PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – Portland Police and the Sumner County Sheriff’s department busted what they call a teenage crime ring.
According to investigators, the young men were burglarizing unlocked cars and stealing electronics and guns.
In an unusual move, the teens taped themselves during their alleged crime spree.
Police told News 2, this all started about two weeks ago. That’s when a stolen credit card at a convenience store led to the identification of a local teenager. From there the case blew wide open.
Portland Police Chief Anthony Heavner says “there’s a lot of juveniles involved in this case.”
According to Portland police, over the last few weeks, multiple teenagers, ranging in age from 15 to 19, reportedly drove around Sumner County breaking into unlocked cars.
While they committed their alleged crimes, police say the young men recorded themselves, singing, smoking dope, and handling loaded handguns that they routinely pointed at each other.
One clip showed one of the teens looking down the barrel of a loaded semi-automatic handgun. A hollow point bullet can be seen in the chamber, and the teen knows it.
The teen is heard saying, “hollow point somebody. Somebody.”
Chief Heavner says the behavior is reckless and dangerous.
“Exactly, and you can see the guns are with them and it makes you worry about what if one of the cars owners confronted them in the middle of the night.”
Police showed News 2 a picture taken in a metro parking garage. Both teens have loaded weapons on them and one of the minors is wearing a purse stolen from a car, which was later recovered by police.
It all crashed down on the teens June 26. That’s when Portland police and Sumner deputies raided a home on Nikita Drive.
Police arrested three teenagers, including 19-year-old Gaweer Kuol and 18-year-old Mason Hester.
Officers seized a stolen iPad, two stolen handguns (both loaded),
seven ounces of pot and close to $1300 in drug money.
Investigators said the teens were not only fencing stolen items, but they were actively selling pot out of the home and were caught in the act when officers made the entry.
Chief Heavner says it is a warning to anyone who would enter Portland to commit crimes.
“Stay out of Portland. We’ll catch you.”
News 2 has learned that Sumner County and Metro PD have pending charges against these teens as this case continues to grow.
The three teens arrested so far are charged with numerous felonies including burglary, theft, and numerous drug offenses.
In addition to the pot, they also were found to have Xanax pills, scales, and other items believed to be stolen.