5 indicted in cellphone robbery ring - Crime - Mobile Adv

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5 indicted in cellphone robbery ring

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BELTON — Five people face felony and conspiracy charges in connection with a rash of strong-arm robberies of cellphones from local youth.

Blake Allen Wilson, 21, Latharian Merritt, 20, Efrem Trevon Edwards, 18, Damani Tequan Johnson, 19, and Taimane Timarky, 20, were indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy by a Bell County grand jury Wednesday.

The five are accused of participating in a string of crimes reported to Harker Heights and Killeen police, all of which involved the robbery or theft of cellphones from local middle school and high school children.

The affidavit details at least one robbery where a 16-year-old boy was beaten and robbed of his phone.

According to an arrest affidavit, there were 14 reported cases in Killeen and additional cases in Harker Heights.

Assistant Bell County District Attorney Murph Bledsoe said the case was still under investigation, and there could be additional robberies and thefts.

“We suspect there are a number of young people who had their phones taken and didn’t go to the police,” Bledsoe said.

The affidavit stated the phones were sold at an automated kiosk at the Killeen Mall.

Because the matter is still under investigation, Bledsoe said he could not say how many phones were stolen or how much money the suspects earned from their spree.

If convicted, the five could face between five and 99 years in prison.

The following individuals also were indicted Wednesday:

  • David Levi Brallier II, 30, of Killeen, on a charge of arson.
  • Sean Michael Tagert, 27, of Harker Heights, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, 1 gram or more.
  • Helen Pamela Bernal, 49, of Killeen, on a charge of driving while intoxicated, third or more offense.
  • Damien Lamar England, 31, of Temple, on a charge of assault on a family or household member, strangulation, repeat offender.
  • Earl Arde Mercer, 30, on a charge of aggravated sexual assault.
  • Kevin James Wieland, 20, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated sexual assault.
  • Monique Nicole Dottery-Miller, 29, of Killeen, on a charge of evading arrest with a motor vehicle.
  • Curtis Floyd Oliver, 23, of Killeen, on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
  • Daniel Lorenzo Wilson, 41, of Killeen, on a charge of murder.
  • Clayton Vincen Hale, 23, of Morgan’s Point Resort, on two charges of aggravated sexual assault.
  • Brandon Dale Stapleton, on a charge of theft more than $1,500, but less than $20,000.
  • Shannon Lewis, aka Shannon Marie Jackson or Shannon Lewis Jackson, on a charge of forgery.
  • Heather Sue Thedford, on a charge of theft more than $1,500, but less than $20,000.
  • Damon Lamar Jackson, 32, of Forney, on a charge of possession of cocaine, less than 1 gram.
  • Neil David Schmidt, 54, of Harker Heights, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, less than 1 gram.
  • Annette Gonzalez, 38, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, less than 1 gram.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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