Two Indiana men are facing multiple charges including alleged theft, burglary, sex trafficking and illegal drug possession after their arrests last Thursday by Manchester police.
Larry Lynn Worsham, 38, of Mishawaka, Ind., is being held in the Coffee County Jail under $101,500 bond, and Charles Edward Wolfe, 22, of Osceola, Ind., is being held under $102,000 bond.
After their arrests in Manchester, police were informed that the men are suspects in cases involving illegal activities in at least 12 other law enforcement jurisdictions.
A woman who was with them at the motel where they were staying was not charged in Coffee County but is facing charges in Indiana, according to police.
In Coffee County, Worsham is charged with theft of property and driving on a revoked or suspended license.
Wolfe is charged with theft of property and production, manufacturing and distribution of a controlled substance and possession of the illegal plant salvia.
The arrests came after police officer Ernie Colvin was notified of two men “acting strange” while in separate vans at a carwash on Hillsboro Boulevard in Manchester. According to the report, the men were trying to sell a new welder still in its box to a mechanic who then notified the Coffee County Communication Center which alerted authorities.
According to Colvin’s report, after arriving in the area and noticing that one of the van’s license plates was partially covered by a cell phone case, he stopped both vans in front of Manchester Tire and Brake.
When Colvin asked the men for their driver’s license, proof of insurance and registration they could not produce the information, according to the report, and contended that they had just bought one of the vehicles off Craigslist. Investigators Stuart Colwell and Jonathan Anthony transported Wolfe to the motel to obtain paperwork on the vans and learned that neither vehicle was displaying the proper tags.
When the officer asked the Coffee County Communication Center to run a check through the national crime computer system to determine if there were any outstanding warrants for Worsham and Wolfe, they learned that both men were wanted in Indiana for theft. With the warrants for the men and the two vans loaded with new merchandise, officers said they suspected that criminal activity had taken place.
Once the men’s names were entered into the national crime computer, investigators from other states contacted the Manchester Police Department, making chief investigator Billy Butler aware that the men were wanted in their jurisdictions, according to the report.
According to Butler, at least 12 jurisdictions want to question the suspects about thefts in their communities.
According to a police report and Butler, when officers arrived at the men’s motel room they found a woman inside along with a quantity of new property and receipts in different names than the suspects and at least 40 gift cards.
Also while searching the room investigator Anthony, allegedly found synthetic marijuana and cigar rolling papers.
The suspects were transported to the Manchester Police Department for questioning, where police said the women, who is not named, stated that she, her husband Worsham and Wolfe had been committing burglaries from upper Michigan to Indiana and Kentucky.
According to police, she stated that Wolfe would shoot out windows in vehicles and steal property or purses from inside. She told officers that she and her husband, Worsham, would then use the credit cards to purchase large items such as televisions, welders, jewelry, computers and game stations and post them for sale on Craigslist. Police allege that they found receipts from H.H. Gregg, Kohls, Home Depot and Best Buy where merchandise had been purchased with stolen credit cards.
The woman also told officers that her husband had “been selling her for sexual acts” on the Internet site. Investigators said they were able to verify the allegations after they were given the woman’s password for their Craigslist account.
According to Butler, the woman provided information by phone to an investigator from a task force in Michigan about their crimes in that state as well as in Indiana.
Investigator Butler said the woman was not charged here but traveled by bus to Indiana where she was arrested in Elkhart on theft charges there.
“Authorities in Elkhart say she is cooperating and has provided them with information about the human trafficking that she has been a victim of,” Butler said Monday.
In addition to Colwell, Anthony and Butler, investigator Jason Kennedy assisted in compiling a list of stolen items. Also working with the Manchester police in determining where the items were stolen from is the Tennessee Highway Patrol Criminal Division and since credit cards were involved the U.S. Secret Service was notified.
Butler stated that the investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending.