Two men face charges after a multi-agency investigation into a 2018 robbery in Laurel.
Delaware State Police, Laurel Police Department, Seaford Police Department, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Baltimore Field Division, Dover Police Department, Sussex Governor’s Task Force and the Maryland State Police began investigating in December 2018 after a robbery that occurred at the Oasis Travel Plaza in Laurel, said Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe of the Delaware State Police.
Through the investigation, Jaffe said, police learned there had been five similar robberies reported by various police departments, and the description of the suspects was similar. James West, 36, of Dover, and Samoyed Alston, 38, of Laurel were identified by Laurel police. On May 8, Jaffe said, Laurel police arrested West without incident at Carvel Gardens in Laurel. During the arrest, she said, police found a black BB gun that West used during the robberies, and police found other items linking him to the crimes while executing a search warrant.
Jaffe said West was also residing at a residence in the unit block of Forest Creek Drive in Dover, and a search warrant was obtained for this residence. Members of the ATF, Dover Police Department and the Delaware State Police executed the search warrant, and found additional items linking him to the crimes, she said.
Alston, who was on active probation, was found at his residence on Saint George Road, Laurel, where police also located two parked vehicles that were utilized in the robberies, Jaffe said. The Sussex Governor’s Task Force took Alston into custody at this residence without incident, she said, and search warrants were obtained to seize the vehicles from the property. West and Alston were both transported back to Troop 4.
Both men were charged with six counts of first-degree robbery and six counts of second-degree conspiracy. West was also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, nine counts of aggravated menacing, six counts of wearing a disguise during commission of a felony, second-degree conspiracy and three counts of terroristic threatening.
Both men were arraigned and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution in default of cash only bond; West on $189,000 and Alston on $86,000.