in February 2013.
The four-person crime ring won’t be back in Ripley any time soon. Christina Stacey was sentenced to six years in prison, Lang was sentenced to ten years in prison, and Lunsford was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.