Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab of what’s going 
on in the courts.

By Logan Beck

On May 15, it was not business as usual for one popular Philadelphia eatery.

James Parker, 50, of Philadelphia, was officially indicted on July 21 after violently robbing Tavern on Broad, a Center City restaurant, back in May.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Parker pistol-whipped an employee at the restaurant, and eventually forced him to open the safe. That night, Parker fled with approximately $8,000 cash.

As a result of the robbery, Parker is being charged with robbery that interferes with interstate commerce, as well as using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

If proven guilty, Parker faces a potential sentence of life in prison.

Two New Jersey men are facing charges after executing an armed home invasion...while disguised as police officers.

Clemente R. Carlos, 29, and Jason Thompson, 33, confronted a female victim and her baby as she was leaving her apartment around 7 a.m. on Aug. 12, 2015. The two then led the woman back into her apartment, as she assumed they were  Passaic County officers.

Once they got inside, Thompson held a gun to the female victim’s brother’s head, and zip-tied his hands behind his back, forcing him to the ground.

After failing to find any money in the apartment, Carlos and Thompson fled the scene.

Both men face charges of conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery, in addition to home invasion, kidnapping, various weapon offenses, endangering the welfare of a minor, and more. According to the criminal complaint, Thompson is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

What started as a seemingly normal pizza order ended in an armed robbery of a pizza delivery man.

Kameron Watts, 20, of Pleasantville, N.J. and Deshawn DeWitt, 19, of Willingboro, N.J. devised a plan to carjack an unsuspecting pizza delivery man’s vehicle. The two ordered three pizzas on Aug. 28, 2014, and waited, hiding behind trees as the driver approached the house. After no one answered the door, the driver returned to his car and was met with Watts and DeWitt, both masked, along with two guns pointed at him.

After being told to “give them everything he had,” the driver gave them his cell phone, the keys to his car, and of course, the pizzas.

Watts and DeWitt then drove off in the vehicle, and later left it at a recreational center in Pleasantville.

Watts was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and 8 ½ years of parole ineligibility. DeWitt is being sought as a fugitive after failing to attend his first scheduled sentencing.

Gerald Eugene Friley, 56, had been under the watchful eye of investigators from the Blair County Drug Task Force before delivering a batch of laced drugs to a confidential informant.

Gerald Eugene Friley 
According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Friley distributed 100 fentanyl-laced pills, and upon investigation, an additional 14 laced pills were found inside the vehicle. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid medication that is often abused for its “heroin-like” effect.

Friley disguised the pills as Oxycodone.

Friley is charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal use of a communication facility, manufacture, sale or possession of an adulterated or misbranded substance, altering a drug container or identification with intent to defraud, sale, distribution or possession of a controlled substance, and driving with a suspended license.

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