Tuesday, Sep 4, 2012
On Sunday, July 29th, Plateau District rangers received a report of an armed robbery that had taken place underneath a parkway overpass in the area of Milepost 115. The victim showed up at a local grocery store and was later transported to a local hospital, where ranger Jim Lyon interviewed him. The man said that a woman with whom he was familiar had picked him up to give him a ride. She also picked up a second man on the way, saying that she needed to give him a ride as well. She then drove to a location within the park where the second man pulled out a pistol, assaulted the victim, and stole cash, credit cards and personal effects from him. As his assailants drove away, the man grabbed onto the car and was dragged for about a quarter mile, sustaining additional injuries. The assailants then charged over $2,500 worth of goods at local retailers on the victim’s credit cars. They were subsequently identified and the woman was found and interviewed. She confessed to her involvement and identified the man who was with her. A joint investigation began, with Blue Ridge Parkway as the lead agency. Also participating were the US Attorney’s Office, ATF, DEA, Roanoke City PD, Salem PD and Roanoke County PD. A number of leads were developed that involved a variety of criminal acts, including distribution of heroin, distribution of bath salts, credit card fraud, prostitution, and weapons violations. During the week of August 20th, the man was indicted on seven charges, including armed robbery, assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime, and four counts of distribution of heroin. Additional charges are pending in state court. Lyon is the case agent.