Beaumont Police bust a family crime ring

Seven people have been arrested in what Beaumont Police call one of the most organized crime rings in years.

The crime ring, known as "Squad Up", is made up of family members and police say the group has committed aggravated robberies and assaults in Beaumont for years.

Beaumont Police detective Tina Lewallen says she's been investigating this case for four years now and says this group has a mentality of the mafia.

Beaumont Police ended up confiscating some guns that were stolen by the group and used in their robberies and assaults.

Detective Lewallen said they have characteristics of a mafia.

"It's family oriented, there's a lot of family ties, there's no drugs involved, it's strictly guns, guns and robberies," she said

She got tip on this group from a teacher who overheard some kids talking about some of the "Squad Up" activities.

This extensive investigation has led to the arrests of some of the key players in the group including 25 year old Toye Frazier, 25 year old Michael August, 24 year old Justin Calloway, 23 year old Brandon Chambers, 21 year old Darnell Lewis, and 20 year old Nathan Nichols.

Police say they've discovered the group owns a few properties in Beaumont.

We went to one of the properties and spoke to a neighbor, who didn't want to go on camera or be identified for safety reason, but said, "We know of them, but we don't talk to them. There's usually a lot of questionable activity at their house, especially late at night."@

Detective Lewallen needs help from victims and witnesses to prosecute, but said many of them are too scared to talk.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also on this case.

Most of the arrested members have been indicted on aggravated robbery charges and could face up to 99 years in prison if convicted.

Mug shot photos courtesy of the Beaumont Enterprise.


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