Wisconsin men found with coke, guns and monkey masks were on retaliation mission

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Items recovered during a traffic stop by a sheriff’s deputy early Wednesday in Lake County. | Lake County sheriff’s office

Three Wisconsin men found Wednesday morning near north suburban Antioch with guns, drugs and monkey masks inside their vehicle were on their way to retaliate against another group over an earlier confrontation, according to authorities.

Thomas Fleckenstein, 27, of Lake Geneva; Jacob Lapenta, 21; of Genoa City; and Davey Shower, 24, of Genoa City, were taken into custody following a traffic stop about 2:30 a.m. near Route 173 and Lotus Avenue, according to the Lake County sheriff’s office.

A deputy saw cocaine inside the vehicle while speaking with the men and conducted a search of the vehicle, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies found 15 grams of cocaine, 100 pills of Alprazolam, three loaded guns, three masks, three heavyweight jackets and a crowbar.

An investigation by the sheriff’s Gang Task Force found that the three men were on their way to retaliate against another group, which stemmed from a pervious altercation, the sheriff’s office said.

Detectives believe they were involved in an altercation, potentially with gang members, “somewhere in or near Antioch” a few days earlier, sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said. At the time of their arrest, they were driving around Antioch and Antioch Township trying to find the group.

“An alert Sheriff’s Deputy successfully stopped a violent confrontation from taking place, which would have likely resulted in a homicide,” Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said in a statement Thursday. “Our personnel work diligently to arrest violent offenders and keep Lake County safe, which is exactly what took place in this situation.”

Fleckenstein was charged with armed violence, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and three counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon — all felonies, the sheriff’s office said. His bail was set at $100,000.

Thomas Fleckenstein | Lake County sheriff’s office

Thomas Fleckenstein | Lake County sheriff’s office

Shower was charged witha felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of obstructing identification, the sheriff’s office said. His bail was set at $10,000.

Davey Shower | Lake County sheriff’s office

Davey Shower | Lake County sheriff’s office

Lapenta was charged with a misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a weapon and released on a $1,500 recognizance bond.

Jacob Lapenta | Lake County sheriff’s office

Jacob Lapenta | Lake County sheriff’s office

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