KANSAS CITY – According to a press release from the office of Timothy Garrison,  U.S. Attorney, Western District of Missouri, three men were charged in federal court yesterday for their roles in a series of armed business robberies in Kansas City, Mo., and Independence, Mo., over the past week. The Northeast News previously covered the initial incidents here.

Vonterrious Humbert, 18, Tremaine Johnson, 19, and Henry Simmons, 18, were charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, with participating in a conspiracy to commit armed robberies and with using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. They remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

Humbert, Johnson and Simmons were arrested on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, following the early-morning armed robbery of a Phillips 66 convenience store and the attempted robbery of a Taco Bell on N.W. Barry Road in Kansas City, Mo. Two juvenile males were also taken into custody but are not identified in court documents and are not charged in the federal complaint.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, the conspiracy included eight additional business robberies: five armed robberies of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Independence, Mo., and Kansas City, Mo., in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, and three armed robberies of a Domino’s Pizza, a 7-Eleven convenience store and a Sinclair convenience store in Kansas City, Mo., during the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018.

A Dodge Durango SUV was identified by witnesses at some of the robberies. On Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, law enforcement observed Humbert, Johnson, Simmons and the two juveniles traveling in a 2003 Dodge Durango to approximately 15 to 20 convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and other businesses that were open late or operated 24 hours a day. According to the affidavit, officers believed they were casing the businesses – making repetitive passes by these businesses in a slow, surveillance-like manner, as if examining the businesses for activity and occupants in advance of initiating a robbery.

At approximately 2:37 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, the vehicle arrived at the shopping area at N.W. Barry Road and Ambassador Drive in Kansas City, Mo. The vehicle parked at a nearby apartment complex. Four individuals got out of the vehicle, the affidavit says; Humbert and Johnson walked across the street to the Phillips 66 convenience store while Simmons and a juvenile male walked to the Taco Bell.

According to the affidavit, Humbert and Johnson robbed the Phillips 66 store at gunpoint, stealing approximately $400, then ran back across the street toward a wooded area near the apartment complex. Johnson and Humbert were pursued into a strip mall area near the apartment complex. Both were apprehended nearby, the affidavit says, and were found to have discarded the firearms they possessed at the time of the robbery – a Taurus handgun with a laser sight and an SKS-type 7.62x39mm rifle.

As this robbery was occurring, Simmons and the juvenile were allegedly attempting to rob the Taco Bell. They both had firearms when law enforcement officers approached them, the affidavit says, which they attempted to discard at the time of their arrest. Officers retrieved a loaded Taurus 9mm semi-automatic handgun with a laser sight and a loaded Ruger 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

A second juvenile male was identified as the driver and sole occupant of the Dodge Durango SUV at the time of the arrests. Officers searched the vehicle and found a loaded Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a jar containing marijuana.

The charges contained in this complaint are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashleigh A. Ragner. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the FBI.