By Nathan Pilling
XENIA — A member of the “Twack Pack” crime ring was sentenced to 16 years in prison Thursday for his roles in relation to several thefts in Greene County about a year ago. Kevin Palmer, 26, is the first of a pair from the group to be sentenced for charges in Greene County Common Pleas Court.
According to Sugarcreek Township Police Detective Lesley Stayer, the group operated in the greater Dayton area by stealing checks, credit cards, birth certificates, social security cards and other identity information to sell to purchase meth from a producer nicknamed “Methgyver.”
Stayer said Palmer was involved in burglaries in Greene County, as well as with pawning some of the stolen items for the group and stole a vehicle from a Sugarcreek Township family. Stayer said that stolen vehicle was later used in a “crime spree” in Montgomery County last summer that included Palmer hitting a pregnant woman, whose baby died following the hit-and-run incident.
Palmer pleaded guilty Wednesday to seven felony charges for crimes in Greene County, including an engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity charge, as well as theft, burglary and receiving stolen property charges. Palmer was originally indicted on 12 felony charges, five of which were dismissed as part of plea negotiations.
One of the Sugarcreek Township victims spoke in court Thursday about the lingering effects of the thefts.
“Our family now feels insecure in our own home, something I hope we can someday overcome,” she said. “I nearly had a mental breakdown from exhaustion after losing the weeks of sleep wondering if you or your drug group would come back to get yet more from us. We’ve had security cameras installed, we sleep with a baseball bat nearby and we have a gun in our house, and nearly a year later, I’m still jolted awake at night when I hear a noise.”
According to Stayer, the thefts “devastated” the victims financially. Judge Michael Buckwalter also ordered Palmer to pay about $7,000 in restitution.
Prior to sentencing Thursday, Palmer apologized for his actions.
“I want to apologize sincerely to the people I stole from,” he said. “I didn’t mean to disrupt their lives. I take full ownership, but please understand I was on drugs, a terrible drug binge during this. I wish I could take it back.”
In Montgomery County, Palmer has previously been convicted of several similar charges, including trespassing, vandalism, breaking and entering, heroin possession, receiving stolen property and theft counts, among others, over approximately the last five years.
Later this month, Theresa Kennedy, 34, of Fairborn, is set to be sentenced for her role in the group’s activities in Greene County about a year ago. Stayer said Kennedy describes herself as the “ring leader” of the group.
Kennedy pleaded guilty to 12 charges in December 2015 as part of a plea deal, including an engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity charge, as well as burglary, theft, forgery and receiving stolen property charges, among others. According to Stayer, Kennedy was involved in several forms of identity theft via marriage licenses, credit cards and tax forms.
“She was quite a little criminal,” Stayer said. “It’s not just a dirtbag breaking in to get a TV to sell for heroin. This was kind of a little more thought out.”
Kennedy was sentenced to serve eight years in prison in December 2015 for theft, breaking and entering, burglary, forgery, identity fraud and receiving stolen property charges in Montgomery County, according to court records.
Stayer said investigations into the group’s activities in Greene County have been closed. Stayer said police tracked the group’s activity and that “other names were mentioned and interviewed,” but said that investigators never had enough evidence to formally charge them.
While Stayer wasn’t able to say definitively that the “Twack Pack” – which she said Kennedy had at one point pegged at being 50 members strong – was still operating, she said, “I would imagine [they are still operating], yes, but I don’t know that for sure.”
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.