Officials: Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force Takes Down Robbery Suspects

Western Sussex County- A multi-agency investigation including the Delaware State Police, Laurel Police Department, Seaford Police Department, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division, Dover Police Department, Sussex Governor’s Task Force (GTF) and the Maryland State Police has led to the arrest of two suspects who were wanted in connection with multiple robberies occurring in the Western Sussex County areas, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Melissa Jaffe.

Jaffe said the investigation began in mid-December 2018, when Troopers investigated a robbery that occurred at the Oasis Travel Plaza, Laurel. Subsequent to this incident, it was learned that five other robberies were reported to various police departments in which similar suspect descriptions were provided. Through investigative measures, the Laurel Police Department identified two suspects, 36-year-old James West of Dover and 38-year-old Samoyed Alston of Laurel, Jaffe said.

On May 8, 2019, the Laurel Police Department apprehended West at the Carvel Gardens apartments without incident. A search warrant was obtained for an apartment in Carvel Gardens and members of the Laurel Police Department, Seaford Police Department, Delaware State Police Major Crimes Unit (MCU), and Troop 5 executed the search warrant. During the execution of the warrant, a black BB gun that was displayed by West during the robberies along with other items linking him to the crimes were located and collected, said Jaffe.

It was learned that West was also residing at a second residence in the unit block of Forest Creek Drive in Dover. Another search warrant was obtained for this residence and members of the ATF, Dover Police Department and the Delaware State Police executed the search warrant. During the execution of this search warrant, additional items linking him to the crimes were also located and collected, Jaffee said.

Alston. on active probation, was located at his residence on Saint George Road in Laurel and taken into custody by the Sussex Governor’s Task Force (GTF), Two vehicles police say were used in the robberies were located at that home, according to Jaffe.

Search warrants were obtained to seize the vehicles from the property. West and Alston were both transported back to Troop 4.

West was charged with the following:

Robbery 1st (6 counts)
Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony (6 counts)
Aggravated Menacing (9 Counts)
Wearing a Disguise During Commission of a Felony (6 counts)
Conspiracy 2nd (6 counts)
Terroristic Threatening (3 counts)
West was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $189,000 cash only bond.

Alston was charged with the following:

Robbery 1st (6 counts)
Conspiracy 2nd (6 counts)
Alston was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $86,000 cash only bond.

Maryland State Police charges are pending.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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