I-TEAM: Jailhouse phone calls take you inside local crime ring

CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I-TEAM has obtained jailhouse phone recordings taking you inside the minds of members of a local violent crime ring and it shows the convicts thought what they did was funny.

Jail recordings show the crime ring looking back on what they consider the good times - the times when they attacked innocent people, robbed them, carried out burglaries and stole cars.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutors say a member of the ring was recorded talking on the phone to his accomplices on the street.

At one point he said, “No. Ain’t nobody funnier than me and Shoddy, bro…when we was over there by the Lake.”

He added, “And we grabbed them one (bleep) and they was just giving us everything and be like huh bro, huh you can have this.”

Yet, before that, the phone calls reveal laughing at the victims. One man can be heard saying “Why he come in an alley like that though?”

Investigators blame the group for dozens of crimes in Lakewood and Cleveland. Several people have now been convicted.  Cuyahoga County Prosecutors tied all of those cases together through their crime strategies unit. They brought Lakewood and Cleveland Police together to match up clues from crime after crime.

Asst. County Prosecutor Ryan Bokoch spoke of the men arrested, and he said, “They felt it was all just a joke.”

And, he spoke of how investigators cracked the cases, adding, “One part DNA, another part from phones, video evidence, and then the work of the detectives.”

Terrorizing innocent people made the criminals feel good. But this might make you feel good. No more fun on the streets for those convicted for decades. Members of that crime ring are now beginning prison sentences ranging from 10 to 33 years.

The supervisor of that crime strategies unit, Asst. County Prosecutor Eleina Thomas, said, “We are working everyday to find the most violent people roaming our streets committing most of the violent crime.”

She added, Cuyahoga County Prosecutors just got a big federal grant to expand the special unit.  So, maybe soon, investigators can stop more rampages like the one uncovered this time.

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