NEW EAGLE – Two 17-year-old boys are among four suspects apprehended late Saturday by Monongahela police in connection with an armed robbery in New Eagle involving an alleged drug deal that went sour.
One of the teens, Xavier Rodriguez, and Nigel T. Summers, 20, both of Charleroi, are charged with using a stolen .380-caliber handgun to steal $645 from Robert Cox of New Eagle when they went to his Second Avenue residence under the guise of selling him marijuana, court records state.
The other suspects, Zachary Cowell, 17, of New Eagle, and Derek J. Lowe, 21, of Charleroi, are in custody as conspirators.
Monongahela police Chief Brian Tempest said investigating officers consulted with juvenile authorities in Washington County and the district attorney’s office before charging the 17-year-olds as adults.
“There are certain crimes, when there is a gun involved, that those over 15 can be charged as an adult. That criteria was met,” Tempest said Monday.
The alleged robbery unraveled after police were dispatched to a 7-Eleven store about 11 p.m. Saturday to investigate suspicious activity involving a maroon car in the store’s Main Street parking lot. From a marked patrol car, an officer said he watched Summers and Rodriguez get into the car’s rear seat and a silver vehicle pull in at a high speed and stop next to the suspects.
Police said the vehicles then pulled out together and soon stopped along the side of the road, where an officer first approached the driver of the silver car, identified as Tyler Dolanch.
Dolanch stated to police he witnessed Cox being robbed by the two suspects seated in the rear of the maroon car. Cox later identified Rodriguez and Summers as the suspects who had robbed him at gunpoint.
Police said two bags of marijuana were found in a backpack worn by Rodriguez, who allegedly possessed the stolen money. Police said a knife was seized from Lowe.
All four suspects are charged with drug possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy, receiving stolen property, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and firearms violations. Rodriguez and Summers face additional charges of robbery, theft, simple assault and aggravated assault.
They are being held in Washington County jail on $100,000 bonds set Sunday by District Judge James Ellis.