Houston police link 24 suspects to robbery ring said to be responsible for murders of NOPD detective, Zulu member
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Houston police have linked 24 people to a robbery ring said to be responsible for five killings, including the August murders of New Orleans police detective Everett Briscoe and his friend and fellow Zulu member D.J. Reculfy.
In announcing the arrests at a news conference on Monday (Oct. 4), Houston police chief Troy Finner said the group worked in daytime-nighttime shifts targeting people to rob near high-end stores and affluent areas of the city. Briscoe and Reculfy were fatally wounded Aug. 21 during one such botched robbery attempt, as they dined at an outdoor patio of the Grotto Ristorante near the Houston Galleria.
“We do think these dangerous -- very dangerous -- crews are responsible for a League City homicide and also our Grotto’s incident, where a (New Orleans) detective and another gentleman was murdered,” Finner said.
Police said most of the suspects linked to the ring were members of violent Houston street gangs who used stolen guns when robbing people near ritzy stores, malls and banks. Some followed affluent-appearing victims to their houses to stage home invasion robberies, police said.
Investigators said they recovered 24 guns from the suspects that had been stolen in a single robbery of a Houston pawn shop. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg joined police in expressing frustration with the leniency of local judges, as authorities said seven of the 24 suspects had been in custody from earlier arrests but were released on bond before committing more violent crimes.
“They are given repeated bail by judges and that lack of accountability undermines the system,” Ogg said.
Some of the arrested suspects will face both federal and state charges, officials said.
No additional suspects were accused in the murders of Briscoe and Reculfy in Monday’s announcement. Houston police previously arrested Frederick Jackson, 19; Anthony Jenkins, 21; and Khalil Nelson, 19, on suspicion of capital murder of the New Orleans men.
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