VERNON PARISH, La. (KPLC) – In 2018, the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office began investigating an influx of motorcycle gang members, which has yielded several weapons and narcotics arrests.
The Bandidos motorcycle gang and the Mongol Nation motorcycle gangs are involved in what authorities call a turf war.
“They are enemies of each other, and so they don’t want to live peacefully within our community,” said Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft.
The tension between the two has prompted an investigation after authorities said they are bringing an increased threat to the public. On September 29, three gang members were arrested during a traffic stop. Michael Falcone, Brian Chappell and Layle Schmidt were arrested after drugs and weapons were found in their vehicles.
“Well, they had guns and drugs and numerous weapons and narcotics in the two vehicles we made at a traffic stop on,” Craft said.
Craft explained that law enforcement hasn’t had previous trouble with the Bandidos. But, as recent as last week, three more gang members, James Birdsong, Christopher Moore and James Snyder Jr., were arrested after a disruption at a New Llano business.
“We’ve had them here, and they haven’t caused trouble for law enforcement,” said Craft.
It’s often argued that these gangs are friendly in the community, as one local gang hosts Toys For Tots. According to authorities, these gangs can often be associated with drugs and weapons.
“But, when they attract our attention, when we see there could be issues right here in between them, that’s where we will not allow that to happen,” Craft said.
Anyone with information related to gang activity is encouraged to call the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office at 337-238-1311.