5 teens charged with gang activity after thefts at Fayette Co. High

It began in recent weeks with four Fayette County students arrested on theft charges after incidents at Fayette County High School in Fayetteville.

The situation now has changed, with a total of five arrested on charges related to their participation in what Fayetteville Police said is called the “Finesse” gang.

Two of the students attend Fayette County High School on Tiger Trail while two others attend the school system’s Open Campus alternative school at the nearby Lafayette Education Center.

The initial charges stemmed from the theft by the four students of a purse that had been left unattended at FCHS and the theft of a cell phone in a second incident at FCHS, said Fayetteville Detective Mike Whitlow. A school administrator was able to make an initial identification through a video of one of the incidents, Whitlow said.

Investigations into the thefts revealed that the four males were members of what they referred to as the Finesse gang, Whitlow said.

According to police reports the following arrests and charges made to date include:

• FCHS student Trenton Headley, 17, of Jefferson Avenue, Fayetteville, on charges of theft by taking and gang activity;

• a 16-year-old juvenile and FCHS student, of Fayetteville, on charges of theft by taking and gang activity;

• Open Campus student Tyrek Armstrong, 17, of Habersham Drive, Fayetteville, on charges of theft by taking and gang activity;

• Open Campus student Michael Powell, 17, of Moss Creek Walk, Fayetteville, on charges of robbery, theft by taking and gang activity; and

• Enreko Tyler-Ramos, 17, of Shoreline Drive, Fayetteville, for gang activity.

Tyler-Ramos was in the Fayette County Jail when the gang activity charge was made, according to Fayetteville Det. Scott Israel, who said the 17-year-old had been arrested earlier in the week on drug charges that resulted from a traffic stop. His affiliation with the Finesse gang was determined subsequent to the arrest, Israel said.

Finesse members use American flag bandanas, Whitlow said. It is not yet known how well-organized the gang might be, adding the expectation that there may be several others in the gang besides those already arrested. Additional members are believed to be students in other Fayette area high schools, Whitlow added.

The search warrants were issued for the homes of Headley, Armstrong, Powell and the 16-year-old, Whitlow said, noting that the searches resulted in the seizure of some items and revealed some evidence of gang membership that corroborated an affiliation with the Finesse gang. Two of the search warrants were for residences in Fayetteville while the other two were in unincorporated Fayette County.

“We received this information and acted on it very quickly,” said Whitlow. “We take gangs very seriously and as a threat in schools and in the community.”

Whitlow said two of the initial search warrants were executed simultaneously by Fayetteville Police and by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. The two subsequent search warrants were executed immediately thereafter.

Whitlow said investigations are underway into some of the criminal incidents that have occurred in other Fayetteville locations.

Anyone with information pertaining to gang activity is asked to contact Det. Scott Israel at 770-461-4441.

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