Inmates speak out about plot to bribe and intimidate victims

by: Tony Thomas Updated:

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Two men accused of plotting to bribe and intimidate their own victims from behind bars are speaking out to Channel 2 Action News.
Channel 2’s Tony Thomas obtained letters deputies say they found in a jail cell that they claim were written by one inmate to two others with the simple title, plan to free us.
Two of the three implicated men sat down with Thomas on Friday for jailhouse interviews.
“Did you write this letter?” Thomas asked inmate Jerome Welch.
“Nope,” Welch replied. “I didn't write nothing. I was asleep when they came and got me out of my room.”
Welch said he doesn't know anything about a letter detailing the witness payoff and intimidation scheme.
“I don’t know what's going on, I'm in the hole right now. I just feel the jail is crooked,” Welch said.  
Authorities said the jailhouse plan went like this: Luis Comacho had his girlfriend and mother pay Michael Barrett $1,000 to “disappear before Welch's march trial.” 
Barrett was allegedly robbed by Comacho and Welch in separate crimes.
The letter-writer wrote, “You have to come up with the money ASAP before I go to court because no victims no case.”
The plot then allegedly had the then-free Welch going after three remaining witnesses in Comacho and co-defendant Alfredo Sosa's case.
“I think there was definitely a threat of violence for the three victims of Comacho and Sosa,” said Dep. Shannon Volkodav, of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.
Comacho admits to paying the money, saying Welch threatened him.
“If I don't pay his victim he was going to beat me up or do something to my family. So that's why I try to do it. I don’t want nobody in my family to be hurt,” Comacho said.
“Had we not located this document, it is very possible they could have carried out this plan,” Volkodav said.  
All six of the people implicated in the scheme have been charged, including two-time victim turned defendant Michael Barrett. Five of the six remain behind bars.

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