By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Criminal Complaints have been filed in U.S. District Court on three people alleged to have been involved in robberies at three Cherokee businesses. The criminal complaints, filed Wednesday, Dec. 1, charge the following with Robbery in Indian Country: Stephen Russell McCoy, John Ray West II, and George Lee Hernandez.
The defendants were charged in Cherokee Tribal Court on robbery charges last month. According to the Tribal Court, charges on all three have been Dismissed with Leave to Refile.
“Our officers, detectives, and the FBI did an outstanding job in utilizing the available information to put this case together,” Cherokee Chief of Police Ben Reed said. “This is a very dangerous crime and I thank God no one was hurt during the robberies or the arrests.”
The Criminal Complaint describes four robberies including two at the Quality Inn of Cherokee and one each at the Original Moccasin Shop in Cherokee and the Holiday Inn Express in Cherokee.
The report alleges that various weapons were used in each of the robberies including: baseball bat in the first Quality Inn robbery, knives in the second Quality Inn robbery, a “realistic-looking toy pistol” in the Original Moccasin Shop robbery, and a handgun (make not listed) for the Holiday Inn Express robbery.
According to the report, McCoy was the only defendant who participated in all four actual robberies, and it is alleged that he was the sole perpetrator in the last two. It alleges that he did the first Quality Inn robbery with Hernandez and the second with West II.
The report states that video surveillance from the Holiday Inn robbery aided in the investigation. Following being identified on the video, “McCoy was questioned and confessed to his role in all the aforementioned robberies. He also stated that George Hernandez was involved in the 7/15/2010 robbery of the Quality Inn. McCoy confessed to planning and executing all the aforementioned robberies.”
The report also states that Hernandez confessed to his role in the first Quality Inn robbery and that West II confessed to his role in the second Quality Inn robbery.
Jarrett Sneed and Shaylene Welch were also arrested and charged in Tribal Court in connection to these robberies. Those charges are still pending.
Note: It is important to remember that the following have only been charged with the crimes listed and should be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
TIMELINE OF ROBBERIES
July 15 – Quality Inn of Cherokee was robbed at 2:55am of approximately $476 – $750. One of the subjects allegedly threatened the clerk with a baseball bat.
Oct. 31 – Quality Inn of Cherokee was robbed at 8:57pm of approximately $500. Two subjects allegedly brandished knives during the robbery.
Nov. 7 – Original Moccasin Shop in Cherokee was robbed at 10:45am of approximately $143. The store was allegedly robbed with a plastic “realistic-looking” toy pistol.
Nov. 15 – Holiday Inn Express in Cherokee was robbed at 2:25am of approximately $302.65. The store was allegedly robbed at gun point.
– Source of Timeline: Criminal Complaint