University Makes ‘Alphas’ Inactive after Felony Theft

Florida A&M Friday made the campus chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. inactive following the arrest of four student members recently for felony theft.

Christopher Chavannes, 21, Deven Brown, 19, Kevin Noble, 21, and Joshua Smith, 19, spent one night in custody for their alleged involvement in planning to and stealing from the New Wellness Center construction site on Florida State’s Campus on Nov. 27. The four suspects were released from custody that night on a total of $7,000 in bond, according to Leon County Sheriff’s Office. The students have since been allowed back on campus.

A police officer reported spotting two males trespassing at the construction site about 5 a.m. on Nov. 27. In the arrest report, the officer said that two young men saw the approaching patrol car and then “jumped over the fence… and ran northwest to a white sedan.”

The officer blocked the car with his, drew his firearm and after backup arrived, ordered the occupants to exit the car one at a time.

The officer found 25 red bricks in one backpack and 11 red bricks in another backpack after a search of the vehicle.

The suspects “waived their rights and agreed to talk” and “they collectively admitted they were students at FAMU working on a project.” They told the officer they couldn’t afford to buy bricks, so they decided instead to steal them.

Chavannes and Brown were charged with stealing from a posted construction site, a felony, and were released on bonds of $2,500 each. Noble and Smith were charged with conspiracy to commit a felony – they each got $1,000 in bond.

University Director of Communications Sharon Saunders confirmed this week the fraternity’s inactive status on the campus. The university couldn’t make a statement because the investigation is ongoing.

A Famuan reporter also contacted a representative of the Beta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, but he declined to comment.

Chavannes, Brown, Noble and Smith are four of the 11 newest members of the Beta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. They all joined the fraternity this semester.  

Note: An earlier version of this story, including Wednesday’s print issue, stated that the suspects spent eight days in custody. In fact, this was based on incorrect information from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. The FAMUAN apologizes.