Lee Grace Dougherty: ''We didn't mean to hurt anyone''

10:05 AM, Aug 12, 2011   |    comments
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New Port Richey, Florida - When the Pasco County Sheriff was asked how he would describe the Dougherty gang, his answer was simple.


Sheriff Chris Nocco says he woke up Thursday morning with a smile on his face, knowing the Dougherty trio was behind bars.

Photo Gallery: Pictures of the Dougherty Gang
Read: Florida arrest warrants for the Doughertys (PDF)

With three little ones and very little sleep, Sheriff Nocco says he woke up in a great mood and was met with smiling faces on Thursday in Pasco County.

"They were relieved," he said. "People seemed relieved that these violent young criminals were caught."

They are now household names, known across America as the Dougherty gang - Dylan, the eldest Lee Grace and Ryan.

They are siblings who were on the run for eight days. Their spree across America started with an attempted traffic stop in Pasco County where a deputy clocked them going over the speed limit.

Sheriff Nocco told 10 News. "We have a saying that your second mistake is to commit a crime in Pasco County. The first mistake is to think about it."

Sheriff Nocco says he is proud of his deputies and detectives who worked non-stop to make sure this case came to a safe end.

Communication, the Sheriff says, was key.

Nocco was in his car Wednesday when the FBI called him and said the gang was caught.

The Sheriff says he said a quick prayer, and then sent his detectives to Colorado.

At one point, the Dougherty gang was planning to hide out in the mountains, something Sheriff Nocco doesn't believe the trio could have pulled off successfully.

He said, "I don't know if they thought they would live their lives in the mountains, I'm not sure what their intentions were, but I don't think they would have lasted too long up there."

The Sheriff tells 10 News that there's another part of this investigation that they're looking at right now.

Did the Dougherty's commit other crimes on their spree across the country?

"We are looking into the fact that they could be responsible for other crimes out there," the Sheriff said.

So how are Lee grace and her brothers reacting to Pasco detectives?

The Sheriff says there's been a major change from what cops call "violent behavior" from the siblings during their capture.

Now, the trio is talkative with detectives as the siblings sit behind bars.

10 News legal analyst Jay Hebert believes that the bank robbery in Georgia will most likely take precedence over the other crimes in Florida and Colorado.

FBI agents moved in to handle these federal charges which carry life in prison with no parole.

Hebert said. "These [FBI agents] are really smart people, and these are not smart criminals, they stuck together they kept the same car. They did not flee separately which would have been the smart thing to do, so, when you put really smart people in a room to catch really dumb people, bad things happen to dumb people.

The Sheriff added, "These are adults, they understand between right and wrong, and I believe they're criminals."

Pasco detectives are due back from Colorado on Friday.

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