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Family Business: 5 Charged In 4-Year Racketeering, Robbery Scheme

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FLINT (WWJ) - Five men suspected in a string of nearly 20 bank robberies and heists over a four-year period in Genesee County are now facing a slew of racketeering and robbery charges.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said the suspects, who are all related to one another, ran their criminal enterprise as the “family business.”

Those charged in the case include:

  • 37-year-old Thomas Gatica III — 37 felony counts
  • 46-year-old Albert Luther Read, Sr. — 7 felony counts
  • 23-year-old Albert Luther Read, Jr. — 17 felony counts
  • 43-year-old Ardis Read — 40 felony counts
  • 36-year-old Archie Lee Williams — 22 felony counts.

According to police investigative reports, between July 30, 2010 and March 13, 2013, the group robbed at least 17 different banks and businesses in Flint, Flint Township and Mt. Morris Township. In all, prosecutors believe the men stole more than $100,000.

Authorities started to piece together the case soon after a March bank robbery in Flint Township when two of the men were captured. Leyton said investigators from different jurisdictions met and were able to crack the case using DNA evidence, video surveillance and witness statements.

Investigators say at least two of the five individuals were involved in each of the robberies, and various combinations of the five worked together during any one incident.

Some of the suspects were either in jail or prison during parts of the two-year period when the robberies at hand were being committed, Leyton said. Albert Read, Sr., for example, was discharged from prison on Feb. 14, 2013 related to a 2003 conviction for receiving and concealing stolen property. Less than two weeks after being discharged, Leyton said Reed, Sr. was involved in the armed robbery of a payday advance store in Flint.

“We will do all we can to see that they are held accountable for the terror they inflicted and the crimes they committed and it is my hope that we can put them away for a very long time so that they can no longer wreak havoc in our community,” Leyton said in a statement.

Four of the five suspects are presently in custody, while the fifth, Archie Lee Williams, remains at large. Anyone that may have information on Williams’ location is urged to contact the Flint Township Police Department at 810-600-3250 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL.

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