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Four Gang Members Arrested for Firing at Trooper


State Police have confirmed the identities of the four men involved in the incident: Clyde Frank of Harper, Delmer Cozart of Beckley, James Morris of Eccles and Thomas Speck of Michigan have all been detained. Police confirm that Speck was the shooter. Investigators say a state trooper tried to pull the men over after they were making threatening gestures towards him. Speck then fired at the trooper and all of the men took off. The four men were arrested a short time later at a home on Circleview Drive off of Harper Road. The full text of a press release issued Thursday by Sergeant Rick Baylous follows: "On Wednesday, March 28, 2012, at approximately 1505 hours, three Troopers assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations were conducting surveillance on four members of the Avengers Motorcycle Gang. The BCI members were traveling west on WV Route 3 near Harper, Raleigh county, when the members of the motorcycle gang began to follow them.  The suspects began making threatening hand gestures, and brandished a handgun.  The plain clothed Troopers pulled off of WV 3, exited their vehicle and identified themselves as members of the WVSP when the motorcycles drove by. One of the suspects began shooting back toward the Troopers. The suspect then collided into the other motorcycles and crashed. The suspect got up and jumped onto the back of one of the other motorcycles and all three motorcycles drove off, traveling west on WV 3. The BCI units began searching the wrecked motorcycle for evidence of the men's identities.  While doing so, they observed two men, in a truck traveling East on WV 3 back towards them. They recognized the men to be two of the Avenger members that had fled from them. The men were identified as Delmer Lee Cozart (51 years of age, from Beckley, West Virginia) and Clyde Frank (55 years of age, from Harper, West Virginia).  Both were taken into custody by the BCI units.  BCI units, uniformed members, FBI, and the Raleigh County Sheriff's Dept. began searching the Harper area for the remaining two men. A short time later, James Morris, Jr. (32 years of age, from Eccles, West Virginia) and the shooter, Thomas Speck (35 years of age, from Lapeer, Michigan), were captured in a neighboring residence.  Delmer Cozart was charged with being an accessory after the fact to wanton endangerment.  Clyde Frank was charged with being an accessory after the fact to wanton endangerment.  Thomas Speck was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, wanton endangerment x3, fleeing on a vehicle, and being a fugitive from justice.  James Morris, Jr. was charged with being an accessory to wanton endangerment, carrying a concealed weapon, and fleeing on a vehicle.  All suspects were lodged in the Southern Regional Jail to await arraignment in Raleigh County Magistrate Court.  Further charges may be forthcoming."

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