Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office announces the September 29th, 2021 arrests of Michael Falcone, age 40, Brian Chappell, age 57, and Layle Schmidt, age 46, all of Leesville.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force began an investigation in 2018 into the influx of “one percenter” (1%) motor cycle gangs not only in Vernon Parish, but regionally.

These motorcycle gangs make a conscious effort to present these gangs as community friendly but in fact they almost always engage in nefarious criminal activities to include, but not limited to, the distribution and sale of illegal narcotics.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force, assisted by other area local, state, and federal Task Force Agents, coordinated intelligence and enforcement efforts to combat such criminal activity associated with the “one percenter” MC gangs at a regional level.

The VPNTF and supporting agencies, included the Mongol Nation MC gang in their investigation to include intelligence gathering and sharing when the gang arrived in Louisiana in 2021. Mongol Nation is only one of the active one percenter motorcycle gangs currently active within Vernon Parish.

The investigation into this gang has yielded several weapons and narcotic related arrests.

The most recent arrest includes three Mongol gang members that are currently residing in Vernon Parish.

Michael Falcone, Brian Chappell, and Layle Schmidt were arrested during a traffic stop on September 29, 2021.

The stop was conducted by the Leesville Police Department due to blatant traffic violations.

Chappell was operating a large tow truck on a public roadway without proper registration of license and failed to stop for a red light, thus endangering other motorist.

Schmidt was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the traffic violation.

The traffic stop furthered into a road side investigation, and consent to search the vehicle was given to LPD by the vehicle’s occupants.

VPNTF Agents assisted LPD with the subsequent search of the motor vehicle which yielded a large quantity of methamphetamine and in excess of 20 firearms found concealed within the vehicle.

Agents with the Task Force had previously located and identified a “tail vehicle”, which is commonly utilized by these gangs for security purposes, parked near the location of the traffic stop.

Agents assisted by LPD and VPSO Deputies, initiated contact with the driver of the “tail vehicle”, who was identified as Michael Falcone, a known Mongol Nation MC gang member.

Upon detaining Falcone, and the subsequent search of the vehicle operated by him, he was found to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine and firearms as well.

An extensive and covert investigation into the gang had previously established a connection between Falcone, Chappell, the large tow truck Chappell was driving, and the common address they share with local resident and Mongol MC gang President, Dale Ortiz.

During the course of the traffic stop Falcone was asked about his role in providing on the move security for the tow truck.

Falcone immediately advised officers, “I don’t know those people”, in an effort to deny his acquaintance, as well as affiliation with the gang members.

Michael Falcone was arrested and charged with one count of Possession of a Schedule II Narcotic (Methamphetamine), one count of Illegal Possession of Methamphetamine in excess of 28 grams, and one count of Illegal Possession of a Firearm while in Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.

Brian Chappell was arrested and charged with one count of Possession of a Schedule II Narcotic (Methamphetamine), one count of Illegal Possession of Methamphetamine in excess of 28 grams, and one count of Illegal Possession of a Firearm while in Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.

Layle Schmidt was arrested and charged with one count of Possession of a Schedule II Narcotic (Methamphetamine), one count of Illegal Possession of Methamphetamine in excess of 28 grams, and one count of Illegal Possession of a Firearm while in Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.

Bond has not been set and the trio remain in the VPSO jail.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office will continue to monitor all “one percenter” (1%) motor cycle gangs within Vernon Parish.

The Community as a whole, is encouraged to contact the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office at 337-238-1311, with any information relating to gang activities.

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