A Franklin County grand jury has indicted seven people in connection with a string of car burglaries in which handguns allegedly were stolen and sold to convicted felons.
Authorities identified two men — Justin W. Hendershot, 23, of Frankfort, and Caleb T. Day, 20, of Frankfort — as responsible for the initial burglaries and eventual selling handguns stolen in the break-ins. Five others have been indicted on one count each of fraudulent firearm transaction, a Class D felony, along with various other charges. They all face five to 10 years’ incarceration in the case.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Carrie Holton said it was unclear how many vehicles had been broken into or how many guns had allegedly been stolen by the two men. However, Day and Hendershot were tied to several stolen handguns and at least one cluster of car burglaries around June 10 at Elkhorn Campground, she said.
“They are the two that were stealing guns out of vehicles from a camp ground around here,” Holton said. “They then were selling those guns to convicted felons.”
Other car burglaries involving stolen firearms that were tied to the case transpired all the way through early July, Holton said. And on one occasion, a pistol had been sold to Ashli M. Landrum, 40, of Frankfort, who then allegedly traded the firearm for methamphetamine.
James Dean Brown, 59, of Frankfort, Steven D. Williams, 61, of Frankfort, Jamar E. Rancher, 27, of Versailles, and Donnie R. Campbell, 51, of Frankfort, were also indicted in the case.
Holton said that as investigators worked leads on the stolen firearms several of the cases pointed back to Day and Hendershot. Both of the men have histories of similar types of behavior, she said.
“For example, Hendershot has a pending case out of Jefferson County for attempting to break into cars in a Best Western parking lot,” Holton said. “He was in possession of a handgun at the time.”
Campbell, Hendershot and Rancher are charged with convicted felon in possession of a handgun, a Class C felony; fraudulent firearm transaction, a Class D felony; and first-degree persistent felony offender.
Brown and Day are both charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun, a Class C felony; fraudulent firearm transaction and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, both Class D felonies; and second-degree persistent felony offender.
Williams is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun, a Class C felony, and fraudulent firearm transaction, a Class D felony. And Landrum is charged with fraudulent firearm transaction, a Class D felony.
Holton said that the punishments for the crimes range between 5 years and 10 years in prison. However, since many are also charged as persistent felony offenders, the penalties could be more severe.