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Six people planned Slatington robbery for marijuana

Published September 15. 2018 07:03AM

Six people are charged in a conspiracy to steal marijuana in Slatington.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Detective Timothy Wagner of the Slatington Police Department:

On Aug. 1, a juvenile reported to Slatington Police that he was robbed at gunpoint on July 31.

The victim identified Gabrielle Gillard, 18, of Slatington, as the driver and Jocelyn Andino, 19, of Allentown, as one of the people that robbed him with a gun, and said there was an unidentified person that also held the gun on him that was in all black and had their face covered.

The victim told police he saw Gillard and a group of other girls at the Turkey Hill at 10:15 p.m.

He left the Turkey Hill and turned onto Diamond Street. He noticed Gillard drive past in her vehicle several times.

When the victim approached Diamond Street and Pine Street, he reported that Gillard pulled in front of him and stopped her car, and two people got out.

The first was Andino. He could not identify the second person because they were dressed in all black and had their face covered.

Andino had a black handgun and pointed it at the victim and told him to give her his backpack. Andino gave the gun to the unidentified person and removed the victim’s cellphone from his pocket while the other person held him at gunpoint.

After Andino had the items, she and the unidentified person got back in Gillard’s vehicle and fled on Pine Street.

Wagner identified Gillard, Andino, Angel Bean, 19, of Slatington, Wesley Merkel, 20, of Palmerton, and two juveniles from the surveillance video at Turkey Hill.

Wagner interviewed the juveniles who said the planning of the robbery started early in the day by Gillard, Andino, and Bean. The juveniles said they received a call from Andino saying she was going to rob the victim that evening and asked them to come along, and that they agreed and were picked up at their residence by Gillard. Gillard was driving, and in the car were Andino and Bean. Bean brought her BB gun and it was in the car when they were picked up.

Gillard asked one of the juveniles to send a message to the victim asking him to deliver 2 ounces of marijuana. The victim agreed to the delivery, and before the group could see the victim at the Turkey Hill, they messaged him back and said they no longer needed marijuana.

Wagner was told there were over 3 ounces of marijuana, mushrooms, a wallet and key in the bag, along with personal items. The items were divided up among the group, and Merkel was taken back to Allentown by Gillard.

Andino admitted to being the person that held the gun on the victim and that she was the person that removed the phone from his pocket.

She also said that she handed the gun to Merkel at the scene and held it while she removed the cellphone from the victim’s pocket and retrieved the bag.

Andino said that all six co-conspirators returned to Bean’s house after the robbery and divided the marijuana, and that the items were taken from the victim.

Merkel was unable to be located for an interview, but each co-conspirator identified him as the person who had his face covered during the robbery.

Andino faces charges on one count each of robbery, simple assault, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, criminal conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking or disposition, conspiracy robbery and receiving stolen property.

Gillard and Bean were charged with conspiracy and receiving stolen property.

Andino and Merkel were charged with robbery, theft, simple assault, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, receiving stolen property, and possession of an instrument of crime and conspiracy.

Andino is free in lieu of $20,000 unsecured bail.

Andino is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Nov. 8.

There are active warrants out for Gillard, Bean and Merkel.

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